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Subject: Elements for a Whodunit Game rss

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Tom Scutt
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Hello,
I'm designing a whodunit card game. Unusually, I'm pretty much 100% sure of the components even though the design is far from finished. I need 7 different 'elements' for the whodunit. The first three are obvious and are used in Cluedo and pretty much every other deduction game:

Who? (Suspect)
Where?
Weapon?

I've added:

Why? (Motive)
When?

(I later realised after doing some research on other Murder/Mystery games that Mystery Express had also used these)

The last two I've go at the moment seem a bit weak, and even worse one of them doesn't start with "W"!

Witness?
Evidence? (DNA, fibre, fingerprint, etc.)

Any suggestions for replacements (or how I can improve these) would be most appreciated!

I really do need 7 elements - each of these will have 7 examples, and need to be represented visually

Another question: the cards will represent multiple elements on the same card...would it be better to have them composited into a 'scene' (like from CCTV footage) or as evidence/exhibits (photos, weapons, etc.) on a crime desk

Thanks for your help,
Tom

P.S. I'd have spelled it 'whodunnit', but the internet said no!
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Kevin B. Smith
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I assume it won't help you, but:
"Who" could be more than one person (co-conspirators).
"Where" could possibly be 2 locations: Where was the body found, vs. where was the killing performed.
"Weapon" could be both "cause of death" (e.g. poisoning) and "instrument of death" (anthrax).

"Witness" and "Evidence" definitely seem like fish out of water in that list. Neither of them are about the murder itself. But maybe that's ok. You might be able to split these further...eyewitness vs. camera, direct evidence vs. circumstantial.

Thematically, Clue(do) was always strange because you had a body, yet weren't sure if he died from a bullet, a rope, or being beat with a pipe. What kind of detective are you, anyway????

Perhaps it would be easier for us to brainstorm ways for your "7" requirement to work with just 5.
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Tom Scutt
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Hmmm...don't really want to give the central game mechanic yet

Unfortunately it means that the number of cards needs to be X squared where X is the number of elements (and also the number of examples of each element), and I think 25 cards would be too few.

I agree that the cause of death thing in Clue(do) is weird

Thanks for the ideas about splitting Witness and Evidence
 
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Sam Mercer
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Love your idea Tom!

I am very interested to see how your 7-fold mechanic will work too! I'm sure it's awesome.

I actually don;t think evidence and witnesses is week at all. I in fact think it is a very welcome divergence from the same old tired "crime" illiterations. And also, they probably won't be all W's


Just did a bit of word scraping from wikipedia for you,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offender_profiling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signature_crime

MO, modus operandi (methods employed by the perpetrators)
Signature (exhibits characteristics idiosyncratic to specific criminals)
victimology (the relationships between victims and offenders)

Antecedent: What fantasy or plan, or both, did the murderer have in place before the act? What triggered the murderer to act some days and not others?

Method and manner: What type of victim or victims did the murderer select? What was the method and manner of murder: shooting, stabbing, strangulation or something else?

Body disposal: Did the murder and body disposal take place all at one scene, or multiple scenes?

Post-offense behavior: Is the murderer trying to inject himself into the investigation by reacting to media reports or contacting investigators?

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Fancy Ned
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I really like Cogentesque's suggestions (yes, all of them). since you're saying that you need 7 elements though, I'm guessing you won't be able to include each of these. maybe instead you could combine them to create some sort of overarching psychological/physical profile.
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Tom Scutt
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Thanks for your suggestions, Cogentesque...some really good ideas and useful wiki links there. I need the elements/examples to be easily conveyed in a picture, which does narrow things down a bit...

As for the W's... it's just one of those things that having found a W word for the first 6 elements, it annoys me that I can't find a W word for the last one!
 
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Fancy Ned
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easy. Wevidence (the W is silent).
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Sam Mercer
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lolol - wevidence is the future!
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Fancy Ned
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hey, thanks for the geek gold! I don't really know what to do with it at this point though. still feeling this place out, haha!
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Rich Uncle Pennybags
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I'm using "mode of getaway" and "hideout destination" in mine.
 
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Robert Wesley
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How about using a 'writ' & 'warrant' regarding 'evidence'? Even toward some ONE then! surprise
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Sam Mercer
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guitfnky wrote:
hey, thanks for the geek gold! I don't really know what to do with it at this point though. still feeling this place out, haha!


No problem
If you save up like 30 (!?!?!) you can get an avatar and then every further 8 more (!?!?!) you can get a little badge for your profile. I think it's rediculously too high tbh - and I use mine in "tipping" other cool people

I love the "Warrant" and the "Writ" idea for W's by the way, go with that if you can somehow.
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Peter Chilton
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Instead of the term Evidence, how about What? - as in What proof is there?
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Sam Mercer
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Great idea: "What Proof: Evidence?" kind of thing.

I havent heard much from you Tom about this, you still on it yeah?
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Tom Scutt
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It has, but it's slipped down my To Do list a bit.
I have two problems:
I have the typical designer's paranoia of trying to decide when to go public with an idea
The nature of the game is such that the prototypes have to be pretty good artwise...I can't do a quick and dirty clipart version, and there's 50+ cards

I think what I should do is banish my paranoia, mock up a couple of prototype cards (there's two different ways the cards could be laid out), and see what people think...
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Sam Mercer
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hell yes you should, I read a thing a while back basically saying that "hiding games" is no good. The only time you would do so is if you were worried someone stealing your idea - and the fact that people who have fully produced, perfectly illustrated, excellent games get rejected from publishers all the time is testament that in all honesty, 'aint no one gonna steal your game...

Slap a card up, lets us get all excited and help you out if we can!
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John "Omega" Williams
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A game being rejected is not testament at all. A couple of the big game companies have a clause in the submission form stating that you agree that the company may allready be working on a game just like, or very simmilar to your own.

From personal experience I've had one element of one of my games passed around to various companies and ending up in some game they put out. One or two might be co-incidence. But two others likely arent as they didnt even change the title. In another instance I had a company lift several elements from one of my games. Lastly I was showing a WIP for a licened game to a fellow game designer and a year later discover they yanked the license out from under me.

So yeah, it can happen. But usually its bits and pieces rather than a whole game. (Least in my experience. Others, not so fortunate.)

But it is futile trying to hide your game. Even once its out theres no guarantee someone wont try some stunt. So go forward and let people know what you are working on and the rules.

This can actually help you as people will then be more likely to spot attempts at design theft and alert you. And it becomes obvious who had the game out first. If you hide your game and someone somehow steals it and publishes it first. You can end up looking rather suspicious instead of the thief.

Just my observarions from many years of dealing with various companies.

Cogentesque wrote:
hell yes you should, I read a thing a while back basically saying that "hiding games" is no good. The only time you would do so is if you were worried someone stealing your idea - and the fact that people who have fully produced, perfectly illustrated, excellent games get rejected from publishers all the time is testament that in all honesty, 'aint no one gonna steal your game...

Slap a card up, lets us get all excited and help you out if we can!
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Sam Mercer
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Great first hand knowledge John - thanks for your wise words.

Ok So with that in mind, Tom, slap down the cards and tell EVERYONE , but don't submit it to any publishers or show a licensed game to a game designer k?
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Herc du Preez
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Cogentesque wrote:
Great first hand knowledge John - thanks for your wise words.

Ok So with that in mind, Tom, slap down the cards and tell EVERYONE , but don't submit it to any publishers or show a licensed game to a game designer k?


But most people on these boards are game designers... uh oh
 
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Tommy Garza
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I don't mean to threadjack here, but in reference to keeping your game hidden or not. The best to do would be to just get it out there for all to assist and advise? Is that what I am understanding here. Not saying that as a bad thing, just wanting to make sure I understand.
 
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