WORLD OF MAFIA CRAFT: Part I

We here at TheAnonymousGamer love videogames so much that we often feel we are “unappreciated scholars” who not only hold the right to judge games for how they play and the ideas surrounding them but also to come up with our own videogames. We have a tonne of ideas and will be presenting them to you in a series of “Games We Want” pieces, the first of which being a Mafia MMORPG.

– theanonymousgamer.

A MAFIA MMORPG

Has there really ever been a Mafia themed game that captures what its like to work, day to day in a crime family? Sure there was Mafia 1 and 2 and they presented an open world environment with a narrative depicting mob life but it never really touched on the day to day operations nor the ultimate ambition of any mobster, to climb the ladder and one day run the family. There was also the real time strategy PC release called Gangsters which somewhat detailed the day to day running of a Cosa Nostra Family but still, it wasn’t authentic in its delivery or tone.

To me, the gaming industry has missed the boat attempting to capture what Hollywood has so successfully captured time and time again. That being, what is it like to go from lowly criminal to the head of a family and all the drama and steps in between. Its failed to answer the interactive question of what is a mob associates role in the family, how much do I need to kick up to the boss each month and how hard is it to achieve this month to month? How does a Mafiosi shield his criminal activity from the authorities ever watchful eyes and what’s mob protocol when your in the can? How does life change when you become a made man and what’s inter family politics like regarding family disputes?  What types of businesses can a wise guy operate and how do you manage manpower across your many rackets? Or what do you do when you best guy (possibly a blood relation) is found to be talking to the FEDS?

These are the types of gaming situations gamers want to experience…..

Here are our ideas.

“THIS THING OF OURS”

This ultimate Mafia game is an MMO experiance (could possibly be scaled back to an RPG but many of the elements work better with real people playing various characters). The map is set in 1960’s, open world, fully recreated, block by block NYC with all the mood and authenticity that the era demands including all the five boroughs. (the city and NPC’s would be on bluray disc as opposed to servers)

All of the characters (wiseguys) in the game will be manned by actual gamers,  allowing for dynamic and spontaneous reactions and varied responses to any situation. The only non-playable characters will be police, FBI and civilians (some of the civilians will also be involved in crimes which players will be able to take advantage of).

Each player will begin the game by creating a character, complete with personal traits, physical traits, strengths and weaknesses (if you have been invited to the game buy a friend –  this friend can choose to “vouch” for you, you can also choose to be a blood relative which, if said friend is already a “member”, will improve your chances of being accepted into a family – more later). Its also important here to choose your ethnicity, however its important to remember only men of Italian descent are allowed to become full members (made man) however playing the game as another race will have benefits as these players will not be limited or restricted by mafia law (more on that later). In this creation process, players will also be asked to select a birthplace on the map. This is a crucial decision because this will ultimately determine which family you can join. For example, players “raised” in Brooklyn will not be able to join a family from Manhattan likewise players raised in Jersey will be restricted from joining a family operating out of Brooklyn ect. Player will need to keep this in mind for each district has geographic advantages and disadvantages linked to specific industries and rackets your character will be able to utalise (more on this later).

Once you have finished your creation process you are spawned into your neighborhood as a low level street guy, with little to no connection to the mob family operating in your community (unless you have been vouched for by a friend already playing). Your only possession will be a safe house/ apartment and the cloths on your back. You are now free to travel the entire map and do as you please, but remember there is a code of conduct, rules and punishment for characters who think they can now cause chaos……

HONOUR AMONGST THIEVES

As mentioned above there is a definitive code of conduct for made men to follow, certain rules that must be followed so that the organization continues to operate and make money for all the members. Much the same, the game itself requires players to act accordingly or face the consequences. This applies to all players be they made men or street guys. Sure you can roll up to a capo in a rival or friendly family and shoot him dead for the fun of it, BUT this will be considered an unsanctioned hit and YOU will now have a hit out on you. Or you may think it fun to hook up with a bunch of friends and go on a killing spree across the city, in both cases you will attract unwelcomed attention from both mobsters and police (even FBI if you survive long enough). Remember, the point of the game is to make money and gain respect amongst fellow wiseguys to rise through the ranks.

WISEGUY CODE OF CONDUCT

In order to be invited into a Mafia family and become a member one must perform a series of tasks, such as committing murder for the family and not for one’s own personal benefit. When the boss decides to let a member into the family the player will take part of a ceremony, involving the drawing of blood, swearing an oath over a gun or holy picture, and obeying the rules of the organization. In New York City, the Mafia created customs and traditions which the members have to follow. If players breaks any of the rules they can be killed by another member of the family and usually the murder is committed by the people closest to that person. These rules apply only to made men and are as follows:

“Omertà” – is the oath or “code of silence”, never talk to the authorities. Remember there is a prison system in the game, so either keep your mouth shut and do your time or spill the beans and suffer the consequences.

“Family secrets” – members are not allowed to talk about family business to non-members. This means no telling newly signed up players about scores, rackets or personal family business under any circumstances. Should a tip off need to be relayed a member must pass the information down the chain of command.

“Blood for blood” – if a family member is killed (by another member) no one can commit murder (in revenge) until the boss gives permission. The Capo of the murdered player will need to speak to the boss of the family who in tern will seek permission from the rival family to whack out the player who broke this rule.

“No fighting among members” – from fistfights to knife fights. This will not be tolerated and may result in either being whacked or financially punished.

“Tribute” – every month; member must pay the boss; also giving the boss a cut on any side deals – this is mandatory!!! This can also be done buy an associate who is seeking to get on the good side of a family. By paying tribute the Capo or boss you’ll be considered a “good earner” making it a good business decision for this family to take care of you.

“Adultery” – members are not allowed to commit adultery with another family member’s wife. (not sure if our game needs this – give it some thought as it could open up interesting story missions)

“No facial hair” – members are not allowed to grow a mustaches or beard; I know these seems strange but it relates to the old Sicilian Mustache Petes who where done away with under the new American model. (so your character will need a shave and some new cloths)

FAMILY STRUCTURE & HIERARCHY

Like we have said, this game is ultimately about earning money and respect so that one day when the “books are opened up” your character can get “straightened out” and either run a crew or ultimately run a family. The American Mafia operates on a strict hierarchical structure. While similar to its Sicilian origins, the American Mafia’s modern organizational structure was created by Salvatore Maranzano in 1931. All inducted members of the Mafia are called “made” men. This signifies that they are untouchable in the criminal underworld and any harm brought to them will be met with retaliation. With the exception of associates, all mobsters are “made” official members of a crime family. The three highest positions make up the administration.

Below the administration, there are factions each headed by a caporegime (Capo), who lead a crew of soldiers and associates. The capo report to the administration and can be seen as equivalent to “managers” in a crime family. When a boss makes a decision, he rarely issues orders directly to workers who would carry it out, but instead passes instructions down through the chain of command. This way, the higher levels of the organization are insulated from law enforcement attention if the lower level members who actually commit the crime should be captured or investigated.

More recently, some families have used two new positions in the family leadership: The head boss and street boss.

Boss — The boss is the head of the family, usually reigning as a dictator, sometimes called the Don or “Godfather”. The boss receives a cut of every operation taken on by every playing member of his family. Depending on the family, the boss may be chosen by a vote from the Caporegimes of the family. In the event of a tie, the Underboss must vote.

Street Boss – The street boss deals with the day-to-day operations on a street level and is in direct contact with capos and their crews, while the official or standing boss is only in contact with the upper administration. Also, should the acting boss be imprisoned, the street boss is the in between man and elevated to acting boss.

Underboss — The underboss, usually appointed by the boss, is the second in command of the family. The underboss often runs the day-to-day responsibilities of the family or oversees its most lucrative rackets. They usually get a percentage of the family’s income from the bosses cut. The underboss is usually first in line to become acting boss if the boss is imprisoned or killed, while also frequently seen as a logical successor.

Consigliere — The consigliere is an advisor to the family and sometimes seen as the Boss’s “right-hand man”. They are used as a mediator of disputes, representatives or aides in meetings with other families. In practice the consigliere is normally the third ranking member of the administration of a family and was traditionally a senior member familiar with how the organization is run. A Boss will often appoint someone close to him who they trust as their consigliere. [im not sure how this character will work AI, moderator?]

Caporegime (Capo or Lieutenant) — A capo regime (also captain or skipper) is in charge of a crew; a group of soldiers who report directly to him. Each crew usually contains 10-20 soldiers and many more associates. A capo is appointed by the boss and reports to him or the underboss. A captain gives a percentage of his (and his underlings) earnings to the boss and is also responsible for any tasks assigned, including murder.

Soldier (Soldato in Italian) — A soldier is a member of the family, and traditionally can only be of full Italian background. Once a member is made he is untouchable, meaning permission from a soldier’s boss must be given before he is murdered. When the books are open, meaning that a family is accepting new members, a Capo (or several Capos) may recommend an up-and-coming associate to be a new soldier (this is usually linked to how much he earns and how trust worthy he is) . Soldiers are the main workers of the family, usually committing crimes like assault, murder, extortion, intimidation, etc. In return, they are given profitable rackets to run by their superiors and have full access to their family’s connections and power (like labor unions, construction rackets and gambling operations).

Associate — An associate is not a member of the Mafia, but works for a crime family none-the-less. An associate can include a wide range of people of any race who work for the family. This is where prospective mobsters (“connected guys”) start out to prove their worth. Once a crime family is accepting new membership, the best associates are evaluated and picked to become soldiers (again, based on his earning ability and trust worthiness). An associate can have a wide range of duties from virtually carrying out the same duties as a soldier to being a simple errand boy, remember these players are free to engage in any criminal activity they wish. They are usually a go-between or sometimes deal in drugs to keep the heat off the actual members, or they can be people the family does business with (restaurant owners, mechanics, private investigators etc.) In other cases, an associate might be a corrupt labor union delegate or businessman. Non-Italians will never go any further than this, although many can wielded extreme power within their respective crime families depending on their ability to earn for the family just look at Henry Hill from Goodfellas.

MORE TO COME IN PART II…

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: