The New Player Experience

Something we talk about a lot is making the site great for people new to mafia. This topic will be dedicated to discussing just that.

I’ll address the elephant in the room first which is software/tech:

Blurb on tech/software

A lot of this stuff is going to be new to everyone and until all the various automating tools and navigation redesigns we’re working on are done some stuff here just isn’t that friendly yet.
We thought the best way to “band-aid” the problem for now was to just provide guidance in terms of our very visible how to’s and tip and tricks articles, while just making sure we’re on hand to answer questions. We know some people (new and old) probably just won’t want to play here with the stuff as is but we hope they’ll stick around for the community and content!

So now that that’s out of the way - let’s talk about ways to structure topics (or even categories?) so new players have a great time.

The current leading idea is to have a dedicated sign up topic and introduction/discussion topic for people new to mafia. The sign up topic would have guidelines that are something like the following:

  • Try to be pleasant.
  • Be active (but within reason!)

The (within reason!) is mainly indicating that 100 posts a day could be a large potential turn off for someone new too! These guidelines apply to everyone in a game that’s designated to be new-player friendly.

Beyond that things are hazier though, so some questions:

  1. Does there need to be a ratio between “experienced” and “new players”. At present I don’t think having a game of ALL new people is even that bad an idea as long as we have strong introductory guides on site.
  2. Often times new players may come in with different ideas for what’s fun - in terms of deadlines, activity, and setups. What’s the best way to deal with this?
  3. How should the topic (subcategory?) itself function structurally?

For those of you who are still relatively new to mafia (and anyone experience who can think back) - What could have made your experience better? What went well? What didn’t?

I think something that helped in my first game was just chatting with the mod in the dead thread about what was going on. I also lurked and just read shit for several months before I ever played a game, so having resources to read was also a plus.

I never would have played my first game if there wasn’t a really clear place where I could go and sign up for a game where I felt comfortable being new and bad, because I’d be playing with other people who are also new and bad and with more experienced players who had specifically joined a game knowing we’d be new and bad.

After I played my first game I didn’t play another for two years. I think something that could have helped there, and which is the reason that I’m playing currently instead of quitting again, is that I made ties to players and wanted to keep playing because I liked the people.

I think I corrected a typo in this quote, see if you can spot it.

Having a game of all new people might be a bit tough on the players - when they’re stuck, when they don’t know what to do, they have to figure it out themselves. But yeah, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as they’re motivated to use the resources they have available. It even has the added advantage that they won’t overrely on more experienced players and will take on leadership roles themselves. The main risk I think is that they won’t enjoy not knowing what to do.

Dealing with different ideas of fun usually starts with hearing what those ideas are so they can see who shares them. So yeah some way of encouraging them to voice what they expect or hope for.

I am… not sure what your last question means.

Do you think it’s worth dedicating an entire subcategory to this vs. just a tag or a pinned topic. Highlights the importance, makes it more visible, and lets us standardize stuff within that subcategory to some degree.

Related to the above - basically what should it look like when a new player first comes to the site in terms of categories and what topics propagate it, and more generally just where the new-player centric links should be placed. I can tentatively start the category now just so we could see how it looks.

This took way too long tt.

New subcategory added as per the above.
A link should probably also be added to the header if we go this route.