Large Social Games and Mish Mash General Update

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VashtaNeurotic
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Post Post #7  (isolation #0)  » Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:08 pm

Howdy y’all, just wanted to expand upon a few thoughts other people have talked on and give a few solutions.

1. Re: Moderator Guides et al.
So while it would be lovely to have a full moderator guide (and if no one has by March I have a google reminder to just do it myself), doing so will likely be time consuming whenever it happens. In the meantime it would probably be a help to just compile a list of best practices (i.e not official things that need to be done but things we are pretty sure work best) we think would be helpful to moderators, or maybe that list would just end up being the moderator guide. Some suggestions for best practices I have are:

    a. Anonymous feedback forms. Huge +1 to Malkon’s suggestion though I don’t see why the listmod’s would have to do it. In fact due to the whole listmods playing in games thing and not letting it be an overbearing restriction, I think it’s a lot better if in the announcements section of whatever game is running, the mods just attach an anonymous feedback form (maybe even one for positive feedback and one for negative feedback since I fear otherwise the latter would dominate even more due to people’s natural bias for remembering negativity) that can be filled out at any point during the game.
    After all, players do need to be heard. When you sign up for a game with the expectation you are going to put two months of your life into it and have fun and then aren’t having fun, that feels kind of terrible and it’s important that mods know what did and didn’t work in a more holistic manner. However, it’s equally true that having something you made be criticized is going to suck, and while as a mod you do need to be prepared for that potential outcome, you should be able to choose when you can read that criticism. After all, if you are having a bad mental health day or just a busy day the last thing you want to deal with is a player complaining about the game you made on top of everything else you have going on in your life. Ofc people would need to actually use the forms, but hopefully we can normalize that with time and enough prodding/reminders in game. Also the listmod in charge of each game would likely have access to these sheets so they could still function as institutional memory without having to run wild with permissions between games.

    b. Make sure every mod team has at least one experienced mod.
    Running games are hard, they’re extra hard when you don’t have someone who has been there before. I know this, I modded Reverse the Curse in mine, meme and flum’s first game modding and as a result had way too many issues that could have been avoided (poor calibration of puzzles, legit having to scrap a challenge after 3 days of having to run and enough in game drama that one player got banned and another hasn’t played again). It only was as good as it was due to xofelf’s institutional knowledge, CC’s review and meme’s uber competence with logistics and I can’t count the ways we could have been more prepared if we just had a mod who need more about would and wouldn’t work ahead of time.

    c. Have extra clear disclaimers on games. This is not to say this will prevent all criticism of games that people should have known better but it would make things very clear. I mean games already do this, Hybrid made it clear it was not going to be survivor in the rules post and got complaints for not being survivor and PCW had complaints about prevalent items and twists when they both warned people in the sign up post and was rated complex. But hey, rules posts are long and if something needs to be bolded in red text at the top of the post for people to take notice, then so be it. Anyway this is all I got at the moment but I’m sure other people have ideas that most people would agree with. That brings me to point 2.
2. Proposal: Monthly Live Games. People have mentioned problems with new moderators, keeping new players engaged and idea generation. I genuinely think having a norm of monthly live games would improve all of these problems. Live games still take a lot of effort from mods and have quite a bit of design, but they’re usually smaller games (the last one only started with 14 players) that only require a single mod to run (maybe 2 if it's your first time) and a single night of availability to mod, so it’s a lot easier for someone to get used to modding and gameplanning and is just a lower barrier to entry and lower stakes than a long form game, which requires you to be ready to mod for months on end. These lower stakes also should allow for idea generation because it’s scary to put a new mechanic into a long form game not knowing whether it will work, whereas live games are known for pulling wonky twists, and as such are a great place to test out an idea you aren’t sure about. Furthermore, I know I’ve been inspired by several live game ideas and want to tinker/improve on them, so this should hopefully be able to inspire more people and get people more ideas. Lastly, with a live game every month the barrier to entry to “try out this survivor thing” becomes a lot lower, allowing for more new players. Being asked to play a game for two months on a forum system you are unfamiliar with people who you won’t know until the end of the game is kind of a hard sell for people who aren’t already into online survivor/familiar with mish mash and even when people do sign up can lead to people not putting in enough effort or flaking in a way that impacts the overall game. However, live games are perfect in the realm of letting new players dip their toes in the water and a monthly nature would double the speed of being able to reflect on your games. Hell with monthly live games I’d be happy to run a live game ELO if that would add to the fun of it. Also “be the change you want to see in the world” so I would like to say I do plan to run a 2020 Year in Review/other game somewhere around new year’s with Monty, so check out for that.

Anyway, hope y’all have a good day and hopefully y’all will be able to comment on what you think about these.
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