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Subject: [WIP]The Lounge: A Mafia Game rss

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Alex Gregory
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The Lounge is a social deduction game based on the popular game Mafia/Werewolf.

The Kickstarter is now live!! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/971008843/the-lounge-a-...



Background:
I play Mafia with a group every Monday for several hours. We have a group that has fluctuated between 15 to 40 players over the years. We were using regular playing cards, and before each game we would designate what each suit and card stood for what role, and so on. This was a time-intensive and confusing process, often taking as long as or longer than some of the games. It was a huge load of information for new players, which would sour their view of the game, and possibly cause them to not come to future nights. Additionally, our group had an expansive role list, encompassing over 100 different and unique roles in the game. It was difficult to keep track of all of the roles that we could put into the games, and keep straight which ones did what. What we needed was a set of cards created for Mafia with the roles and rules on them. And so I decided to create a set for us!

Some things about the game:
The Lounge will have 108 cards, a 10 sided dice, and an extensive rulebook, which will detail how to play the game, good ways to set up games, other game modes (Mayor Elections, Double Cards, Murder in the Dark, etc.), and card interactions.

Of the 108 cards, it currently has:
~15 Citizens
~7 Mafioso
~6 Create-A-Role
~47 Town Cards (Including Citizens)
~27 Mafia Cards (Including Mafioso)
~28 3rd Party Cards

This totals to around 82 unique roles that I am planning on having in the base set.

Other Mafia/Werewolf Sets:
Now, I know that some of you will be wondering "What will set The Lounge apart from other Mafia/Werewolf games? What makes you different?"
Let me start off by saying that most, if not all of the popular sets are for Werewolf. I don't know of any commercially available games themed for Mafia. Now, this may not bode well for me, but I think that there is a gap in the market that can be filled there. Besides, who wouldn't want to be a classy Mafioso, rather than a big hairy wolf?
Additionally, the amount of roles that I am planning on including trumps almost all sets of Werewolf that exist. Most only include a few besides a basic town and basic werewolf. Ultimate Werewolf has about 40 unique roles, and Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition also has around 40 unique roles, with about 20 more or so with various expansion packs. I am hoping that the number and variety of roles in my game will help it stand out from the rest, especially with my focus on 3rd party roles.
Speaking of which, some of you may not be familiar with 3rd party roles, if you have only played the base or simple games. Essentially 3rd party roles are roles that have a separate win condition from either the Mafia or the Town. A great example of this is the Serial Killer. The Serial Killer must kill each night, and he wins by being one of the final two players in the game. Fairly simple, right? 3rd Party roles add a lot to the game, and in my personal opinion make it more fun. We have had games in our group where a Mafia member has been outed, but manages to win because they convinced the town that certain 3rd party roles were more dangerous than him.

Example Roles:
Since my game's main selling point is the number of roles it comes with, it only fits that I share some of them with you, right?

~CPR Doctor: Town Sided. Each night you may choose someone to preform CPR on. If they were going to die, they will live. However, if they were not going to die this night, you instead kill them.
~Final Girl: Town Sided. The Final Girl cannot die during the night round. Additionally, the Final Girl will also win if the Serial Killer and Her are the only two remaining players in the game.
~Voodoo Lady: Mafia Sided. Each night you choose someone to voodoo. If that person nominates someone the next day, your curse kills them where they stand.
~Godfather: Mafia Sided. The Godfather comes up as innocent to any alignment detecting roles, such as the detective.
~Wolver: 3rd Party. The Wolver is a peaceful creature, except when threatened. When the Wolver is targeted, they can kill someone that night, and are notified of who targeted them (They are affected by whatever power that person had.). They win by surviving to the end of the game.
~Cannibal: 3rd Party. Each night, the Cannibal must kill. If the person he targeted did not die, the Cannibal starves, and dies instead. He wins by being one of the final two players in the game.

If you want to see the rules for all of the roles, I have them laid out in a Google Spreadsheet located here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai6jJcB9kDKodEV...

Interested?:
Mailing List: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1J0xHnf87yZZyXPS7arJvIuvxKpk...
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrimsonGamesUS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrimsonGamesUS

Obstacles:
So, my biggest obstacle currently is funding the artwork. As you can see from that imgur link earlier, the prototype has all artwork created by yours truly in GIMP, and I must say that my chosen profession of engineer has kept me from a promising career in artwork! [/sarcasm]. I really want to get some stunning artwork for the cards because it would really help them shine. Unfortunately, as a college student, its hard to pay for that. I have actually submitted my prototype and business plan to a entrepreneurship competition to hopefully raise some funds for artwork, but that may not work out. Additionally I am still looking for artists whose style would fit what I am looking for.

Questions for you guys!:
Some things that I would love feedback on.
~Would you prefer the set of cards to be all on Mafia theme, or would you like some fantasy themed cards thrown in? For instance, I have some roles like the Vampires, Werewolf's(Go figure), and the White Whale that I have thought about putting in the game because they are good roles. However, I am worried that they may not be on theme. What would you, as a potential buyer, recommend?
~What would you think be a good (MSRP) price for a game like this?
~How do you suggest I get the word out about this game? It seems weird sending the game out to reviewers, because Mafia already exists, and I don't have the artwork for the game yet. (Most of it will come from the Kickstarter funds). If you know of any blogs that would really fit with talking about this game, please let me know as well.

Thank you for reading all of that, I appreciate it! If you have any advice, suggestions, or criticism, please let me know.
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Looks amazing! I wish I had enough people to play this too it's full potential.
As far as themes: More themes are nice, but an option to play with out them would be nice too. It doesn't hurt to have totally random cards in there, if people don't want to play as Winnie the Pooh, they can just not shuffle him into the deck. Zombie buff that I am, I wonder what a mafia game with zombies would be like...
Looking at killer bunnies, it has roughly 300+ cards and goes for about $30. But games aren't about the pieces. Maybe $20. I typically have trouble persuading myself to buy a game more than 20. (no wonder I have such few games )
Sorry, can't help you advertising wise...

As far as suggestions: Based off of mafia itself, I've never been a huge fan of being a citizen. It's just boring. All you can do is sentence people to death(Which I suppose is a lot) if you could think of an easy way to liven up what the citizen can do it would go a long way.
Being dead is boring too. Maybe a few people could be ghosts. If you roll a 1 your aloud to say some last worlds to one individual(or everybody?) then your dead?
Hope it goes well. Looks like a truly amazing game.
 
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David Sevier
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Being dead is indeed boring. One thing I have in my forum games for Mafia is a possible role called the Medium who can speak with the dead. Good way to get that last bit of info from the dead cop or whatnot. Of course, if that can be a Mafia role as well you get some added distrust from the dead townsfolk as they try to figure out if they can trust the person.

Not sure how you'd do that in a live game unless the Medium was a known role, though. Much easier to keep it secret with Messaging.
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
That sounds fun. I think it would be a good idea to use one on each side, that way the dead have a more interesting task. Be nice to add things that would have special effects upon death. Like infected, that rise again as zombies upon death, or people who have been bitten by vampires. I still think ghosts would be nice, but a medium would probably more effective.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Huh, that's something that I haven't given much thought. Usually people go talk about the game or random daily even things in my group, or if the game is particularly interesting, they watch. Its happened more than once where everyone playing was asleep and we just hear laughter from the dead as something funny happens that only they can see. So there is that aspect of it.

I'll try and think of a role that could interact with the dead in a non-intrusive way. The thing is, people usually want to discuss it once they are dead in live games, and if someone could talk to the dead then I'd probably want to get rid of that feature, because information would be too easy to convey. We have tried a few roles like that but they were scarce and far in-between. (For instance we had a role that came back from the dead after 2 day rounds. It wasn't very popular.) I have a few roles that use death, but none that involve talking to the dead. I will definitely try and see if I have any solutions to this problem, because I do agree that it is one of the worst parts of the game.

We have played a variant though that can help soften the blow. It works well for groups from 7-14 people. Essentially, you choose roles for double the amount that you have, and then deal out randomly. In this game, when a person dies, their card is revealed and they are dealt a new card. The goal is to try and eliminate all of the "bad" cards from the pool and in play. Not sure what to call this mode, but games should end with a lower percentage of people dead and with much less time being spent dead.

As an update: I got my prototype professionally photographed today for the Lulu eGames competition. So that was fun. Right now I am trying to build up a fanbase for my game. Like I said in the main post, if you want to follow my progress, or just want to help out, the FB page and the twitter account are the best places to do it. Additionally, I am working on making the wording on the cards clear, consistent, and concise (Three C's). I am also expanding the rulebook that I currently have, because it wasn't very well written as a first draft.
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Well you can definitely consider me a follower, though I don't have facebook or twitter, to actually join a page. Yeah the medium is risky. Even if you had mafia mediums why would they want to know what the dead have to say? Plus there'd have to be some risk in talking to a medium to offset the advantage. Then there's the whole fact that dead people would have to sleep at night like everybody else (that might not be a problem though...)
Well there must be something...
 
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Derek H
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Can I suggest a more interesting name - "The Family" (name not yet in BGG database) - because the current one sound a little meh?

(Also not a FBooker or Twitterati... please keep posting on BGG)
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
I prefer Lounge. Not that it's the best name, but I like to think of a family as a group that wouldn't try to kill each other(at least not literally).
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
gamesbook wrote:
Can I suggest a more interesting name - "The Family" (name not yet in BGG database) - because the current one sound a little meh?

(Also not a FBooker or Twitterati... please keep posting on BGG)


Hi!

I will definitely keep responding to this page and such, don't worry! I completely understand that some don't have social media, and trust me, I want as many people as possible seeing this.
On that note, would you recommend me making a page in the database yet? Is it too early, or is my project ready for something to be posted? I'm not sure of the etiquette surrounding that.

As for the name, I do like "The Lounge". I am always open for suggestions, however, let me tell you the story of how it got it's current name. I am a college student, and have been living in the dorms for the past couple of years. My friend group and I, rather than hang out in peoples rooms and such, have always hung out in one of the Lounges in our building. It was a place for people to play board games, talk, play magic, watch movies, etc. Now, every Monday we would gather up everyone, go to a different lounge, and meet some other people from all over campus to play Mafia. When thinking of ideas for the name, I didn't want to include Mafia in the name, for various reasons. Finally, The Lounge struck me, and I got the though of a bunch of the characters from Mafia sitting in an old, classy lounge room, discussing matters and such, and I thought that it fit.
Anyways, its probably nostalgia over anything, but I do like the name in its current form. If you have any suggestions, I will be glad to hear them!
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Hard to say. I don't have much experience with adding games to the database(correction: no experience). Seems to me that if you planning on releasing it soon, it would be a good idea too.
That's a nice picture, shadowed figures sitting around a table.
 
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Jake Staines
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
CrimsonGames wrote:

On that note, would you recommend me making a page in the database yet? Is it too early, or is my project ready for something to be posted? I'm not sure of the etiquette surrounding that.


For the official BGG word on submitting games to the database, check out the guide to game submissions. The short answer to your question is:

- If your game is being published by a commercial publisher, the game should be added when enough details about the upcoming release are available to adequately describe the game.

- If you're publishing your game yourself, or planning to release it as a PnP, then you should add the game to the database when it's "available in its final form".

(The overriding goal being to avoid the database being cluttered with stub entries about games that don't exist.)
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
that's extremely good to know. I remember that when I put mine on there. As a matter of curiosity, do you test this with your lounge group? If not, I'd love to play test it if you ever need a group.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
ucenna wrote:
that's extremely good to know. I remember that when I put mine on there. As a matter of curiosity, do you test this with your lounge group? If not, I'd love to play test it if you ever need a group.


I do play test this with my group. We have been using my cards ever since the prototype has come in, and already I've found some things that have needed to be changed. However, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't like some more feedback! (Feedback is always a good thing.)

I'm still working on getting the wording done for the next version, and finishing up the rulebook. I should be able to finish that in a few weeks, and then, if you still want, I can send you the rules and a roles list. The only thing I'd ask for is that you post your experience with it on this thread!
 
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Okay, count me in! I'll try and gather a small group to play with. if for whatever reason I can't, I'll let you know.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Hey guys!

So, I have to create a table at the Lulu eGames competition to show off this prototype, and I was wondering if you had any ideas? I got about 6 feet of space. I have some ideas about what to do, but some people may have something really awesome to catch peoples attention, and get them interested in Mafia and my game. Please let me know!

 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Alright, update time!

Today was the presentations and awards for the Lulu eGames. The Lounge won a Judges Choice award, with a prize of $500. It's made me so excited!

Now, this money will be funneled back into the project, and will go towards the artwork that I need to run the Kickstarter. (I'm planning on ordering Box art, 10 cards, and some banners and such.)

Just thought I should keep people informed.
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John Bolle
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Re: The Lounge (Advice Appreciated!)
Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing it.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge: A card set for Mafia
I have compiled the final list of roles that will appear in The Lounge, along with all of the rules for playing them. You may find this list here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai6jJcB9kDKodEV...
As a note, I would really prefer if this list was not copied to anywhere else.

So, now that the roles are previewed, I would love some play testers! If you play Mafia/Werewolf, please try using the roles from that list for a few games, and post how it went. Additionally, if you see any errors, or places where the rules are unclear, please let me know. Everything in that spreadsheet will appear on the cards except for the Additional Rules column. That will be in the rulebook. Finally, let me know that you plan to play test the game, and I can answer any questions you have.

Additionally, I have been working with an artist, and am in the process of getting a contract for 5 cards, the box art, and some Kickstarter banners. I plan on previewing the artwork on this thread when it comes in before the Kickstarter campaign, so keep an eye out for that. According to them, they should start work late July, and finish up by early August, which gives me enough time to prepare for a Kickstarter launch in late August/early September.

Finally, I have gotten around to making a form to be added to a mailing list. If you want to be notified when my Kickstarter goes live, and 48 hours before it ends, please fill this out. Those will be the only two times I send you an email because of the list. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1J0xHnf87yZZyXPS7arJvIuvxKpk...

 
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Rob T.
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Re: The Lounge: A card set for Mafia
The spreadsheet isn't public, unfortunately.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge: A card set for Mafia
robplays wrote:
The spreadsheet isn't public, unfortunately.

Whoops! I fixed it.
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Rob T.
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Re: The Lounge: A card set for Mafia
Firstly: congratulations! A nice set of roles! Refreshing to see a set which is more than just the basics, and not just a wholesale rip-off of Ultimate Werewolf.

(Speaking of which... If you weren't aware, Ted Alspach cancelled an Ultimate Mafia kickstarter because of a lack of interest.)

And a few more general comments based on the thread so far:

Being dead is indeed boring. I'm not sure this is really fixable without a wholesale re-design of the game. The best solution is to encourage the moderator to keep games moving. Emphasise roles which make the game shorter (vigilante), not ones which make it longer (doctor).

And I detest ghost roles. Once a player is dead, don't force them to stay at the table and keep playing. The game is over for him, let the poor guy get up and do something else for a bit if he wants.

I agree that "The Lounge" isn't a strong name. (And I do like "The Family".) How about giving the lounge a name? Make up some folklore to go with it, and also base your art direction on this name. (e.g. See what the Skulls & Roses guys have done with their motorcycle gang theme. Or Moleskine notebooks.)

With regards to the Kickstarter, I'm sure that art is important. Even in a game where you only look at your card for about 3 seconds per game. But the more roles you have in the game, the harder it becomes for the moderator to keep track.

As a frequent moderator, a free PDF sheet to print out and scribble on to keep track of everything in a logical manner would be really useful. If the sheet is small enough (unlikely...) then consider getting a pad printed and included as a deluxe pack. Branded card sleeves might be a deluxe option as well, or plastic cards.

I'll jot down some notes on the roles later (no playtest yet, of course!)
 
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Alex Gregory
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Re: The Lounge: A card set for Mafia
Quote:
Firstly: congratulations! A nice set of roles! Refreshing to see a set which is more than just the basics, and not just a wholesale rip-off of Ultimate Werewolf.(Speaking of which... If you weren't aware, Ted Alspach cancelled an Ultimate Mafia kickstarter because of a lack of interest.)

Thanks! I'm glad that you like the roles list. It's what I think would be best for a published set out of the ones that have been played in my group. My group has been playing for 4+ years now, and we have come up with some great (and not so great) roles, as well as bringing in some ones from other places (Think there might be a few from some websites and stuff where people saw them, and introduced them to us). I definitely did not want to rip off Ultimate Werewolf. I wanted to provide an option for those that prefer the Mafia flavor, as well as expand the game for those that already have Ultimate Werewolf/another set. I think my set shares ~10 roles with Ultimate Werewolf, so there is a large amount of new content.

Also, I was not aware of this. Thank you for mentioning it! I'll definitely take a look.

Quote:
As a frequent moderator, a free PDF sheet to print out and scribble on to keep track of everything in a logical manner would be really useful. If the sheet is small enough (unlikely...) then consider getting a pad printed and included as a deluxe pack. Branded card sleeves might be a deluxe option as well, or plastic cards.


I'll keep these in mind. I definitely think that having a nice PDF file for narrator sheets would be something for me to have, and I know how to set them up. (Or, at least, how I like to keep notes of the game.) Card sleeves could be a nice add-on for a deluxe package. Thanks for the suggestions!

Quote:
I agree that "The Lounge" isn't a strong name. (And I do like "The Family".) How about giving the lounge a name? Make up some folklore to go with it, and also base your art direction on this name. (e.g. See what the Skulls & Roses guys have done with their motorcycle gang theme. Or Moleskine notebooks.)


I was definitely going to have the art be themed around Mafioso in a lounge, perhaps playing cards, or discussing matters. I don't know what to do about the name though. Which of these do you think is better(This applies to anyone)?
-The Lounge: A Mafia Game
-The Crimson Oath Lounge
-Mafia: The Lounge
-Bagwell Lounge: A Mafia Card Set
-The Crimson Quarters Lounge


 
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Alex Gregory
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I've been working on updating the first post, as well as reaching out to reviewers. If you know of any Mafia/Werewolf related blogs or sites, please let me know!
 
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John Bolle
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Personally I prefer the first. I do like the idea behind the other ones, they just didn't seem to "fit." Maybe if you could come up with something else in the same style? Alternatively, "The Mafia Lounge" bit bland, but it gets the job done.
 
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Alex Gregory
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Quote:
Personally I prefer the first. I do like the idea behind the other ones, they just didn't seem to "fit." Maybe if you could come up with something else in the same style? Alternatively, "The Mafia Lounge" bit bland, but it gets the job done.


Thanks for the input! I will probably end up using the first. It conveys that this is a Mafia game, while being fairly simple. Either way, I am still open to suggestions.
 
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