Mafia- Queue

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Mafia- Queue

Postby sjg11 » 04 Feb 2018, 00:30

Hi guys, been meaning to formalise this for a while but haven't gotten around to it until tonight.

Anyway, I think it's a good idea to re-instate the game queue on a somewhat relaxed and informal basis so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to split games into 2 categories:

1. Normal Games (games with 9 or more players)
2. Smaller Games (games with 8 or less players)

Each queue will run around each other and we should be able to comfortably fit the smaller games in around the normal games. We can also institute another category of games with 14 or more players if we become able to run that size of game again. As a general rule, a small game can run alongside a larger game, particularly when the larger game is winding down, but two larger games going on at the same time is unworkable.

At the minute this is where we stand:
Normal Games
Hydra Nightmares
Danganronpa Mafia

Any issues please post below.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby Keirador » 09 Feb 2018, 00:00

sjg11 wrote:Each queue will run around each other and we should be able to comfortably fit the smaller games in around the normal games.

I think I challenge this assumption. Do we actually have the roster to run a normal and a small game simultaneously? Maybe at the tail end of a normal game, when 5 - 7 players have already been eliminated, you could begin to run the small game before the actual end of the normal game, but that's buying the small game maybe one phase, assuming sign-ups are unusually rapid. You'll still have to wait for the small game to wrap up before you can launch another normal game, right?

Chainsmoking games this way also has the side-effect of preventing players who survive to late-game from joining the new game that's already underway while they're sweating to figure out LYLO. And I have to imagine the quality of the AARs/deadthread would suffer if half the players had already mentally moved on from a game that isn't even concluded. Color me fairly skeptical that we should ever be running two games simultaneously, even if we even could. At least, not as long as we're too small to run two games completely independent of each other; meaning, sharing no players or subs, totally unique rosters for each game. We seem pretty far from that.

It seems like what this is really doing is allowing a smaller game to run while a normal game is in sign-ups, which can sometimes last for weeks. And the length of time from a game going from "Pending" or "In Development" to "Active" doesn't actually have much to do with the size of the game, it has to do with player interest in that game, GM recruitment of interested players, the game's stage of development, and player/GM availability and preference for a start date. I think the queue is a useful tool, because many/most players are likely to give preference to games whose "turn" it is, so we should be able to track that.

But I don't necessarily support iron-clad adherence to the game order. My ideal world would be something like a public queue stickied in the Pending forum, so everybody knows who put their claim down first, but a general expectation that as soon as a game is ready to begin recruiting players, it goes into Pending and begins recruitment. GMs are free to specify intended start dates, and players are free to sign up where they will, and free to offer caveats like "in, assuming this runs after kim's game" or what have you.

In our current scenario, TWC "jumped the queue" for what may become a large-game out-of-order, and successfully recruited a raft of players. You can look at that as jumping the line, or you can look at that response as the well-deserved reward of coming in prepared with a full, final, and semi-tested set of rules and actively seeking recruits well before his intended start date. If TWC's game is ready to go before another game manages to recruit a full roster, I'd argue its punitive to the community to force a ready game to wait on a game that isn't ready, but comes before it in queue.

By the same token, if another GM above TWC in the queue is able to get their game together rapidly and recruit a full roster before the end of ZZ's game, it would be up to community consensus which were to start first, and I believe most GMs and players would respect queue order in the event of two games that are both ready and waiting to start. But frankly, determining tie-breakers between full games waiting to start would be a very good problem to have in our community.
Last edited by Keirador on 09 Feb 2018, 02:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby sjg11 » 09 Feb 2018, 00:52

K, read, understood and will think on it. Largely I think it's a community decision and I'm willing to listen to feedback from people for what they think is optimal.

One thing though, I did mean as, since sign-ups tend to take a while for these things, for small games to run in between medium games to keep things ticking during the break. If there is a clash a medium game will likely to wait only for a couple of days for the smaller game to wrap up before launching things. I don't feel like that's a real issue here.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby Keirador » 09 Feb 2018, 02:39

sjg11 wrote:One thing though, I did mean as, since sign-ups tend to take a while for these things, for small games to run in between medium games to keep things ticking during the break. If there is a clash a medium game will likely to wait only for a couple of days for the smaller game to wrap up before launching things. I don't feel like that's a real issue here.

Understood, and agreed regarding the bolded. We frequently find ourselves in situations where a game actively undergoing recruitment still takes a few weeks to get rolling, and a different game could be run in that space. I'm just arguing that I don't think that's 100% about size. We don't need different tracks for "large" vs. "small," we need different tracks for "will spend a few weeks in sign-ups" vs. "can start immediately." Size is part of that, but a lot of other factors go into it as well: rule complexity, player familiarity, GM availability, even flavor. ZZ picked up at least two players for his wrestling game explicitly on flavor.

I think TWC's game demonstrates that it's not all about size. If that game can run at 6 or 8 or 10 players while another game is still in sign-ups, I think that proves that size alone is not what makes it possible to run one game while recruiting for another.

I think we've also seen in the past that having another game running successfully actually helps drive recruitment for larger or more complex games that have stalled out, so it's not a zero-sum game. Fable 10 stalled for months before eventually running with a roster featuring several players who joined after being recruited from other games that technically "jumped the queue" on Fable. Running games that are ready even if they're not next in the queue seems to help, not hurt, other games. When this place really dies is when all activity fades. Having different games on the table for players to choose from is the healthiest thing that could happen around here, in my opinion. And knowing our player base, I kinda think the queue is going to be well-respected even if it's not a hard rule that queue order must equal actual play order.

More generally speaking past the queue, to get to a place where the order of play feels both fair and efficient, I'd suggest the community could be better about making more prodigious use of the excellent In Development and Pending subforums. We need more engagement from players and GMs in the In Development thread. When I was trying to develop Downton Abbey and Spyfall, I had to PM-bother people to solicit feedback, which I desperately needed. I did get some help, but it would have been more useful if engagement had been broader and more perspectives explored. I ended up having to ponder through things mostly on my own, and those ideas petered out. Granted, I seem to be drawn to overly-complex mechanics even while professing a love for simplicity as a player, so that's on me. Even so, I'd suggest that the more active and reactive the In Development subforum is, the more confidence newer GMs would have in finalizing rulesets and putting them in Pending.

And that's t'other thing: in my opinion, if you want to stake a place in the queue, your game should be ready enough to be in the Pending subforum where people can see it. That means your rules are complete (or so nearly finalized as to be ready to play with a day's notice; I understand some decisions are not final until the roster itself is final), and you could ostensibly be ready to GM when your roster is full. If you have a certain timeline in mind, specify it, but it's never a bad idea to give plenty of lead time for recruitment. If that means "pending" fills up with more than a handful of games, well 1) we still have the official queue as a guide to whose "turn" it is to run a game, so we shouldn't get overwhelmed with option paralysis and 2) that sounds like a really good place to be regarding the health of the forum. If Pending starts to fill up with years-old games, games can be returned to In Dev or sent to On Hold at the GM's discretion, or in the case of an abandoned game, at Sir Lord sjg's discretion, our sole remaining moderator.

On that last note, I'd also suggest it's high time to anoint a new moderator, in case Sir Lord sjg ever wants to take a vacation. Seems to be a good fit for frequent GMs like condude or Zoomzip.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby kimpossible » 09 Feb 2018, 02:56

Keirador wrote:I think we've also seen in the past that having another game running successfully actually helps drive recruitment for larger or more complex games that have stalled out, so it's not a zero-sum game. Fable 10 stalled for months before eventually running with a roster featuring several players who joined after being recruited from other games that technically "jumped the queue" on Fable. Running games that are ready even if they're not next in the queue seems to help, not hurt, other games. When this place really dies is when all activity fades. Having different games on the table for players to choose from is the healthiest thing that could happen around here, in my opinion. And knowing our player base, I kinda think the queue is going to be well-respected even if it's not a hard rule that queue order must equal actual play order.

This pretty succinctly covers my thoughts. I think the queue is a good idea as a guideline, but if strict adherence means long stalls between games it becomes more of a hindrance than a help. And my experience of the community here has been that they're generally pretty capable of cooperation.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby kimpossible » 09 Feb 2018, 06:30

Keirador wrote:I'd suggest that the more active and reactive the In Development subforum is, the more confidence newer GMs would have in finalizing rulesets and putting them in Pending.

+1 to this as well. I'd wager it's pretty obvious why encouraging and assisting newer GMs is all-around positive for the community.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby kimpossible » 09 Feb 2018, 06:37

ALSO. It's evident to me, based on the amount of banter that usually happens in sign-up threads, that there is some desire for just general socialization amongst the folks who play here. I know this exists within the larger, non-Mafia-specific board, but speaking for myself, I have zero interest in Diplomacy and I don't want to go chatter with players I don't know, I want to have that with the other Mafia players. And I haven't seen a thread / subforum that seems like the place for it.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby sjg11 » 09 Feb 2018, 16:01

Alright I hear ya, probably sensible to keep the queue as a relatively informal thing.
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby Harb » 09 Feb 2018, 17:22

sjg11 wrote:Alright I hear ya, probably sensible to keep the queue as a relatively informal thing.


How many curse words came before "American queue jumpers" in your thoughts as you wrote this?
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Re: Mafia- Queue

Postby kimpossible » 09 Feb 2018, 17:25

In that case, I'm putting mine up with info about various games it would run after.
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