strangerpeople: (Default)
The Fifteen Strangers Mods ([personal profile] strangerpeople) wrote in [community profile] notasstrange2017-04-25 07:31 pm

MOD ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT GAME CHANGES

First, I want to thank everyone whose given me feed back and help on improving the game. Seriously, all of you guys are amazing. As this is my first murdergame modding experience, there're things I had overlooked, or hadn't taken into consideration, when developing the game. Hopefully, from here on out, things will be a lot different come the main round.

And that starts right now.



GAME MECHANIC/FAQ CHANGES
Several of the major things that came out of the feedback given involved game mechanics and lack of communication. Let's get the game mechanics out of the way first.

The mechanic circumstances which allowed for the automatic Bad End in the Mock Week have been excised. The FAQ has been significantly amended. Things I hadn't thought to add to the FAQ have been added, new flexibility has been added for when a situation similar to this might arise. Of course, I will still say "if you do not think you have the time to play, don't reserve" on the main round's reserve page, BUT players idling will not automatically result in a TPK. It's still not a good thing to do, but the consequences of doing so have been changed.

While the FAQ obviously goes into more detail, basically what has been added/revealed to the game mechanics for the main round is as follows:

  • Extended the trial deadline and changed when the trial phase of an Inquisition finishes. Trials now last longer, have an option for mods to extend them if needed, and have a set point where the "clock" (so to speak) of a trial is stopped, thereby eliminating the pressure of a time crunch for both players and moderators. The investigation phase will still have the "until midnight EST" deadline, but as with all of the phases, there is a means for the mods to extend this if necessary.

  • Added a new phase to the Inquisition. Its called the penalty phase, which basically encompasses voting and execution. The penalty phase has a more dynamic deadline as well depending on how many people vote, and does not require everyone to vote. We also added the simple majority vote information to the FAQs, and added in a new mechanic which would allow for simple majority victories to happen even if there is a limited amount of players OoCly tagging the vote.

  • Made it clear that players who don't OoCly tag the voting thread/characters who ICly abstain will be voting for themselves. ICly there is no penalty for doing so.

  • Added Inquisition participation as an activity requirement. This is one of the big additions. Basically, when murder starts happening in the game, players will be asked during the weekly Activity Check to include a link proving their character was present during the Inquisition, whether during the investigation, the trial, or they voted. There's no minimum comment requirement for the Inquisition link - we just need proof you responded in some way to what was happening. This particular addition has also been added to the Rules page, along with the following caveats as well.
    • Added exemption for players who are unable to participate in the Inquisition. We've added an exemption for when extenuating circumstances arise, that would make it difficult or impossible for a player to participate in the Inquisition. Players who have an emergency or something of that nature happen should not feel pressured in However, this is dependent on players contacting the moderators. So, the FAQ explicitly asks that players do so, so that come AC, a player can say that we knew they weren't around and we won't penalize you.

    • Adds a penalty for players who do idle on the Inquisition. Players who do not have Inquisition activity and to not inform moderators beforehand they would be gone during the Inquisition will be subjected to the double penalty roll, which is explained in the FAQ. Players who do this twice in a row will be automatically death-rolled.
  • Speaking of rolls, there's an explanation as to how all the rolls for murder in the game work. Barrack numbers aside, its basically still completely random unless people volunteer.

  • Minimum participation requirement is now dynamic, but overall low participation can still have a penalty. Participation requirements can be altered by player actions. If players are doing a great job, we can actually reward them now even if its not many players in the trial. However, we will still keep a baseline minimum requirement, and perpetual low participation from the overall playerbase can still adversely affect the kind of ending players get.

  • Made some minor changes to how creating a murder will work for players. Its primarily moving up the deadline to Friday instead of Thursday.

  • Added an explanation of how Bonus Clues work. Bonus Clues are optional, both for the players whose characters can get them, and the players making the murder clues.


I urge people who are interested in joining the main round - or, really, anyone who is watching the game - to read the FAQ over to get a good idea of what's been changed and thus will be expected. I still encourage people to leave feedback on their thoughts on these new changes, which hopefully allow for a more dynamic way of play from here on out.


Now, as for communication. That is another major thing, especially on the moderator side. While I had communicated things like new posts and the like on plurk, I also made rule changes and didn't announce them there. Or, I announced them on Discord. Or I didn't announce them at all. I was incredibly scattershot, which is probably an understatement. A very big understatement.

While I'm not making a dedicated mod contact page just yet, this problem will not recur.

  • The moderator email as a means of contacting the mods has been added on the FAQ. As mentioned, that email is fifteenstrangers@gmail.com.

  • The channels through which mod announcements/post announcements/etc. outside of the OoC comm are now set: Plurk and Discord. Plurk will be considered the primary channel, with Discord as the secondary channel, and players are very strongly encouraged to keep track of the moderator plurk, even if they aren't going to join Plurk.



LOCATIONS CHANGES

Another piece of feedback I received was to increase the amount of locations that were available in the Depths, and add variety to things that can be done, as there wasn't really anything on the floors presented during the Mock Trial. While I have the layout of the Depths done, and other rooms are presented on subsequent floors, I realized that the layout of all of the floors are lacking, but there is also the problem of trying to figure out just what to add and where I could add them, without risking both the roughly medieval spirit of the round's technology and the basic story that had been developed behind the Depths themselves. So, I'm working on those as we speak, and I have already changed Floor 1 and added an extra room to it, thus far, so characters have the opportunity to do a few more things during the first week or so before other floors open up.

I can potentially add an extra room on this floor, but at the moment, this will still significantly help with the boredom factor of not knowing what to do with a character during the initial time in the main round.


APPLICATION CHANGES

This change isn't one that came up during the feedback, but for the main round, the number of Fabricators for this round has been decreased to one on the application page.


CO-MODERATOR SEARCH

There was one more thing mentioned in the feedback I've gotten. As I was developing 15 Strangers, I had sent out a call on my plurk for anyone interested in co-modding with me. As no one responded, I figured, well, ok! If I've got to go it alone, I will!

We all know how well that went. And it was, outside of the change of game mechanics, a very big thing impressed on me by those who gave me feedback and my own soul-searching. This is a murder game, which is as very intensive game in multiple aspects, and its not a one-mod job. Heck, pretty much every change brought because of what's happened has been because other people pointed them out. Pointed out things I'd neglected, not even thought about, didn't even realize I had to think about. Someone looked over the FAQ to see if what I was saying made a lick of sense before I changed it. And I realize that the feedback is absolutely spot-on. No matter what I try to do to alleviate the stress on my moderating this game, I cannot do this alone.

So I'm opening up the floor again, and calling for one or two people willing to co-mod alongside me. If you are interested, please e-mail the moderator email at fifteenstrangers@gmail.com. I know its a bit of a time crunch asking this late in the game, but my best hope is that I will have someone by the time reserves for the game open on May 7th, or at the latest when the game opens on May 15th. If I can't find one, then the most likely scenario is that I'll push back the start date of the game once more, to about mid- to late June, to give the time needed to find help with this.


FEEDBACK

Even with all of the changes so far outlined, I still look to make sure I've addressed everything that could be improved. If there's something I missed, or something that might not have come up prior, please, by all means, contact me. Let me know. On this page, on Plurk, on Discord, by mod email, doesn't matter. Let me know.

And with that, I'll keep you all updated, and - with luck - I'll see you all on May 15th.