Suggestion based on feedback in the current game
Russia was really hospitable to allow so many players, but the problem is it's so many that it has become confusing and difficult for the more casual players to keep up and remain interested.
So I'd suggest less is more, even if it means I have to bow out.
I too have thought about this. I think part of the problem comes from the inexperience of players here leading them to believe that mafia games are "supposed" to be a certain way which in fact they are not
. A few people have expressed a feeling that the game is "dragging on", which for a game this size is completely untrue. A 24 player game can be expected to go for at least a month or two. A big factor is day-length and actually the deadlines I set for the night/day cycle are the tightest I've ever seen. Nearly every game I've played in has had week long days and sometimes week long nights. Forum mafia games just take time.... that's how they work.
But if a significant enough percentage of the player base on westgamer feel that a quick game is a good game then sure, I'll listen to the people and cap the games to fewer players. The drawback is that it's far more difficult to make the games interesting and diverse as the fewer players there are the less wiggle-room you have for tweaking factions and powers. For example a game with 14 odd players would be over very quickly with 2 killing parties, so that pretty much rules out serial killers, vigilantes and multiple mafia groups. Mason groups and cults also have too much swing in a small game so are unreasonable to use.
How confusing a game is tends to be a product of willingness to commit time to solving the puzzle combined with game set-up. I don't think the current set-up is particularly confusing (except for confusion caused by the mistake I admitted to), so if casual players are having trouble staying interested then it may just be that forum mafia is not for them. But in conclusion, we could
play smaller games in future but those games will be restricted in their diversity.
I'll have a think about it more and would love to hear feedback from others.