Scratch (WIP)

UPDATE (6-20-2019)

Great news! Scratch has gone through the submission process and will be available at retailers soon. I want to thank everyone who left a comment and liked the book. Your feedback was really encouraging and made the book better. (It even motivated me to work on a new book!)

For now, I’ve taken down the link for the Scratch beta, but the demo for the game should be out soon.

Thank you!

Original Post:


Hey everyone! I just finished the first draft of Scratch (a murder mystery). The story is complete (achievements and multiple endings too).

Let me know if you find any errors with grammar, continuity, playability, or plot issues. And could you post your final word count too (should be 45k+ words in a single read-through).

Thanks for checking it out!


Title: Scratch

Genre: Mystery, Horror, Noir

Word count: 160k

Single Read: 45k+


A millionaire’s secluded estate. A collection of dead girls. A group of reluctant strangers. One is the killer …but who? You need more than your badge and gun to catch the killer. Only a sharp mind and the right questions will uncover this mystery.

Scratch is a 160,000 word interactive murder mystery by Cloud Buchholz. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

You’re a small town detective. An anonymous tip leads you to a collection of sadistically murdered girls dumped on the forest estate of an eccentric, reclusive millionaire. A group of strangers are holed up in his dilapidated cabin, waiting out the recent storm.

They seem unaware of the murders, but the serial killer is hidden among them. You need to interrogate the suspects, gather clues, and stop the killer, but if you don’t tread carefully, more innocent people will die.

Will you uncover the mystery of the murdered girls …or will you become another victim? Only you can solve this case.


  • Play as male or female, gay or straight

  • Interrogate seven potential suspects and discover their sordid pasts

  • Gather clues from your conversations to root out the killer

  • Succumb to your alcohol addiction or fight withdrawals

  • Recall cases from your past and the cruel life lessons from your Pa

  • Seventeen unique endings

UPDATE (2-12-2019)

Now that you’ve had a chance to read Scratch :

-How much should the game cost?
-What choices would be good for the screenshots?
-What would be a good image for the icon?


Have you considered adding a save system for the beta (or is it alpha?) to help with testing out each choice on subsequent play-throughs? I haven’t read through yet but the premise is very interesting and I’m looking forward to reading!


This sounds bad ass, and I’m always down for a serial killer story. I also really loved Seven Bullets. Good luck, my friend.


That’s a cool idea. What’s the best way to add a save system? I’m having a hard time finding info about it.

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Thanks! That means a lot. I hope to read more of your stories too!

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I have no experience with ChoiceScript so I can’t help directly, but there are a few topics that’ll give the help you need!

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Hey I just did a run through where I caught the killer, in a way, and the final word count was 49293.

I didn’t find any issues either, which is something to be appauded! 5/5 About to play again!


Final word count: 48,429.

Typos n stuff

Handcuffs should be capitalized if a new sentence, or the period should be removed. One of the two :man_shrugging:

Missing speech marks at the end.

Should be wear!

Should be mourn!

Extra apostrophe that shouldn’t be there.

Affected, not effected.

I’m at a loss for words! It’s been a while since a story has grabbed my attention so intensely that there were few moments I could bare to look away. You have a real knack for storytelling, especially gritty novels such as this and I’d love to read more of your works! I really loved the Butterfly Effect-esque parts of the story, i.e. being brave in the past gets Norman killed, etc. No clue if that goes for most of the story but :man_shrugging:

There were a couple of moments I got somewhat confused, specifically the conversation with Vasquez while driving and the one with Norman when we went out to get firewood. I hadn’t actually realized we’d started driving and assumed MC just turned on the ignition and left it. It was only when Vasquez asked if we’re almost there(?) I was like “Oh.”. Similarly, I hadn’t actually realized Fritz had chopped and given us wood to take back until MC had finished the story. I think a couple of sentences about some small actions would solve that. Perhaps we hit a bump in the road, or Norman drops some of the firewood?

Spoilery feedback

I got what I’m assuming is the worst ending I could possibly get; Vasquez died, Grace died, Norman died, Fritz was shot (I assumed he died later given the achievement and the option to lie), then Amber, Abbey and Dusty died after I foolishy(?) went after Luna as the perp. Sadly, Kurt sided with his brother and Luna then joined him, so my MC ended up getting shot in the back :man_shrugging:
I was disappointed as I would be with any bad ending but now I’m driven to play again and save everyone. Especially Vasquez.

When I was given the option to really dig into Kurt about his brother I started to suspect him but sadly not enough to go for those options :man_facepalming: I was pleasantly surprised by Kurt and his brother being the culprits but the crime lord kinda came out of left field. I suppose that’s a given, though, since it usually is the one you least suspect, and not the one literally equipped for murder coughLunacough.

I was really impressed with how you managed to annoy me with everyone jumping to conclusions and starting arguments. I feel bad for detectives now if this is genuinely what they have to deal with (the people side, not being trapped in a cabin with a murderer… unless that happens fairly often :persevere:)

I felt quite attached to almost every character, especially Vasquez, Norman and Fritz, whom I felt were the most vulnerable characters of the cast.
I wasn’t too interested in Grace but I’ll put that down to her being an early kill and not having much to say to the MC.

Abbey was rather annoying, too, but she spent much of her time pointing fingers and instigating stuff, so I guess that was her role? Admittedly I did feel very bad for her after Norman’s death. Quite ironic that Norman was dubbed “the coward” yet in that moment their roles were reversed.

Amber felt quite young for her age, if that makes sense? She felt younger than 13, though I’m assuming she’s meek and quiet because of her home situation? If that’s the case I guess it’ll slide.

I enjoyed the interactions with Luna solely for the purpose of making the MC her “rival” so to speak. She stood out to me as a villain the most which I guess was the intent, because chasing her leads the MC to the culprits anyway?

Norman and Fritz were my favorite characters, and I hope Vasquez joins them when I read through again. Knowing the MC got all three of them killed hurts, since they were all completely harmless people. Except Fritz, I guess.

I’m positive I had more to say before I started typing but I’ll add stuff when it comes to me :man_shrugging: My memory sucks.

Edit: Forgot to mention, needing to balance drinking and abstaining was the perfect system, I think. Of course I wanted to abstain and at least have some dignity but I was not expecting it to be my downfall (completely understandable, though).

I noticed one (or two?) of the features was to play as male or female, gay or straight, but I never noticed a gender choice? I wasn’t bothered since there were no pronouns used but it did feel like it was written with a male protag in mind. That could just be me, since I generally designate detective MCs as male, then again my favorite detective novel has a female MC, so :man_shrugging:
Regarding the sexuality choice, was there an option to mention a past lover I missed, or were a couple of the main cast romance options (Vasquez, Fritz, Abbey specifically)? Obviously I wouldn’t know given the ending I got, just curious for a second read.


If you talk with Norman when going to cut wood and he ask about you. One choice is that you were a body guard to a pop star. She falls in love with you and stuff and I guess that when you choose of you accepted her or rejected her and maybe choose sexuality. Also don’t think theres any romance since everyone suspects one another.


Oh! I picked the bank heist which is probably why I didn’t have the opportunity for a discussion like that. Thanks for pointing it out!


No problem :slight_smile: I was hoping it would end up may MC would have someone waiting for him at home, but the popstars love for you doesn’t last sadly.


Out of curiosity, what choices did you make as a bodyguard, and did Norman die on your run?


I chose to beat up and kick out some people who were harassing the pop star. Also Norman didn’t die, wife did don’t know how to save her.


Interesting :thinking: It was MC’s bravery during the bank heist that got Norman killed, thinking he could emulate the MC. I’m assuming other actions or other stories will result in Abbey or no one at all dying. The latter is probably just a wish :man_shrugging:

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I got an achievement saying failed to save Abbey, so it’s possible to save her. Maybe even Vasquez.


Yeah, I got an achievement for Vasquez, Grace, Norman and Fritz, so I assume either everyone can be saved or it’s between two options each time. It’s most likely down to how you treat each character, i.e. being harder on Vasquez might save him, or not being a paragon of justice will save Norman. I’ve only read through once so I’ll test it tomorrow probably.

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Grace died for you it was Abbey, Kurtz(forgot name lol), Vasquez for me. Who dies depends on who went to cut firewood. As does the killer to I believe.


Thank you for the fantastic feedback. I fixed the typos and I’ll work on adding more clarity to the driving scene and chopping wood scene.

The romance subplots are very minimal (and could be missed entirely). I can remove the gay/straight description from the features if everyone thinks the subplot is too subtle.


Very interested in this with my only question being are you going more and then there were none or straight slasher in your approach. I’m in favor of both just curious either way you’ve got a reader in me

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WOW This is amazing… :heart_eyes:

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