Mario Awards Killing Game 4: Despair Incorporated (Sign-ups/Lounge) - The Game Has Concluded!

Klavier Gavin

Guilty Guilty Love
Forum Moderator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Now that the dust has settled a little, I want to be able to give my thoughts on this game. I've been in and out of this community for around nine years now, and in that time I've seen or participated in a number of community events, with huge amounts of love and dedication flooding in from every side and every user. I believe it is fair for me to make the following statement, then. Perhaps it is bold (heh), and perhaps you may disagree, but...

For me, I wholeheartedly feel that Awards Killing Game 4 has been the greatest community event the Marioboards has ever had.

I cannot emphasize enough how absolutely awe-inspiring this game has been. Its craftsmanship, its character, its dedication both by hosts and users alike has made a magnum opus of an experience I'll be damned if anyone tops. This event right here is what this online community was made for. It is incomparable how valuable I view AKG4 for everyone. It has brought closure to a story four years in the making, it has unified and connected more users in traditional Killing Game fashion, and it has nearly perfected the Killing Game formula as a whole. Do I have my criticisms of the game? Probably, but for every small instance of grievance, there are thirty incredible things to trump it. This game makes me proud to be a member of the Marioboards.

Thank you. Thank you to our absolutely phenomenal hosts for every second of effort they put into this game. Stylistically, every asset and character was a work of art. Mechanically, the game was a sound experience that put emphasis on balance and unique concepts and managed to pull off both. Narratively, every story beat worked, and felt like an extension of what had come before. This was the best Killing Game the Marioboards has ever played, and its formation is entirely because of your nights of being up until two am and frantic scribblings in the middle of cases. The amount of love that's here is tangible.

Thank you to the astounding cast of players. While everything can be charted perfectly from a host's perspective, it is the players who truly make or break a Killing Game, and this player pool delivered. Absolutely the most diverse and most fun group of dupes the Marioboards have seen thus far, and the willingness to play off of each other and make it an enjoyable experience for everybody was fantastic. Your patience with the hosts was much appreciated from their end, I'm positive, as was your commitment to truly and thoroughly playing the game.

Thank you to absolutely everyone involved, for letting me sniff Pitohui for durians and lick corpses and try to layer four fake attempts on top of each other and simp for a cute Magikoopa girl while playing a rooty-shooty Ace Attorney man. Thank you for seeing a game through to the end where Bill Cipher defeats supercomputer ai Bugs Bunny in a suit while a robotic time-travelling Vera Misham, five men trapped in one Yu-Gi-Oh character, a travelling salesman looking to get ripped, and the attractive cousin of Ernest Cline escape back to the 'Shroom HQ of the past via a car wash. I wouldn't have it any other way, and I loved every moment of it.

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Tucked away into the back corner of Kammi's Office rests a picture frame. With cracks along the glass and the smudged remains of a question mark drawn on its front, it looks like it's seen the end of times. Yet, almost by determination alone, the picture frame remains intact. Inside the frame resides a picture of a soul of the past, someone who no longer remains tethered to this world. His nonchalant grin and the way his hand tucks his hat indicates confidence, but there exists a sense of tenderness to his eyes. One wonders just who this desperado could've been.

There's one more secret to this picture, however. Behind the picture hides a note, its handwriting sharp and somewhat sloppy. It seems to be a piece of evidence that was never used in a trial.


letter.png
Mysterious Letter added to the Court Record.

I wonder what it could read?

>A: Check

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Vera Misham

Ace Artist
time for me to jump in and give a little bit of thoughts and feedback too

first of all, i want to echo the sentiments of pretty much everyone and say that this is absolutely one of the most amazing community events we've ever had, and undoubtedly the best game of it's kind, including both Killing Games AND Mafia games (and considering the storied history of mafia here, i believe thats saying a lot too!). the amount of time, care and dedication to making this game is mind-blowing and awe-inspiring, and the production values you guys had never cease to amaze. like seriously, all the 3d modeling for stuff like the maps, the full talksprite sets for each NPC that fit right along with all the other talksprites which were taken from actual video games, even the writing and the improvisational drawings that came up during investigation phases were just so, so good. the roles were all unique, amazing and yet still well-balanced. the fact that i was able to be a freaking time-traveller without it being completely broken is great, and i dont think ive ever enjoyed or even used a role as much as i have this one. every KG i get saddled with a murder based role, try really hard to think of a murder, then give up/fail and never really use it again, but i had so much fun with my role (and wanting stocks) that i kept trying even late into the game, despite usually not wanting to murder.

this games main mechanic, of course, was the stock market, and although i wasnt sure about it going into the game, i can gladly say it won me over quite well. i think i mentioned this last year, but even dating back to the mafia days, Awards games in particular have a habit of "feature creep", where new things like locations and weather and other extras are tacked on each year and, imo, made the games feel too bloated and didnt contribute much positive things to the game. but im very glad to say that the Stock system was a HUGE added benefit to the game, and was definitely not a gimmick of any sort. it helped incentivise actually doing stuff in the game, both for day phase stuff and murders, stopped the messy problem of teamups that has sometimes been an issue in times past (i know, of course, that things like the Board of Directors existed, but that was solely for lore purposes, and also people in it kept dying so often that it didnt really form a complete cohesive team until endgame anyway), made a way to eliminate accident kills, AND it introduced us to a host of wonderful characters. honestly, it's amazing that one system can so effectively address so many issues, but you guys implemented it so well that it really did work wonders. all the NPCs were great characters too, and im glad that they weren't just "corporate people who will kill you if nobody else does" and were all compelling and lovable people.

i'd also like to take this moment to thank the players as well! this is probably the best player set that i've personally played with in a KG, and all the dupes were amazing too! i think it really says something when even in our results we were referred to as our characters rather than our actual usernames (which didn't happen in previous games apart from maybe a couple of exceptions afaik), because that's just how much we were all into our dupes and roles. it also made it a lot easier to be able to draw everyone too, which was a plus, and everyone's shenanigans always left me with ample drawing material. seriously, each day had at least one unplanned multi-panel action scene in it, which i think is absolutely great. thanks for being a great set of players everyone! special shoutouts to rose for being my fellow deimos AA (too bad zange didnt make it to merge for more AA shenanigans 😔), to Pito and Perch for inviting me to the board of directors, and l64dd and mcd for being escape pals as well!

now all that said, i also think it's good to at least make a record of things to improve on. these are mostly just niggling little points, but i feel like its worth giving feedback in any case, so here it is:

  • Day lynching incentives: alright, so as far as im aware, this is one of the first times that we've seen motives for day phases as well as night phases, and overall... i think it's a great idea! having a way to reward the players for performing well by allowing them to have what the murderer would have gotten is a fun way to increase engagement, and the swap to negative incentives during merge was an interesting move as well. i think it's something i'd like to see in future games, but i do think it needs a little bit of tweaking. as it appeared in this game, the trigger point for whether or not you get the incentive is whether or not you vote correctly, and while i understand where thats coming from, i also think it has potential to be unfair to people who aren't able to be around for the last few hours of the case because of timezones or other commitments. like, i dont think someone who did a whole bunch of stuff during the first 18 hours of the phase, made some breakthroughs and then left an educated but incorrect vote based on what had been uncovered and wasnt around quite long enough to see all the pieces put together should be forced to eat a debuff just because they were fast asleep when the phase rolled over, and the emphasis on the 'correct vote' in terms of both stocks and incentives is something that i personally feel may have contributed to me staying up to late hours of the night when i normally wouldn't have. i feel like rewarding a correct lynch, rather than individual votes, might help solve the issue somewhat, although i acknowledge that it does bring its own issues along with it
  • Finale and pacing: it's my understanding that ghost endgame was a last minute addition, so this is more an observation than a criticism... but, as a player who managed to survive, i found the pacing from day [?] to endgame to be a little... idk, jarring? like, we got thrown into a bonus case that we accidentally overinvestigated, with the big hype being that if we solved it we could stop big changes, but then after we did solve it... Big Changes just triggered total timeline collapse anyway, so even though we killed Big Changes it made the entire previous case feel a little redundant since we still had to deal with his crap anyway. that said, i do understand the desire for an action packed finale rather than "they voted Big Changes and now they win", and after reading ghost chat, my understand is that if we didn't kill Big Changes, endgame would have looked a little different, with us actually facing him? ALSO it did feel just a little bit jarring to go from a game where the focus has very clearly and deliberately been "no player teamups, everything including escape is determined by individual progress" to "here's an endgame scenario where you'd be a fool not to team up with everyone", although i can understand the rationale since the four of us were basically a team at that point regardless. idk endgames are hard so i dont blame you for the transition errors. maybe next time just have a bit more of a clear picture of what's at stake and what the failure to kill the mastermind would result in, since the vagueness contributed to the feeling of "i dont understand any of this or why it matters". but all that said, again, this is more just an observation, and endgame as it happened was still incredible so i dont want to make it seem like im detracting from that either.
all in all, despite the word count, those two issues are more just QoL changes rather than BIG GAPING HOLES THAT NEED TO BE FIXED NEXT TIME, so the main takeaway here really is just "THIS GAME WAS SOOOOOO GOOD GUYS". GBA and TPG, i know everyone has told you this already, but you guys really should be incredibly proud to have made such an amazing game for us, and we're all lucky to have such amazing hosts to have put on this show for us. thank you so much!!


finally, for my last bit of fun, im going to post all my unused assets here, along with accompanying commentary. whee!
to start off with, i have a bunch of practice sketches that i started doing a month or so before the game started just so i could get a bit of an idea how feasible the RP would actually be for me, since i dont know how to art

since i was drawing before the game took place, i went back to AKG3 and drew some players from there. why is jake marshall here? because thats just how intertwined their character arcs are (and also rose told me he was gonna rp him months before the game started)
can YOU guess who all these characters are? i drew them, and even im not 100% sure anymore


here we have quite a few things going on:
-multiple veras. it took me a while to figure out how to do the head covering, so a few of these early sketches it looked like a beret, which is cute but also not part of her character design unfortunately
-some more stray akg3 drawings, featuring TG, ???? and Toady. the weird lines inside ???? was from when i got to the "random drawing on top of other stuff" phase and was practicing drawing a flowchart/movement path? dont ask me what the weird energy field around toady is
-another result of the random drawing stuff phase is the head with the hat, where i just drew a nose and then the rest of the face materialised around it. i also decided it would be a good time to practice my signature, since every artist needs one


here's an interesting one. i didnt know any rps other than marshall, but i had seen pito mentioning he was considering a couple, one of which i made the assumption would be the bartender guy from death parade, so i thought "why not draw him!" and so i did. this is his only appearance




various assorted veras, with a few select cameos. this was also the part where i had the bright idea to change brush type and colour to make it seem more sketchbooky
fun fact: the second image was sort of remade as part of Vera's Day 3 Dream Sequence, which is why Schwarzwald makes a cameo there!



the first pictures of actual akg4 dupes! houses weren't announced yet, so i just drew everyone who had announced their dupe up to this point. i think i intended to fill out the second picture more but then didnt get around to it
fun fact: these are canonically the only drawings of Nayuta, Quickbot, Jack Black, Nightmare and Shoey


first NPC drawings. first and probably only time i tried to draw sledge with a koopa beak. fortunately i managed to do a much better job of drawing him when the actual game commenced. also a rare persni appearance, who only appeared as a two-shape drawing in the wedding and in the epilogue photo
i didnt end up doing an equivalent drawing for the other npcs, so i didnt end up drawing either of those until much later in the game (despite being in Kammi's building from the start, i didnt even meet her in a night phase until night 7!)


when i went looking for a signature image, i couldn't find one that i thought had a fitting background, so i tried a few things like putting a transparent Vera fanart on top of a screenshot from MK8, but couldnt get it to look right, and then eventually said "i'll just try and draw one myself" and then after i did a bunch of it i thought 'i might as well just make a vera too so it matches" so here it is! i didnt end up using it in my sig cause i thought i wanted to save it for at least until after i had done my first testimony, and then i thought maybe use it as an ending image, and then i just never used it. i might put it in my sig later though
this was also good practice for a full colour drawing and helped me get used to the idea of using layers, which helped for the other couple of full colour images i produced for the game.


after finishing Vera in the City, i wanted more practice with full colour images, so i dug into my past and remade an old classic, which was fun! didnt really have a chance to use it though



a couple of pictures i made to go along with night actions. first is a drawing of the planet observatory from night 1, which i meant to place somewhere to be examinable by others but idk if that happened. the second is a sign i wanted to put outside the door for the karaoke party.


once we got to merge, i took the opportunity during the brief break to have a practice of drawing the survivors from archangel, since i now knew who i'd be interacting with. i wasnt sure at first how i was gonna deal with ernest fine and the handsomest man alive, so i experimented with doing a gag where he'd be the only full colour character, but that wouldve taken too long, and the first time i actually saw him was ernest night so i had drawn so many ernests at that point that i didnt even remember this gag.



similar to the planets and sign, these were made as a representation of the Ernestiel painting i did in the archangel office on night 5, although i didnt actually submit these with my actions since i didnt make them until after. if people had examine it in thread i probably would have given one to the hosts but nobody did so i didnt

Veranator and Kammi2.png

a rare non-drawing sighting. while i was looking for pictures of the terminator i found this behind the scenes photo of arnie with james cameron and saved it just in case. i made a couple of versions with kammi which i thought might be good for an endgame/escape related thing, and then also made one to use with Ema which i was thinking of putting in the secret report part of the epilogue, but i wasnt sure how to fit it in so it went on the cutting room floor.


alternative arrangement for the epilogue group photo. unlike every other vera drawing, i put everyone on a separate layer so i could draw them fully and just rearrange them to be where i wanted them to be so i wouldnt have to worry about drawing in a way that considers overlap between characters. i decided that this one was a little too crowded looking, but i do think it does a good job of pairing up each investor with their CEO. the second image is the characters arranged like in the epilogue with the background removed. as you can see, i filled them with white in key areas so that they'd look right when they were overlapping.

phew, thats everything! honestly, this has been the most effort ive ever put into an rp, and while it was quite draining, i loved every minute of it and it was incredibly rewarding.
i guess thats the end of the post... but as i was writing this, i got a little emotional and thought it would be nice if i had one last thing to close everything out with... so i spent a few hours doing this, as one last hurrah:

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Thank you for hosting, @Apollo Justice and @Thamiel!
 

House Of The Living Trab

Awww, Treehouse of Horror has been delayed!
Stop planting bombs in the kitchen.
Or Fireworks!



I wasn't really here for when the game started but I have to say that this has been going way better than the 3rd killing game, and it's easily the best one ever on the Mario Boards. How the hard work and commitment from all of the players, the devotion and all of the art work, it just creates a positive atmosphere around the forum. Congratulations to MrConcreteDonkey, Luigi64DD, Epic Nitwit and Superchao, the winners of the game, thanks to Apollo Justice and Thamiel for hosting, and a special thanks to all of the players for making this a spectacle not to be forgot, even though I didn't partake in it.
 
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