Serial Killer Round 43 - Welcome to the Killtona 500 (Finish Line Reached! Race is Over!)

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@Mort: That magnificent bastard.

@Zero: I doubt it, you're gonna get people who forget, new or old. :/

@Zero: Most of the time the newcomers disappear after a few rounds, and I'd be chasing people I couldn't expect an answer from. At least some of the people still in here I can contact and have some idea on what's going on.

@Neo: But why would they be disappearing? I suppose I can think of at least three main reasons.

1. There's absolutely no conversation, nothing to discuss. The game comes across as a stark and boring thread that nobody seems to be involved in. There have been times when I try to jump into conversation just to be flat out ignored. The only people I can sort of count on responding to me are Link and RaN.

2. The first few games can always be a bit rough while players are learning the rules, but they can also be incredibly dull if you're just part of the mob. I was fortunate enough to get a role my first game (unfortunately it was important), and I'm fairly certain that I would have left the game far earlier if I had not. We could probably fix this with several methods, like adding more player slots or more roles. These come with drawbacks though, like overtaxing the GM.

3. There's a conflict between the people who want to play the game and those who want to write a death. I, including others, enjoy both yet I can't help but feel increasingly apathetic towards my writing when it doesn't seem like others care. Sure, that's selfish. But I'm not writing for my own entertainment. Even if it isn't Nobel Laureate material, I can at least hope that somebody somewhere will enjoy reading it. Look at this round. We've had about 8 written death posts (none of which were linked in the first post) out of 17 deaths. That's under 50% participation. A lot, if not all, of those players who didn't write a death are on the Regulars list. Too many players don't care about this game.

Apologies if I'm coming across as ranty, but I'm tired of watching this game flounder its potential away.
It could be really fun and entertaining.

@Zero: I'm going to try and answer as many questions or points as I can, based on my experiences over the years playing this game.

1. You can't have too much conversation because then the death posts get lost and people get frustrated that they can't figure out who's dead and what's going on. Back in Round 10, we had a little game amongst us participants that I helped propogate by keeping score where people would try and claim the top post on a page. It was serious business and it resulted in SK's first lifetime ban when a newcomer who didn't take too kindly to being executed first in his previous time out decided to wreck an agreement amongst the participants and spitefully claim the page for himself (We dare not speak his derogatory name in these parts). The game resulted in the longest SK thread to date, with almost 100 pages of posts, but people complained that they didn't want to have to read through 5 pages of posts to find out who died that round. So such a game was discontinued, and we relied on general chatter to keep things going.

Now I know this round has been lacking in the chatter, but I've noticed this for the entire month on this section of the site (certainly in my RPs), and that can be attributed to a couple things. One would be RL stuff, with people having to go back to school and trying to get routines down (probably killing mine staying up to type this). The other would be the advent of social media. When Round 10 was underway, this thread was the way we would keep in touch with other users. Now many of us who have lived in this game have other avenues, such as Twitter and Skype. Most of the users I grew in this game with, as well as others who have bowed out of the game, are contacts of mine on Skype, and I talk with them there, so there is no need to do it here, and hence less posts.

2. I can argue against both propositions you're putting forward because I've seen them in practice and they don't work.

More roles: I had two of the three roles that I eliminated in this round and I saw no point to them. The Double Voter/Celebrity is arguably the one that I found most effective, certainly would be in this round since they would be basically deciding the majority of executions, but in other cases it's not necessary with the Spy doing their work early and getting the names out. In this new world order, it might be necessary to bring that one back. However, the Priest, without any knowledge of who they are bringing back is a shell game, and usually the killer will just murder the revivee on the next opportunity, which makes it ineffective, and the Entwined just annoyed the hell out of me. It was aesthetically displeasing (resulting in an odd number of contestants), served no real purpose in the game, and just was difficult to figure into the equation. That's why I chopped it down to the four roles we have now.

More people: Well you're seeing first hand why this is proving fatal to the thread. Too many people means it's an absolute slog to get through now. This thread has been going for over two months, and we're just now getting past the halfway point. This problem has been obscured in the past by the effectiveness of the spy, but it's showing since he got executed first. More people would make it drag on and on, and then you'll really be seeing some atrophy. Hell, that's why I reduced the number of participants in this round, to try and make it a quicker game. Obviously it hasn't worked out like that, but you can see how adding more people would not alleviate the problem.

3. Hell I'm not going to argue that. I'm just as guilty. Time constraints, constant writing of university papers/tests and a general malaise have put a damper on my death writings in recent threads (when you write one almost every round, you start to run out of ideas). I mean I went into haiku for one of them, and I really only exerted my efforts last round because I was the Killer and I felt I had to make it good. Whether or not it was noticed, I don't know.

But I see the point on the Regulars list. Granted it was started with the best of intentions. It was started after Round 14 when a newbie GM had a rush start to the round and many regulars missed out, including Sky14kemea (the only round out of 43 she's not been a part of). But at this point in time, it does almost feel like lip service, and I know at least one Regular is dropping out due to computer issues. Maybe their needs to be another one time fire sale, to get some fresh blood in and see just who is actively paying attention. It's something to consider for the next round.

Personally, I'll take most of the blame by putting in a racing theme. I think some people are trying to work within the constraints of that, when that was not my intention. It was just something to frame the opening post, and with your point on 42 last time, I went with that. Clearly bringing something sports related, especially a regional sport like stock car racing, is not the best idea for a gaming site, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was partly responsible for the slow down. Now I know for the future. However, I'm chalking this round's short post count to that poorly-chosen theme, the time of year, and the dragging on of this process to find the killer due to the early spy death.

And for the record, don't try to outrant an East Coast Canadian. We're masters of the craft. Youtube Rick Mercer to see what I mean.

Wait, Killtona 500 isn't the name of a town xD?

@Nouw: Whosawhat now?

It's probably the lack of sleep, but I've no idea what's going on. X(

I hate it when that happens.

I wondered why I had chosen to come here, what kind of thrill-seeking mood I was in that would convince me to come to the town with the world's highest mortality rate.

You mean Chicago?

@RanDM_G: Over my head, the joke went >_>.

@Nouw: Not a joke. Chicago has the highest murder rate of any city in the world.

If that's the case, Serial Killer takes place in the greater Chicago area. Probably River Forest since that township has the lowest population. It fits the bill for that picturesque town you always see in slasher films.

I hear it's lovely this time of year.

@RaNDM G: Huh, never knew that. I knew Detroit had it pretty bad, thanks Robocop, but I never heard anything about Chicago. My friend's moving there next year too >.>. Oh and did you remove an underscore from your name? I would have sworn there was one.

@Zero: I posted a song for my death, since in the last round we joked about karaoke deaths.....


Edit: I put all the deaths in the OP to save Neo some time. <_< >_>

@Sky: Danke, danke. -.- ==


The last of the Kiwis has been taken out by the mob! Who will be next to goÉ.....fucking French keyboard...

Oh no, watch out. Link is drunk and posting in SK about logistics again. Better hide and pretend this particular message didn't exist. >.>

So I'm going to start this off by saying that there are a lot of points that Zero is bringing up that I am totally agreeing with. Most of this is because we have been speaking in person about them in a more personal fashion than should usually be expected at this time of year. However, I'm going to try and put my own particular spin on it because that is what I do when I'm in this specific state of inebriation and if I attempt to go to sleep now I am going to totally miss my breakfast that is happening in two hours (and I wonder why no reasonable company will hire me right now... >.>).

1. Chatter:

Alright, I'll be the first to admit that too much chatter is highly distracting. That was one of my three primary methods in the round where I happened to luck into a win (for the very few that care, the other two were the right connections and some relatively intricate manipulations).

However, this round in my eyes has been exceptional for the exact opposite reason. We've had several death announcements on the same page without any sort of payoff or real player commentary. Voting deadlines get pushed back because people forget to vote. Pacing of death post ranges anywhere from barely passable (when people actually write something) to utterly nonexistent (the other times).

Personally, I'm not asking for 10 pages of banal chatter between deaths. But I'm asking for something. As much as CA will hate me for saying this, my favorite round in a long time was when Steke stirred things up. At least it had us doing something interesting both in the thread and in the background.

At this point I would generally try to put a segue between my thoughts but my cognitive functions are a bit skewed so I'm just going to go into...

2. Roles:

I'm just going to throw this out here as a simple matter of statistics. I'm going to assume that, on average, we have 30 total players in this game at any given moment. Granted, this number is fluid but I don't particularly care right now because it's a trivial amount.

Right now, we have four roles. This means that 4/30 actually matter to the game at all. 13% of people get to do something because they picked a number correctly while the rest are relegated to only doing something around voting time.

At maximum, we've had seven roles. 7/30 actually matter. 23% have something to do within any given round. And according to Neo, several of these roles have been utterly useless in the grand scheme of things. I both agree and disagree with his point on a couple of different levels (that I am willing to discuss but not in this particular post).

But the point is that there was at least a potential for some level of creativity in the death with the extra roles. At least there was a chance to feel like you were participating in the game outside of just randomly voting for a name on a list when it's almost completely obvious that no one else will be casting in your own accord.

If anyone cares, I will rant about the roles. Neo's point about the priest is particularly frustrating to me because it was my baby and the very issue he was complaining about was not a part of the original design. That particular "feature" (no one knowing if anyone in the game had a role after their) was added after the role left my hands. >.<

Regardless of my embittered rambling, I have a point that I am thinly working towards. To get the game hopping, one of two things needs to happen. Either we need to encourage the activity of the common player so that their role in the game is more than just of a voting facing in the crowd, or we need to introduce enough meaningful roles into the game to keep the majority of the population involved in a meaningful way.

If anyone cares and actually reads this already horribly bloated post, I've got ideas for adjustments. They may not be GOOD ideas, but they are ideas that I'm willing to snowball.

But when it all comes down to it, there is one point that I have to discuss that has frustrated me to infinity and beyond.

3. Apathy:

There are about three or four regulars that I can name off the top of my head that do not participate in any meaningful way. I will not put these names here in the interest of remaining fair and not accidentally alienating anyone who may have just been having a bad round.

Allow me to take this moment and say that there are bits of the regular system that I absolutely love. I love the fact that I am guaranteed a slot in a game that I care about so deeply. There have been times where I literally pace around my house in contemplation about the possible identity of the killer or the best strategy for carefully toying with those who I have gathered to my cause. But I know for a fact that there are several regulars who only persist because they were active many rounds ago. Now they rarely vote unless the GM messages them nor do they take advantage of any role they are given. The most telling round ever was when SkyeNeko actually asked an arbiter to take action and they did not simply because they "liked being alive".

Good god I could rant about how much is wrong with that idea.

When it all comes down to it, I really feel that the regulars list needs to be re-evaluated regularly. For most regulars, it is a convenience and a simple guarantee that they can participate. For a couple people, it is a free pass to just take up a slot that might be better occupied by a fresh set of eyes.

So yeah, I know this post is terrible and disorganized. If there is anything you need me to clarify or expand on, I will. I just need to sober up first. >.>

I'd just like to say that while I don't hate Link for his opinion, I do still despise what happened in that round.

Um... yeah, that's it from me. I don't do well on topics like this. I specialise in topics focusing on rules queries and whatnot.

@Link: A challenger to my own wall. Well done.

Hitting the Highlights: You've got to have someone offering up a topic to chat about, and it just wasn't happening this round. Again, I figured it's due to the time of the year, with moving and school and all that junk. Maybe people don't want to talk about what's going on nowadays. It happens. I contribute when I can, but I'm not a conversation starter. I'm a contributor.

Activity for non-role players: Well we did have the JIB going for people who were terminated to hang out and basically shoot the shit at. It was a running joke that a few of us turned into recurring jokes and stories (my fling with an increasingly psychotic angel comes to mind. I still think Brooklyn is watching me...) But as more and more new people flooded in, it got buried for just hauntings or bugging off. Again maybe time to revive it.

Number of people: Again, I feel the rosters got way too bloated in the later rounds. Remember that round I was telling you about, with the 98 page count? We only had 22 people in that round, and it moved quickly. Hell just going back to my winning round, we had 26 people in there. I think that is the manageable amount, and once we start getting into the realm of goalie jersey numbers, that's when we get slogs like this.

Number of roles: The problem with this is it's become very hard to create roles that might actually have an effect on the game without either being OP or horrendously nerfed. Myself and a few other esteemed members of the game have tried on numerous occasions to brainstorm additional roles, but it is very hard to do so with such basic and effective roles already in place. I'm more than willing to put the Double Voter back in to make for five, but I think the better method to ensure activity is subtraction, not addition.

Regulars: Just because a participant is not chattering it up in the thread doesn't mean they aren't actively following the thread. In fact, it's easier to rely on them for votes than it is chasing some of the other people who have not been around. Of the five voters who I have multiple missing votes from, only two would be classified as "Old Regulars" and I know both of them missed votes due to computer issues, and the birth of a son (and the computer issues one is the one departing after this round). In the end the thread chatter is just a bonus, it's the votes I need, and usually the ones who have been murdered around the block a few times are the ones who are best about it.

And you don't get to use the drunk excuse for anything. Hell, I won my round while drunk damn it!

In addition...


Another contestant gets knocked off and we're getting closer to the single digits. Who is the next to taste nothing but concrete and death?

@Nouw: Nah, I never used an underscore on the Escapist.

@Link: I don't think inactive Regulars are the problem. This has been one heck of a slow round, you can't really blame them for losing interest. There's just not a lot to talk about right now.

Pretty much agree with you on the rest though.

@CA: u still mad bro?

@RaNDM: I was. Then I got talking to people. I am still a little annoyed, but meh. Moved on. Better things to do with my life than grump about a rookie messing up.

Uh... I have an idea. <_<

I may have said this a couple of times, sort of as an idea for a novelty round, but I think it might do us some good: Serial Killer Classic. Just go back to basics, no new roles, no Medic, no Spy. Just the killer and the voters.

I think the problem with people not having any roles or a feeling of importance won't be fixed by adding more roles. If anything, the people who don't get a role feel even more useless than before. Not only that, anyone who isn't the spy or the medic still doesn't feel like the contribute much because the game is essentially going on behind the scenes and they ain't taking part. If we strip everything, with the exception of the killer of course, everyone else will be just as important as the other.

Now for the problem of inactivity, I think this will be fixed when there is no Spy to investigate for us. Since the Spy essentially gets the game moving behind the scenes, the players don't really talk about the game in the thread. If the Spy is gone, the players would have no choice but to argue who to vote for or who they think is the killer. It would create activity that's also relevant to the game and where everyone could be equally important.

It's not perfect, I know. But hopefully we can iron out some of the kinks and all. What do you guys think? Just as an experiment?

@Link: Looking back on that doubles round, I love it even more. It was so tragic and clever, thanks to a few PMs xD.

As a voting prod, what if we had the group become a mandatory join and had the GM of the round become an admin? Then we would require people to have notifications on for the group and announcements could be put in the group as well as the thread. While it wouldn't guarantee more activity, I don't see why it wouldn't help. Plus it might save the GM the mass PM attacks.

More roles? Nay. I'd like to do as WP suggested but I do like the game with a medic, spy, etc. Maybe we nerf the spy some? I don't know... I do think everyone sitting around until the spy wins the game for us isn't the best fun this game could have.

I'm obviously too new to the game to know about the JIB. The game chatter is alright but I do think it gets excessive when someone replies to a death and everyone else continues to talk about rabbits or something. There needs to be the payoff of getting some feed back on your death, at least for me. This one I actually worked on but someone *coughskycough* hasn't read it yet despite my nagging.


I don't know. I think the game should remain easily accessible and I don't know what a good population cap would be. All I know is that I died first, have been reading deaths and have been unable to intervene. So this isn't the best round for me but I'm still into the game. Voter apathy and ignoring posts relevant to the game to continue chatter seem to be the worst things about the game right now, from my perspective. Maybe we could develop characters and have a small, RP with each other within the game town? I'm just shooting out ideas now, I should stop.

@War: I don't think that would work. They would all chat on Skype or PM each other, not talk on the forums. We'd have the same problem that we have now.

@Red: I do like the smaller RP idea. That's actually what I thought this game was going to be when I first saw it.

@Nouw: Maybe that's not a bad idea. We could do another doubles round to get people moving again!

When was the last one anyways?

@Redlin: Well the only person who can make an admin is the creator of the group, and unfortunately hopeneverdies hasn't been seen in the parts in a long time.

@Sky: We just recently had a doubles round, when CA was last GM.

@Neo: Perhaps a polite nudge to a staff member could fix that? I do think it should be a tool for the SK regulars to utilize. Perhaps a well worded PM with reasons for why you should get control is in order? Sorry to hear about the guy's inactivity though. :/

So I had a long post written up and the Escapist decided to eat it. Suddenly I don't have to energy to continue my end of the conversation.:/

Basically what I was trying to say is that I stand by my points regardless. Even though quite a few people seem to have differing opinions from my own, I'm good with it. At least there's a dialog here. :P

@Nouw: The chain reaction spawned by your innocent PM to me that round was absolutely glorious. I won't lie though, I felt pretty bad that misleading you ended up being one of the most effective linchpins in my plan.

Still, it was a fun time. :D

@Neo: @Redlin: Why don't we make a new one? A lot of people in that group are inactive now anyway.

@Sky: I suppose we could.

Doubles: Eeehhh... I wasn't so big on the whole doubles round. T'was way too hectic. Sorry. :/

@RaNDM G: We could try to promote conversation and discussion in the thread. Again, some kinks to work out, but I'm confident it could work. At least as a novelty.

@Sky: Yeah, I think that's the best course of action. Pretty much no one uses that group anymore. :/

What was doubles again?

@Red: We had two of every role.

@Sky: Including killers?


@Sky: I want to see the killers accidentally kill each other.

@Neo: @Redlin: Why don't we make a new one? A lot of people in that group are inactive now anyway.

I guess we might as well. Doesn't make sense to not have control of it. Maybe still have a link to the original in the group description or something to acknowledge the heritage.

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