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StrangerCoug's Guide to Mish Mash Modding

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So you're ready to mod a Mish Mash game. You've read How To Succeed at Modding a Mish Mash Game, but you still need some help with setting up your game. Here are some helpful pointers. (Note that this is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover some of the more common types of Mish Mash games.)

Writing the rules

When you write the rules:

  • Be as clear and fair as you can.
  • Try to cover all the bases in your rules. If you realize that you have a game-relevant situation you didn't address, this needs to be dealt with as soon and, more importantly, as fairly as possible.
  • You should generally disallow editing in posts that have player actions. How you should deal with it depends on the situation, but a common punishment is processing edited actions as the worst possible result. Edited dice throws may also be voided.

Suggestions for some specific types of games

Board and Card Games

Be mindful of how long the game itself is when played in real life as any game will take much longer played over a forum than face-to-face. Even games that are super-quick in person can drag in forum game form if players are required to wait their turns—poker in particular has a notorious history of doing this on our forums, but many trick-taking games have this issue, too. Banking games adapt well to forum games, but have something in mind for if you're getting bored of running the game (I generally search for a replacement mod)—their simplicity does get repetitive.

Game situations that only some players should know about, most obviously player hands in card games, are easily dealt with via PM.

Chess has not only its own MafiaWiki page (albeit outdated), but also its own subforum in Mish Mash.

Except for banking games, which generally allow players to enter and exit the game as they please in real life, games for board and card games tend not to have queues on this forum.

Dice games

These are super-easy since dice tags are available on the forum. The format is [dice]XdY[/dice], where X is how many dice you are throwing and Y is how many sides each die has (this will usually be 6). These are usually games of perfect information, allowing the mod to play as well. Popular dice games on this forum include Yahtzee and various forms of Shut the Box.

Sometimes you will want to use dice tags in a game that cannot properly be said to be played with dice. One example of this use that I've seen is to establish a transparent way of randomizing player order; in games that are actually played with a wheel, throwing a die can be used to simulate spinning the wheel.

Ferris wheel games

A popular game on this forum, each player in turn kills another player until only one remains. Enforce a strict time limit for players to take their turns (usually 48 or 72 hours); if they miss, kill them. Unlike other types of Mish Mash games, I am not aware of mods prodding players about to be replaced (or, in some games, lose their turns) for taking too long—generally, you snooze, you lose. (Nothing's wrong with prodding if you don't like the practice, though.)

Game show games (or other games run like them)

These are often called netgames on other forums. In most cases what you have in mind is adapting an existing game show to a forum game, in which case you will want to be familiar with how it is played. Do a YouTube search and watch a few episodes to get the feel for it. Be aware of the fact that many episodes of game shows from before the 1980s, especially non-Goodson-Todman shows, have been wiped and surviving examples can be hard to find for affected shows. Note that, while you should try to be authentic, you are free to alter the rules a little to suit your tastes (and generally should for races against the clock)—when a country adapts another country's game show, they sometimes make a few rule changes along the way.

For games that require players to "buzz-in", it's traditional to just let the player post the answer in thread—buzz codes are rarely used on MS. To speed up the game, players who do not know the answer should be allowed to simply pass in lieu of buzzing in. Allow 24 hours for responses, then after that, give the answer and move on. (How buzz codes work, if you'd rather use them: Pick a number at random from an announced range—say 1 to 100—and then have everybody PM you a number in that range. The player closest to the one chosen is the player who buzzes in.)

It is natural to be biased toward your own country when coming up with trivia questions, so be careful not to annoy foreign players with too many of these questions. Most people around the world have heard of George Washington, but they may not have heard of Nancy Pelosi if they're outside the United States. As a corollary, do NOT make the answer country-specific without mentioning what country you're talking about in the question. For example: What side of the road do you drive on? The right, right? Well, most of the British Commonwealth, most of the Pacific, and southeastern Africa drive on the left. That said, trying to accommodate foreign players can be a two-way street (no pun intended) in that it sometimes makes it easier for them than for your domestic friends. Geography is a good example here. Suppose you're from America, like me. You find out Australia has states, too, so you decide to ask how many states Australia has. Cue an Australian player having known the answer since childhood while your friend in New York is scratching his head and going "Huh?" (The answer, by the way, is six.)

You can also create your own game; these take a bit more effort, since you have to come up with an interesting idea and think more about game balance.

Game show games will usually have a player queue. Exceptions are tournaments and sometimes play tests of original games.

Survivor games

These are covered in detail in How To Succeed at Modding a Mish Mash Game by Xalxe. I have little experience in these myself, so I defer to him. However, there is an archive of completed Survivor games here if you want to look at games that have been finished for ideas.

Other types of games

A lot of the time these are either just simple "pass the time" games without any real sort of goal or guessing games where the person who guesses correctly gets to put up the next question or puzzle. That doesn't mean you shouldn't put any thought to them—you may want "pass the time" games to be humorous, while guessing games should be simple enough to explain to where the person that gets to go next can do what he/she needs without taking up a lot of time.