Author Topic: RL idea: Murder RL  (Read 6406 times)

jasonpickering

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RL idea: Murder RL
« on: February 15, 2014, 04:20:16 PM »
So I was thinking about this for a small RL. It probably falls in between roguelike and boardgame with random elements, but basically a murder has happened at an upscale mansion and the player must find the killer. I am thinking about similar board games that use these mechanics as I don't think many video games have. I am thinking like clue and 13 dead end drive. I basically wanted to start a discussion about it, planning so e stuff out and getting ideas, before I tried it.

malignatius

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 06:01:20 PM »
I like it. Would it be a random plot/victim/murderer each game? Could be tricky, but pretty cool.
One idea: You could skip health and instead just have limited time to solve the case.

Trystan

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 06:44:14 PM »
Neat. I'm a big fan of new victory conditions. What would the clues be?

Quendus

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 08:04:57 PM »
There was an attempt last year at a 7DRL based on Midsomer Murders. More recently, I've seen Murder at Masquerade Manor, which is a lot more fun but quite easy, and  Noir Syndrome (which I haven't played).

MidsomerRL and MAMM both work on small, standalone mysteries with few actors. One person is declared dead, and you interview everyone else to work out who's responsible. In MidsomerRL they tell you where they claim to have seen another character, and in MAMM they offer a wider variety of information - who they were with, where, who they saw carrying improvised weapons, and who had a motive.

In MAMM it's quite easy to figure the mystery out with a notepad, because only the murderer lies. You can find the murder weapon, but the dialogue gives enough evidence anyway. Apart from mis-identifying the killer, it provides a lose condition in allowing the killer to stab you in the back. This has some pretty weird interactions with the FPP game mechanics.

If you want the game to be a direct representation of a fictional detective's role, rather than a more abstract representation like in Cluedo, I think the main way to improve on systems like MidsomerRL and MAMM will be to have more reasons for characters to lie and ways fr evidence to contradict statements. That way a single interview per character won't be enough to tell the player what happened - only who needs to be interviewed more thoroughly. This might make it more difficult to guarantee the mystery can be solved by perfect play, but not all roguelikes are winnable every time, right? 8)

Noir Syndrome seems to be an open-world game, so I don't know how much inspiration it can contribute to design of small-scale procedural mysteries. There's another game I'm aware but can't remember the name of - it doesn't procedurally generate, but chooses one of 8 or so mysteries at random. You don't know which one until you solve it. It might have been an Infocom game?

chooseusername

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 08:54:55 PM »
So I was thinking about this for a small RL. It probably falls in between roguelike and boardgame with random elements, but basically a murder has happened at an upscale mansion and the player must find the killer. I am thinking about similar board games that use these mechanics as I don't think many video games have. I am thinking like clue and 13 dead end drive. I basically wanted to start a discussion about it, planning so e stuff out and getting ideas, before I tried it.
There's a game like this from 1991, as much a roguelike as anything else is these days, called Murder.  You should be able to download it from abandonware sites.  It's hard to play because we expect more from games in terms of usability these days.  But it's still pretty fun.

A modern take on this concept done well, would be great. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 08:58:59 PM by chooseusername »

george

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 10:11:42 PM »
There's a text adventure from 2007, An Act of Murder, that does this,

http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=x43lndv5htzy38w0

mushroom patch

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 04:54:46 AM »
Hm, interesting. Perhaps the player could move from room to room in this mansion getting glimpses of cards containing choice pieces of information about the murder, e.g. who committed it, in what room, and with what weapon. When enough information is collected, the player risk it all by hazarding a guess at whodunnit, where they dunnit and with what. If the player turns out to be wrong, then the owner of the mansion and the murderer kill the player and eat his ribs. Otherwise, he wins!

jasonpickering

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Re: RL idea: Murder RL
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 01:59:49 PM »
I don't know if I could do random plot. I was thinking of doing it similar to clue, but perhaps I could do a bunch of different scenarios (Murder on boat, Murder at country Club), also if the characters had different personalities, I could make a bunch of personalities and only use like 5-6 people.  I could also use a tile system and build a random mansion. Placing rooms around.

I would probably have to have some sort of plot and lying system. where players say who they were with. I could also have all the characters moving around the house and perhaps the murderer is not done yet. so if a murderer is in the room with someone and no one is around the murder could take out another person.

I could also maybe do a type of witness/guess who system. The killer was tall. The killer had a hat on. that kind of stuff.

I think probably the best approach, would be to "Sim" a murder sequence. Put 6 people in the house, One wants to kill the other one, they find a weapon in the building and do the deed. then each character can have a timeline where they remember what room they were in each hour and with what person. The game can have a time limit so asking questions would cost time and get you closer to end game, the goal being to solve the murder as fast as possible.

Once this basic premise is up and running a few other wrenches can be added in. two characters lie about where they were cause they were in a broom closet together, One character is drunk, or is he?, and gives unreliable card info. just stuff like that to always make it different, and like any good giant house, it would need secret passages.