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Game Moderator Tools, Tips, and Advice

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Game Moderator Tools, Tips, and Advice
Post By creature124. 29/07/09, 04:23 pm

The Ten Commandmants of Mafia Game Design

Thou shalt not give every player a power role. General balancing theory states that there should be as many townside vanillas in the game as there are total number of mafia, but this is flexible, especially in mini mafias.

Thou shalt give the Mafia Godfather the power of being clean upon investigation. This is the main perk of being the godfather. It is also quite common for all of the mafia's power to be consolidated in the GF - losing them is supposed to be a blow to the mafia.

Thou shalt avoid post restrictions. They usually severely inhibit the ability of that person to play the game, which is naught but detrimental, regardless of humor value.

Thou mafia shall be numbered between 1/4th and 1/5th of the total number of players. This implies 4 or 5 in a 20 player game, and 2 or 3 in a ten player game. The number of mafia is an important balance point for your game, so ignore this rule only if you take very great care to maintain the balance of the game.

Thou shalt include a Cop and a Doctor. These two are the core of any mafia game, and usually are the only two roles that exist in a low-power game. The town's ability to win is sorely hampered without them.

Thou shalt consider wisely the number of killing roles. Too many, and the game will end in a snap. Too low, and the game will drag on long and the players will lose interest. The numbers of killing roles in each faction is also an important consideration - it is generally unwise to give each more than one.

Thou shalt give every player a weakness. Nobody should be both bulletproof and unlynchable - ever. Everyone must be able to be killed.

Thou shalt not give any mafia the power of Unlynchablility. If even a single mafia player is unlynchable, them the town looses the moment every other killing role (usually constrained to Vigilante/SK) is killed.

Thou shalt include other factions with care. Masons, cults ect can affect the balance of the game is unexpected ways, even more so if they are capable of recruiting. Don't include other factions on a whim, and consider their effect on the game carefully.

Thou shalt deliberatley break as many of these rules as possible wehn designing a bastardmod 8D
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creature124
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To Mod a Mafia: How to keep players happy
Post By JVCA. 09/08/09, 02:53 pm

How to Keep Players Happy

GMing is a tricky role to play, because you will often face player dissatisfaction if you don't do it right. Here are some tips on how to go about it well - feel free to suggest more or ask questions if you don't get something. nodnod

Moderating requires decent literacy. Make sure to spell check your stories and double check words that you're not sure about. Spell check can correct spelling but it can't correct grammar. Make sure to use the correct word - ie. 'You're very thin' as opposed to 'Your very thin.' Make sure you use fullstops and commas in the correct places, these will make your stories more understandable.
Moderating requires activity. If you are going to be a moderator, make sure than you can access a computer regularly so that you can update when required. Night stories should be posted within 48 hours at the latest, regardless of whether or not all night actions have been received.
Moderating requires tough love. If someone has not sent you their Night Action in 24 hours since the beginning of the Night Phase, they should be issued a warning and should miss out on their chance to use a night action for that night. If they fail to meet the deadline again, they should be modkilled or replaced.
Mafia Games should be deliberately balanced or deliberately unbalanced. Unbalanced games that are supposed to be balanced make for uninteresting or unfair gameplay. There are many tips on designing a game to be balanced they can be found here. If you're making a deliberately unbalanced game, it is called BastardMod, and you should inform players beforehand that it is a BastardMod game.
Save EVERYTHING. Keep a list of who everyone is and what everyone has done as their night action in a notepad document. It means you're not going to forget anything, and if someone takes issue with something you've done, you have evidence to back you up.
Be ready BEFORE the time comes. Have your role PMs (and ideally your Night 0 story as well) written up before your game sign-ups start. Starting to write them after the game sign-ups have begun is a bad idea as often your sign-ups will fill up before you finish writing, and a rushed-ly designed game is rarely a good one.
Detail/flavour in Role PMs and Night Stories. Decide from the start how much detail you will give in the night stories and stick to it. Don't reveal the characters of targets for a couple of nights and then stop or vice versa - it's unfair, as players will base their tactics on how you present their results. Similarly, decide how much information a role can glean and stick to it - if a character is an alignment cop, DON'T tell them who their target's character is as well. If their role PM says they can learn what alignment someone is, that's all they should learn - if they were supposed to know who the character was, they'd be a character cop, wouldn't they? ;) Having said that, giving hints helps the game progress, but don't spoon feed it to your players.
Make use of your mod powers. If you're GMing, you should be given mod powers for the mafia subforum (if not, PM a forum mod and they will instate it). Lock your thread as soon as a lynch has been reached. Just because the rules state that no one may post after a lynch has been reached, it doesn't mean everyone is counting or will remember that in a heated discussion.
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Last edited by JVCA on 19/08/09, 08:47 am; edited 3 times in total
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Weighted Numerical System For Mafia Balance
Post By creature124. 15/08/09, 07:12 am

Weighted Numerical System For Mafia Balance

So, I have been trying to come up with an impartial, reliable method to judge whether a round of mafia is balanced or not. This will mostly be a mod tool, to help them balance their games, but it will have other uses.

Essentially, each person in the game must be assigned a value, based on faction, role and a number of other factors. The game is balanced if the total of these values (pro-town vs scum) are similiar (ie within a certain difference, I am toying with the number 3).

The idea is that every player starts with a base value of 1. This is default, for being in the game. Each role then adds to or subtracts from this score. All neutral players are assigned to either Pro-town or Scum (ie Survivor is town, SK is scum) and the total is added. If you have a combination role (ie a bus driver with an investigation) then take the base role's value, then add the second role's value to it and subtract one (as the player only gets one point for being alive, not two). Likewise for roles that have restrictions, you can modify the points value to take that into account (ie a doctor with a 50% fail chance would only be worth 1.5, not 2. More than a vanilla, but less than a full doctor).

This system is not final. This system is not perfect. This is meant as a guideline, not as an authority. This will find large-scale balance issues - the finer points are all up to you.


Here are the values I have decided on so far. Please note that these values will change as I tweak the system. Better, faster, stronger and all that.
PRO-TOWN
Vanilla townie - 1
Cop - 2
Doctor - 2
Wanderer - 1.5
Bulletproof - 2
Unlynchable - 2
Inventor - 2 //this number can change alot based off the style of inventor. This is based off an inventor with a list of items which he can guess at the function of, but not know for sure.
Paranoid Gun Owner - 1.5
Roleblocker - 2
Beloved Princess - 0.5 //shares the town win condition and is therefore helpful as a lynch vote, but less useful due to her death ability.
Mod-confimed townie - 1.5
Bus Driver - 2
Character-cop - 1.5 //less useful than an alignment cop
Jailkeeper - 2
Vigilante - 1.5 //I consider vig's partially detrimental to the town, given their propensity for killing townies by mistake.
Lie Detector - 2
Bomb - 1.5
Survivor - .5 //they usually side with the town, but are less useful as they could turn on the town and joint the mafia.
Mason Recruiter - 4 //highly subjective. this assumes that the members he recruits keep all of their abilites after joining the Masons. This number also accounts for the communication of his recruits. Anyone who starts the game was a part of the masons adds 1 to their point value, the recruiters value accounts for the rest.

Joker - 0 //Jokers are a worthless waste of space. They do nothing but slow down the game, hindering the win conditions of both. Hence, I have given them a value of zero.

SCUM
Serial Killer - 1.5 //less than 2 becuase they aren't aligned with the other scum
Godfather (Investigation clean) - 3 //also accounts for the mafia NK
Roleblocker - 3
Goon - 2 //note that all scum roles have a value of one higher than their town counterparts - this is becuase they can communciate and co-ordinate.
Bus Driver - 3
Bodyguard - 2.5
Cult Recruiter - 4 //same reasoning as Mason Recruiter. If cult members lose their abilities when they join, value is only 3. All others who start as Cult add one to their value.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Criticisms? This is a continual work in progress, and any input is appreciated. If you have any ideas, please post them in the Mafia Discussion Thread.


Last edited by JVCA on 19/08/09, 09:13 am; edited 9 times in total (Reason for editing : Added more roles.)
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creature124
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Sample Analyses
Post By creature124. 15/08/09, 07:22 am

Sample Analyses

Hamtaro
Here is a sample analysis using this system that I did when the system first emerged. I analyzed JVCA's Hamtaro Mafia, as I thought it was somewhat balanced. Note that the values in this anaysis may be slightly different from the list shown above, due to ongoing improvements to the values.

Spoiler:
 
Hence, the analysis in its current for shows that the game was perfectly balanced. And before you ask, no, I did not design the system around this particualr game, I assigned values arbritarily - Pyro will back me up on that one.

Persona 3
Spoiler:
 
The difference is 2.5, which is within my arbitrary error ratio of 3....I found the game quite well balanced, so I think this is fair. I mean, I made a couple of mistakes, and as a result the mafia was about ti get its ass handed to it. it is only by sheer dumb luck that Jin was the last man standing, and his extra abilities actived. And it was only by sheer dumb luck that ALL OF THE 50% KILLS SUCEEDED, and hit the right targets.

Imo, if you are going to err, it is better to err on the side of town strength - the communication effect is quantified, but it can be worth more or less than its stated value depending on who the mafia players are. Of course, you cant include that effect in the anaylsis, since it is primarily used pre-game >_<

A cunning mafia is deadly, but a stupid mafia is doomed. We have seen it many times already.
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creature124
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Re: Game Moderator Tools, Tips, and Advice
Post By Admin. 12/07/10, 04:12 pm

Mod Resources

Here are some resources that new (and old) mods may use if they wish to. You may of course choose to use your own version of the things provided.

Role PM Template
Spoiler:
 

Rules 2.0
Spoiler:
 

Role PM Tips
Spoiler:
 

Basic Win Conditions
Spoiler:
 

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