My Game Design class wrapped up last Tuesday. I’m declaring it a success. I’m very pleased with the work that was done, and my students claim to see a lot of value in what they learned this semester. On top of that, it was an awful lot of fun to teach.
One of the three teams was working on Carnival Murder Mystery: a board game for 2–4 players.
Step right up to the Carnival Murder Mystery! Be cautious and alert as you and your fellow detectives investigate the grounds of this frightening carnival. A body has been discovered and it is up to you to uncover this horrible mystery. Use the clues you find along the way to eliminate the alleged suspects. Be the first detective to solve this chilling mystery. Enjoy your ride!
Inspired by the game Clue, Carnival Murder Mystery has players figure out who the murderer is, the weapon they used, and the location in which the murder took place. The students attempted to take the gameplay to a new level, however, with a more complicated logic puzzle. Players must move around the board, visiting locations to claim clues, some of which will be kept private. There are also cards that allow players to sneak a peek at one of their opponent’s clues.
The spaces with magnifying glasses are the ones that contain clues. After landing on such a space, the player draws a clue card and marks off the space with a whiteboard marker, indicating that the clue has already been confiscated.
The game includes investigator cards that players can use to keep track of the clues they have uncovered.
It was a real struggle for the team to move the game away from being a Clue clone, and it could still be improved. Their clues were relatively simplistic, and they could easily develop a more engaging narrative with them. But, the game is quite playable, and they received a lot of positive feedback during their playtests. The board creates a bit of a race dynamic to get the clues, which Clue doesn’t have, and there are many more variables to track. The team did an outstanding job developing a dark, creepy aesthetic for their carnival, and I’m satisfied with the results.