This was a submission for a Game Design Challenge, and the original can be found here.
This design is a mystery game that uses VR to put the player inside a car during a road-trip around the country with friends.
The player is a former detective, who lost movement of his legs. The reason why the character has this past is to further enhance the immersion of the player, who’ll play the game seated, sharing this limitation with the character. Your only mean of interaction is look around: your vision has a cursor on its center, so if you look at someone, and focus on its interaction menu, you can choose what to talk with, if you want to do some more specific action, like pushing his arm, and so on. If you look at the radio, you can ask someone to change to a specific station, or increase the volume or not.
The beginning of the game is all about knowing those people that were once your closest friends. You can talk to them about the scenery, about the weather, about sports, everything depends on what you’ve seen or heard. That’s to emphasize the fact that everything depends on your actions, if you paid attention to what some friend say, you can repeat it later, or if you heard in the radio that the house team won you can comment it in the car.
During the trip, people begin to die in different ways: some were murdered by guns, other by strangulation, and you realize that suffer these “strange” accidents always happen in the towns your group spent the night, and as a former detective, it’s up to you to find out if there’s any chance it may be true.
Interacting with your friends is a big part of the game: if Friend A is late, you can ask him why he’s late, if something happened, and he may say that was a small problem in his room. Then if some time later you hear him comment that was a different thing that happened, you know: he’s hiding something from you, so he’s a suspect.
Once you find out who’s the murderer, you must convince your other friends. The time you spent with them is important to know how to bring up these facts: you can’t just say “I’m sure that Friend A is a murderer”, because Friend B may say it’s a lie because they were eating when victim X died. You must convince them using facts you learned: “but that night he left the hotel during the night, you remember?”
You must also know how to bring it: if you are too offensive, someone may ask you why those hard feelings, and ignore what you say, though if you “just commented” on how it was strange that he left the hotel that night, he may consider what you say, gaining a possible ally.