OBLIQUE: A Detective Venture - Film Noir / Sci-Fi [WIP]



You’re a private eye in a world glutted with crime, but what else is new? Start destitute and unknown, then gradually build a name for yourself through increasingly difficult and high-profile cases. Investigate, interrogate, and intrigue with the best of them, while navigating all kinds of criminal and governmental politics. And don’t forget to watch your back - in a city with this much moral ambiguity, everyone has a hidden agenda.




Oblique is a detective, film noir, and sci-fi game - in that order. And by that, I mean that solving crimes (detective work is the content) takes greater precedence over film noir (the ambiance and tone) which in turn takes greater precedence over sci-fi (the lowkey setting).

I intended to have written a lot more of the game before I posted it up. But I’ve found myself flagging recently, so I’m creating this thread to prevent myself from making further excuses. Also, some of my favorite games have had feedback as they were written, and I don’t want to undervalue a steady WIP.

Forewarning: I wrote this without looking back, trying to get as much on paper as possible. It’s not polished at all.

I snuck in a few easter eggs, so I’m curious if anyone comes across them or if they’re too concealed. I’m also interested in what choices people tend to make, and which characters they (dis)trust.

PS: any puns are both terrible and completely intentional. Sorry in advance.

Which WIP would you bring back from the dead?

I think Humphrey needs a fedora. He is the only person I would give mine to. Humphrey is the best. I suppose I’d have to let the decision on whether he gets a new robot body, one better capable of helping investigate crimes and becoming a detective in his own right, or if he remains in his old one, up to him. It would be wrong to choose for him. Well unless he gets smashed up, and we’re able to save his databases and are forced to transplant it into another body. Another sexier body… :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, I wasn’t advocating for “blind utopias” by any means. We don’t have to rely on gender-bashing to create conflict. Personally I’m tired out by the prejudices I encounter already in reality, so something scifi or fantasy seems much better poised to explore different concepts.

Do we get a literal pet the dog moment? :stuck_out_tongue:

Lol! Humphrey is now my true love. It will be very poignant and tragic.


Yep… yep… yep… Those all fit too, I had a few of those in mind while I was playing. Once you finish, I’d be happy to start a TV Tropes page on this, a few COG games like COR and COI are up already. It should throw a little more recognition your way, and, as we’ve already established, it’s not like you have a shortage of tropes, hmm?


Oh yeah, I meant in regards to love interests, not the MC him- or herself. Being asexual and/or aromantic is certainly feasible for the player.

I’m glad you like Ockley, and the contrast of Chiarro. But yeah, while sometimes railroading is unavoidable, I try to grant meaningful decisions where I can. And since Ockley is someone who judges very much on first impressions, the player deserved a chance to challenge her assumptions.

Haha, poor Humphrey! It’s technically possible to transfer his database onto a stud robot, or even a female form. But you wouldn’t want him to experience robot dysphoria, would you!

I find it pretty darn cool that you’ve fleshed out your character like that! And I’m sure a pragmatic, no-nonsense character would flourish in this setting.

Some more general tropes:

Androids and Detectives
Ridiculously Human Robots
Applied Phlebotinum
Chekhov’s Hat
Deliberately Monochrome
Real is Brown
Always Night (“Dark patch” in the AtmosDome)
Pet the Dog
Ambiguous Situation
Crapsack World
Grey and Gray Morality
Being Good Sucks
Inherent in the System
City Noir
The City Narrows
Vice City
Police Are Useless
Apathetic Citizens
Undercover Cop Reveal
Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot (I’m sure everyone’s guessed this already)
Private Eye Monologue (kinda)

I started doing characters, but then I realized I’d be revealing a lot of stuff that hasn’t been told in the story yet, haha. So I’ll have to wait for those!


Great game so far. Strong writing, good development of the world in the first few pages. From this demo, I can tell you could have a hit on your hands.

What works for me to keep the writing going is to set a deadline and announce it to everyone in your WIP thread. If you miss that date, you’ll get pestered enough to keep you motivated in the future. I call it guilt writing.


This game is beautiful, skdljf. I’m super interested in all the characters and the setting is bleak and perfect and the writing is fabulous and I AM GOING TO FIND THAT DOG.

But no seriously. This was fantastic and when I am going to play it over again when I’m not half asleep and give you a legit review. Until then…

Wow. Seriously, wow.

edit ;; I named my detective Ingrid Bacall, hahaha. Never enough noir c;


I think the way the detective asks for payment could have been handled better, and saying the detective just can’t figure out what Chloe’s deal is makes him seem not so bright, maybe an option to form a theory?


Looking forward to more of the game. Is anything more awesome than a robot sidekick :slight_smile:


There is no way that I would give up my fez, I just couldn’t. But seriously, I loved it, it has compelling writing as well as characters.

I couldn’t help but imagine my character as Benedict Cumberbatch in a fez, as I recently got hooked on Sherlock.


Wonderful end, I just loved it. Seriously Humphry is just ADORABLE :3


a amazing well write game i want read more of it


Somehow I gave up my Fez. Matt Smith is frowning at me somewhere. Otherwise an interesting start, the robot character is especially well written.


First order of business is to get an Emubot. I’ll find the mutt, then get the kid to give up the goods on where she got it.


I wanted to be 14, but apparently that’s not even legal hmph! >:P


Love the game so far, the writing is wonderful!

@trollhunterthethird I tried to be 107 years old, but apparently they must worry I’ll break a hip.

Just how high does that age counter go anyhow?! I got all the way up to 2308 before I got bored.


@Eiedanna It’s 16+ not sure if there is a cap at that point


Thank you so much! I spent a lot of time on the characters and setting - enough to worry that it might bore the readers. So I’m relieved to hear this isn’t the case! Also, it’s awesome to see another noir fan slumming around. Ingrid Bacall and Humphrey make quite a team!

You actually can figure out Chloe’s deal if you have high enough of the observation stat. Still, you have a point! I think I’ll let the detective still make a theory (though mistaken) if he fails the stat check. Could you expand on the payment issue?

Just gotta say, I love Sherlock too! I’ve been suffering sustained withdrawal ever since it went on hiatus.

Thanks, that means a lot to me! And that’s a smart strategy. There’s no motivator like good old-fashioned guilt.

I was actually thinking of lowering the age restriction a little, since District 1027’s policies veer toward the lax side. So we’ll see!

Thank you! Re: the age counter, it’s indefinite. You can also type in numbers instead of clicking up on the arrow.


Can I just say this game is awesome? Because it really is. I can’t wait to go on the quest to find the worlds poofiest dog. Btw am I the only one who caught the Pheonix Wright reference when talking about where you live?


Also aren’t red Tibetan Mastiffs worth alot?