A crime scene can tell a thousand stories. What's yours? Murder Mystery Machine is a provocative detective game powered by a procedural crime generator that can shock, surprise and challenge your ability to analyse the scene and put the pieces together; coming soon to Steam (PC).
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Coming Early 2019
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“By releasing onto Early Access, we hope to grow our community and get more people involved in its development. We are excited about the possibilities this project presents us with the potential for adding new murders, tiles, characters and themes as we progress. ”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We have a lot more in store, and plan to continue growing and updating the game well into 2019.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The game is designed to be infinitely expandable in the types of themes, crimes, rewards and player generated content, therefore we will be updating the game with more of this content throughout its Early Access lifespan. The exact details of many content updates will, in part, be determined by community feedback.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game has all the core systems that will be evolved and iterated upon during Early Access including the procedural crime generator, cold case files, detective grading, detective promotions and rewards.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The base price may be increased upon release from Early Access”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We will continually talk to our community about our design process and keep them informed of our decisions and improvements with regular updates. Feedback will be vital to our development roadmap and to deliver the highest quality experience. Please join the discussion on our forums.”
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Recent updates View all (5)

March 1

Devblog #4: The Gameplay of Murder Mystery Machine - Part 1

Overview

So far, we've talked about the inspiration behind MMM and how we set the tone for the art style. In this post, we'll delve deeper into the core gameplay by discussing the key mechanics and taking you through a crime scene example. The core aim of the gameplay is to work out the who (culprit), what (weapon) and why (motive) of each murder mystery given a crime scene full of evidence. The gameplay is supported by 3 key systems:

1. Victim Introduction
2. Crime Scene Exploration
3. Story Construction


The following sections discuss each aspect in more detail...

Victim Introduction

At the centre of each murder lies a victim and we pay special attention to them as part of a non-interactive sequence. MMM features several introductory sequences where we focus on the body and related evidence to prompt you to make guesses about what happened to them. In one introductory sequence, we zoom the camera slowly out from the body to reveal more and more surrounding details. In another sequence, we present the player with a fast series of snapshots - each focused on a particular item or person - to create a sense of urgency.





This sequence aims to encourage you to start building a story in your head to provide a launch pad for your investigation. Why is the suspect acting so relaxed: are they innocent...or are they trying to hide something? Why are there so many stab marks on the victim: was this a crime of passion...or insanity? Why is the weapon next to the corpse: was it suicide...or was it made to look like one? You'll try to answer these questions and more as you gain control of your detective…

Crime Scene Investigation

Crime Scene Investigation forms one half of the interactive gameplay. We give players the opportunity to move their detective around the environment using a point-and-click style interface. Players are permitted to rotate the camera - to view the scene from different angles and uncover hidden objects/evidence - and zoom - to focus more clearly on an item of interest. The layout of the environment is significant and keeping an eye out for visual clues may help you to start figuring out what happened.



In order to start building a story, you need to extract evidence from the scene. MMM allows you to interact with objects and NPCs (both alive and dead) to see the core information associated with them. When inspecting inanimate objects - like weapons - you're presented with a sprinkling of keywords/phrases aka ‘evidence’:



From here, you can choose to collect 1 or more pieces of evidence to add to your 'workspace'. As we mentioned in our first blog post, MMM is focused on abstract storytelling so we focus on the core details only and let you fill in the gaps in-between. When interrogating live suspects, you ask them questions based on what you know about them and the crime scene so far:



The output is similar to object inspection except not everyone will be so trustworthy so you'll need to use your deduction abilities to seek out the truth. In some cases, you'll need to discover new story threads before a suspect will give you useful information. In other cases, you may be able to call a suspects bluff by confronting them with evidence which disproves one of their lies.

Story Construction

Story Construction is the second half of the interactive gameplay. Each time you collect evidence it is added to your detective workspace where you build your case. The workspace is comprised of a collection of nodes (aka evidence) and links (aka deductions). The aim is to connect evidence you think is related to tell us your story about what happened and in doing so you will unlock the ability to make a final accusation of (1) Whodunnit (2) With What and (3) Why.



We expect players to be making certain key deductions as part of their story - something we check for when it comes to grading them - but we also like to encourage players to tell their own story. To support the former, we automatically generate a pool of links based on the story solution. To support the latter, we permit the player to create links to/from as many nodes as they like and arrange the workspace as they see fit.





Every crime scene ends with an accusation. Once the player has made a link to each accusation node - who, what and why - we unlock the ACCUSE button and ask them to confirm their decision. Players have a limited number of guesses and are graded on the accuracy of their story so we aim to create a sense of anticipation as they work towards their final accusation.
Bringing it all Together

Our Lead Designer, Pete Low, has put together a short video (exposing the aforementioned mechanics) walking through an example case and discussing how he was able to reach a conclusion based on the information presented in the crime scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mLqxAEPWBc&t

Look out for future gameplay videos where we'll reveal new locations and stories and show how much deeper the crime scenes can go.

Stay Tuned...


Thank you for checking out our initial gameplay post. We've been playtesting the gameplay regularly and are using the results of feedback to ensure that (1) the game is easy to understand (2) the game challenges your deduction skills and (3) the game makes you feel like a detective.

Stay tuned for the 2nd post in this series: where we'll discuss the environment details and procedural generation in more detail. In the meantime, keep an eye on our official sites and channels for upcoming news:

Twitter, Instagram, Website!

Written by Clive Lawrence (on behalf of MMM team)
Senior Designer in Games at Blazing Griffin

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February 27

Developer Diary Ep 1 | Murder Mystery Machine

Hey folks,

We’re excited to share the first in a series of dev diaries!

In this video lead designer Pete Low discusses the core gameplay elements you’ll experience during your time with MMM.

You can watch the video below (yay!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mLqxAEPWBc
Let us know your thoughts/questions below and enjoy :steamhappy:



- Blazing Griffin Team


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About This Game

The Murder Mystery Machine (MMM) is a new kind of detective game full of shocking, surprising and challenging crimes crafted by our unique scene generator. What do you see? How many stories exist right there in that perfectly still moment? Go ahead, take a guess. Use your skills of observation and deduction to create a map of the crime as you see it. Help your detective solve increasingly difficult cases, get promotions to unlock restricted files and uncover personal stories along the way. Inspired by modern crime dramas and classic murder mystery authors MMM turns the spotlight on you and asks, “what do you think happened here?”

Key Features
  • The Murder Mystery Machine – a procedural-engine that generates countless crime scenes
  • Engaging Stories – each murder is pierced by a rich narrative of core details and red herrings
  • Stunning 3D Tiles – explore detailed dioramas packed with evidence
  • The Notepad – document your gut feeling, gather evidence and interrogate anxious suspects
  • The Board – build your case, make deductions and deliver your accusation: tell your story
  • Experiment – unlock modifiers and try generating cases of your own
  • Promotions – solve case files to level up-your detective and access new playlists/customisations

Footnote
MMM is expected to release in the first half of 2019. Due to the experimental nature of the game, we intend to build in stages with the help of the community: improving various gameplay and generation aspects as we proceed. We are excited about the possibilities this project presents us with and the potential for adding new murders, tiles, characters and themes as we progress. If you have any thoughts or feedback, please follow/wishlist our game or join us in the forums.

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Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Implied violence and some gore.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or newer
    • Processor: Intel i3 6100 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 600 or equivalent

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