When I research our project’s client, Roblox, I found this game that is so simple and actually a “thrilling story machine”.
There are always some thriller games come out after a while. Successful thriller games usually backed by strong narratives, and tell the story by switching between interaction and cutscenes, also known as the “string of pearls” method. Mysterious Murder, however, combining thriller game with multiplayer, which is quite a brilliant idea.
The rule is very simple:
- When a game starts, all players respawn in a same map.
- There will be one killer and one sheriff in the players. Others are innocents.
- When killer and sheriff don’t equip their weapon, they look like other innocents.
- Killer must kill everyone to win the game.
- Killer loses if killed by sheriff or not kill everyone within time limit.
- If Killer loses, all survived players win.
- If a sheriff shoot an innocent, both sheriff and the innocent die.
Each game I feel like experience in a 3 minutes murder case. Here are some notes about what make this game unique and quite addictive.
I’ve seen some live game and board game using similar this kind of asymmetric design. Some of them are good, but when I play those, I always feel like playing a “themed card game”. Integrating this idea into a realtime first-person interface totally change the players’ experience. You can hear the footstep, the sound of someone being stab, or see a friendly face suddenly pull out a knife in front of you. The game use minimal design and create the horror atmosphere very well.
Having just seen Scott McCloud’s comic about characters, I can understand now why some games can still appeal a lot of people even the graphic quality is like twenty years ago. In this game, I don’t think they do this intentionally, but abstract character – with permanent happy face – actually works pretty well. For someone who read detective novel or thrilling movie, we no longer see the blocky characters but project ourselves into the world.
That’s also why I can’t immerse myself very much in Left 4 Dead. I can’t “extend identity” to a character that looks realistic and already have a clear personality.
Dramatics moment in every round
A well-designed multiplayer game always takes interest curve into account. This game also have a good interest curve during the 3 minutes gameplay. Player have to stay cautious to every other player, and as more dead body appears, the interest curve goes up. After the killer reveal himself, there is another peak in the interest curve. The killer may start hunting down the remaining players, or he can act as an innocent to trick others.
Actions above the Necks:
“Improv-online-typing acting” is part of the game. You sometime have to convince other when one is suspecting you. When you’re killer, you may blame someone who is just close to a dead body, causing chaos among players.
In this game, everyone changes their code name after each round, and they don’t know each other’s account name in the game. This is very important because acting is part of the game, and anonymousness prevent players to think outside the game.