IntroComp 2016: Deviled Kegs

Another IntroComp intro/demo: “Deviled Kegs”, a CYOA (Twine, I guess?) about an interplanetary murder mystery….

So, this is a murder mystery set at an interplanetary beer-brewing competition. It’s a premise that hits a lot of the right notes, and which has the potential to become something very interesting indeed. I’m hoping for a peek into the beer-brewing process, or into the drama that can emerge from high-profile competitions such as this. Or perhaps just a love of beer.

We have just enough intro for a setup, but I think I could have done with a bit more to get a feel for the story and the characters involved. A big part of a whodunnit is the cast of suspicious characters, and we’ve met just two or three of them. Then again … will this be a “figure out the culprit” mystery, a “follow the clues to the explosive end” thriller, or even just damage control in the face of disaster?

As far as presentation goes, I’m not sure I like the marriage of text and full-screen background images: while the images do set the tone for their respective passages, they have not had their contrast reduced, and that means that text printed over them may be perfectly legible in one part of the image but harder to read in others.

We know that CYOA can be used to tell a decent mystery, of course: We saw some of that with “Bell Park” at the IFcomp a couple of years ago, and I think the format could be pushed to meet the genre even better. There will, of course, be a fair amount of stat-tracking. The choices we meet in this demo have all been about establishing character and/or relationships rather than about directing action: I don’t know if this is going to form the bulk majority of the choices we’ll encounter but if so and if they are to matter, the game will have to remember what each character thinks of our protagonist.

The breakfast I expect to have will be some sort of regional specialty, with varied but understated flavours. The prelude is tomato juice … a mild tang, maybe with a shot of whiskey for the dog that bit you.

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