Gameplay Mechanic a Month: Observation
Month 4 - April 2013
Solve a mystery by using your powers of observation. Read a story one line at a time and decide whether each line is worth remember or forgetting. Edit your memories to find different endings.
This mechanic uses a simple text adventure/interactive story setting to encourage players to notice what they are reading. Normal mystery novels are solved without the player having to do any work at all. Here, players must observe what they are reading and decide which lines are important and which ones are not.
Playable in the following game:
The Tree Mysteries Part One: Marie's Mr Right
You play as a young woman named Marie. You and your housemates had a dinner party last night and you can't seem to remember everything that happened. You have an enigmatic phone message about Mr Right and it seems that Mr Right might not be your boyfriend! Talk to your housemates to find out who Mr Right is and listen to their opinions about your love life. Choose whether or not to listen to your friends, follow your heart, follow your mind or a little of everything.
For this implementation, the story was written in a spreadsheet and can be switched out for another story completely. That is, the code is entirely independent on the story being told. The syntax requires the spreadsheet to specify the conditions for which each passage of text is valid based on what the player has "remembered" and which passages have already been seen by the player. This means that if desired, the code framework can be used to create an entirely different game about different people and different mysteries.
Each line of the story is presented one at a time. Players choose to "remember" or "forget" each line.
If you miss a clue you need to re-read the last passage to find out what you missed.
There is a Unity web player version of the implemented game.
Other Comments and Considerations: