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Subject: Noir: Killer vs Inspector released rss

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Scrumpy Jack
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D Brad Talton Jr. (level 99 games) has released this ipad-only iOS board game, featuring artwork by Fábio Fontes, and a music score by Kevin MacLeod. It seems as though it has been created for tablet devices so it doesn't have a print equivalent that i could find on BGG. It's a card game, with a 1950's film noir theme, where "Two players take on the role of Killer and Inspector, each attempting to unmask the other before being unmasked".

Currently priced at 59p/99c




http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/noir-killer-vs-inspector/id44...

I'm posting it here, on the same grounds for which Alien Menace or Dungeon Solitaire got posted here. You know what i mean.
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Brad Talton
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Thanks for the post!

We're currently talking to different publishers about picking up the physical card game version, so it'll happen eventually, I'm sure

EDIT: 7/9/2011 - The app is now universal for iPhone as well as iPad.
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:
Thanks for the post!


you're welcome. there are some interesting points made in the two reviews on itunes (so far). are there any plans to address the issues found, or add the features requested?
 
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Brad Talton
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In the physical card game, which we based the app on, exonerate is not as prominent (holding 20 cards in your hand is cumbersome and less exciting, so no playtesters really wanted to do it), but in the app, it's much easier to hit the exonerate button over and over and use the easy overlay view to see who's guilty or not. The problem didn't become apparent until the app was already in review, but we are planning an update for next week that will fix the problem.

We're currently testing a few different game types to see which solves the problem best--
A) Inspector starts with 5 exonerated suspects, and exonerate only gives you one suspect when used.
B) After 10 suspects are exonerated, exonerate only gives you one suspect.
C) Killer wins at 16 kills instead of 20.

A Cancel button is something we would definitely like to have in the next version. Side to Side multiplayer is possible as well, and wouldn't be too hard to put into place.

As far as AI and online multiplayer, I'm not certain that these are features that will go into the game ever. This is a game about looking your opponent in the eye and shaking him down for clues. Table Talk and bluffing are big parts of it, and those are both completely lost on an AI or blind online opponent.

I feel like this forced online play was what caused iDixit to fail. A simple round-robin local multiplayer from one device would have made it amazing. Not to say it will never happen, but I'm not convinced that it needs to play online just because most other games do.

Thanks for the interest, and I hope to show off the updated version to you soon
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Stephen D
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Well I don't go to too many Jazz clubs, but I can see how this game could be fun! You absolutely must put up screenshots on the app store though. It's a 100% necessity.

Do that. Now.

On a side note, am I understanding this correctly- you designed a game, made it into a video game, and are now looking to turn it into an actual print game?

Congrats on that! This is exactly what we are doing with RoboArena as well. I think it's such a sweet idea to make a board game after the video game instead of the other way around!
 
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Craig Johnson
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Hi,

This Exonerate news is great (I wrote the review on itunes about that bit) maybe they could all go in as different game options...

Myself and my teenage son played another dozen times tonight, trying to work a way around it from the Killer's point of view, which seems to be to hold tight in a corner and kill everyone who comes into view. Shifting suspects around to eliminate rows helps, but the Inspector has to avoid using Investigate so as not to give a clue to his identity when the suspects get rearranged by doing this. This means of course that the Killer tends to win by blind luck, reducing the target to 16 kills forces the Inspector's hand a little, but I'd like Shift to actually be Double Shift - either the same row or column twice, or two different rows or columns.

After these extra plays, we're not that worried any more about playing against AI, it's fast enough and has more than enough of the "just one more go" factor to not need it.

Cheers
Craig
 
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Brad Talton
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BravadoWaffle wrote:
Well I don't go to too many Jazz clubs, but I can see how this game could be fun! You absolutely must put up screenshots on the app store though. It's a 100% necessity.

Do that. Now.

On a side note, am I understanding this correctly- you designed a game, made it into a video game, and are now looking to turn it into an actual print game?

Congrats on that! This is exactly what we are doing with RoboArena as well. I think it's such a sweet idea to make a board game after the video game instead of the other way around!


iTunes Connect says the screenshots are there and uploaded, but I can't seem to see them either. I wonder if it just takes a day or two since the game came out so recently, as I've noticed the problem with some other apps I've produced, and it has gone away eventually.

As you surmised, the prototype card game came first, then the video game, and hopefully an actual produced card game, much like you guys. It's a great way to spread the word and pave the way for a real physical version, plus the producer makes more and the buyer pays less. There's virtually no downside

CraigRJ wrote:
Hi,

This Exonerate news is great (I wrote the review on itunes about that bit) maybe they could all go in as different game options...

Myself and my teenage son played another dozen times tonight, trying to work a way around it from the Killer's point of view, which seems to be to hold tight in a corner and kill everyone who comes into view. Shifting suspects around to eliminate rows helps, but the Inspector has to avoid using Investigate so as not to give a clue to his identity when the suspects get rearranged by doing this. This means of course that the Killer tends to win by blind luck, reducing the target to 16 kills forces the Inspector's hand a little, but I'd like Shift to actually be Double Shift - either the same row or column twice, or two different rows or columns.

After these extra plays, we're not that worried any more about playing against AI, it's fast enough and has more than enough of the "just one more go" factor to not need it.

Cheers
Craig


It warms my heart to hear that you're enjoying it and exploring the strategies of it with your son

A lot of the tactics of the game are 'off the table'. Try announcing your identity (or lying about it), or watching your opponents' eyes when he does a shift or a kill/investigate. Does your opponent look worried when you make a kill, or does he seem relieved? Do his eyes shift when you announce "You're Clive!"? Playing the opponent is what the game is really all about. The Killer's role relies much more on that kind of play than the Inspector (due to Exonerate), but both players can use it to their advantage.

I'll see what I can do about putting in the different options for the Inspector (and maybe a few extras for the Killer, too, like the Double Shift) in the next update.

Thanks to both of you guys for spreading the word and taking an interest ^_^
 
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:


As far as AI and online multiplayer, I'm not certain that these are features that will go into the game ever. This is a game about looking your opponent in the eye and shaking him down for clues. Table Talk and bluffing are big parts of it, and those are both completely lost on an AI or blind online opponent.


Allow me to disagree. I am away from home all week, and I play many online games with Facetime on the laptop and ipad in hand. There is plenty of interaction, as if she was in the room *sigh*, but we can't play Noir as it doesn't have online multiplayer. I'm sure as video chat becomes more and more widespread, people will be doing this sort of thing more often.

Please give us online multiplayer, and let folks decide whether it works for them or not. Pretty please.
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Matt Sharwarko
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Kyokai wrote:
Table Talk and bluffing are big parts of it,


My friend and I played this game today. We were both silent and viewed it more as a 2 player logic puzzle. We enjoyed it thoroughly and will play some more. I can see that if you view the game more as a role to play that table talk and bluffing would be big parts though.
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Brad Talton
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SJack wrote:

Please give us online multiplayer, and let folks decide whether it works for them or not. Pretty please.


Ok, ok... I'll see what the options are for including this in the next update I'm told it's pretty easy with GameCenter, so I'll give it a try.

Zinger17011 wrote:
My friend and I played this game today.


I'm glad to hear that you and your friend enjoyed it! I hope you'll leave a review for us if you get the chance.
 
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:
SJack wrote:

Please give us online multiplayer, and let folks decide whether it works for them or not. Pretty please.


Ok, ok... I'll see what the options are for including this in the next update I'm told it's pretty easy with GameCenter, so I'll give it a try.

Brad, this is great news. Thank you very much for taking a user request into consideration.
 
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Brad Talton
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SJack wrote:
Kyokai wrote:
SJack wrote:

Please give us online multiplayer, and let folks decide whether it works for them or not. Pretty please.


Ok, ok... I'll see what the options are for including this in the next update I'm told it's pretty easy with GameCenter, so I'll give it a try.

Brad, this is great news. Thank you very much for taking a user request into consideration.

Sure thing.

I always say, "I just make the games--it's the gamers who decide how they ought to be played." ^_^


On a different note, the absence of app screenshots is an itunes bug that is affecting iPad-only apps. We hope that apple will resolve it in the next few days. Until then, you can still see the screens here on the official page: http://www.lvl99games.com/?page_id=1038
 
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Ryan Full
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Just snagged the game this evening since it was only a dollar and it seemed like you were open to user feedback about multiplayer.

Looking forward to giving it a shot!
 
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Brad Talton
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The first update has gone to apple, so it should be a few days before it's available. This one fixes exonerate, and also makes the app universal (so it can be played on the phone as well). Multiplayer wasn't finished just yet, so I'll be completing that step in the next update (hopefully within 2-3 weeks).

Thanks again to everyone for trying the game out, and please send me your suggestions for the iPhone version!

Also, we now have a BGG entry for the card game, whenever it does come out: NOIR: Deductive Mystery Game
 
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:
Multiplayer wasn't finished just yet, so I'll be completing that step in the next update (hopefully within 2-3 weeks).




can you give us more detail around what type of multiplayer you'll be adding Brad? online or local wifi/bluetooth?
 
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Brad Talton
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What I'm working on implementing is the GameCenter standard--basic player matching over the internet and turn based play. Is there a reason that I should investigate local wifi and bluetooth as well? From what I understand, internet play would cover all these situations as well, but I'm pretty new to multiplayer implementations, as you might have noticed
 
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:
What I'm working on implementing is the GameCenter standard--basic player matching over the internet and turn based play. Is there a reason that I should investigate local wifi and bluetooth as well? From what I understand, internet play would cover all these situations as well, but I'm pretty new to multiplayer implementations, as you might have noticed


The only reason to implement local wifi/bluetoth multiplay is if there is no internet connection available for Gamecenter (caravaning holidays on the moon). But i think online Gamecenter support will satisfy a larger demographic. Implementing both can't hurt.
One thing that makes me go back to a game is a little counter somewhere (outside of Gamecenter) that tells me how many games I've won or lost.
Will you be adding leaderboard support to gamecenter. Will you have time to implement a cancel button? (I like the idea of the action-dossiers just grow a bit and maybe get a highlight-border, and tap again to confirm)
 
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Brad Talton
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In order to get it done faster, I think it would be best to just stick with gamecenter for now. Besides, if you're close enough to use local wifi, there's the option of just sharing one device as well.

I'll think about a leaderboard--I'm mainly wondering how much a measure of skill this will be versus how much a measure of how many games one has played. A few achievements would be nice, but we'll see whether it really makes sense to include them in such a small-scale game.

As for the cancel button, it's implemented in the upcoming version. It will cancel shift and kill actions. The one-button actions (disguise and exonerate) won't be cancel-able in that version, however.
 
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Brad Talton
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@CaptainCosmic

I can understand that sentiment. Unfortunately, I'm not certain that the time it takes to implement an AI would pay off in terms of sales. But I'm hoping that the iPhone sales of the product will be strong enough to make upgrades like an AI worth the time it takes to implement them. Unfortunately, iPad sales alone haven't justified that investment just yet.

Of course, if you're in the same room as someone, I'd encourage you to play a physical game as well. That's one reason that I'm working to produce a physical version of the card game sometime late this year or early next year. Playing with the cards on a table is really a much different experience than the iPad, even for such a simple game as this.
 
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Brad Talton
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Just a quick update: The app is now updated to version 1.1, which provides iPhone support, adds a cancel button, and implements a fix for Exonerate. I hope to have multiplayer installed in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for that.
 
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Scrumpy Jack
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Kyokai wrote:
Just a quick update: The app is now updated to version 1.1, which provides iPhone support, adds a cancel button, and implements a fix for Exonerate. I hope to have multiplayer installed in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for that.


Cool.
Will you be implementing the same cancel feature for disguise and exonerate?

Exonerate selects suspects that have been killed, whose innocence i would have thought obvious. Is there a reason for that? I'm not convinced with the inspector starting with 5 exonerates if the exonerate only chooses a random living character then the odds are evened out as play goes on. perhaps i'm missing something.

Also, when face to face, one of the players sees the cards upside down. I'd love to see them rotate to face the player who's turn it is in local two player mode.
 
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Brad Talton
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SJack wrote:

Cool.
Will you be implementing the same cancel feature for disguise and exonerate?


If I do, it will be low-priority. I think multiplayer is something that's in higher demand than canceling these menu options.

SJack wrote:

Exonerate selects suspects that have been killed, whose innocence i would have thought obvious. Is there a reason for that? I'm not convinced with the inspector starting with 5 exonerates if the exonerate only chooses a random living character then the odds are evened out as play goes on. perhaps i'm missing something.

It happens because the app is an exact model of the physical card game. In the physical version, there are 25 suspects on the board, and a deck of 25. Exonerate draws 1 from that deck, and so the potential to exonerate a dead suspect exists in the real card game. Much the same way that Disguise can potentially draw a dead card too.


SJack wrote:

Also, when face to face, one of the players sees the cards upside down. I'd love to see them rotate to face the player who's turn it is in local two player mode.

I actually implemented this early on, but found it gave me a headache to see the cards spin around every turn. Perhaps I'll try it again if/when we put in an options menu and give people the ability to turn it off.
 
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Sean Reeder
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First time poster on BGG. Saw this game advertised on here and my wife and I were looking for a fun 2 player game with minimal setup. I figured for a dollar I couldn't go wrong even if it wasn't well received by us. Votes are in though and we love the game. However, we had one quirk that came up a couple of times.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/98/noirq.png/

In this instance, which came up a few times (I started a game and just put the characters quickly into this position so I could show you what I meant), the inspector was buffered by many exonerated people. While it can easily change with the shifts, we found that rarely happened because the killer isn't aware of who is exonerated. What we found was, when surrounded by exonerated characters, the inspector would still just use exonerate over and over until they knew exactly who the killer was but doing so didn't tip their hand at all as to who they were. I know you did some work to fix this problem in one update but I still think it's a bit over powered. I agree that I think exonerate would be used less often in the real card game because of the sheer number of cards one would have to hold. But in this iPad version, it just makes it too convenient to sit and exonerate over and over. I don't know what balance type thing could be done to fix it because I'm just a game player and not a game designer. But I can't help but think limiting the number of exonerates the inspector gets might help. Or say give them the free five exonerates to start with, then give them 5 more exonerates + 2 more exonerates each time the killer uses disguise? I don't know. But we found in our games that we played (only about 20) that the inspector (once we found out you could just 'hide' and use exonerate won at least 80% of the time. We constantly switched roles, too, so it wasn't a matter of just one of us being better at deduction than the other.

Also, in the above post, you said that in the card version, the killer can disguise as somebody that's already dead. We didn't see that happen in the iOS version. Is it not programmed to be possible in this version or in the card game if you disguise and draw a character that's already dead do you draw again until you get to a person who is still alive?

Also, we very much would like for the cards to orient correctly for the inspector. It's not essential to gameplay or anything but we did find it slightly annoying. At least the option to change it would be nice like you mentioned earlier.
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Brad Talton
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I can see what you mean. While it would be a difficult situation to set up (the Killer would probably realize what you were doing with the number of shifts it would take), it would potentially be hard to break if it happened naturally.

In the next update of the game, I want to have a 'pre-game options' menu. One of the options will force players not to select the same action twice in a row, so this will potentially break up exonerate spamming (or disguise spamming). Another of the options will be the screen rotation option that so many players have asked for.

When the Killer hits the disguise button, he randomly chooses a suspect who has not been exonerated yet--potentially a dead one. In this case, a little message 'You drew a dead card' appears on his side of the screen.

I hope that answers all of your questions. It's great to hear that you and your wife are enjoying the game, and thanks for the post. Please let me know if any other suggestions come to mind.
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