First Question on Serial Homicide Unit

31Dec08

I got an e-mail from a gamer in Mexico (isn’t the Internet cool?) asking about Serial Homicide Unit. He wanted to know whether it was like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I’m still getting used to talking about the game. This was my response:

Thanks for your interest. Serial Homicide Unit is not very much like a Choose Your Own Adventure. It’s more like being taught how to play a game by audio tutorial. The audio doesn’t contain details about the serial killer or clues found at the crime scenes. It tells you when the serial killer strikes again, and explains how your group can create these clues on your own.

The first few tracks give an overview of the game and–because there can be no investigation before there has been a crime–teach you how to make interesting civilian characters that might be the killer’s next victim. Then another track explains how to play out a scene from the life of these civilians. After everyone has played out a civilian scene, the next few tracks describe how the police begin to investigate the murders. Everyone plays their own investigator and imagines their own clues found at the crime scene. These clues work together in a growing pool of evidence that may eventually lead to the killer’s capture. Then you play another civilian scene. Then, track 9 tells you which of your civilian characters have been murdered. Then, your police characters investigate that murder. You continue back and forth between civilian scenes and investigation scenes, with the killer murdering another civilian each round. Once you think you have enough evidence, you roll the dice to see if your case holds up in court. If so, you capture the killer! If not, the murders continue and some evidence is thrown out. The game ends when the killer is captured, or when the killer has murdered every last one of the civilian characters. Can you save them in time?

What do you think? For those who have played the game: Does this explain SHU without giving everything away?

For those who haven’t played the game: Is this clear and understandable? Does it grab your interest and make the game seem appealing?

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