Anyhow. Apologies for keeping everyone hanging for so long. As I’m sure that everybody figured out long ago, the game I’ve been working on is an update of my “Game in a Week” prototype, “The Incomparable Deductions of Police Constable Sir Nicholas Spratt: The Early Years”, for the iPhone/iPad operating system.
I’ve actually been spending an hour or two a week on this game since long before I started on MMORPG Tycoon 2, so I wasn’t starting completely from scratch when I switched over to it as a full-time thing. There’s been a major change since the GiaW version, though; in that version, the murder timeline was treated as a simulation; the characters moved around the mansion on their own and the murderer waited for an opportunity to perform the murder, and all characters would tell you their recollections (apart from the murderer, who would lie). This often (usually?) led to unsolvable murders, since there simply didn’t happen to be people present to witness key moments to prove who was lying.
In this new version, the murder timeline is being treated like a puzzle game — the murder is absolutely guaranteed to be solvable (although it may require unravelling many layers of secrets and lies to finally get there).
Additionally, guests can now move between rooms at any time, instead of only on 15 minute intervals, and actually travel through doors and hallways, seeing other guests in transit. All of this gives the player a lot more information to use to deduce who’s telling the truth and who’s lying.
Finally, the characters are now far more fleshed out than they were before; in the GiaW game, the characters were just a static list of names. In this new version, they’re randomly generated characters who have relationships with each other, maintain secrets from each other (and from the player), and each have their own motives.
So I’ve now got the game to about a 95% playable state; there are only two small GUI functions left for me to implement to get to a “first playable” state. I expect to have those functions finished later tonight. Really, I’d hoped to be at this state at about this time last week, but I hadn’t anticipated how much time was going to be taken up with little bug fixes to things like line-of-sight, and by preparing for those “master class” videos that I mentioned earlier.
Speaking of which, I recorded the second video for that series yesterday. Or the third, if you count the short “introduction” video. Yesterday’s video is the first one that I’m at all comfortable with; I probably won’t even use the first one; just write it off as a learning experience. I mean, I’m a programmer; being under hot lights and in front of a video camera is not my natural habitat. But as I do more videos, it’s slowly becoming less terrifying.
I want to get one more video shot before launching the series, and will then try to maintain a schedule of releasing one video per week. I’ll post them here on this blog, there’ll be a YouTube channel for them, and I’ll also be setting up a special forum for discussions related to them. Between setting up+filming the next video and all the necessary website stuff, I’m expecting to actually launch the series sometime early in January. Further details as they occur. :)