VMM Postmortem

The gameplay was figured out months ago when I was pondering how to develop a single-player version of Mafia. That game is usually played with a large group of friends, face-to-face, and involves bluffing. Bluffing, of course, is not really possible for AI, so I attempted to just focus on a game of memory where you'd have to deduce after a few turns who the murderers are.

The initial gameplay was prototyped in python (https://github.com/fdorothy/vulcan_murder_mystery/blob/master/game.py). This helped a lot with determining the number of visitors, areas and murderers needed to make the game interesting, but not too challenging.

I put together this visual version of the game in Unity over the course of 3 days. I had drawn most of the cards before then. This was a really, really short amount of time for me to get the UI built out, and even though I had previously implemented the game in python, doing it in Unity with user interaction was a whole different ballgame. I think there are bugs, but they are really hard to find and test.

My least favorite part of this game is probably how the cards move at the end of the movement phase. It's hard to follow who is staying, and who is going. I'm thinking I needed to have done a tile-grid for the cards or have them lift up and then over one by one so that it is more clear.

I also probably should have added little ? buttons all over this UI, because it's confusing and it really needs more explanation.

I also probably should have given more hints in the UI about what you need to do during your turn. Move the player, move cards down to execute, re-arrange the cards vertically if you suspect someone.

Overall this was a fun game. I think my favorite part was making the cards. I spent a good week and a half drawing up cards and coloring them in. I learned a lot about how to do quick and dirty cartoon-like characters with just a pencil, piece of paper and GIMP.


vulcan_murder_mystery_webgl_1.03.zip Play in browser
Aug 23, 2018

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