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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsA tiny super-short mystery adventure (a love letter to C64 game “The Detective”)
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Author Topic: A tiny super-short mystery adventure (a love letter to C64 game “The Detective”)  (Read 577 times)
goshki
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« on: November 10, 2022, 06:54:26 AM »

Saving a spot for something I've been working on for quite some time (the work has started in July 2021 but only recently has it reached a state where it's somewhat showable).



As stated in the title of the post, the game is going to be a tiny, super-short mystery adventure drawing inspiration from a Commodore 64 game “The Detective”. The player takes the role of a Scotland Yard inspector invited to a British countryside mansion to solve the case of a mysterious fatal accident.

Or maybe it was not an accident at all? And did the butler have anything to do with it...?

Anyway, the game is being created in Unity and the visual style is a consequence of two factors: my deep affection for mixing low-poly 3D with pixel-art and the fact that I'm mostly a programmer, not a graphic artist. Gameplay-wise the game will be rather similar to “The Detective” – the player walks around the mansion and gathers clues by talking to characters, interacting with objects and collecting items. The time will flow in real-time (Durr...?) and there will also be a hard time limit (just like in C64 original). Control scheme is rather simple (movement, action, cancel) and will support both keyboard and gamepad (along with touch-screen controls, hint, hint  Well, hello there!).

Most of the story, characters, dialogues, objects, items and mansion layout is established and decided upon and currently I'm focusing on actual production using Aseprite for graphics and Blockbench for 3D modelling (do you know Blockbench? OMG it's so cool!). The work is going rather slowly (but steady!), so I expect this thread to be updated somewhat regularly, even if not too often.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 07:01:53 AM by goshki » Logged

mobilelast
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2022, 11:48:06 AM »

An interesting project. Images look very moody already.

Wasn’t “The Detective” at least somewhat procedural? Agatha Christie -style mysteries tend to be very logical, and it would be an interesting task to make a generator to create something like them.
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goshki
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2022, 01:39:44 AM »

Well it is/was procedural in the sense that in-game time flows in real time, the NPCs mind their own business and the events will happen when the time comes and their conditions are fulfilled (for example, player is not in the same room that the event is about to happen). Other than that everything was rather linear and predefined (i.e. who's the culprit, what are the clues, events, etc.).

But I remember various reviews of the game specifically mentioning that there is an apparent inspiration with “Clue”. So the whodunnit-generator idea is quite in place. Smiley

Yet, at this stage of the project, I still haven't decided as to how much similar will my game be to “The Detective” in this aspect – I mean, I'd love to have some kind of a closure where the player needs to provide an explanation of what has happened using gathered clues and evidence but currently I'm leaning towards a more adventure-like finale that happens on its own when the player gathers all required information.

This part is quite fluid at this moment. Smiley
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 01:57:23 AM by goshki » Logged

Alec S.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2022, 10:37:17 PM »

Ooh, this looks neat!  I love the visual style, and I'm always interested in detective/mystery solving games.
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goshki
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2022, 04:08:59 AM »

Thanks, glad you like it! Grin

Yes, detective/mystery solving games have this special kind of charm when compared to classic adventure games. Putting all the pieces of the story together can be much more enthralling, when done properly. But it's also much harder from development and storytelling perspective, which I've learned fairly quickly after starting this project. “The Detective”, being a fairly old 8-bit and seemingly simple game, seemed like a good candidate to serve as a base for a more modern mystery adventure. Only now I appreciate how much work actually went into this – the free roaming NPCs, the story flowing seemingly in real-time (not to mention typical adventure game features, like UI, inventory, object interaction and NPC dialogues). Quite a feat by Sam Manthorpe!
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