So, with approximately twelve hours to go, here’s the state of play:
Stuff that works:
- Seven guests have dinner together in the mansion (staticly declared floorplan). The soon-to-be murder weapon is in the Study.
- The evening’s events are randomly generated. At some point during the night, someone takes and conceals the murder weapon, when they’re alone in the study. Later, they get one of the other guests alone, and kill them. Finally, even later, they try to hide the murder weapon (but the police find it when they arrive)
- The evening’s events are used to generate memories for all the surviving guests, including the murderer.
- The player can select guests and view their memories. These memories show the guest’s own location, who was there with them (and in the event of the victim, whether the victim was alive or dead), and whether or not the murder weapon was in the room.
Stuff that doesn’t work yet:
- The murderer does not yet lie about his memories. Need to come up with a clever method for the murderer to throw off suspicion; this means that it’s pretty easy to find the murderer right now, as the murderer is always the first one to see the victim dead. Once he stops immediately confessing, it’ll be a little more tricky.
- It is not yet guaranteed that someone will discover the body before the end of the evening. Need to add that as a constraint to the basic plot generation system.
- There is not yet a mechanism for the player to accuse a suspect, or for the game to reveal the true killer.
- Finally, I want a text blurb at the start of the game, which gives a brief text introduction and specifies the victim, the time at which the body was found, and where the murder weapon was found.
And I guess that a nicely atmospheric music track would be nice, too, but this is basically just a prototype of a gameplay mechanic (albeit an extremely complex one), so maybe that would only be distracting. I’m already getting the impression that this is a game which would play best with a piece of paper and a pencil at your side for notetaking, and that worries me a bit. Would that kill this as a casual game?