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The Murder Mystery Machine

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Zombra, Nov 8, 2018.

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  1. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    https://store.steampowered.com/app/930280/The_Murder_Mystery_Machine/

    This looks like a cool idea. Procedural crimes, "thought cabinet" deduction board, you solve 'em. My interest was particularly piqued when I saw that the developer is Blazing Griffin, who originally published The Ship, a cool murder mystery type game that ultimately fell short for me due to its reliance on multiplayer. Then they became proper developers, remastered The Ship, and additionally developed a spiritual sequel, Murderous Pursuits, which (judging from reviews) improved the formula in some ways and declined in others. Intriguing as another "find your target, anticipate your hunter" type of thing, but again the multiplayer focus makes me less interested. But I find this whole type of game, where several possibilities exist and you must be perceptive and thoughtful to prevail, very stimulating.

    This time around it's about single-player investigation and deduction. Hopefully without the millstone of multiplayer around their neck they can make a good detective game. I'd like to see what they've learned about what makes information gathering and deduction fun. Will be keeping an eye on this.

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    I always have wondered if procedural detective cases can be done. But then it has been done before twice, apparently.
     
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  3. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    I loved the idea of Murder on the Zinderneuf as a kid ... even by 1983 standards though the interface was awful and trying to play it was a chore. (It's also possible that I was too young and stupid to appreciate it, but anyway that's how I remember it.) Making this idea actually playable is an exciting prospect for me.
     
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  4. markec Twitterbot Patron

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    I finished Murder on the Zinderneuf atleast dozen times and, for me as a kid in general, there was no such thing as a bad interface, only a interface you need a bit more time to get used to.

    In Zinderneuf randomness was the biggest plus but also the biggest flaw of that game since scenarios could go all over the place.

    Like this one time a victim was murdered with a army knife and there is only one soldier among the crew (I think his name was Jack London) so you solve the crime in 5 seconds or in another game get a single vague clue that doesnt help you one bit.

    Still I had so much fun playing that game, picking between multiple detectives and trying different approaches in solving the mysteries.
     
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  5. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    They make a bold claim in the following tweet, can you spot it?

     
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  6. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Neat blog post detailing the inspirations for the game. Instead of a broad-based game with lots of different activities they decided to do fewer things and do them right. I like the direction they're taking this.

     
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  7. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    The first blog post detailing gameplay concepts. I really like the "workspace" concept. Hit the link if you want to see the video where the guy shows an example case being solved, it's worth seeing.

     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  8. HoboForEternity In every buttons you press Patron

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    looks fucking great
     
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  9. Ivan Arcane

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    thanks for sharing Zombra, will keep my eye out for this moving forward
     
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  10. zeitgeist Augur

    zeitgeist
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    This sounds interesting but it seems like the core aspect of the gameplay, or perhaps I should call it the core gimmick - the Story Construction - is something that players will just do in their head anyway. So if the only thing you have to do to solve a case is present your answers to the same three questions, then there's no need for this entire mechanic other than looking neat, but if the mechanic is integral to the very ability to present the answers, as this suggests: "The aim is to connect evidence you think is related to tell us your story about what happened and in doing so you will unlock the ability to make a final accusation", then the Story Construction will be annoying to everyone who can mentally connect clues in creative ways other than how the developers envisioned it (even worse considering it's procedurally generated).

    The mission complete screen has counters for Key Discoveries: evidence, queries, and links, so what would normally be an organic thought process of figuring things out appears to have been completely externalized, which might lead to the game being more of a mechanical than cognitive exercise at best, and a mere guessing game at worst.
     
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  11. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Did you play Crimes & Punishments? Was there no pleasure in revealing new clue elements and then combining them to "spawn" new conclusions? Personally I thought it was a blast. Personally I don't see how it would be possible to have a "clues and conclusions" type of game that all takes place "internally", unless the game just said, here's the crime scene, now figure it out and click on someone to accuse them. That doesn't seem very fun.
     
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  12. zeitgeist Augur

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    That's how the item/inventory aspect of the traditional point&click games functions, you're supposed to figure out which items are used for what and how, and how to combine them to get other items, and you get hints on how to do it from various sources: from talking to NPCs, looking at the visual part of the game, listening to the sounds, and so on. Now imagine a part of this being externalized, for example searching the scenery (the infamous pixel hunting) - through the ages it turned from something the player is supposed to do, and the game designers are supposed to pay attention to (so that the backgrounds have enough visual hints that something is supposed to be there), to something that the game engine just does by itself when you press the "reveal interactive points" key. What if every single aspect of a traditional point&click game was externalized and all its inner workings were exposed like that, is it still fun?

    Sure, Crimes & Punishments had this element, but it also had a lot of object manipulation and other traditional adventure game elements. Maybe this is just something that should be a part of a real game, not a game in and of itself.
     
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  13. Jenkem Cipher Patron

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    I only played The Devil's Daughter are the other Frogwares Holmes games good? I thought it was decent.. nothing amazing but was a nice game to play w/ my morning coffee.
     
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