An exciting feature coming up is the Family overhaul and I wanted to share some further details about it and get some feedback. Just to make sure expectations are aligned, I do want to make clear that the feature is still a ways out from actually being released. But as it enters development, I thought it would be good to involve the community in the initial concept and gather some feedback so adjustments can be made as necessary. So let’s get right into it!
One of the biggest features of the Family overhaul is that it gives the game a defined, achievable goal to compete for. This gives the game some direction and purpose that was previously missing. But I also recognized that there was value in some of that lack of direction, where players could be playing however they wanted. I didn’t want to take away from anyones experience or force players to conform to a style they didn’t enjoy. Not everyone plays for the same reason or the same way, so it was important for me to design the feature so that it could accommodate the variety of differing playstyles. Whether you’re a gambler, buster, grinder, casual, hardcore, I set out to design something that included everyone.
The goal of the game will be to generate the most criminal profits. The Family that generates the most criminal profit over the season wins. I say criminal profits as an important distinction. Federal Bank interest will not count towards this. So the profits from banking can still help a family succeed indirectly, but those profits alone cannot win the game. A leaderboard will show the top ranking families. Profits produced is what is scored (crimes, selling stolen cars, bootlegging, OCs, rackets); what happens to the money afterwards isn’t considered. Here's an idea of what the leaderboard will look like:
The structuring of families will be setup in such a way that they no longer drop. Whacking the members will slow their income as they re-rank and re-build their infrastructure (infrastructure from future features), giving chance for other families to catch up on the leaderboard. A whacked crew/family would need to try to quickly rebuild to maintain their position on the leaderboard. Updates to existing game features as well as new game features are intended which will allow for higher ranked players to be earning exponentially more than lower ranked players. High ranked players will be capable of producing high amounts of daily income and must be taken care of to prevent those profits from being added to the family’s total.
The family structuring resembles the real-life structuring of the mafia. A family will be composed of multiple crews all under the rule of an administration, which consists of the Boss, Underboss, and Consigliere. Each crew is led by a Caporegime and will have its own name and profile beyond the family’s. Here’s an example of the structuring (All players shown were randomly selected for demonstration purposes, no actual affiliation ):
This is an example of a single family. Lot’s going on! Firstly, you’ll notice some colored buttons by some of the names. These indicate that this player is a “made man” in the crew. The crew’s Caporegime hands out the buttons. The family administration determines how many buttons each crew is given. What being a “made man” does is it means that players profits will be scored in the family’s total. Family members who are not “made men” are “associates” and their profits do not count towards the family’s total profit. Each family may have a capacity of ~100 members but only 40 buttons/made men. This means there is a lot of room for associates. While associates won’t contribute directly towards the family’s profits, they can still assist the crew and family in other ways. The buttons create a sort of “roster,” where those players are the ones going to need to make sure to be producing throughout the season.
The Caporegime is able to see the profits of his members. The family administration is only able to see the profits of the crews as a whole, not the individual crew members. This allows for the administration to concern themselves more with the larger picture of how each crew is performing and puts the pressure on the Caporegimes to make sure their members are producing.
All made members automatically give 20% of their criminal activity profits to the family. Their capo, the family underboss, consigliere, and boss receive this cut in the form of 5% each.
Since the family administration isn’t a crew, they don’t have buttons. But they’re not getting left out! The administration is going to have access to their own special jewelry store where they can purchase some shiny stones to show off their riches--from emeralds to diamonds! But these aren’t for mere show! Each stone has its own benefit when worn ("worn" meaning it'll show up on the players profile as well as next to their name as shown in the above hierarchy chart). An example stone:
When you see someone wearing that it’s pretty much saying, “Ya my soldiers are raking in the cash, who the hell is gonna do something about it?” Total Boss! The stones will vary in prices and benefits. As in real life, the flashier you get the bigger target you place on yourself.
The idea here is that there is going to need to be mechanics in the game that allow for risks to be taken, large leaps to be gained. If a family falls behind there should be ways to catch up. This is one of those ways--in addition to just being hella cool.
It’s further intended that when you whack a made man, you get their button/stone to keep as a memento.
A great benefit to this entire format is that it encourages fair play. Profits are logged for each player, so if a player is found to be cheating, his profits can be deducted from all of the crews he was part of during the season. This deduction is intended to be made public for transparency. So cheaters will end up hurting families because their time with a button was wasted as those profits were removed; encouraging families to recruit fair playing members. On the other end, players who play fair and contribute a lot of profit will be able to build a sort of “résumé” of their contributions over various seasons. Players can show how much they contributed and use this to gain entry into more competitive families.
The season will have a preset length, likely around 6 months. At the end of the season, the game features will disable but the game will otherwise remain online. The winning family will be announced after a review. The game would then enter “off season” for a couple of weeks. During this time the game continues to be online with all the social features, casinos, possibly some kind of events going on. The season is meant to be competitive and likely exhausting by the end of it, so this time is meant for a small break and to review how the season went.
Accounts and family structures will persist through each season. So during the off season you’ll still have access to your crew and family forums as well as the management tools. This allows families and crews to adjust their members, discuss their strategies for the upcoming season, etc. The idea isn’t that at the start of each season everyone needs to be in a rush to reregister and form their crews again as fast as possible. At the start of a new season, everyone’s stats will be reset and the game features will unlock at the specified time, allowing everyone to seamlessly pick back up playing, already with their same accounts and in their families.
That about covers the main parts of the overhaul. I’ve put my heart into developing this feature because I want it to captivate. I want the experiences it creates to amaze; to electrify. For victory to be something that is cherished because it requires commitment, teamwork, strategy. I’m aiming for seasons to be something you remember; something you look back on and think, “that was awesome!” For you to feel like you had genuine fun. Genuine excitement. Genuine thrill. More than you could ever think could come from a text-based game. These are the emotions I’m going for; this is the vision I’m after.
I thank you for making it this far, I know it’s likely a lot to take in. I hope you like the intended overhaul and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to leave any suggestions, questions, or feedback in the comments section of this article or in the Game Forum. I'd love to know what you like and what you don't. Your feedback is important to me and I welcome everyone's opinions.