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  1. #1991
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    Amadeus


    Analysis


    With that done, I want to talk a bit about flavour before I go into the game analysis. The idea of using Amadeus as a tool for scum to win came from the bad ending route in Steins Gate 0 - Gehenna's Stigma. In it, careless use of Amadeus causes Leskinen to give Okabe extended access to Amadeus, which sets off a chain of events that results in Okabe giving up and accepting his pending death in 2025. I'm pretty happy with the roles, especially in terms of flavour. Rimi, for instance, protecting Takumi makes a lot of sense, given that this was using Chaos;Head characters how they would be well after the events of Chaos;Head ended. In addition to that, as per the manga of Chaos;Head she's easily one of the strongest gigalomaniacs shown across the series, behind maybe Takumi Nishijou himself, and at a stretch Genichi Norose. As a result, her being able to real-boot someone into existence makes a lot of sense to me, as does the strain it would take for such a feat ultimately killing her. Really, a Suicidal Revivor fits a Gigalomaniac quite well, and I'm surprised it's took so long before I came up with it for a SciADV game. After the events of Chaos;Head, Takumi Nishijou loses his Gigalomaniac powers, which is why he's vanilla in this one. Sena dealt with her primary motivation for revenge in Chaos;Head, so I anticipate she would calm down after it, which is why she's just a straight interrogator. As for Interrogator itself, I think it fits her much better than previous implementations I've used.

    As for Takuru Miyashiro, a big part of his role in Chaos;Child is him investigating the New New Gen murders, when it is really his subconscious desire that is causing them. That is why he was a Useless Cop, and also attempted to kill his target instead. Primarily though, I wanted some means of discrediting a Sena full claim, as I wanted people to doubt I would include two cops in a 10 player game. It worked, at least initially, so I'm happy with that. The Lich was a bit more of a stretch, but I used that primarily to give Serika a role that wasn't just Rimi 2.0, so I'm not too disappointed there. Speaking of Serika, her being lover made a fair bit of sense, seeing as she would have pretty much no reaosn to live if Takuru had died.

    Mayuri being loved was an easy one - none of the cast really has any conflict with Mayuri ever. Moreover, I wanted her lynch to impact town, which is why she gave everyone a counter. Rimi would mainly impact Takumi, but Mayuri would impact all of the Steins;Gate cast, after all. Okabe being able to talk with Amadeus endlessly was just too fitting for me to ignore - a big part of Steins;Gate 0 is him getting really attached to Amadeus Kurisu due to its resemblance of Kurisu herself (who, at this point is currently dead).

    That just leaves the Robotics;Notes characters. Initially, I wasn't sure what to do with these. Masons I wanted to give the town a boost, and they probably fit the best, but I was a little unsure further than that. Aki was easy enough - the series pays a lot of attention to her blinding optimism, and she's full of motivational speeches and the like. Robotics;Notes in general is probably the most light entry into SciADV, partly due to Aki not being a bit of a villain like Rimi or a source of information and tragedy like Kurisu, but being through and through like a main protagonist in a shonen series. As for Kai, I'm really quite happy with what I came to. In the series, Kai is severely depressed, and effectively manages to live out his dream through Aki's optimism. I figured, if Aki had died at all, Kai would probably be driven to suicide, hence Lover. If I use these two again, I'd like to find a way to make use of their debilitating diseases, that causes Kai to experiences a few seconds like it is a minute at times, and Aki to experience a few minutes like they are seconds. I do want to note that, as Prada pointed out, the Aki is Iron gambit was poorly conceived. Aki makes no sense as Iron - quite the opposite (see: her affliction), and I feel like there were a number of better additions that could have been made to stave away kills. When it comes to fake claiming, even for throwaway gambits, it is crucial you research the character you are claiming to be to ensure that the flavour lines up. In another game, that would have been lynch-worthy. I know for sure that if I was playing a SciADV game, and someone claiming to be Aki claimed Iron in a game I knew the host drew roles from flavour for, I'd be considering a lynch there. It wasn't too damaging given the setup mind, but definitely something to think about in future. But, overall, I'm satisfied there. I'm also satisfied with the balance across characters. Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate have 3 characters each, with Robotics;Notes and Chaos;Child with two. It's something I've always struggled with in my SciADV games, so to get what is essentially a perfect spread is pretty nice.

    With that done, I want to say a bit about balance. Because boy, this one was tough. People seem to feel like the game is extremely bastard or something, but I don't really share that thought. I would say Takuru's role definitely come sunder bastard, as does Maho being a fake claim, but outside of that there isn't really many bastard elements there. More importantly, I don't think either of the bastard elements are unduly unfair to the Town. Takuru always failing and attempting to kill the player should be noticed before it actually would kill the player, and there were a number of things that worked against Maho being in the game at all, primarily through Amadeus.

    Concerning the balance of the game, there was one constant theme which disappointed me - nobody really seemed to bother asking "why" certain things were in place. This includes Amadeus and Maho, of course (although Maho was at least discussed regarding this much later on), but it includes a number of other things too. It felt at times that people were happy to either just assume I hadn't put any thought into it, assume that, because the game was technically bastard it was going to be unbalanced, or just took it as they went without really caring. One primary example of this is the Night Phase, or rather, the lack of one. The Night Phase is there primarily to allow a block of time for players with roles to think on how to use them and submit their night actions. That's pretty much all it is. It is not the meat of the game, and as a phase is frankly quite boring as a player. The reason we don't just do away with it though is because having people send them in during the day is a bit unfair - not only would they have to guess the lynch, but there are a number of other things that people are thinking about during the day instead. And I don't feel like anyone really thought about why there wasn't one in this game, because I don't think it was a stretch to assume that abilities were not that crucial if they had. After all, given the restrictions on them there was a fair chance they would automatically fail if the target was lynched, or players may just forget while they're playing the Day Phase.

    On a similar note, I don't feel like the relative strength of the town was properly analysed. A mason motivator, an interrogator, a lich, a seraph that could eventually revive a player for a free confirmed townie and a townie that requires one more vote than normal for majority would make for a strong town in a larger game. In a 10 player game, it makes for an insanely strong town. It would be natural, then, that town would be up against a very, very strong scum faction, or even have less mislynches due to their strength, yet day 2 and 3 came and went and the strength of town was just taken in stride. Add in the fact that the scum faction didn't seem to be able to kill, and there was a lot there to work with in terms of figuring out what kind of setup this was. It got to the point where the scum would have to be super super strong, yet with no kill, I feel like the thought process then should have been taken to what the game was mechanically, as the only way for scum to be able to survive all this would have to be through misdirection. This came in the form of being "mod-confirmed". I'm really glad Stein and Prada seemed to catch on at the end, but I felt like it was way too late in the game to only just be bringing it up. Really, given what was increasingly apparent with the Town in terms of their role strength, having a mod-confirmed townie on top of that really ought to have been the kicker that caused players to become suspicious of what they were told. And yet, nothing. This was arguably more harmful to the Town than all the hints regarding the nature of Amadeus. Analysing setups is part and parcel of Mafia, particularly in games where the hosts are intensive on flavour, like I am. It's important to be able to see what information you are given, and as you are given more, to come to conclusions as to what I was aiming for, and this is doubly important when it comes to technically bastard games. I appreciate that that is a skill that comes with playing more full claiming games, as those games are much harder to solve without it, but at the same time there does need to be some attempt. You've all played enough of my games now to know this.

    As for the Maho thing, some of the suggestions offered for it were frankly nonsensical. For instance, the idea that I would require the Town to lynch another member of the Town makes absolutely no sense at all, and it makes even less sense coming from me. The reason for that is most people are aware of how I feel about Jesters. That would take the principle of Jesters even further. I mean, I understand bastard is supposed to make people think about the setup more carefully, but the idea of town needing to lynch town to win is really silly. I also want to explain about the setup I was going to run. I had it all setup, and then I did something I've never done before as a host - I choked. I realised that I couldn't in good faith run this setup and defend it as fair. That is because the "scum" in that game was an NPC - the setting of The Vampire Diaries, Mystic Falls. Originally, I thought it sounded like a good trolly idea, and while I would take efforts to make it clear that this was the case, there were two things that stopped me. One was that OPB as a Mafia Community is nowhere near ready for a game like that. This is a community that is still grinding its teeth on claiming in general, and barely has even touched upon subversion and interpretation of flavour in a Mafia game. There was imply no way that the community could have played a game that required intense scrutiny of writeups. The second was that I decided I hated the idea of an NPC being the scum. The reason those "Lynch the Host" games are, to be frank, cheesy, I feel, is because they require players to assume something they wouldn't otherwise assume. It's exactly the same as asking a question and giving 3 multiple choice answers, only for none of the three to be the right answer and for the correct answer to be a fourth, secret answer. This takes that further still, because not only does it require players to realise that scum is not amongst one of the players, it then requires them to assume that it's not even a person. Maybe in a community where that kind of flavour analysis is the meta, I would be able to get away with it, but I could not in good faith run that here. So the plan was ditched, and I hope I never end up back to it again.

    Digressions aside, I was really surprised everyone just took Maho as confirmed. I was really worried that the post would come across as "this character is totally town, trust me ", simply because of how difficult it would be to make that work, but I had to assume people would at least give pause before lynching an uncounterclaimed Maho. The challenge from there was to find ways to break down that initial assumption to lead the Town to the idea that Maho is in fact just a fake claim.

    Now, for my favourite topic. Amadeus. Firstly, I want to say that it almost annoys me to see people claim that it was somehow unfair to the Town to assume that Amadeus may not be useful and use of it could be dangerous. Aside from everything I've pointed out above regarding Maho, there was a slew of things that pointed towards Amadeus either being useless, dangerous to use, or both. From the top - a little in-depth research would have made it clear that Amadeus as a plot point is being used nefariously. By that, I mean a read over /r/ steinsgate as opposed to the wikia. As I mentioned in the flavour section, this was literally a mistake made that led towards the worst ending in the game. It was subtle, sure, but it wasn't extremely subtle either. The giveaway in the game was, during one point, the timeline abruptly shifts as the Russian government attempts to experiment with the time machine. It moves us to a worldline where World War 3 is raging, and the US Government are in possession of Amadeus. If Amadeus was just used primarily what we were told it was being used for, it would serve no use to the US in a time of war. I didn't anticipate anyone actually doing this mind, but it wouldn't have taken that long. In fact, I'd wager people spent longer trying to get Amadeus to tell them these things than what it would have taken to actually just find it themselves.

    And that's really just the start. The next point regarding how exactly people expected it to be useful. I can understand trying it out extensively Day 1, and maybe Day 2, but it was clear that answers were not significantly improving over time by then, and even before that, with the presence of not one but two roles that can communicate with it freely and endlessly, how on earth would I be able to balance it if it did give useful information? Surely nobody expected me to give out the game like that, yet they tried anyway. This isn't even factoring in how the limits seemed to be applied arbitrarily, so multiple users could communicate with it as many times as they wanted. The disappointing thing is that there was a lot of questions that were pretty good in terms of testing what Amadeus could do for the players, and no one seemed to realise that the answers were just as useless Day 3 as they were Day 1. Just the very thought that a mechanic like that would actually help solve the game itself was really silly to me, especially when it was established in how it was answering. I can get curiosity, and yes, I get players being encouraged to use it at a point, but I think it was actually quite clear by Day 2 it was more distraction than anything. There was nothing from there to stop players filtering it down or even just removing its use entirely, asking players who want to use it to take it to PM's while they got down to brass tacks. Some players seemed to catch on that it was serving to be a distraction more than an assistance, yet still it dominated. This caused lynches to be hasty, rushed affairs, even a back-breaking no lynch Day 3 simply because there was no discussion elsewhere. I know players feel like they were prompted into using it, but that's simply not an assessment I feel is fair - too many of the town were more focused on the mechanic than they were playing Mafia. That was explicitly the reason of allowing players to use PM's to send messages to Amadeus - so the players who realised that they were not getting anywhere with it could mandate that people take it to PM's instead. Instead, complaints about it were made instead, and I wholly refute that that is a problem with game design over bad play. The game design was the bait it as a distraction, but it specifically avoided punishing players who realised this. In fairness, players did try to get it out, but it never really stuck. This, again, comes back into people not asking "why" - why did I include Amadeus as a mechanic. I get that it's easier to complain about it after the fact, but people have played more than enough games here of mine to know that an expectation I have with mechanics and balance is that people ask themselves why I am including them. Just in the last one, I had a Serial role that needed to realise that, by having it's killable targets restricted it needs to be able to manage the game enough to keep them alive. This was the same principle here.

    Then we have the flavour. The problem was some players thought they could ignore flavour entirely and pretend it doesn't exist, and others thought it should only be about the flavour. The truth was optimal play was found in between - I was really hoping we would see some players ignore Amadeus entirely and focus on any weird reaction it had if they were to focus on flavour at all. And there was a lot that gave the game away here.

    Firstly, we had the New New Gen murders. Amadeus appeared to be widely knowledgeable about them, in great detail, including who was there and how they were reacting. In truth, there was no way Amadeus, a simple AI program with memories of a 17-year old Makise Kurisu, could possibly have known about any of that if it hadn't been supplied information from a source who would know. Even without knowing flavour - why on earth would a research project be supplied with all this information regarding a murder case of all things?

    The next thing was the time machine. I am honestly stunned nobody really looked further into this one. When Gigalomaniacs either revealed themselves or appeared to reveal themselves to Amadeus, it shut down, and spoke about the character in regards to how likely there were to know about the time machine papers. When asked about the time machine papers, Amadeus claimed to have no idea about it, and that they were ludicrous for even suggesting it. There were two things that could have come from that. Either Amadeus was completely useless, and would answer randomly regardless, or something more sinister was behind Amadeus, particularly in its usage. In both cases, the conclusion that was arrived at would have benefited the town, yet people just poked around a bit and then seemingly forgot all about it.

    Then we have the Day 2 writeup. While this was primarily born of my personal inability to kill Rimi off, Rimi leaving her phone (revealed later) and Rimi asking how her location could have been discovered were massive hints. Particularly the latter. If the post to Laboon and Nise was taken into account, when it shut down on them, and Rimi asking how she was discovered having meant that she was in hiding and being careful about it, it was by no means a jump in logic to wonder if Amadeus was the result of that. Instead of giving people thought when it came to using Amadeus, though, they decided to ask Amadeus instead. Chances are, it was never going to result in anything substantial, and the act of asking the very thing that appears to have compromised Rimi due to her use of it just made no sense whatsoever. This was raised and again ignored.

    Then we have Amadeus literally telling people not to ask questions Day 4. I was really happy people picked up on that quickly, it wasn't exactly subtle, and even though they didn't really catch on that the rest of the message was white noise to distract from the main message, the consensus seemed to be that asking questions should be avoided for the time being. And then that was ignored, and the three questions were burned through. Even worse was just how baity each response was - it literally offered nothing and still got replies. At the same time, after Day 3 town were hanging on, but it was still a disappointing way to see the town lose a game that they really ought to have won. Because of course, Shaki seemed to have caught on to the fact that asking questions was bad all the way back into Day 2. On the note of Shaki, it was really disappointing to see him getting modkilled for something so silly, and even more disappointing to see SoulKiller express such surprise at it, despite being told earlier in Day 2 that quoting directly from PM's was against the rules. The setup wasn't horribly affected balance wise, but it was still disappointing to see both Takuru and Serika go out that way.

    I don't feel like I need to drive more points home, but the very fact Leskinen was stated to be one of the people with access to the chat logs should have also given pause for thought. Leskinen, after all, is through and through a villain. As an aside, it was disappointing to see some many people waste their questions. Many of these assumed that they would get nothing from the correspondence, yet did so anyway. One such example that stood out was Aertes in Day 3, who burned all 3 questions on nonsense, even going out of her way to make sure all 3 were burned on it. It was a pity because I feel like she had realised Amadeus wasn't useful to the Town, yet used it regardless for the sake of it. It would have been much more reasonable to have just ignored it. I was hopeful Stein had caught on during Day 3, as he hadn't made any for a significant while, but he burned his way through them, although they were more reasonable questions. These were hardly the only examples of course - Basil's was particularly bad, but it was a bit of a silly error to make.

    As for day-by-day, it was fun to follow. Day 1 was really hectic, but I expected this. As Day was moving on, I began to panick when I realised Gir had a realistic chance of being lynched. I would have hated the game to have ended before the setup could really flex its muscles, so I was thankful town seemed to move away. The Basil lynch was really harmful to the Town, but I don't think in the circumstances it was an awful one. Basil hadn't done much at all, and with the pressure of a deadline incoming the Town had to react. I think, with more time the lynch would have been avoided, but despite the effect it had I don't think it was all that critical.

    Day 2 came and as I hoped, people had fallen for the two investigator bait. I was glad, as if the town did decide to follow the cop, this was one of the primary deterrents for it. As with Day 1 though, Amadeus took up the bulk of discussion and the lynch was another rush job. The Laboon lynch wasn't great at all, and with a number of suspects building up I was beginning to worry if the Town would stand much of a chance.

    Come Day 3, though, and Town got really close to figuring out the game. I was happy, in one way, as it showed people were thinking about the right things, but the merge of blending flavour analysis with actually hunting scum once again didn't seem to happen. What ended up occurring was a handful of players were focused solely on the flavour, and a handful of players ignored it entirely and tried to get some actual scumhunting going. Still, though, until the back end of Day 3 I really believed that the Town would win this one. They were so close with the theories, and all it needed was for a player or two to try and reset where they were at and lead the town and I feel like they would have won. Instead, the day went on and a no lynch became very plausible. This was a massive mistake in my point of view. For starters, there were a number of viable lynches around - Inuarashi suspected Stein and Aertes, SoulKiller and Gir were suspected, and Prada was also under a fair bit of scrutiny. With so many lines of suspicion around, I had a feeling Town had to get a lynch otherwise the upcoming LyLo would be very, very difficult. I can get why Stein thought that follow the cop here was optimal, yet I don't think it was very well thought through. There was, after all, no night phase, and Town still didn't know how scum killed, so there was a real danger that just advancing the game would lead town to losing. Aside from this, he didn't use his motivator ability - if he was planning to follow the cop, I feel like at the very least he ought to have helped his cop out with giving him two shots at night instead of one. As Day ended, the game switched right back into Gir's favour.

    Day 4 I felt was quite poor from the Town. SoulKiller's actions were outright harmful, in that position, and aside from that votes were thrown around heavily. The possibility of multiple scum was still on, and so even one bad vote could have resulted in scum hammering, and at Day 4 the possibility that the game was nearing the end must have been dawning on player's minds. Gir cleaned up, and having my fun with the Town I finally ended the game to put them out their misery.

    In terms of performance, around Day 3 I was praising almost everyone. I felt like Town was struggling as a team, but individually was playing quite well, but from there they really struggled. As for MVP, I fully feel like this one belongs to Gir. I mentioned at the start that this one was really tough to balance, and I'm honestly not entirely convinced that it was as balanced as I would have liked. I knew it would take some effort to move town away from lynching an uncounterclaimed Maho, which is why there was a slew of information leading them to that, but with the strength of the Interrogator too I feel like it may have been too stacked against the Serial, despite the serial being able to otherwise nullify the Town. I think I got the number of Days right - Town had about 4 mislynches unless both Mayrui and Rimi were lynched, and even then had 4 Day Phases to figure out the setup. Given how Maho was "confirmed Town", and how the Serial was untouchable, I feel like that was fair, but I honestly feel like I had made it too obvious that Maho may not be legit and Amadeus shouldn't be used. It also rewarded inactivity of the Town, which isn't backbreaking but it would have been frustrating to see a lurker glide through the game to end up helping town win at the end just because they wasn't active enough to stock up counters. To end on a positive note relating to that, the activity was great all game long. I didn't really want to set a hard 48 hour limit, but it seemed to work, and I think it helped balance the game against all the information they had to catch the scum. I've been very critical of the Town here too, but I must note just how close they were to winning. They had it figured out, virtually, and just didn't apply it. I think there are lessons to be learned here, particularly when it comes to being able to have insight into a setup. I cannot stress enough how important it is to try and look at the "why" rather than assume it is unbalanced when it comes to figured out setups such as this one, and beyond that it is a crucial part when it comes to analysing claims. To get better at those kinds of games, this is the thought process that needs to occur, so if people have learned one thing from this, I hope that will be it.

    Thank you all for playing.
    Last edited by Ratchet; Mar 27th '17 at 03:12 AM.

  2. #1992
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    MVP vote: Gir

  3. #1993
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    I cannot rep you but cheers for the game boss




  4. #1994
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    swordsman chef


    "you must spread some reputation around before giving it to ratchet again"

    On my end I really enjoyed the game. Indie roles are my favorite and i'm glad i got the be one so unique. It was a challenge to stay alive and get people to raise their counters.

    That being said I do understand Aertes' frustrations. She was removed from the queue because her game was unconventional and instead of her game we had two... QUITE unconventional games. Injustice was made here and i'd really like it if @Rise-Chan can make it right somehow. Her only fault was that she came clean about it, while I didn't want to be the third in line to be removed and screw the ones after me who probably weren't ready for such massive shift.

    I like games that aren't normal. They put a twist on the mafia game genre that makes them memorable and fun to me. I hope we can get more of those.

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