The 'Shroom:Issue 126/Killing Game: Closing Argument
Greetings, 'Shroom readers. This is Lord Bowser here with a very special section for you all.
Over four months ago, I began one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had in this community, and one of the most unforgettable events I have ever been a part of online. It was something I was worried would fall flat on its face, something I assumed would be ignored or even made fun of; basically, something I never imagined would become incredibly far-reaching.
That thing... was the Mario Awards Killing Game.
The freedom of night actions allowed for some absolutely crazy and hilarious moments in the game, making it so much fun for everyone involved. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, which compelled me to write this section up; to summarize the game itself, my thoughts, and player's thoughts. I hope you enjoy reading!
Game Summary: Part 1
Pregame and Day 0
There was a lot of planning that needed to be done in order to get the game running. The setting was the hardest part, as previous killing games I had witnessed used custom maps; I quickly learned I was garbage at making those. Instead, I tried to look for a preexisting setting that would be well-suited for the game, and I remembered Luigi's Mansion existed. I thought its familiar, contained location, along with tons of stuff already in the mansion to interact with, was a perfect setting for the game, so I went along with it immediately.
I put up the initial sign-ups/lounge thread early May, not really expecting much enthusiasm. There were some friends of mine in chat who were genuinely excited for the game, though I wasn't anticipating much past that. I was completely wrong; I received the maximum 20 sign-ups, along with two replacements, in less than 24 hours. I was revitalized by the enthusiasm, and got to work immediately on ironing out all the game's kinks. I settled on a start date of June 12th, and sent out all roles a week before. It went mostly without a hassle, and the game finally got going then.
Day 0 was admittedly somewhat slower than expected, as I noted many players didn't do much to explore the mansion much or form alliances. GBAToad (talk) did send in a day action to prepare for the night, which was good, though overall, Day 0 was in hindsight not particularly useful. It might have just been inexperience, or a flub on my part for not detailing better, but either way, it didn't add much to the game. The next night, however, really sparked the game off.
Night 1 and Day 1
Night 1 was a relatively tame night, as players adjusted to this new-fangled game. Veteran players, such as Turboo (talk) and Superchao (talk), submitted more creative actions from the get-go, while some new players, such as Fantanoice (talk), were able to immediately take advantage of the vast freedom the game allowed. In general, though, most actions were quite tame this night, as most players simply weren't aware of just how free they could be; even Nabber (talk)'s murder plans for J-Luigi (talk) (henceforth referred to as "Roy") pales in comparison to the most (relatively) simplistic plans late in the game.
The highlight of the night was definitely the encounter between Turboo and Superchao. Turb specified taking the radio (which would quickly become a highly appealing object) from the Ball Room to the Projection Room and blasting Death Grips from the radio hooked up to the speakers in the room. This actually did happen, but only for a few seconds, as Perch just so happened to specify going into the Projection Room and playing a movie at roughly the same time Turb did. Perch saved my sanity and that of others by quickly turning off the radio, much to Turb's disgust.
Moving onto the day phase, the initial hours after Roy was found murdered were mostly a blur of details and other activities, similar to those of a typical Day 1 in a mafia game. Stargazing, however, used his power of hints to sniff out Nabber as the killer soon after, though not quickly enough to prevent an extension of the phase. In hindsight, I made Star's hints rather too obvious, as it overly incriminated Nabber near the end; my apologies to Nabber for that, of course!
While the first day could've been a bit smoother, it was definitely good for one thing; players immediately realized just how crazy they could get with their actions, in particular GBAToad. GBA took advantage of this by hosting a party on the Balcony (3F) of the mansion, celebrating the successful lynch, and invited everyone to come. Some chose not to, while others... couldn't have if they wanted to.
Night 2 and Day 2
By all accounts, Night 2 and Day 2 were absolutely wild. In fact, I would say it was perhaps the most intense part of the game, even counting the endgame. With GBA's party plans, there just had to be some good murder to spoil it all, but I could've hardly expected the murder that would happen this night.
While GBA and others prepared for the party, Shokora (talk) had some... plans of his own. He devised a highly clever murder plan, targeting Star first, with Fanta as a backup target. Shokora made his way into the Astral Hall, where Stargazing was passing through as he left the Observatory next door. Shokora ambushed him, pinned him down, and took off his crown and thrust it deep into Star's chest, killing him in a brutal (and quite creative) fashion. Shokora then went his own way to the party, as if nothing ever happened. The party itself was a success, with many players showing up to it at least partially. Near the party's end, however, a running joke began; as Shokora walked out, he was splattered with paint from a bucket atop a door, planted as a prank by, ironically, his cohort Ninelevendo (talk).
One the day phase began and players speculated about Star's murder, I knew I was in for a big day very quickly. Some insane and far-fetched theories were thrown about, including one that claimed Star had the ability to climb walls like Spiderman. As the day went on, the players steadily ran out of ideas, until (with a bit of prodding from myself) GBA finally cracked the mystery of the murder weapon in an electric chat session; the crown. Meta Knight (talk) and Turb were there to confirm the findings, and began to corner Shokora as a suspect... at first.
Somehow, Shokora was able to believably warp the story and shift the blame onto Ninelevendo. This was an excellent strategic move, as it convinced even the original prosecutors of Turb, MK, and GBA for a time. Just as it seemed that Shokora would get away with it, though, a late-night chat session fueled by paranoia on the side of the players found holes in Shokora's otherwise sound story. This was enough to cause a decisive shift in votes in only the last half-hour of the phase; had the phase ended only 30 minutes earlier, Shokora would've gotten away with Star's murder, and quite deservedly so.
Day 2 spawned some running jokes as well, such as ⚔️👀🤔⚔️#SWORDWATCH2017⚔️👀🤔⚔️ in regards to a missing sword in the Armory (which Shoey ended up solving soon after), and Turb's relationship with Turboo the Boo, an NPC based off of the Boo of the same name from Luigi's Mansion. In short, it was an absolutely wild ride from start to finish, and the highlight of the game for me personally and for many others.
Night 3 and Day 3
After the chaos of Day 2, I needed time to recover, and I figured many players did as well. During Night 3, GBA actually sent a particularly complex night action that would've involved a murder looking like a suicide, and quite a lot of other incredible things that would likely take days to figure out fully. The possibility of a worse Day 2 honestly frightened me a bit, which is why I was very glad to see that this wasn't the only murder attempt of the night. I realize that yes, going with Freakworld (talk)'s comparatively rudimentary plan was a cop-out, and I apologize to the players for preventing GBA's murder from happening. Concerns like these wouldn't happen with a co-host, at least !!!
The night's highlight was the debut of Deer Man, a guise put on by Turb at the beginning of the night. No one ever recognized him, allowing Turb to perform some truly ludicrous acts during the night, often with many laughs from myself. Deer Man was popular enough to be a joke write-in for Favorite Boss Battle in this year's awards ceremonies, which is definitely saying something. The real mystery is who was that write-in... :thinking:
Anyway, Day 3 was by far the most open-and-shut case in the game. Freakworld didn't really have any sort of plan after his murder; simply leaving his axe there then stuffing himself into a suit of armor proved to be a suicidal move. Day 3 was also, notably, the only case that didn't warrant any sort of extension between the players.
Day 3 wasn't a complete waste of time, however. Turboo the Boo continued to cement herself as a well-liked NPC, especially her interactions with Turb himself and Shoey. Turb claims Shoey's just helping out their marriage, but I think we all know what's really happening between them... Turb's excessive crying also became a running joke around this point as well, with a counter put in the chat channel. The biggest in-joke also came from Day 3, as MK sliced open a punching bag and let all of its sand pour out. Shoey took notice of this and asked to count every grain of sand, which quickly became a running gag. While Day 3 didn't offer much in terms of big killer twists, it was still quite valuable as a major source of in-jokes.
Night 4 and Day 4
I was determined to make up for the slowness of Day 3, so I tried to see if I could somehow make a murder over-the-top. Luckily, GBA helped me out quite a lot with that plan, sending me a high effective nightkill solution. Perch sent a pretty creative one as well, though sadly GBA's won out over his; it would've involved throwing someone down from the roof using Buffaloman techniques, though!
GBA blew up Nana's Room, where Fantanoice happened to be hiding out. He attached sticks of dynamite from the Sealed Room to an RC car from the Twins' Room, taking both the room and Fanta out at once and causing quite a stir throughout the mansion. Some more mundane and ordinary actions, such as MrConcreteDonkey (talk) burning Freakworld's dead body, The Pyro Guy (talk) trying to destroy the Cold Storage and kill Ninelevendo inside, and Turb loudly playing "SUCC" on the radio, took center stage this night as well. Overall, Night 4 was quite dramatic.
Day 4 was a struggle from the beginning, with mamy confused as to how explosives got into Nana's Room in the first place. Lots of wild theories were thrown around, yet in the midst of all the drama, GBA managed to keep his cool and feign cooperation in the case. DragonFreak (talk) and Packy (talk) were caught unaware of the use of an RC car from the Twins' Room, and Ninelevendo noticed something suspicious about GBA's trusty cameras suddenly failing. However, these pieces of evidence weren't enough to dissuade people and question GBA further, earning him the upper hand.
As the day went on, the prime suspect switched to Cirdec (talk). Despite evidence present that could've indicated it wasn't him, the rest of the players went with it anyway; a fatal mistake. Cirdec was mislynched and GBA managed to get away with it all, in the only fully successful murder attempt of the game. Hats off to GBA for being quite creative with this whole plan, and for beingstrategic enough to cast off suspicion for the entire phase!
Game Summary: Part 2
Night 5 and Day 5
After the Day 4 ruckus, we were greeted with even more Day 5 ruckus. Shoey's untimely death was a tragedy for many players, and they were determined to sniff out his murder quickly. They wouldn't let the murder of one of their favorite players go unchecked!
It took some time to find out the murder weapon, though eventually a gun was found thrown away in the Boneyard. Lots of conflicting accounts, from various guns to mysterious sightings of MK, threatened to make this case a tough nut to crack. GBA's shining moments of the game were quickly brought to a halt as he knocked himself out due to smoke inhalation. Just when everyone thought finding the killer may have been hopeless, however, a rather unexpected event occurred; Superchao posted an updated version of his account, which happened to include his full confession, in the game thread.
This unexpected turn of events was honestly welcomed by me, as it meant the case would end quicker. Of course, Perch was lynched very soon after, and the extension that had been granted a little while before his confession was withdrawn. There was still enough time left, however, for Turb to organize a wake in Shoey's honor. The few remaining players agreed to it, even after the grim reminder of Night 2's party and the warning sent out that night...
Night 6 and Day 6
Night 6 was quite active considering the dwindling number of players. The teased double murder certainly helped to make things interesting! GBA went ahead and successfully killed a player... again, but then very soon after was greeted by Ninelevendo, and their encounter wasn't exactly a friendly one.
Turb's wake turned out to be a modest affair, with its attendees a mix of living players and ghosts. Turb gave a heartfelt speech for Shoey and his contributions to the Killing Game; as in, literally, a speech that he wrote up.
Beautiful words, Turb.
The wake was regrettably interrupted by TPG and Ninelevendo. TPG also provided a speech in Shoey's honor, but then blew from some kazoo monstrosity filled with paint, disrupting the wake and prompting Turb to knock him out. Ninelevendo, recently coming back from coating doorknobs with paint and killing GBA, then came storming in with a bucket of paint, ready to splash it onto the grave; he met with the same fate TPG did.
There was paint everywhere and fingers pointing everywhere. GBA actually confessed to the murder of MCD in chat, as the investigators were woefully overthinking it, and then it was pieced together that Ninelevendo was the murderer towards the end. Despite the amount of players steadily dwindling, every night somehow got more and more intense and complicated with night actions.
Night 7 and Day 7
Night 7 featured the return of Deer Man. I think that alone should be enough of a sign that this night was crazy.
The mansion resetting as part of the condition set forth changed actions for many. DF and Packy, blessed souls, tried to destroy the Sealed Room to prevent any more murders... accidentally killing MK in the process. He only wanted to take back his grappling hook, and instead met with the sweet release of death. The beautiful irony is that DF and Packy were the most innocent and sweet players in the game, and ended up killing someone in the most gruesome way. Never judge a book by its cover!
Packy and DF separating for the first time throughout the whole game rang alarm bells pretty quickly, especially since witnesses couldn't tell them apart due to their twin powers. Deer Man served as an additional distraction, and along with theories of dimensional hell portals, this proved to be a difficult final case.
The ending votes were split between TPG and Packy, which was a very dangerous situation considering the conditions that were set; a non-unanimous vote would turn into a random lynch. In the end, however, RNG picked the correct option and went for Packy, to the relief of everyone. The game would not stop there, though!
Insanity. Total, utter insanity. The endgame brought out the worst in the remaining players (besides Mariofan), and it really showed. Turb's bait and switch, Smg2daisy's booby trap, and TPG's attempt to burn the mansion down were unprecedented. The night actions were more like short stories with how long and complex they were, though in the end, they did reveal a clear winner; Turboo.
S2D's and TPG's efforts were commendable, but Turb's bait really pulled him to the top of the heap. His ending the game crying and Smasher's ghost at his side served as icing on the cake of despair. It was an exciting and dramatic end to a nail-biter of a game, and was satisfactory to me and many others.
The Killing Game was very well-received by all of the players, many saying that it was a highly exhilarating experience for them; this honored me quite a bit, as you may expect. I'm glad people really genuinely enjoyed this game, even spectators; Roserade (talk), Hooded Pitohui (talk), Lakituthequick (talk), and many others were quite fascinated by the game's events, even if they weren't playing. Gabumon (talk) additionally expressed interest as well, noting the similarities between the Killing Game and tabletop games such as Dungeons and Dragons. I'm extremely grateful for all of the positive words I've received regarding the game, and I'll make sure future killing games only improve.
There were a few holdups with the game still, of course. The main concern I noticed was the questionable role that "sweeping" played in the game. Sweeping means checking entire floors, or even the whole mansion, looking for one specific thing; similarly, checking multiple rooms at once was also considered. Superchao stated that he found them "overpowered" in a sense, with players such as GBA agreeing with the sentiment. I personally didn't enjoy it much myself, though I let it continue as I didn't have the foresight to explicitly set a rule against it beforehand; future killing games by me will definitely see some restrictions against this, though. Additionally, some concerns were also raised with the perceived blandness of some powers; while I'll give that some of them weren't exactly the most exciting powers ever, I wanted to limit the use powers to allow more room for creativity, and avoiding people defaulting to the old "i kill this guy using x ability/y item". Next Killing Game will definitely see some revised roles, though I'm a bit hesitant on an overall buff.
Hypnotoad (talk) brought up another concern in chat a while after the game ended; the game's use of RNG to determine phase events. I used this to speed up the process of setting up day phases, as simply analyzing all of the actions I received took at least an hour alone. Timelining them all took much longer, which prompted me to resort to RNG. I realize this would boil down to making the winner random chance, which is definitely something to be avoided in any tournament. However, I only did this as I hosted the game alone; next Killing Game, which I will make sure has at least one co-host, will have little/no RNG due to more cross-checking.
In summary, the Killing Game was a fairly smooth ride, especially for its debut. It definitely has some areas for improvement, but for a first run, it actually went pretty well for both me and the players.
The Killing Game, while at many times a massive source of stress for me, was overall a very enjoyable experience. Reading the chaotic night actions and their corresponding day actions were a pleasure, and all of the hilarious in-jokes only served to better it. The Killing Game also helped to spark a resurgence in interest for the Danganronpa series, as seen by many of the players playing the games during or soon after the tournament. It also inspired some fanfiction by some of the players, such as TPG, GBAToad Ninelevendo; TPG has already released a part of his planned comic!
Be sure to check out his art thread for more information! It definitely looks quite exciting!
GBAToad took the liberty to combine all of the logs of the game's chat channel, #mwiki-killing-game, and put them all together; you can find a directory of said logs here. They're quite a read, and with text alone clocking in at 1.45 MB combined, it'd definitely hold your interest for a while! GBA also has plans for a Killing Game Simulator, which I suggest keeping an eye on!
Thank you all for playing, spectating, and especially enjoying this game, and I'll make sure next year's Killing Game will be just as big of a blast as this one was! However... you might not have to wait so long to play again...
Oh, and one last thing.