"Death at the Rectory" magical murder mystery: beta testing needed

all-ages-fiction
nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice
low-fantasy
#22

Yeah, I hope you don’t feel discouraged by mine, either! I was really excited to see this finally come to fruition.

I really, really think the core of this is fantastic.

2 Likes
#23

I’m not discouraged! These are excellent comments that are going to make it SO much better.

1 Like
#24

This was a lot of fun. I liked how you have to pay attention to what’s said and done, or else the characters will call you out on it (like saying you never met Aurelia before to the police) and you can possibly fail in finding out who the murderer is. I really liked the idea of the suspects all being writers, and how the house became its own character with all the detail you put into it. Out of everyone, I felt Bruce stood out the most.

However, I agree with the others that it felt rushed. I enjoyed the mystery, but I don’t think we’re told the killer’s motive, and the ending was very short – there was really no time to appreciate that we solved the mystery or see what the others thought afterward.

A few other things

Now you’re all caught up, and it’s almost as if you’re watching it happen in front of you.
I feel like the writing sections could be more interesting if we, the players, get that same sense of it happening right in front of us if by having us choose plot points/dialogue/etc. as the MC writes. Right now the writing section just tells us we’re writing, and the ending only gave the word count, making the whole aspect of writing more disconnected and unimportant to the player and story overall, especially compared to the other choices where we learn more and interact with the others.

“May our problems be minor, and always resolved within twenty-two minutes.” “Cheers to that,” says Max.
Needs a space between the two paragraphs.

“Don’t you dare. We’re over.”
This was the only choice when interacting with Max after the murder. Was it meant to be the only choice? It felt like it came out of nowhere, especially since the reason for why the MC would say such a thing is told only after the player chooses the answer.

I’ll talk to Lala about all this.
In my playthrough the MC didn’t interact too much with Lala, and with there being no mention of her in the narration before this choice it felt like a jump for the MC to think of her.

She stands up, looking thoroughly galvanised. “I can’t believe this has happened in my house again.”
I thought it strange that Renee brings up there being a previous murder but the MC just lets it pass. I think that would be something to question at that moment, since a precedent like that could cause the MC to begin to suspect Renee.

Renee digs her fingers into the bed. “We already know. She was stabbed—a lot.”
I don’t think we’re ever told Aurelia died from being stabbed until this moment. Was the MC elsewhere when the others were told?

“That suggests Renee or Eric, doesn’t it? Since they’re the locals.”
The MC can asks this when talking to Renee, but it seems like they’re asking a third person instead who is not Renee or Eric – and Renee answers as if she wasn’t just accused.

“Does anyone else have the same magic?” she asks. “If someone tells a lie, their eyes turn yellow.”

“I do,” says Lala. “Tell me.”
I felt like Lala’s magic came out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t interact with Lala too much. As for the magic overall, I do like the idea, but since the magic seems mostly helpful, it often lessened the tension so the plot could move along. Like this scene – it would have been interesting if we didn’t know if Renee was lying or not here, and so there’s always that question of whether she’s the murderer. It would also cause the choice to believe Renee to be the murderer later when the police arrest her to make more sense.

“Show me,” he says.

“I’m not sure I can,” you say.
I chose “thank you” here. I thought the MC was thanking Max for believing her about the magic, but then it seems like it’s acting as if I chose the option where you can say you don’t know if you can fly again.

Who do you suspect?
Who are you certain is innocent?

You can pick someone to be the suspect and also be certain they’re innocent. Perhaps there should be an option on the suspect list to say you don’t think any of them are the suspect… or maybe have the MC think that they’re a suspect and the house’s magic made them kill someone, especially since they’re warned about how the house can effect people.

I’m looking forward to playing it again, though, and seeing if there are clues I didn’t catch the first time around. :relaxed:

3 Likes
#25

Ok so I’m not great at giving feedback but I’ll give it a shot. Loved the game, and I was completely enthralled throughout its entirety. As far as issues the killer in my game turned out to be Max.. The issue is that around the very last four pages of the game, near Renee’s arrest, the killers name was switched to “1” in the text. Not sure if this was intentional or not but yeah. The only other issue I had was at the end of the game it failed to display the number of words I had written. I will attach a screenshot of what happened.

1 Like
#26

Perhaps, @Felicity_Banks, you could have the player character be forced into writing mysteries?

Unrequested Advice

It may be a way to increase suspense - perhaps the MC starts getting freaked out, as things s/he/they write start happening throughout the house? It would potentially be a nice way to further ingrain the magical elements of the story, I think.

In addition, I think someone mentioned potentially being able to have more input on the writing of the novel, itself.

More Completely Unrequested Advice

Mayhap that ties into the murder mystery investigation, somehow? Like if the killer is Max, perhaps a character within the MC’s book is loosely reminiscent of him, and life imitates art???

I’m literally just bouncing ideas off a wall here. Feel free to be quite upset with me for having the audacity :sweat_smile:

3 Likes
#27

Ooh, I like this idea too, especially since in the beginning the MC thinks about basing a character on the rector – it might be interesting if it turned out to be the other way around. :thinking:

2 Likes
#28

You are giving really good advice I was trying proposed something similar but you expose it far better. However player should have something player agency to define character goals .

My dream come true in general for a cog mistery rpg game would be one For instance there is a number of people in a mansion etc player could select from one of them and the ones didn’t choose be the npcs. Something like a cluedo but with a proper story and goals maybe if one is evil the objective is killing a rival and make look like a copy cat of the real assassin. Something like that.

This could be more closed ever to my fantasy of a Cluedo rpg lol

3 Likes
#29

They’re cool

1 Like
#30

:woman_facepalming:
Oh gosh I’m terrible at this. I meant to say it was a cool idea (it does sound like quite a bit of work though). How did I not notice that

1 Like
#31

Okay! I did a fair bit of editing, especially to the opening scene and the last 2 chapters. And there’s a kind of mini-story in the writing sections, where you can choose aspects of ‘your’ novel, and have it appear in synopsis form in the stats page.

So I’ve probably made some more errors. So if anyone wants to have another look, please do! But definitely don’t feel like you have to; you’ve all already helped SO much and I’m very grateful.

The link is the same: here

Or you can play the story generator by itself here. With that one, it’s extremely helpful if you can say what genre you’re in, and quote as much of the surrounding words as possible. (Edit: It’s working now.)

1 Like
#32

Hello! Hope I’m not too late to the party - just discovered this now. Got interested because of the title - it gave me Name of the Rose vibes, given that the story involves stories and a murder mystery in a Church-type setting, and even if it’s in modern times with writers instead of monks and in Aus instead of Italy I’m still really excited to see where it goes. Giving it a go rn, if you still need someone to test it out I’ll gladly send feedback in a bit!

1 Like
#33

The second playthrough was even more fun than the first. I liked the new opening and I liked the ending I got – the MC died but her books made a profit! I like how we even get an achievement out of it.

Few things

Still, if JK Rowlings cried over Remus Lupin then perhaps your tears are a good sign.
“Rowlings should be Rowling”.

Maybe after this short story, you’ll be ready to try and write a full novel for the first time.
I don’t think there should be a comma here.

Since Tamsin is allergic to peanuts, there is no peanut butter or Nutella although there is an array of small tuna tins, both flavoured and plain.
You might want to reiterate here that Tamsin is one of the writers, since her name only pops up once beforehand a few screens back.

Everyone seems super friendly (other than Bruce, which probably means he’ll get more writing done than anyone).
Maybe there should be an option here where we (try) to introduce ourselves/speak to Bruce.

Go with Tamsin to see the memorial to the original Gundagai.
And maybe here there should be an option where we stay in the house and interact with the others or deal more with the magic.

“Good to know,” you say. “Listen,” she says. “I want to ask you a question, and I really mean it. So don’t laugh it off, all right?”
There needs to be a space between the MC’s paragraph and Lala’s.

We are dating. Maybe."
Needs a quotation mark at the beginning.

Renee can tell when someone is lying, so she can advise you… unless she’s the murderer herself.
I think you need to have seen the yellow light in the others’ eyes for Renee to have told you she can detect lies, so a MC who heard the cat/house speak or saw the lines between people wouldn’t know this info.

I’ll talk to Lala about all this. I heard her snoring before the murder happened.
Do we know when the murder happened? Since there are gaps in time where the MC is asleep/with the other writers/writing/etc., it seems like the MC wouldn’t know exactly when the murder occurred. The other characters point this out in later chapters, too.

TIme to think about magic.
“TIme” should be “Time”.

“Motive, means, opportunity,” she recites, remembering every B-grade crime show ever.
“she” should be “you”, “recites” should be “recite”.

It’s not long until Renee calls a meeting, holding it in the small back yard so everyone can stand in a circle rather than in a line like in the rear balcony. Bruce hovers in the laundry doorway, too photosensitive to stand in the sun.
Wouldn’t the sun have already set at this point if they find Aurelia’s body around dinner time and the meeting occurs after the police had left?

“I’ll sit more carefully in future.”
Add “the” before “future”.

Few other things –

And you know what your ending will be:
I liked the new writing choices, although this section repeats even after choosing an ending. I would probably add more writing choices – even if it’s something like “You decide to base Skye/etc. on…” and have the list of the other characters. Maybe have a line about their characteristics that are clues and/or red herrings to the murder.

Also, when I went to check the synopsis in the stat screen it always said I hadn’t written enough words and would show the choice options that usually appear at the end of the game. I would change that to a choice that returns you to your stats or else it looks like the game has ended.

Finally, is Max always the murderer? I think in both of my playthroughs it’s been him. Will the others also eventually be the possible murderers?

Looking forward to trying to get the different endings. :relaxed:

#34

At the moment the murderer is locked because I want to deviate the two possible murderers/endings more and I don’t have time at the moment (this is the project I work on when I should be working on [redacted]). But if one ending works the other will be relatively easy to sort out (there are similar stat checks etc).

1 Like