How do you feel about MAFIA?

Myself and the other MAFIA mods are curious about how the players feel about the game.

We've gone at a steady one game per month pace for the last six months, and we're starting to get the impression that people are either burned out, or just straight up losing interest. Turnouts for the first two games was good, and the third game was huge with 30-something players. In this game, we had to extend the character deadline twice and send out emails and PM's to recruit new players, and we still only came up with 14 players. That's not a bad number by any means, but it is much smaller than we were expecting, and we had to work to get that many people.

Mainly we just want to know how enthusiastic people are about the games, and what we could do to make them more enjoyable and attractive to start attracting new players and bring old ones back for more.

Something else we're interested in is how long you guys want in between games. We're afraid that if we start a new game in two and a half weeks, people aren't going to be fully recovered and interested, and we'll get low turnout and participation.

I personally thought that the dwindling turnout was from problems that plague MAFIA #4 and #5, but the other mods and I want your input. Please share, and don't worry about hurting my feelings if you see a problem - I can take it.

Aniyah 17 years ago
Well I'm glad you said don't worry about hurting feelings... here goes..

.. just kidding. :P

I enjoyed the two games I played in - Haunted Mansion and Hitchhiker's Guide. I missed the sign up for the StarWars game but not by much. Unfortunately the craziness in my life heated up in terms of family deaths - multiple - and all the crap that comes from that. Thus, I missed the SWG game.

My only contribution to this discussion (ha!) is for the Hiker's game. I only lasted a day --- thanks ya'll lynchin buttholes --- but the problem I had was that I was totally unfamiliar with the movie/book and it made character creation/interaction a bit difficult. I was mostly unsure as to what I was creating, if you couldn't tell, and it hindered what may have been an enjoyable game. Some of the characters were far-out and others more subtle --- but the various creatures, planets, etc. and how they acted was strange to me and thus I don't feel I jumped in and played as I could have.

With that being said, I enjoy the games. I think if I had known more about the structure, as stated before, the last game would have been more of a blast to me. This, of course, is no one's fault but my own --- just merely what I experienced with the game.

You guys do a great job of moderating at these --- lot of time and work is evident in the signatures, the scenes and the organization and followthrough. I wonder, however, if folks might be put off by the quickness of the game... as well as the time in between? Maybe make the game a bit longer and that might help folks who have time commitments that prevent them from being on the boards all the time.

Just some rambling thoughts.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
From the discussions I've had and my own personal feeling, I think going a full 30 days between the finish of one game to another isn't all that bad. We actually have about 30+ people on our mafia usergroup mailing list and yet we still struggle with sign ups. I know real life factors into that but I think the games recently haven't been drudging up enough attention or excitement.

I think a lot of things factor into games seeming not as 'fun'. Whether it's confusion about roles, teams turning against each other, previous game rivalries or grudges, or untimely delays...I guess for me personally, I'm burnt out. Plus doing sigs every 2 1/2 weeks is trying my normally lazy patience =D

I think emphasis on 'team effort' needs to be reiterated and the spirit of the game not compromised...but that's just me. I'd like 30 days from finish to start of a new mafia to keep it fresh.
Guest 17 years ago
The subject matter of many of the games haven't interested me all that much, to be frank. I joined in on the HM mafia because it was pretty open/normal as far as character creation and the theme was common. Having a game based on something like a book or movie gives me anxiety on character creation and proper actions within that world. I'm only going to play if I feel comfortable.

I have noticed that there have been issues with staying on schedule the last few games and with Mafia momentum loss seems to be a big killer of the overall experience.

More time between games would be a good thing, I think. It gives you time to rest and makes you fresh for a new game.
Jinheim 17 years ago
We are always open to suggestions for future mafia themes. Please share if you have any.
Gilae 17 years ago
See I'm the opposite of Ry. I only decided to join this particular mafia because of the theme I really don't have the patience or drive to concentrate on anything that doesn't have pretty pictures attached to it these days! Maybe in February when I'm all alone (cept for the wee McEachnie) in the house and not working!
Blackrabbit 17 years ago
Well, I've only played two mafias so far but I love it. I plan to sign up for any and all of them, and have really enjoyed it so far... not to mention I've met some really fun people here at TAC.

I don't plan to lose interest. Oddly enough, I normally hate mysteries in literature, and never have the patience to get through them... I'm the opposite here. I love the strategy and the puzzlement of it all, though I agree it loses a lot of momentum when the schedule isn't adhered to.

Two paws up from me. Sign me up for the next hudred or so, please.
Vulash 17 years ago
I lost interest once tempers started flaring and the game lost its fun appeal - I'm probably done, but I wont' swear I'll never play again.

It was meant to be fun and then people started getting really upset over things and making snide comments.
Dia 17 years ago
i usually decide if im gonna play based on the subject. I didnt like star wars all that much so i didnt sign up, and i wasnt gonna play the hitch hikers guide one but mae said i didnt have to have read the book so i did.

it blows getting killed so fast, but i try and stay in character in my posts. like if you were being accussed of killing people youd get a bit unhappy too!

but i think its fun and that all the mods do a good job!
Morcalivan 17 years ago
I think mostly its the team effort dragging this thing down. Granted, I have only played once so I know very little, but at the beginning I just read the rules and assumed the only people ganging up was the Mafia. Instead we had townies ganging up together, we had the SK and a townie ganging up against the other townies, we had the mafia ganging up against everyone else, etc. It kind of takes away from the element of surprise a bit if everyone is planning what to take out when. I don't wanna know what's gonna happen next. The most fun times was after the lynch when I sit around at work worrying whether the Mafia were going to nail my tail or not. Not knowing these things is half the fun.

Yes, I know, I did the teaming up thing myself, but you kinda have to in order to survive when everyone else is doing it.

Vulash has a good point also. It's a game, if people start taking it too seriously and going nuts when they don't last to the end, it loses its appeal. Mind you, I might get all excited next time when I die, but I really hope I don't. And if I do, I give everyone else the right to give me a good smack and tell me to get over it. This normally works well for me.

I do think the mods are did a fantastic job, the death scenes especially I found highly creative. I was laughing myself silly most of the time. Timing was a wee bit off, though. I think it might work better if like the deadlines for the votes and SKIDs, we could expect the hits to be posted at a set time each day.

Not sure of how to go about making things more exciting or upping the participation levels. Perhaps something could be done to make it a bit more interactive? *scratches head* Maybe give the option of earning "immunity" for the next SKID/vote?

Maybe a prize for the winners? I've noticed people work harder when they get something to show for their efforts. Perhaps recruiting a certain number of players earns you a one shot immunity. Or perhaps an additional clue. Reward systems are nice.

Perhaps more NPC characters should be added, to give the players a bit more time between getting slaughtered to enjoy the game?

Am officially out of ideas now, sorry.
Verileah 17 years ago
Forming alliances is part of the game. The idea is to know when to break them . The game isn't about who lives 'til the end, it's about which team takes home the cake, which means actually playing as a team. This is purposefully more difficult for the townies, but they are sitting ducks if they don't ally, -hopefully- with each other *grins*.

This game we didn't get to see much of the doctor *coughs*. The doctor's role offers immunity, though nothing overrides the lynch.

*ponders rewards* David and I have done various "extra clue" type of things in the past, mostly with larger games. It's something to consider, though it worked differently in each game.

NPC characters...*ponders* I sweat adding more writing to the game for mods just because people want to read clues into what they say, and because this ends up being rather a lot of work for them :X. However...I'm wondering if people who "need a break" from Mafia might enjoy an opportunity like this. Another thing to kick around.

Timing is always a debate, and I think will always be a compromise between a strict schedule and a more loose, free flowing game based on the mod's RL and the players. Still, it's something a lot of people are bringing up, and so needs to be kicked around.
Geeii 17 years ago
I too have been feeling the change, and perhaps it is because I honestly, *was* burnt out.

Granted, my experience with mafia has been a different one then many players playing in 1 game, then modding/co-modding 2.5 more (that whole, RL bullshit kinda messed with X-Men).

There was a lot of drama the last game I ran, dealing primarily with stuff going on in my lifeand delays in scheduling. Scheduling has been mentioned as reason for loss of seriousness though it may be due to our stricter schedule that the relaxed nature of the 'game' has been dissipating.

Perhaps a more freeform schedule would be better off, one it would allow (due to the slower pace) for more character intereaction before deaths, and it would help build suspense. /shrug I haven't worked out the logistics to give a more specific example, but I thought I would at least throw that out there.

The first game I played I would interrupt my real life for the game, whereas now mafia is feeling like an interruption *from* real life. Perhaps it deals with the drama and stress that I have ad in accordance to the game that most haven't, or perhaps the novelty of it has worn off...or maybe generally things have just sorta deteriorated, can't say which. Going to hold off on other mafia games unless I am completely confident that I will 1) have the time and 2) have the patience unless the almost 'political' feel to the game dies down.

It is a game of mystery, intrigue and the like, but it i also just a game
Morcalivan 17 years ago
I get that alliances was what the game was meant to be about, but the longer you have one group or the other dictating how the game plays out, the more chance there is of it going stale. I have been running an RPG for way too long, so you'll have to forgive me, I think in terms of how to get the most people possible to do as much as they can. As long as you can get through the game by doing nothing and relying on others, it will eventually get boring. In our "world" we have a little thing I call incest players. They form these little groups and then swap across and wallow in their supreme groupieness. Then a couple of months down the line they get bored because they have done everything that's possible to be done already. Without change or evolution, all things will eventually die.

The fact of the matter is, the game is work for the mods, while the players have to do very little. Smoozing with another player or two and winning a game doesn't seem like taking home the cake to me. It seems more like being patted on the head for just sitting around. Even with the doctor's immunity. Its being given to what... friends and the doctor itself? Its never actually earned. Aside from being amused at the fact that the scheming townies bit the dust, having won doesn't mean all that much to me. Its not like I was the best player or did anything to deserve to win. I just knew the right person. Where's the bragging rights if you didn't win on your own merit? What's the point of a game if there is no winner?

If you want more people to be more active, you need to give us more to do.

I get the no time and a lack of drive thing, running things does start to wear heavily on you after a while. Which is why its good that you guys alternate games and give the other mods a chance to rest and get to play between turns. However, a slower pace will most likely frustrate the players. One can only rip apart imaginary clues for so long and then there is nothing else to do but wait.

And I am gonna shut up now. Just trying to leave opinions from a different point of view, sometimes seeing things differently helps one get out of the well worn groove you settle into.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
The last really fun game for me was Blade Runner. Although I think now it's because the SK was introduced and I was lucky to be it that time. We formed alliances out of friendships but wow we really stuck it to each other at the end, considering the sheriff, doctor, 2 mafia and the SK were "allied".

I've personally burnt out. With each finish, there's anonymosity that is born out of who screwed you. I think the Mafia was popular at first because it was new but we have a core of players who refer to old games to guess roles.

There are also expectations now that I realize are really overwhelming. Example, death scences. After 6 games you wake up and expect to see a kill, but like Berry and I were discussing earlier, the moderators have a life. It's an unrealistic expectation from the players to the mods and vice versa I'm sure for timely submissions of skids and voting.

Vulash brings up a good point. People, including myself, got pissy. It's not any fun if you're stressed out about every single detail. That's why I have no plans to play the next mafia if it's soon. In 30 days? I think that's enough time for me to squash my kill instincts and play fresh. Hell, 2 months is even better.

With a usergroup 30+ names long, I'm sure most are burnt out and that's why we have to struggle to get players. I dont know how else to make it fresh and new except stop this break neck pace of every 2 1/2 weeks.

I just want it to be fun again. =/
Eve 17 years ago
My first and only Mafia was the HM one. I had a lot of fun. The main reason I haven't played since is, like Ry, I don't want to play one if I don't know the theme well. Like X-Men. Sure I know who they are, I've seen the movies, used to read the comic. But I don't really know them that well. Now if it had been some generic super hero thing, sure I prolly would have joined in. I know some folks like the various themes. Maybe while spreading out the time a bit, you could also alternate between set themes and more basic ones like the Haunted Mansion. Just my 2 cents.
Mileron 17 years ago
My first and only Mafia was Bladerunner.

I peppered Mae and Veri for hours on end about how the game was supposed to work.

The problem that I had (outside of the obvious RL stuff that prevented me from being on time for really any posts) was that the game, while an in-character, roleplayed idea, is borne on the backs of OOC knowledge of biographies, OOC knowledge of what went on in other people's homes, minds, etc.

In P&P RP games that's called metagame knowledge, and it's frowned upon so severely I've seen people punished or excluded from a night's session because of it.

Most of the fault is mine; I couldn't wrap my head around "my character being ALLOWED to know what he SHOULDN'T" since that's never how I've played really any RP sitch before.

But that's the problem that I had with it, and really what turned me off from it completely.

The roleplaying was well done from the Mod's PoV, with the deaths and situations and all, but it was the character metagame interaction that, well, slew my interest.
Geeii 17 years ago
Blade Runner was still my favorite to play in, even though I go so thoroughly served I am still in shock.

I agree that time has just been pushing people too hard, and perhaps stepping back would be a great idea.

Another thing contributing is the fact, I Think, that the past few games have been dominated by the same few faces, with 'one-timers' filling the gaps. to me, it feels as if the same game just with slightly different settings. The mods, included

I think if we can get some time off between the games, get a comfortable setting for everyone and switch up the mods completely, we will see a completely different game then we have yet.

Personally, I would love to see veri and david run a game, as they have been doing this lots longer then any of the rest of us and, from what I have heard, have great mod-chemistry...
Verileah 17 years ago
I like the idea of making -some- games more open ended rather than based on a specific universe, though I still like having the themed mafias. Would there be any suggestions for more general games?

Don't think I'm ignoring any one's comments, btw...I'm just kicking stuff around .
Guest 17 years ago
For general situation type stuff, what if we did like a summer camp theme? You know, cheesy B movie things. Or an end of the world scenario, i.e. aliens have attacked and humans are on the run. I also like Mai's idea in the literary forum about an office theme. Or we could be contestants in an extreme game of Survivor. Or treasure hunters. Or pirates. OK, those are kind of the same. I dunno, just about any situation where a group of people would be involved and warp it.
Mai 17 years ago
Spiffyness! Extreme Survivor..where people end up dead! I like it.
Jinheim 17 years ago
Thanks for the input guys. Even if we don't respond to everything, we're reading and talking about it all. Keep it coming, and expect some big changes for the next game.