My 4k: A Retrospective on Hosting on TL Mafia
First an Idea
It has been little over a year since I joined TL mafia. During this time I certainly have played many fun, great games with some really cool people. However I would suspect that people don't know me for my play, my "scumhunting" or my great in game moments. Probably because I enjoy hosting above all else.
It all started with a few ideas after reading some of the great games that came before me. The themed games particularly struck my interest. The PYPs, the PTPs, the insane mafia series, and the other crazy games all seemed to capture people's interest, and lead to wonderful, memorable experiences for everyone in the forum, not just the players.
Thus I came up with a role, Yugi Moto (version 1.0) and started to prepare for Aperture Mafia, my first game as the primary host.
So it all starts with a simple idea. Rather this is a role, mechanic, or really cool name. Any of these can be the basis of a themed game. What I plan to do in this post is help everyone who has these ideas to turn them into their own amazing games by talking about each game I have created (themed).
1) Aperture Mafia
I guess it would be pretty accurate if you used Aperture as a predictor for my future games. This was my first game and was going to be my "mark" on the forum (lol). I poured a lot into this game, and there were many late nights with iGrok trying to reform the roles.
However popular this game was, I learned a very important lesson that I would say is probably THE most important thing to think about when planning a game: Make your game fun for the players.
I would like to think everyone had fun, but there were a couple of things that I recognize looking back. First off a lot of people had vanilla roles in a "role madness game" which forced them to play a standard game of mafia with no night control. If you do this, make sure to have some way they can control the flow of the game. Secondly is the existance of the Kanti role. It is awesome but without proper countermeasures what happened during night one in my game will happen in yours. 6 people never got to play the game.
Also watch out for day vigs who can fire on day one.
2) TL Mafia LV and Chrono Trigger Mafia
My first Normal game to host, though it still had a theme. Overall it was a very fun game and something I had also wanted to do for a while. One thing that this game taught me was When creating a game with popular character lists, be sure you can't break the game with a mass claim.
The Flavor in this game was invader zim. We all know that Zim has to be mafia and Dib and the rest of the humans are probably not on the invader side. This can present an In game problem. All town needs to do is mass claim, surely I would not make the humans on the non-human team! Therefore it is important as a host that you think about what happens if everyone name-claims. Think about leaving out a main character for a fake-claim, or making a main character a member of the mafia.
Chrono Trigger taught me this same lesson (though the claims were not too much of an issue due to the existence of a few roles). Chrono trigger also taught me to consider the length of your game. If you don't have many kill roles with a lot of people and not many lynches, people are not going to die and the game will last a while and people might get burnt out (I can only hope that I am forgiven for this, haha).
3) Aperture Mafia 2: Portal Edition
In this game the goal was to make night actions so hard to actually get done, that people were forced to actually play the game and not rely on them. (as an interesting aside, this is how I avoid people breaking my games. I just make actions so confusing that not even I can keep track).
One thing I did learn was to Identify the skill required to execute roles to the optimum. this game featured another faction with a very interesting mechanic involving the player list. Unfortunately if one thing in their actions failed, it became very hard to get anything done. When making a game, make sure each role is made to stand alone to some degree. interactions are encouraged, but a player needs to be able to feel that HE can get something accomplished himself. relying on others is part of the game, but being FORCED to rely on others should not be.
So whats in it for the future? To be honest I was a bit burnt out before Chrono Trigger Mafia. I was seeing a lot of games turn out the same ways with people trying to "game the system" and a lot of animosity between games. I was considering stopping after Chrono Trigger, making it my final game to contribute to the forums.
And then I decided to let a few new players join Chrono Trigger, and my outlook was changed. The activity in that game really told me you guys love my games, and thus my current game, Parallel mafia was born. The formation of this game taught me something that leads back to the start of this post: When you get an idea, attack it with all you've got and run with it!
I will not stop hosting my games anytime soon, and I hope someday I get to make a role tailored to each one of you. Because rest assured I have so many ideas in store just for you guys.
And I plan to run with them.