I made a murder mystery in 2019. Here is a deep dive on the process, backstory, and more insider information.
What's a post mortem?
A post mortem in game development is a reflection on how the project went. Currently, the game can be played right here on the blog. 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.
Background behind Murder Mystery: Cold Case
Murder Mystery: Cold case was 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
What I will do better next time
Brainstorming victims/motives with comments of evidence
Photos stored in Victim 1's Folder
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. I'll see you in the next post!