I like the premise and it’s well written, it was fun to read though. (This is all meant to be constructive crit since I did like it )
It seems pretty linear (with similar responses to some of the things I checked but I haven’t checked all of it over twice), but with only 30,000 words to work with, that can’t really be helped unless you feel like lengthening it.
Personally I’d adjust the first investigation pace. I know you don’t want to give people enough time to investigate everyone, but you really only have enough time to talk very briefly to 3 people (less if you want to speak to their co-workers or do a divination.) It just seems like an hour to ask a couple of questions seems excessive and I’d like enough time to investigate a bit further.
I’d also like a bit more explanation about the teacup program. Maybe a bit more of a chance to experiment with it about random things or a readme. (Doesn’t have to be much, just a bit more background.)
The reporting may need some *if’s as well. I kept telling my boss about stuff I didn’t know (Like the church group and the stuffed animals even if I just used the divination app to make a call without speaking to anyone). With Van, I said his case needed follow up as something possibly wrong, and it said at the end that I didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. Possible bug?
With the following day, I also feel like I could have used more options. For example Person C has likely had some family troubles. Was it carelessness or by plan they disabled the virus protection? Since I’m only allowed to look at two things it’s hard to know. There’s also no rating on how high a priority they should be, just an investigate or don’t which means that most of them are going to be flagged simply because there isn’t enough info to make a call. You then get to the final page and it asks you for who is most likely a sabatour, and you are told information that you never found out. For example, I didn’t know that person C has a drinking problem. I’m pretty much basing my assessment on what I’m being told on that last screen more than the previous investigation because it is telling me more. It would be nice to be able to have the time to speak to at least some of the people properly, but the questions you ask/how you go about it determines what info you end up with rather than if you pick the right option of investigation which is random since you have very little info to go off when starting the investigation. For example, with the angry guy, if you demanded answers, he might blow up. If you ask people behind his back, they might be too nervous to speak to you being worried he might cause them trouble. If you go in as someone seriously investigating his complaints you might get a ‘sincere’ answer but have to judge whether you think he is telling the truth, delusional or lying based on what is said and the other info you have etc.
I also thought it would be good to have an option whether or not to tell Bobby Jamie is being investigated. I mean I decided I wanted to try and keep the job and distanced myself from his investigation to try and avoid the fall out if it turns out Jamie is doing bad things. I even have a good reason for it since he recruited me, there’s a definite conflict of interest happening. But why would I go straight to Bobbie when I’ve been told the whole thing is top secret and I under no circumstances should I let Jamie know there’s something going on. Bobby would be the last person (apart from Jamie himself) I’d tell. If I’m trying to distance myself so I can’t be blamed if Jamie is fired for doing something really bad, I’ve also just alerted his boyfriend (and my housemate) that I could have helped cover things up and didn’t. If you wanted to force the issue with this story point, it’d probably be better imo to have Bobbie call you saying that Jamie thinks something weird is going on in your department and then you can choose to tell him, or have him find out later and be annoyed with you for lying to him.
I also found the ending a bit confusing. As far as I could tell, I was doing pretty well with the crew and then it just kind of ended with no real explanation why we were all kicked off the project. It kind of felt a bit unsatifying which is a shame since I was really looking forward to some answers. I feel as if this might earn you some negative reviews if you plan to have this put up on hosted games. Would you consider extending the story? I feel it’d be worth your while if you would consider writing an extra chapter where you can get a few more conclusions or even an epilogue of sorts.
Edit: I peeked at the code. I’d really like this to be extended more. I think it could be a really good story, it just seems a bit rushed at the moment. I saw some of the conclusions you can draw include accusing various members of your team of deliberately covering up problems with the program or even deliberate scamming. This seems kind of odd to me since you weren’t investigating them and really know very little about them (only 2-3d on the job). While you might suspect the program is the root cause of some of the computer problems, you really can’t know that for sure and it seems like a serious jump to go from suspecting the program as a possibility and actually naming it and accusing team members of being part of the problem.
There’s been the possibility of deliberate hacks, a rival company trying to steal secrets/poach staff, disatisfied/disruptive staff and just general staff incompetance thrown into the mix as possibilities that you really haven’t had a chance to resolve/investigate properly yet. My personal opinion when playing this was that it was likely that the company itself was the problem. I mean you’re basically thrown into a job with no orientation, no job description and a 30 second conversation about what you’ll be doing and then set tasks you’ve got no chance of completing properly. Worse still they’ve got a complete newbie with no prior experience in this area making judgment calls on long term staff that will not only affect their future but the security and moral of the company. If this was the reception you got at the company, why would it be different for anyone else? Maybe the angry guy really does have a problem with stupid or unrealistic meeting schedules and disruptive calls. Maybe the church group lady doesn’t have the faintest clue she isn’t allowed to access the internet on the company computer for those purposes during her lunch break etc. Anyway, I’d love to see the pace slowed down a bit to allow for a better investigation and let you know your team members better before coming to a final conclusion. If you get the conclusion wrong, it’d be nice to have something extra in there rather than just an ending- you’re fired/transferred just to make it feel more complete.
Good luck with it