The classical ren'ai mechanism, building the affection & relationship, surely can be successfully used in detective/mystery stories, and is incredibly basic the concept that I wonder no one have thought about (well, there's no much translated or fantranslated Japanese detective adventures, whose trace back since Famicom days, so I can't 100% sure) that the same relation-building can be used in a detective-solving context: How many witness, or even victims, will say promptly & thoroughly what they seen or even suffered ? (I admit, this thinking was lateral in my musings about the rapelay affair) (no, I don't think about a torquemada sim, albeit should be the best frustration-venting videogame ever, but I digress....) Detective works is also building witness and victim's confidence leading to their giving these little details whose help immensely in solving & closing the case, even if the case became an "affair"
I guess that the best telefilm models of the type are the German "inspector Derrick" and the US "Lieutenant Colombo"; in Ren'py/VNs the mechanism should be choosing the "magic" question or words whose ease the witness/victim and they became slowly or quickly more cooperative to the investigation, trusting the detective, both professionally and personally.
Throw in the mix a really intimidating environment or circumstances, like Mafia, big corporations (the witness can be an employee with knowledge of compromising details) politicians ('nuff said...), a family and/or environment with strict mores, and the recipe for an excellent storyline(s) and great game is concocted
comments & opinions ? (and perhaps someone starting to implement the idea... )
Best regards from Italy,
I think that for such a mechanism it would propably require some coding with stats, where certain levels of affection/trust would simply trigger different routes.
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Although it may well be possible to give a mystery where you need to acquire others' trust before they give testimonies, an important aspect to consider is whether all testimonies are useful, and in how far one would need various testimonies to still acquire the "Good End" - or if the premise of a mystery is trivial, i.e. getting just the right amount of trust with any character allows you to solve the mystery.
Another important point to consider is that writing mystery isn't easy. Whereas other visual novels can be carried by how gorgeous the art is, or how enticing the music, or how funny the jokes and witful the characters, a mystery novel should be first and foremost carried by its writing and the mystery itself. It can be a rather daunting task to pull that off succesfully while incorporating elements of a dating sim game.
For Applegate's question, I think that there's a rather ample gamut of complexities, from a tutorial like "The Questioning", to complex works on par with major non-interactive detective fiction works; as I pointed above, the mechanisms & concepts of a dating sim game are, at least in my eyes, very adaptable to detective/mystery stories....
Let's look a bit laterally to a classic ren'ai trope, the PC being a transfer student, whose firstly need to understand the new school environment and start to be acquainted to the other students, it's basically the same situation of a detective just arrived on the crime scene, he need to investigate the scene (understanding the environment) and doing quick on-spot witness hearing and jotting notes & names (being acquainted)... the same lateral-thinking reasoning can be applied to the rest of the VN story.
Hope to have clarified the doubts, and I apologise for the delay,
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