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Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Free] *DEMO out!

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:12 am
by michan
You play as Lynn, violet-eyed executive assistant to Detective Dio Cross. One foggy afternoon, a buxom dame by the name of Alessa Ravendall comes to the agency with a letter, a postcard, and a strange request: help her solve seven riddles left behind by her newly-deceased uncle. Having bills to pay, wages to earn, and nothing much else to do, you and your boss oblige. That is where the fun begins.

Update (12/21/2014): ... And now we have the early DEMO for the game. The story portion is just the intro and the first 'battle', ending just before actually entering Raven Hall. It's short and can be finished within 10-15 minutes (maybe 30 if you choose to read up and explore past it), but should give you an overview of the mechanics and features that would be available in the full release.

... Completing the intro also unlocks the 'Tarot Fortunes' in the Extras section. Just because. ^-^

Download links below: || Mediafire || Mediafire

Questions for those who tried the demo:
1. Did the game launch/run properly? Please list any errors/bugs encountered, if any. (Screenshots and copy-pastes are appreciated!)

2. How about the interface? Any problems/issues with the text display, buttons, etc.?

3. Which Lynn did you play as? Cheerful, snarky, or ditzy?

4. What are your thoughts regarding the in-game characters?

5. How did you find the puzzles in the demo? Were they too easy? Too hard? Just right?

6. How did you find the dialogue? Was the story easy enough to follow as it is, or does it need more narration? (Also, please list any typos/grammatical errors found, if any. Thanks!)

7. Any other comments and/or suggestions re improving the quality of the game?

Thank you for playing the demo and taking the time to answer these questions! Happy Holidays!

Story, Coding, & Graphics: Michan
Music: (borrowed from) Tempus, N. C. H., & Roganis
SFX: SoundJay, SoundDogs, & MuseScore
Art Resources: SketchUp (Backgrounds), (the Raven Hall exterior), assorted free fonts (GUI), the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (1911)
Engine: Ren'Py

Special Thanks to Anne (1st!), Shaples, & ColaCat, for sending in the correct answer to the 'Every second counts' puzzle before the demo came out!

Image Image

- A cliche 'search for the missing will' detective story
- Easy to moderately difficult puzzles
- Choose one among three different personalities (Friendly, Snarky, or Perennially Flustered) for the protagonist, with plans for an unlockable fourth (Clingy Psychotic?) personality.
- A 'Codex', to quickly refer to clues/items relevant to the investigation
- Music from CC/Free-to-use tracks by Tempus, N. C. H., & Roganis
- Extras
- Excerpts from some literary classics that are in the public domain
- The Rider-Waite Tarot deck
- Multiple Endings

Free or Commercial? FREE!
Release Date: short demo is up! (full game to be released April~December 2015)

Progress as of 21 December 2014
Script: 24%
Codex: 95%
Puzzles: 100%
Backgrounds: 90% (done with GoogleSketchUp, GIMP & FotoSketcher)
GUI: 100%
Sprites: 75% (considering adding another character...)
Extras: BG Gallery 90%, Music Room 100%, Tarot Fortunes 100%, About 100%, Profiles 60%, Trophies 0% = 60% done?

Decided to post this at last, after months of dilly-dallying. Detective Cross is my first Ren'Py project to be anywhere near completion. At the moment, in-game exploration, 'puzzle solving', and investigation would mostly use menu choices + input screens, instead of point-and-click. Because image buttons + screen language + ATL = fun, have added more point and click elements to the game.

What will be point & click:
- Initiating conversations with NPCs
- Examining items in the rooms
- The 4 buttons (+1 button to access the Save screen) at the lower right of the screen when at the Raven Hall house, which let you:
1) access the MEMO screen, for info on conversation points and the case so far;
2) access the CODEX, for info on the clues collected so far;
3) MOVE to another room/area; and
4) hide any NPCs in the room so you can INSPECT stuff without them in the way.

What will mostly use menu choices and/or input screens:
- Dialogue responses
- Puzzle 'deduction' and solution
- selecting the areas/rooms to move to

Talking/interacting with the other characters would still be an integral part of the game.


Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:06 pm
by melelisun
Looking great! The GUI, art, and BGs are very well synchronized. I like the genre and the writing looks very solid. Definitely will be anticipating this one! (Already shipping Lynn and Dio >< I kind of have a thing for assistants and detectives.)

Question: Is there a reason why Dio is bent over?

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:27 pm
by michan
melelisun wrote:Looking great! The GUI, art, and BGs are very well synchronized. I like the genre and the writing looks very solid. Definitely will be anticipating this one! (Already shipping Lynn and Dio >< I kind of have a thing for assistants and detectives.)
Thanks for your interest!

*glances at the dialogue written so far*

Heehee, well, they do apparently have a... thing... for each other. Basically Dio brings out the snark in Lynn, no matter her personality (or whichever universe they're on)... it's only a matter of how fast he does it.
melelisun wrote:Question: Is there a reason why Dio is bent over?
Erp, he's taken to constantly slouching since he's so tall? :lol: He also bows a lot.

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:56 pm
by AntiquedFae
This looks so amazing. O.O I want it. I want it now.

Also, that. puzzle. is. going. to. drive. me. insane. Possible Major Spoiler or May Just Be Completely Wrong:
I'm thinking it is a skip code, but can't figure out what to skip and where to start skipping. Being a bookworm the first thing I noticed was the books in the background, but given the screenshot I think those are just really amazing attention to detail and everything you need is in the note. The 'e' means something. It is the only letter with blood on it, other than the little spot close to the 'w'. Does that mean vowels? Lines? Letters? All of the above? Arrgggghhhhh I will beat it! This would help if I knew what I was trying to figure out, and whether it was letters or numbers.
Agh. -headdesk- I'm totally overthinking this. I know I must be. I know I do that.

Anyways, it looks great! I'm really excited for it!

Now, I need a piece of paper...

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:14 am
by Shaples
Ahh! I got it! You said to PM you, so I won't put the solution here, even in spoiler tags, but, spoiler free:

It took me several tries before I figured out the "trick" to this puzzle, and I'm a puzzle person, which might mean the hints/logic to the puzzle aren't as clear as you want them to be/think they are. Keep in mind that puzzles always seem easier once you know the solution. I tried a lot of (to me) more intuitive ways to solve it before hitting the "oh, duh!" and figuring it out.

All that aside, I like the look of the game so far, and I'm a sucker for a good detective story, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this :D

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:37 pm
by michan
@ AntiquedFae The trick is to DON'T overthink it. Maybe just...
Hint#2: Think twice.
Anywho, players can go the multiple choice route before inputting the solution to the puzzle OR input the solution off the bat. Am also considering whether to make the puzzles skippable (i.e. the Detective solves it for you) altogether... but with consequences... *dun dun dun dun...*

Stay tuned, and thanks for posting your thoughts! :)

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:56 pm
by octacon100
I really like the artwork in this, great idea to use mostly monochrome, as it makes the game stand out. I'll have to try this out! I'm interested to see how hard the puzzles are.

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:14 pm
by ColaCat
Wait...That piece of paper is the riddle?

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:14 am
by michan
@ octacon100 The mostly monochrome thing is mostly because I'm too lazy to color, though. :lol: But it works! You can get an idea re the puzzles if you check out the 'Every second counts' screenshot, as it's part of the first set of puzzles.

@ ColaCat Erm, not exactly a traditional riddle, but more of a 'hidden word' puzzle/cipher(?) thing. But it's a riddle in that there's something to puzzle about it, I guess. ^-^

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:22 pm
by ColaCat
Can you give a clue as to what we're looking for? I'm just a bit confused as to what I'm meant to be figuring out. ><

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:46 am
by michan
@ ColaCat Sorry for the late reply! The puzzle is the screenshot with the words 'Every second counts.' There's a hidden word in the text on the scrap of paper.

There's not much else to say without giving the answer away, except maybe to 'Think twice' about the first line ('Every second counts'). It should give you a hint as to how to find the hidden word. (Once you do, feel free to PM the answer!)


Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:07 pm
by ColaCat
No problem. Ah, I knew which screenshot was the puzzle, I just wanted a bit of context to make it make sense. (Sometimes when you know what type of thing you are searching for, eg. a direction, understanding these things is much easier).

I'll PM you with the answer I come up with!

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:03 pm
by michan
@ ColaCat ... Congrats on solving the puzzle! :lol:

Also, here's a screenshot of the late Alexander Ravendall's letter:

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:07 pm
by ColaCat
Thanks! Took me some time though!

Is that screenshot a puzzle too?

Re: Detective Cross [Puzzle][Mystery][Non-Commercial]

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:57 am
by michan
The letter's not a puzzle (thank goodness). Just Uncle Ravendall trolling Alessa from beyond the grave... I guess? :lol: