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Modding uPicks

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Original Publication: August 31st, 2017 by Alisae
Uploaded and Edited: March 29th, 2018 by Mathdino

Original Thread

Preface

uPicks are fun for the most part. You get to take your favorite characters or things and give it to a moderator and hopefully get a role back based on it. That's essentially what a uPick is. And when they are done really well you have a blast. They're inspiring. You love them. You could tell the moderator's heart and soul was poured into them in just about every way, from research to designing the actual roles. You want to mod just like them because they inspire you.

And then there are uPicks that are like "Well, I guess that happened." Like, they're alright. They aren't really super amazing, but they aren't really low quality. They have potential to be better. And then you have uPicks that are complete trainwrecks when it comes to the roles. The setups are unbalanced/poorly designed, or there wasn't enough effort put into the research, or the game's execution was poor, or even all of these things. And it can be a really big turn off.

SO! You are a mod, and you want to try out a uPick because you heard they're fun to run and a great experience for everyone. And the greatest uPicks really hyped up your expectations and inspire you. Where do you start?

Well right here! On this article!

And we're not going to talk about bastard games. Those are different okay? I'm sure you understand.

This will be also off the basis that you're not a new mod. You know your strengths and how to design setups. You know if you like super complex swingy role madness game or just a plain simple game. You have your inspirations to draw from. And you have a backup/reviewer ready to go.

And this isn't really going to be about building custom mechanics, that's something you sorta have to learn for yourself. If you aren't creative then good luck, because reading an article isn't going to help you suddenly become creative.

Part 0: Get a Reviewer

Do it.

Please.

I shouldn't even need to explain this.

We don't need unbalanced shit that was half-assed.

Part 1: What uPick?

Before you just put a uPick into the queue, you got to ask yourself a big question:

What is it you want to mod?

Do you want to mod a uPick based on something nobody knows? How heavy do you want to limit your player's choices? Let's start with this, because this can get your game taken out of queue if not done properly. If you do this, it will be very hard to get your game filled.

Let's say you put into queue a uPick based on 100% Orange Juice (basically Mario Party but with 100% extra desu). I don't have that many friends that do know about this game. Or else I'd be playing it with them.

A uPick based on that isn't going to fill just by itself. You as a moderator have to help move it forward.

This can be done by supplying a list of characters. If you have a good modding reputation, then you'll get people to play your game because you're modding it. But if you don't support it correctly, it will fail, and it will be taken out of queue, and you will be sad.

So, when picking what you want to mod a uPick based on, the broader it is the better.

Anything uPicks will always fill, because everyone loves those.

Pokemon uPicks have lots of room for those who are A. Really great Pokemon fans and know all of the how many critters are there again? B. Those that play fangames and want to test your knowledge about them. C. Those who just know the 151 or D. Even those who only know what the fuck a Pikachu or a Charizard is.

This way, you won't have to worry about conflicts in picks (when a bunch of people send in the same picks)

The broader the game you want to mod is, the better.

Now, just remember to actually put your uPick in queue and GET A REVIEWER. Or two. Or even three if you really wanted.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to get a reviewer, a half-assed setup that wasn't really thought out for balance can lead to unforeseen consequences and you being on the wrong end of a pitchfork.

Say your game just filled and you got all of your picks!

Part 2: Starting the setup.

Well, hopefully you asked to be given 3 picks to attempt to avoid conflicts. And you rolled alignments before designing roles (you can design roles and then roll alignments but you gotta know what you're doing if you do this)

What do you do?

"LET'S TAKE THE FIRST PICK THIS PERSON SENT ME AND USE IT!"

Nononono that's bad. By doing this you're limiting your setup creating potential and the amount of creative freedom you are giving yourself. Put all of your cards on the table and pick the ones you want to play. That's the best way to go about this.

But, if you do have conflicts, then let's go over that.

Basically, you need to put everyone's picks out on a spreadsheet. And then find out which are the duplicate picks and try to PoE it from there. And if it can go either way, and the players are different alignments, then if you have a clear idea for what one flavour could be but it's more suited for a specific alignment, go with that. If they are the same alignment and interchangeable you can RNG it.

For example, let's say two people submitted the pick Junko Enoshima from Dangaropa and Yang from RWBY.

Person A rolled town and Person B rolled scum.

While you are having a good idea coming up for a town aligned role for Yang but a hard time coming up for a scum aligned role for her (even though there IS a clear answer here) and you have an amazing idea for a scum aligned role for Junko but having a hard time coming up with town role for her, just give the Junko one to the guy who rolled scum and the Yang one to the person who rolled town.

The less broad, the more duplicates you have and thus the bigger the headache.

Anyways, we're deciding which picks to use now. So let's start with the picks you know about. Because I am going to say an honest truth here:

If you give a mod flavour that they are familiar with, they are more likely to give you that specific pick because they have a clearer idea of what they want to do with it.

This is something I kinda did a lot in For Us's setup design. For Lovebirds I went with the Assassination Classroom pick over their League pick, because while they had avis themed based off of Rakan and Xayah, I didn't really know much about League anymore or those two characters specifically.

Having read the Manga for Assassination Classroom, I had a clearer idea of how those two characters could work in a mafia context, and I went with my ideas. And because of this, I had a clearer idea of where I wanted to go with flavour. Everything just ends up working better when you play to your strengths.

This part can go by smoothly because you know what you are going to design.

But okay, what do you go from there. After all, the scary Nacho and Tammy hydra once sent in picks from

wait for it...

...

...

TV SHOWS

OH THE HORROR

POOR ALISAE DOESN'T WATCH TV SHOWS THAT AREN'T JAPANEESE CARTOONS!

WHAT WILL E EVER DO????????

Part 3. Working with stuff you don't know how to work with

This the part where you do probably the most boring but probably the most important part:

Research.

This is important because first off, if you don't do the research and you know nothing about their picks then how are you going to design the role? Hell, I even half-ass this part because I am a boring motherfucker who just cannot be arsed okay? I am sure you understand.

And this is where you can seriously disappoint some people. I was scared as hell I would disappoint Nacho and Tammy when I designed their role. It wasn't something I was comfortable in designing and I felt like I was fucking it up 10 times over.

But the poor amount of research can show. For example, Me and Socrates submitted a bunch of picks from the series of games, NeiR to RadiantCowbells.

Did we know he had no knowledge of the flavour and was going to have to research it? Yes, probably.

So he does, and we get this. And while, okay, the role does kinda fit, the flavour here just felt kinda unsatisfying. Like, NieR: Automata is a dramatic game with dramatic stuff, and the flavour for this just feels disappointing. Like, design wise it's good, mostly because of the fact that it works for who the androids are. But it's extremely surface level analysis of the character and RC even kinda makes comments towards us for picking something his research dictated was fanservice-y.

So, how can you do research right? Well, wikis tbh are generally a good place. I mean, schools teach you it's not, but it's a good place to start and usually if you're a lazy fuck like me then you'll probably rely on them since 9 times out of 10 they're mostly what you got.

But you also got Youtube.

For example, going back to NieR: Automata, if you wanted to know what that game was about, there are plenty of videos on Youtube describing the story of the game. And I'm sure there are many other sources that do this as well.

General rule of thumb is the more research you do, the more options you have. Because putting some roles in a mafia context can be hard.

Part 4: Designing Roles

Okay so, I'm going to attempt to dig into some approach to design roles!

There may be more then one apparent option. There in fact, always is more then one way to design a role. I'm not really going to be plugging these into setups either, because that's a different story. It's moreso here to help guide you on a process of how to design a role so the flavour works out.

Also, if you want to write flavour and that is your thing, do everyone a favor: do it right and make it good and make sure it's researched. Otherwise it just makes you look bad, because we can tell if it was poorly researched. Oh, we can definitely tell.

Also, please find some good art or a good picture for the character you're designing. It's not hard. High quality art will make the role pm look good and the quality will speak for itself.

We can design a role based on what they do for a living/what they are.

For example, let's take the game Sega Bass Fishing, and you get the pick "Sega Bass Fisherman". If we're making a role based on their profession, the pick is pratically screaming at us what it wants to be.

And thus, here is its role pm. Just a warning: it's not really that heavy on flavour.

I mean, this is kinda one of the picks where you go "what the fuck did I just get". It's also very hard to write fun flavour for this. You could probably do it, but it is hard due to how broad it is.

Anyways, here is the role pm.

Sega Bass Fisherman
THIS ONES YUUUUUUUGE!

[Image]

So this is a heavily rng based role, but you just don't care because this and the game is just so fun anyway. Yeah tbh I don't really know what to put here, I hope the dice rolls in your favor. But for now, welcome to Sega Bass Fishing. Git Trolled ;)

Welcome -Playername-! You are a Sega Bass Fisherman, from Sega Bass Fishing! Specificly, you are a Fisherman aligned with the Town!

FISH! (Fisherman): Every night you may "fish" for a particular item. Some items are easier to fish for than others. If you "catch" an item, you may use it at any time (day or night) by PMing me, but it is only good for one use. Items that can will work for one day and one night. You may only "catch" one of each type of item for the duration of the game.

The following items are fishable. The number of the percent chance you have of catching each item.

10% Syringes (Doctor)
15% Magnifying Glasses (Cop)
20% Guns (Vigilante)
20% Bulletproof Vests (persistent [does not get used up], prevents one shot, is only used on you)
25% GPS Locators (Tracker)
25% Binoculars (Watcher)

To fish at night, simply PM me with the following:

I will fish for [item]

You may fish on night 0 by pming me with your fish item.

You win when all threats to the town have been eliminated.

Please confirm your role pm by pming me your role name and/or posting in the thread during pre-game!

[url]Gamethread[/url]

Another example of this being done, but with a of a more flashier role is with the Yandere in For Us. GiF submitted some troll picks, so in return I trolled him back by calling his flavour a bitch and designing a fun role and just going ham on flavour ;)

But it is really true to what the role is.

If you understand what a Yandere is, you understand that they are a stalker that will do anything to keep their senpai safe and make them theirs. They will always have their eye on their senpai. So the role fits it to a T.

Okay, next you can give them a role based on their traits. Let's go to the Yang example for this.

Some character traits of Yang are that she gets really angry and mad when someone touches her hair in combat. She is also very tanky and strong due to her semblance (I'm not explaining what these are). She is a close combat fighter.

I'm thinking a few things here. 1-shot Bulletproof for one. Elite Bodyguard for another. Bulletproof and Bodyguard are roles that work really well together. And boom, you got a role that compliments the flavour extremely well.

Yang
Strawberry Sunrise, no ice. Oh, and one of those little umbrellas.

[Image]

flavour flavour flavour

Welcome -Playername-! You are a Yang Xiao Long from RWBY! Specificly, you are a 1-shot Bulletproof Elite Bodyguard aligned with the Town!

PASSIVE
Semblance (1-shot bulletproof): Due to your ability to draw strength from hits, you are durable and as such, you will survive 1 kill attempt during the game.

ACTIVE
Close Combat Fighting (Elite Bodyguard): During the night, you may target someone who is not yourself. You will defend them, redirecting a single kill attempt to yourself, and killing the attacker.

You win when all threats to the town have been eliminated.

Please confirm your role pm by pming me your role name and/or posting in the thread during pre-game!

[url]Gamethread[/url]

Let's do another one.

Let's tackle Junko Enoshima.

She is manipulative and she brainwash people easily to kill people or kill themselves. She also doesn't really get in the fight herself too much, but has others fight for her.

So let's make her a Disloyal 1-shot-Modified Compulsive-Loyal-Weak-Vigilante Inventor!

Junko Enoshima
Despair is hope's polar opposite. It is messy and confusing. It swallows up love, hatred, and everything else. Because not knowing where you will end up is despair. Despair is even what you cannot predict. Only despair's unpredictability can save you from a boring future.

[Image]

You came to Hope's Peak as you are the Ultimate Despair, and Despair MUST beat Hope no matter the costs. And after a lot of work and effort, you came up with the brainwashing methods, and thus, you took over Hope's Peak and thus created The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History. Riots and Violence sprang across the entire world. It was as if Despair had beaten the battle against Hope. Or rather, taken Hope by surprise. But you stood proud of your creation of Despair. Not to mention you have your remnants doing all of the work for you. And thus, you are here as the Ultimate Despair, to introduce everyone to Despair and how wonderful it is!

Welcome -Playername-! You are Junko Enoshima, from Danganropa! Specificly, you are a Disloyal 1-shot-Modified Compulsive-Loyal-Weak-Vigilante Inventor aligned with the Mafia!

Mafia: Factional stuff here
Multiple Personalities (Falseclaim and Safeclaim): At any time, you may send me an ability (or set of abilities) and a role name. If you do, I will make a fake role PM to the best of my ability for you using the given name and abilities. You also know that stuff here
Remnants of Despair (Disloyal 1-shot-Modified Compulsive-Loyal-Weak-Vigilante Inventor): During the day, you may give someone a 1-shot-vigilante. This vigilante will have loyal and weak modifiers applied to it. It will also have a Modified Compuslive modifier, modified in that if the person you hand the vigilante invention does not shoot, they will shoot themselves. You cannot give it to your scumbuddies.

You win when the Mafia controls 50% of the votes and nothing can stop this from happening.

Please confirm your role pm by pming me your role name and/or posting in the thread during pre-game!

[url]Game Thread[/url]

Man, there is so much room to breath for a role like this. This is just one example of what you can do. And I kinda feel like I'm reaching the surface to be honest.

But this is really simple:

  • if the character procrastinates, you could try giving them a delayed modifier.
  • if the character is really impulsive, you could try giving them a compulsive modifier.
  • if the character is a Slaking you give them a Non-Consecutive modifier.
  • if the character makes everyone happy around them, you could make her power up other people's roles.
  • if the character is Haruhi Suzumiya, then make them a Dreaming God.

And I'm not even holding your hand for most of these, I'm still giving you room to design for yourselves. Cowbells did something different with the Slaking flavour in In Memory

Are you bored yet? Do you get my point?

Good.

There is one last example I want to delve into and that's taking a flavour's values and designing a role off of them. Like for example, Accelerator from A Certain Magical Index values and wants to have a family due to his lack of one, hence why he feels the need to protect Last Order.

I could go design a role about this, however I feel like their traits and abilities would mostly show in the role pm then their values, so I am going to pick a different example.

Kyousuke Natsume from Little Busters. This is a character that (btw spoilers ahead if you haven't read the Light Novels or watched the anime) controls and manipulates a world in which he designs it for the sole purpose of helping Riki and his sister Rin mature due to the fact there was a huge accident and those two are now in charge of saving a bunch of people's lives.

Designing roles on based on time and world manipulation is hard. You can do it, I can do it, but it is hard.

So what does he value here? What are his goals?

He wants to help the protagonist and heroine mature.

However, he doesn't always know the correct approach and he makes mistakes. So as such, we are going to use this as a sample to make him a "Roleblocking Upgrader" [spoiler=Kyousuke Natsume][i]We're doing the right thing, right? Riki... you'll be okay. Even in a world where we're gone.[/i]

[Image]

Flavour flavour flavour

Welcome -Playername-! You are a [color=#32CD32]Kyousuke Natsume from Little Busters![/color] Specificly, you are a Roleblocking Upgrader aligned with the [color=#32CD32]Town![/color]

[b]ACTIVE[/b] The Secret to this World (Roleblocking Upgrader): During the night you may target someone that is not yourself. You will roleblock them but also upgrade their abilities!

[color=#32CD32]You win when all threats to the town have been eliminated.[/color] Please confirm your role pm by pming me your role name and/or posting in the thread during pre-game! [url]Gamethread[/url][/spoiler]

Part 5: Conclusion

Now, congratulations! You understand how to successfully get your uPick into queue and design it.

Balancing is another issue which is a whole different topic. It's not something that this is really meant to cover.

I honestly hope this helps out mods who want to learn how to make fun uPicks for everyone in some way. Because uPicks can be hard and underwhelming if not done well, but if done well they can be really rewarding and fun and amazing.

And at the end of the day, because you designed a fun uPick for everyone to enjoy, people will come running back for your games.

I hope you enjoy this article on Holding your Hand designing uPicks!

~Alisae, a uPick enthusiast