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Session Name:

The Burden of Proof: Narrative Deduction Mechanics for Detective Games


The fantasy of playing the master detective is compelling but brings difficult problems both for players and narrative designers, the biggest of which is the problem of proof. Having uncovered a complex crime full of twists and turns, how can the player show the game they've solved it? And what if they haven't? inkle's most recent game, Overboard!, is a detective game where you aren't the detective (you're the murderer), but its design suggests a novel approach for allowing the player to assemble and refine a solution from evidence and speculation that could be more widely applied. In this talk, narrative director Jon Ingold will outline how Overboard!'s deduction system works, and show how it tackles the problem of proving specific feedback without removing the need for player creativity, and he'll demonstrate how the approach could be applied to more right-way-up detective stories.

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  • Game Developers Conference 2022
  • Jon Ingold
  • inkle
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design