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VysePresident
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Long-winded, meticulous, & thoughtful. Mostly long-winded though.
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FORM - 29827281-12-3:
Test Design and Balance


So, with Aperture Science Mafia officially concluded, there's a lot to say, and I don't even know where to start. I feel like I modded the game in a much sloppier fashion than I'm happy with - nothing major went wrong, I was sure of that, but too many minor careless things popped up for comfort. (Vote miscounts, not clarifying in the initial rules that only one power could be used at a time, etc.)

Let's go with the concept. As I noted in the Mod QT, Aperture Science Mafia came about when I was playing Portal way late (Christmas before last?) and loving it. On a whim, I tried to figure out how to turn it into an actual, unique Mafia game, taking advantage of the setting for game mechanics, rather than simply as filler flavor.

I came up with the Tests as a unique way to hand out powers, based on a handful of MS games I enjoyed. (Test #2 was the only direct copy-paste. The rest are retooled for my game.) There are four in total for a reason -

VysePresident
 
Trust
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Teamwork


I'll let y'all figure it out.

However, starting everyone as vanilla led to a serious balancing issue. Games in which all players are vanilla statistically favor scum by a huge margin. (Scum have a greater than 60% chance of winning in a typical Mountainous game, which is 2v11, all vanilla. 3/12, all vanilla is obviously even worse.) Reducing the game to 15 players made this even more critical.

Scum also had a greater chance of benefiting from the Tests than Town even before I gave them extra advantages like choosing a room in Test #1. (I mean, Scum are less likely to give a power away, and more likely to be able to gain a power of their own. They can also coordinate in Test #2, and manipulate paranoid Town in Test #3 AND get final say in Test #4.) Town was also completely vulnerable during the first phase as noted in the Scum QT before I corrected the error.

I chose to remove the first NK. It was a major nerf, and I fully believe it worked out for the best. Scum had a massive informational advantage, and the ability to choke out multiple Town PRs or achieve strong ones for themselves as they deemed best. I believe the small size and NK removal were necessary, and that the setup might still have been Scum-sided. (They could have won in as little as four phases if played optimally. The fact is, outside the game thread, they didn't.) I don't regret that, and if I had to set up the original 18 player game again, I'd just add a fourth scum member and do everything else the same.

Test #2 was hardest to balance. I ultimately chose to balance the PRs as Test #1 Part#2. Some roles would necessarily reappear, such as the Doctor and the Cop. Roles like the Vig and Beloved Princess would not appear if chosen in the test before, since having two in a game is ever so slightly broken with this few people. (Beloved Princess moreso, but yeah.)

Test #3 was fine, but I should have put a 24 hour delay on the kill. Boogie played it optimally and shot before scum could have much of a say in the proceedings. It was arguably one of the best plays of the game, despite hitting Town. (Scum had unfortunately already had their say.) I just wanted y'all to sweat it out a bit more.

Test #4 was a disappointment, and I think I should have put some incentive for Town to encourage Mafia to select a list. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and so here we are.

All in all, I believe the game was reasonably balanced - the flak I got from both sides is probably a point in my favor. Still, I'm open to other thoughts, and goodness knows there was room for improvement. This game took hours of my time because it was so hard to balance, and I'm sure I missed something in the final product.



FORM - 29827281-12-4:
Testing Thread Thoughts.


Regarding the actual game itself, it's interesting. Both sides had some very strong plays, and both had major missteps that could have cost them the game.

Day #1 was a case of one of the best combined Town plays I've seen on SotF. Town correctly identified Randomness as Scum and pushed to the death, despite sidetracks and ploys. Scum team took a very serious blow when this happened, and I was surprised they bussed so easily as they did - usually you don't want to put the spotlight on your buddy.

I can't tell if it was panic or planning or a bit of both, but it worked out quite well. Town turned on themselves hard, and Doc just kept fanning the flames. Doc benefited heavily from this, as it built a massive wall of confirmation bias - Townies were picking apart the play of other Townies, while Doc was clearly setting mislynches in broad daylight, and getting away with it. If you say someone is Town often enough, people will believe! (Particularly with Doc's strong rhetorical skills, which you can see me laughing, raging, and fanboying over in the Dead Thread.)

On top of this, Town took a massive blow during the Night #1 Test due to inactivity - both surviving scum received powers. Only one Townie (Goose) received a power.

However, Scum crippled themselves as well during the Night #1 Test - the first two Tests were designed in a way that favored scum, but scum chose roles that were useless to themselves, presumably out of fear of a Role Cop or mayyyybe a Tracker. This left them essentially vanilla, when they could have otherwise been extremely powerful. They also barely used the QuickTopic, preferring to rely on in-game play. For the most part this worked out quite well for them, but there were a few cases of coaching and 'fake fighting' that might have sold them out had people been looking.

Following that, it was fairly simple. You can see my thoughts as the game progresses, first in the mod thread, then in the Dead Thread more and more as people entered.

I do think Town had this game absolutely in the bag with Zetsu's results, but was destroyed by their own confirmation bias. His case on Doc was ironclad - Doc lied about the PRs, and blatantly stumbled in doing so, in what should have been an instant lynch. Doc was mod-confirmed scum at that point due to lying about something confirmed in the OP. To top it off, the claim that neither of them dying confirmed Doc as Town was something the Jailkeeper failed to call out, despite having every reason to do so. Instead, Zetsu lost the argument and nobody hardly even considered Doc as scum.



Addendum: Mandatory Praise

I do want to give a shoutout to a few players who went above and beyond, and deserve compliments for their play.

-Murder and Naft both caught Random fair and square, no questions asked. Well played, gentlemen.

-Deamon for the meme posts. They're a blast, and I love how you've integrated them into your game.

-Frogue, for consistently replacing Yugi.

-Naft also did me a favor when the game was slowing down, and agreed to replace into every slot. I think your Doc was spot on, and I liked your interpretation of Boogie. Thanks, mate.

-Boogie, dude, I gave you a little bit of a hard time in the dead thread about not reading the rules when Zetsu caught Doc, but honestly? If you played as strongly every game as you did here, not only would I kill you ASAP as scum, you would easily be a top tier player. You were absolutely on point in many respects, including the early use of the Day Vig, the logic regarding how you should handle being Town (Only mistake was that logic wasn't playing to the crowd.), and being humorous and just a chill dude throughout.

Seriously, play like this all the time. I like to say you can't be right if you aren't willing to risk being wrong. Yeah, you made some wrong calls, but dude. Add just a little more confidence earlier in the game, and a little less self-doubt. I would not want to fight that as scum. Would NK in a heartbeat with no regrets. Dead 100% absolutely serious. I hope to see Super!Boogie in Mafia games from now on. ;)

You're the unsung hero of the Dead Thread. You were the man, the legend, the Boogie this Town needed, not the one they deserved.



Form - 193951435-12-4:
Roles and Night Actions.


So, normally this would be where one puts the role PMs and the like. Given the vanilla setup, there's really not much to say on the subject. Here are two sample PMs. The only variation is that the first person to sign up was Test Subject #1, the next Test Subject #2, and so on, Mafia or Town.

Sample Town Pm

Sample Scum PM


Night actions are as follows, with more information in the Mod QT posted below.

Night Actions


Test Results




QuickTopics

Mod QT
Mafia QT

Waterfall Friendship Room
Romantic Suite Friendship Room
Hunter's Lounge Friendship Room
Beachfront Vista Friendship Room
Log Cabin Friendship Room
Museum Friendship Room
Japanese Garden Friendship Room

Dead Thread
Unspoiled Dead Thread



With that, congratulations to Mafia, and thank you to everyone who played during the course of the game! It wouldn't have been nearly as fun to watch without any of you all.

Have at it!
Constructive criticism is always welcome! Feel free to send me a PM if you have any pointers or feedback you'd like to share!

Character #1: Boy #37 Ian Williams - Now with 55% less self-insert.
Designated Weapon: Polaroid Instant Camera With Film (Enough for 8 photographs)

Past - | 1 | 2 | (Current thread - Birds of a Feather)
Pregame - None
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (Final Thread - Glass
)
Character #2: Boy #66 Chase Rodriguez - Adopted from Pippin.
Designated Weapon: Silver Pill Box Containing Three Cyanide Capsules

Past - None
Pregame - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (Last seen in - Diversions)
Island - | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (Final Thread - Drawing to an End)



(Relationships Planning Thread #Pi)
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