Large Social Games and Mish Mash General Update

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Silverclaw
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Post Post #2  (isolation #0)  » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:57 pm

Oh man I have thoughts but they will have to wait until after work. I'm more excited to see this already!
Formerly animorpherv1. Get to know Silverclaw!

I've been dancing with the devil/He was always good to me/I've been working in the shadow/Of a friendly enemy

Silverclaw
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Joined: September 28, 2020
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Post Post #3  (isolation #1)  » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:12 pm

Alright, let's get this show on the road huh? I'm going to tackle the player retention and lack of moderator issues in this post because I feel like that's where we should start. I'll be throwing everything into relevant spoiler tags so the post doesn't go on forever, but I will include a quick tl;dr on the end.

But before I get into that, I'd like to thank the mods for the shoutouts to the people who are doing stuff (myself included!) because it's always great to get credit for stuff, and I do feel like these "state of the queue" posts should probably be happening on a year if they don't already, and December's a great time to do that anyway! Although the glossary has been complete for some time, really. I haven't had anyone tell me I'm missing terms in a while [but I sure have thought I missed them!]

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Spoiler: Newbie Retention
From what I understand, the problem with newbie retention has two factors:

1) Truly new players are fairly likely to not know what they're getting into, causing them to either flake out or be the designated "flake boot"
2) New players that do know what they're getting into being overwhelmed due to the sheer amount of everything going on.

Starting with the first problem, there is an easy solution - if we can make sure that all accepted applications are sent out with a few days to spare, and in those PMs, we link to EVERY RELEVANT RESOURCE for new players (the glossary, the new player's guide, the ability to have a discord chat with the mods for when issues arise, etc), this gives them a few days to prepare by reading the relevant resources that have been sent to them. The sheer fact that there will be multiple resources sent to them can help clue in new players that this isn't something they can spend 10 minutes on and just let sit.

I'd also like to bring up the application as another potential sore spot that may be something we can fix a bit. There is space in the application to not just ask if the player will be MIA (ex. on vacation or w/e), but will have trouble being on the site every day for socialization and challenge purposes. This will be a more overt "HEY YOU ARE EXPECTED TO EXIST" message that may help with expectations - because I believe the issue is in expectations. New players that expect it to be a chill ride that they don't have to do much intend to get obliterated and don't come back - new players that jump in whole hog or have read up on the new player's guide have a much better start and are much more likely to stick around.

In regards to new players potentially getting overwhelmed, this is something I think feeds into the expectations issue I wrote about above, and something I would like to fix via a redo of the new player's guide to include a section on expectations, but this is a bit down the road because I don't have quite all the knowledge I'd like before I consider a redo of the guide quite yet.

I'll throw a quick mention to survivor games meant for new players, but I think that the biggest benefactors will not be people who are new, but people who haven't played much/got very far. So that's a tradeoff worth mentioning.


TL;DR: I feel that new players' expectations are not in the right spot, and this is mostly due to the fact that our applications and acceptance PMs could be way better suited to making sure new players know what they're getting in to.

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I'm going to sort the moderation issue into short-term, mid-term, and long-term solutions sections because they have very different answers and I'm pretty sure people will not like some of my answers but may need the harsh medicine.

Spoiler: Lack of Moderation, Short Term
Speaking of thing people will not like hearing me say, let's just rip the bandage off:

Perfect is the enemy of good. The only viable answer to making sure that the games in the queue get finished is that everyone stops sitting on their game ideas for half a year or longer and puts in the work to finish it. Barely Survivor is almost done and I completed the game in about two weeks' time, as a game that will more than likely receive a Complex rating from Monty. Will it be perfect? No, but no game will be. Am I leaning into that a bit on the flavour? Yes, because I'm purposefully running a game that's silly and just fun. If I picked a proper theme I could have just as easily completed the game within this timespan because I purposefully went slow on my challenge writeups. The only way that games will be run is that they get finished. And I'm obviously willing to fill spots in the queue when I get an idea, but I don't want to sit here and fill spot after spot after spot like I have in the past.

To end this off on a positive note, I'm pleasantly surprised by this community in many ways - game quality is just higher things, in general, seem to be running smoothly, the whole works. So don't take this as me hating everything.


TL;DR: I'm generally impressed with the community and moderation of games since my return, but games need to be completed in the short term before we can fix the issue properly and I do believe that people can [and honestly should] put the speed on to make it happen. I'll be creating games like this every so often, but don't expect me to fill space on demand because it's not happening.

Spoiler: Lack of Moderation, Mid Term
I think that the moderation interest list is a great start and is something I personally suggested in the List Mod application, so big thumbs up there. I do believe we can go a step beyond this by having list mods play matchmaker with the interest queue, as I'm going to call it. If our talented mods are willing to step into the interest queue every so often instead of just running another game with the people they tend to mod with, we can get entirely new games by having new and old mods matched together! This will give us many new kinds of games that we probably haven't seen yet.

I'd also like to make a recommendation to mods that they do their best to get a new mod on the project every time they physically can. Older, veteran moderators are a great source of knowledge when it comes to making these and that's really the only way to make sure new mods know what to do is by sending them through the process with a veteran who can guide them. The proper solution to the moderator issue we currently have is to get new mods modding games - which we have plenty of new mods who want to start, which I only learned of via talking to NAJON, and then xof, who confirmed that they has a list of new people who want to mod games with her. Let's get this new blood people!


TL;DR The interest queue is a good idea, but we can go farther by matchmaking people together when possible. Also, veteran moderators should be looking to onboard new mods whenever possible so they can start to host games on their own. The only way out of a moderation drought is to onboard new mods, which we are NOT in short supply of.

Spoiler: Lack of Moderation, Long Term
I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to do here much. If veteran moderators are onboarding new moderators, we shouldn't have a long term issue. By the time the new mods host a game or two, they'll know the basics and how to handle things to the point they can start creating their own games and looking for co-mods if desired.

My only real question is, in the long term, how do we make sure this is an issue like this doesn't happen again? The only answer I can think of is by rewarding people who create games somehow, but there won't be a one size fits all answer to rewards and I'm hesitant to suggest anything in particular because I may be on the wrong track here.


TL;DR The fog of the future is unclear, if veterans are onboarding new mods enough the issue won't be "how do we get new mods" but "how do we keep the mods we have?" which is a different discussion.
Formerly animorpherv1. Get to know Silverclaw!

I've been dancing with the devil/He was always good to me/I've been working in the shadow/Of a friendly enemy

Silverclaw
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Joined: September 28, 2020
Pronoun: He

Post Post #5  (isolation #2)  » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:43 pm

I'm so glad Malkon commented on an underlying player behaviour issue because it's been so long since I've modded that I wasn't sure on that or not.

Simply put, even my best and most successful games have had at least one person who gets salty at the mechanics/the challenges/mod decisions/etc. I'm much in the same camp as Malkon where I can bust out a game in no time flat and used to be regarded as one of the best mods on this portion of the site, but because I didn't cater to that particular player's interests in a game before they even signed up, which simply isn't possible. Not every game is going to cater to everyone's needs because everyone has their own idea of what the perfect game is.

Using the first example that comes to my mind, if you sign up for a game and the challenges aren't what you liked, you're free to not like the game but just because you didn't like the game doesn't make it bad in the overall perspective. Every mod has their own signatures that they use when they create a game - if you play with them or spectate them you can know what to expect on a game front, so calling mods out for not catering to your designs when we have the same small group hosting basically every game is the definition of entitled if you're not willing to put yourself out there and show people what can be done.

That said, there's a difference between complaining and giving valid critique. Complaints end at "I didn't like this." Critiques go "I didn't like this, and this is what I would have done to fix it" and then give specific examples. I'll take people getting mad at my mechanics - I design games that push boundaries of what we can do. I'm just as likely to hit something someone hates as something they actually enjoy, and sometimes I'll flub the mechanic a bit but feel like it can be redone or revamped.

One final note - I really feel players when they get voted out. It sucks, putting so much time and energy towards something that didn't turn out. But very few players are ever actually screwed by swaps or other mechanics, and it's much more likely that you mismanaged a player on your tribe somewhere. It's hard to see why at that very moment, but give it some time and you'll find someone who can explain it to you.

Also, a team of three new mods should be commended for managing to make it work and not chastised for not being perfect. We as a community should be above chastising others.
Formerly animorpherv1. Get to know Silverclaw!

I've been dancing with the devil/He was always good to me/I've been working in the shadow/Of a friendly enemy


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