Beta tester for murder mystery game

Hi, I’ve written a murder mystery story that you explore by choosing leads to follow and trying to piece together what happened (in the style of the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective/Detective Modern Crime board games).

Anyone interested in trying it and giving feedback, I’d be very grateful. The main thing I want feedback on: difficulty. Is it too hard? Does the solution seem reasonable/gettable? Also grateful for general feedback/thoughts/impressions.

(game updated in response to feedback below)

This immediately caught my interest. I went to the page and launched it for a bit, but it doesn’t appear there’s any way to scroll down the text and see what the rest of it is. At some point, it just cuts off, even when I collapse the sidebar.

The scroll bar in the first image only lets me scroll down the sidebar. It could be I’m totally missing something, but it may still be something to check out, as it’s probably going to be very difficult to play when you can’t see the important information after a certain point.

Anyway, this looks interesting so far, and right up my alley, as I’m working on a murder mystery IF myself. I’ll try playing further and let you know what I think!


Oh, oops. I forgot to enable the scrollbars. Sorry about that. Have updated. Hopefully it works now if you load it fresh?

Much better!

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Anyway, this looks interesting so far, and right up my alley, as I’m working on a murder mystery IF myself. I’ll try playing further and let you know what I think!

Many thanks, I’ll be very happy to return the favour as a tester when your game is ready!

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After talking with Jason’s parents, there’s this bit:

I’m a little confused by this, as the game seems to be indicating that she’s someone that could be important to talk to, but no new leads show up when this happens, and there’s no Continue button or anything. The whole thing kind of just ends there, and you have to move on with other leads. I’m wondering if she is not important or if there’s something missing?

Hmm, yes, there should be a new lead there: “Talk to the old neighbour” - unless you navigated back to the passage via “Old leads”?

I’ve just remembered about a bug that I ought to have mentioned (sorry!) and I wonder if you tripped up on it… Whenever there’s a “Continue” in a lead make sure you click it before following any new leads. If you navigate back there later via “Old leads” you won’t get the new leads to follow…

From the old neighbour you don’t get any new leads, but you get the following passage:

The old neighbour opens her front door to you, eyes wide with anticipation.

‘Good day ma’am. We wondered if you might be able to help us in an investigation we’re carrying out.’

‘Is it about the family next door? The boy? Is he in trouble?’

The old woman is alive with curiosity. Juicy gossip is her currency; you can see you’re going to have to spend some to gain some. You nod. ‘Yes, I’m afraid we’re investigating the death of Jason Black.’

She gasps and makes the sign of the cross on her chest. ‘Why, I saw him here only yesterday. He came to visit his parents.’

‘Could you tell us what you saw?’

‘Not much. He came in the early evening - about half five. Only stayed for about ten minutes or so. When he left he seemed to storm out, and he shouted back, it sounded like: “You’ve got one week!” . I don’t know what he could’ve meant by that. And that’s all I can tell you, I’m afraid. So sad, to hear about his death. I think he was a very troubled boy. So often when he came back and visited his parents, I would hear shouting and raised voices.’

‘Thanks for your help, ma’am.’

There’s a spelling error in the Golden Dragon passage:

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Oh, also, I forgot to respond to this, whoops! Tried going through it again and it did pop up that time.

I’ll keep this in mind.

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There’s a quotation mark missing here.

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And there’s a quotation mark here.

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Alright, just finished my first playthrough, and this mystery was very interesting. I think ultimately, it made sense. I was totally off on the solution, but in hindsight there are clues I totally missed and didn’t think about, like how Francois is just a nickname, which would make the phone call to the Golden Dragon suspect, or the fact that Arthur had a falling out with Rosa, which in retrospect I don’t understand why I missed it; that whole fiasco seems like it would’ve been a huge thing to look into! I think I may have just been on the wrong track and fell for the red herrings, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem–every good mystery has red herrings littered about.

Oh, and something I noticed about the story that confuses me a bit is that Chief Winters tells the player that the victim died in the early hours of the morning, but later on they’re told by Carlos that the drug use and his anaphylaxis occurred in the evening, so it seems like he would have died then. It’s possible that the whole fiasco could’ve started in the very very late hours of the night and he officially died like, midnight or something, but it would probably be a good idea to be a little more specific when Carlos talks about the time of the whole incident.

One problem I do have is how the solution is found. It felt very unsatisfying, to me at least. The solution is already there and all the player has to do is uncover it and find out whether they are wrong or right. It doesn’t really feel like I came to a conclusion and solved it (although granted, I didn’t solve it, haha); but more so that I have just been observing the interviews and the game is now telling me what happened.

I think one way to help it feel more satisfying is to have something along the lines of a multiple choice quiz, or perhaps one where the player types in their answer, though the latter might be more difficult to code. This way, the player can tell the game who they think did it, how they did it, and why. They’re telling the game what their personal thoughts on the case are, and the game will test it and respond with the real answers. The player has a little more active participation in getting to the truth.

Now ultimately, it’s your decision what to do about this, since it’s your game, and I understand there’s a certain style you’re trying to capture. After all, I’m just one playtester, and naturally I’ll have my own perspective on it. Having more family and friends playtest it if they haven’t already would be a good idea too, to get more perspectives and catch things that I might have missed.

Anyway, I think those are my general thoughts at the current moment. I’ll be doing more playthroughs so I can check out all of the leads, and so I might provide more feedback. In the end, I think it’s a nice game, but it could use some more player participation and agency. Best of luck!


Thanks a lot for the feedback/error flagging. Message me in the future when your game is ready and I’ll return the favour.

Hmm, I can see how the way I present the solution is quite anticlimactic - you don’t get the chance to answer all the questions yourself before the solution is revealed; is that what you mean?

Hmm, I also wonder if a prompt to the player as the time ticks down to start finalising their theories would be good as well - to stop it being the kind of passive experience you describe. (Now that I think about it, one of the board games I styled the game on does exactly that; now I see why)

Glad you found it interesting, and that it made reasonable sense. No one has cracked it so far! I’ll have to try it on a few more testers.

Thanks again :pray:


Thank you! It may not be ready for a while, but I’ll remember to let you know. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think so, yeah. If the player has more of a role in coming to the solution, they may feel like they have more agency and that they are that detective working out the case, even if the conclusion they come to turns out to be wrong. I wouldn’t know the best way to pull this off, but multiple-choice quizzes come to mind for me. For example, maybe the player might pick from a list of answers to the questions (and perhaps also pick some evidence to support their hypothesis, although that would probably require adding more variables and all that jazz), and then the game might provide arguments to those answers, reminding the player of certain details and evidence that could contradict their conclusion. After that, the game could reveal the real solution, and it might not feel as unsatisfying.

This is only one way I’ve thought about it. It’s your game, and I’m sure there are other, better ways to pull off that “detective working the case” feel while still staying consistent with your vision for how the game should work. It’d be best to consult future playtesters about the solution reveal, to see what they think could work better. This is just one thing of feedback. Best of luck!

Yeah, that might help too! Sounds like a good idea to me.


Hello! I played this and liked it. It’s a good story and well-written.

When the time expired, I’d got a few good leads, but I didn’t really know who had done the murder and why.

To be honest, I was surprised when the time ran out (despite the instructions). I was enjoying following all the leads and was going through them meticulously one by one. Ideally, I’d have liked the option to explore everything, even if I get a lower score (which is how it works in Consulting Detective).

I’m now on the final questionnaire and I don’t think there’s an option to play again? I’d like it if there was.

It was fun, thanks!


Thanks for the feedback Graham (and for your kind comments about PoV in the other thread - I’ll respond there soon) :pray:

That’s interesting. I might change it to offer the player the opportunity to keep playing when the time runs out. Then maybe deduct points for every extra lead the player goes to after that point - a la Sherlock.

By the way, have you played the new series of Consulting Detective, The Baker Street Irregulars? I really recommend it. The new writer/designer has added a simple state-tracking system (circle this letter once you find out a key piece of information which then unlocks extra text in subsequent passages) which really adds an extra dimension to the experience I find.


Oh, that’s really nice! I haven’t played.

I must admit, we completely ignore the scoring system when we play and just explore whatever we feel like exploring until we’ve solved the mystery.

I hadn’t actually realised you did Princess of Vestria too! I just saw “Murder Mystery” so I played this.

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