MM: CC 2019 Game Post Mortem

Hello people, who may or may not have played through Murder Mystery: Cold Case game, this is for you. Check out my thoughts on making the game in my post mortem!

What’s a post mortem for a game?

A post mortem in video game development is a reflection on how the project went. Currently, the game can be played right here on the blog (start is on the homepage). With every solo project, I strive to do something different, learn something new. For Murder Mystery: Cold Case, it was my first time trying to make a video game here on the blog.

A little background behind Murder Mystery: Cold Case game

Murder Mystery: Cold case is my first subscriber mailing list only content. I released it to the public in December to encourage y’all to subscribe to the mailing list. It is a solo project, meaning everything you play through was all made by me. It’s a murder mystery meant to be played on a computer with friends. Although ultimately, it is up to you how you want to play the game.

That being said, the actual gameplay is solving a series of puzzles to get the password to the next blog post. You have to go down the rabbit hole to reach the end. For those who haven’t played the game yet, I left out details about the puzzles as I don’t think it’s fair to spoil it all in my post mortem.

How does one gamify a blog?

I wanted to do something special for my subscriber mailing list (and encourage others to sign up for it) and I can make video games. So I just needed some way to make it exclusive to my subscriber mailing list.

Since I knew I could make password-protected blog posts where the user had to input the password to access the post, it would become the key mechanic for the murder mystery.

What I liked:

  • A wide variety of puzzles that cater to all kinds of players
  • A loveable main character
  • Unique methods of murder for each victim
  • The experience
  • Creating the materials and puzzles was awesome.
  • Creating the story to make sure that everything made sense.
  • Making a playlist of all the spook tunes I used to make the game to ‘get inspired’

What I will do better for the next one:

  • Wide variety of difficulty in the puzzles and not necessarily in order from easy to medium to hard
  • Including a player’s toolkit of sorts that would give you hints/resources to help y’all
  • Linking to the next post you had to go to instead of relying on players to find the next post they had to enter the password in.
  • I want to have voice acting/video in the future to make it more interactive

Sharing my brainstorm/Design docs (spoilers if you read them!)

Brainstorming victims/motives with comments of evidence

Final Thoughts on the game:

Honestly, this was such a good experience. I feel like I learned so much in terms of puzzle building and game development overall. I loved working on this project for ~4 months. It was difficult at times though too. I wanted to talk about it with friends but they wanted to play the game so they banned me from talking about it with them. I totally respect it but it’s times like this that I miss working in a team. Either way, I’ll probably keep making more games on the blog for my subscriber mailing list. Thank you for following my journey, I appreciate each and every single one of you who played my game and wanted to know a bit about behind the scenes. If you like this post mortem, check out my other post mortem for ‘What’s the Story?’ and I’ll see you in the next post!

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