PC Malone takes her freshly rolled cigarette, sticks it in her mouth, and lights it. She exhales blue smoke and, looking through it, spots the stack of papers near her desk — all old cases from the force that she’d quit long ago. She begins to wonder about her future as a private investigator. Whether the modern world will ever give her more than just thankless adultery cases. Emancipation still has a long way to go. More smoke fills her lungs and she sighs another plume. “Is this life worth what I’ve given up?”, she wonders. “Maybe I should help Green…”
A Case of Distrust is a 2D story-driven adventure game, set in 1924 San Francisco, playing as a female private investigator. Explore underground speakeasies, smoke-filled billiard halls, classic barber shops, and more. Catch suspects in lies by using your wits, evidence, and statements. Uncover the truth in a mystery full of deception. Intrinsic challenges face our heroine, as she struggles against a pushback on emancipation, leading to many doubts, both internal and external.
This game is a blend of the board game Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, the adventure games 80 Days and Phoenix Wright, the poster design of Saul Bass, and the hard-boiled novels of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
Ben is a AAA industry veteran, with experience at BioWare and Visceral Games. He jumped ship to indie in October 2015 because he couldn't get enough of this indie scene -- indie games were all he was playing! He'd had a 1920s setting in mind for a long while, and had always loved narrative games. So, with some savings in pocket, he took the plunge!
Another old hand, Mark has worked at Team Bondi (LA Noire), BioWare (Dragon Age: Inquisition), and Riot Games (LoL). He, too, felt the pull of the indie scene, and eventually left his job for creative freedom. When Ben mentioned his game had no audio support, Mark sprung at the idea of being the game’s Audio Designer. He creates all the music and sound effects you hear in A Case of Distrust.
Big updates! Sorry if this post gets too many exclamation points, but in all my years making games, I’ve never been this excited to announce one!
The game is now called A Case of Distrust. It has its own website. And, in order for it to be successful, I need to get it onto Steam, so please, if you have a valid Steam account, GO VOTE FOR IT! (here if you want it in browser, or here if you want to open the Steam client)
What’s changed since I last updated you? Quite a lot! I’ll get to most of that in future posts. But the biggest change: you’re no longer solving multiple mysteries — it is A (single) Case of Distrust. That sounds like content has been cut, but that’s not true. The game is still the same length, and very similar, but with various characters and plot points shifted around. I just realized the story itself was lacking any significant punch because no characters took long enough to develop — you’d solve a case, then mostly move on. Instead, all the characters and writing have been woven into the same mystery, giving more time for intrigue, a heightened climax, and greater satisfaction. The story is more tightly tied to my main character and the themes surrounding her. I can’t wait for you to play it!
I’ll post future, more lengthy updates soon. But for now, please vote on Greenlight if you’d like to see this game!
Also, some new media:
A series about creating the map screen for The Ben Wander Murder Collection. Part 2 is about the making the map's directory, and the slow evolution from...
A series about creating the map screen for The Ben Wander Murder Collection. Part 1 explores my process for coming up with a useful concept (both from...
Breaking down the ideas behind the plot, the writing style, and the history involved in The Ben Wander Murder Collection.
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