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I manage a regularly occuring forum game over at a gaming community called The Conclave which draws its basis from the party game ‘Mafia’. This game follows the same guiding principles except in the place of mafia members we have werewolves. The game started out with just a team of innocents and small team of wolves, the innocents trying to find and vote out the wolves and the wolves trying to eat the innocents and remain undiscovered. Over time the game has evolved via the model of most online games today via incrementing version numbers and ‘patch notes’. Done partially as a gaming nerd joke to amuse myself and also partially because I just like the tweak and retweak model and this makes it look semi authentic and proper. Giving me the delusion that I’m actually a highly paid designer for an extremely popular competitive multiplayer game as opposed to a bored nerd who trolls forums. Although in some cases you could argue that the two aren’t so different.

It’s been fun to manage a game where I as the ‘narrator’ hold all information, know who the wolves are and get to chuckle to myself as I hear the theories the innocents come up with and see the lies the wolves spread around the group but the most fun has always come from expanding and improving upon the game every time we play it. Initially the innocents had a single special role player called the ‘Seer’ who can ‘scan’ somebody to see if they’re a wolf or not once per game round. Since then we’ve added a Priest and a Judge with different respective powers, and a Wolf Seer for the werewolf team. These roles have been constantly retweaked and rebalanced as misbalances were found and now sitting at version 2.1 the game is in it’s most neatly tweaked state yet. Grown from player feedback and my own intuition together me and the game’s players have created something fun, balanced and unique out of a much less than original starting concept.

It almost brings a tear to my eye.


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