Both Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion and Murder by Rote were in the house at COSI this weekend, at the Ohio Game Developer Expo. Loads of game makers were there, as well as gamers in the 1s, 10s and 100s. (NOTE: Binary was not used in the composition of that sentence.) Only a couple of other tabletop games were on display, with the preponderance of the rest being action-oriented digital games. It came as no surprise that our fantastic art, both in our board game display and our mobile point-and-click murder mystery display, drew people in from across the room. Although we’re not as far along with our digital offerings as many of the others present, it’s nice to have our content as such a major point of differentiation.
We received many compliments on the look and style of Jon Anderson’s wonderful drawings, and also on the depth of our development work. It seems real mystery and puzzle fans have long been disappointed by the limited quality offerings on the market for their chosen divertissement. Hidden object games are often the closest thing people can find and, while they’re fine and can be fun for their own sake, they don’t scratch the itch the way a real Agatha Christie whodunit or a Mary Roberts Rinehart guilty butler tale does. The careful piecing together of clues gathered through keen observation and intellectual analysis by the amateur sleuth (sometimes personified in a book or game by a professional detective, providing the reader/player an in situ avatar of sorts) is core to the enduring demand for this genre, often termed “cozy” mysteries.
In addition to talking with fans new and old, we spoke with a number of coders who expressed interest in working with us on our series of mobile/online murder mystery games. This is great timing, since we’ve progressed nearly as far as we can with our design efforts until we solidify some more of the technical details of creating these. We had a new suggestion from one fellow who thinks we should consider building in HTML5. No decision yet, of course, but it’s in the hopper with Unity for now. More on this soon.
We also received numerous requests for opportunities to playtest Estate of Confusion, so keep an eye out for more of these to be announced!