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Dinner Party Gone Wrong. Answers to the Scene Investigators Live and PC Demo at PAX EAST 2020.

The following is a simulated walk-through in first person of the Scene Investigators demo build. It is intended for those who played either our PC or live game demo during PAX East 2020. If you have not played it yet, we do not recommend reading the following article.


WARNING: Spoilers ahead!!


PC Demo | Walk-through

Upon entering the scene, I immediately notice the murder chalk on the floor. Someone died here. There are 5 chairs. 4 moved. 1 remained stationary. One guest never made it to the dinner party. I also notice the victim’s glass, tipped over with spilled wine and the glass has lipstick marks.


(PC demo of Scene Investigators shown at PAX East 2020.)

Near the front door, I notice a writing desk. A few items caught my attention. First, a calendar on the wall with the following information: Clara leaves for LA on February 10, 2003 and returns on February 20, 2003. Next, a man’s wallet with an abortion clinic card, a photo ID of Henry Gibson, and Edwin's business card, who is a lawyer. Opening the drawers, I find a restaurant guide rating the good (and expensive) restaurants in New York. Then I come across the note informing me of the 3 guests invited to the party - Jake, Edwin and Jenny.


( Restaurant guide list.)

Next to this desk is a coat rack with a handbag on it, slightly open. I'm curious, what's inside? Upon examination I find a book of matches from Fantaisie Amour. Where did I see this name before? There is also red lipstick with the cap popped off. This is interesting because the victim’s glass had red lipstick. Wait! The lipstick has a label on the side, it's smudge proof. It shouldn't leave a mark. So whoever this bag belonged to, it wasn’t the victim, I think.


(Label on the lipstick is crucial to understanding the crime scene.)

In the kitchen, I find a note stating that Clara’s cousin can not have alcohol and should be served orange juice, and that Ed is left-handed. At this point, I believe Henry was the one who made the seating arrangement for the dinner party. The 5 are Henry, Clara, Jake, Jenny and Edwin. I also notice an empty medical bottle in the trash bin. The description says that severe liver damage may occur if overdosed.


(Dinner party guest list.)

On the coffee table with the laptop, I stumble across a card from Jake, congratulating Clara on her birthday and telling her how much he appreciated her support and concern while Jake was in AA. So they were probably celebrating Clara's birthday. Across from the coffee table, I see a parking receipt dated February 14, 2003 - Valentine's Day. The time stamp was around dinner hours and the location was Fantaisie Amour in New York. Ah ha! This restaurant again! The matches and the restaurant listing both cite this place. Obviously, someone here had a dinner date on Valentine's Day!

(Parking receipt from 2 months ago.)

I open the side table by the sofa and see a letter to Clara from her mother, advising her to end her relationship with Henry. Clara and Henry were not on good terms? The envelope from Katherine shows that she lives in Los Angeles. Was that where Clara went in February? Wait! That means she was not in New York on Valentine's Day?! Ok, let me try to figure out the seating arrangement.


Chair 1 is easy. A note stated that Ed was left-handed and the setting for chair 1 was set for a left-handed person, so chair 1 must be Edwin's. It looks like he didn't show up. Chair 3 is the second to deduce. Since there's lipstick on the wine glass, it must be a woman who sat there. It’s the head of the table, it could be the owner of the house or the birthday girl, Clara. It has to be Clara that sat in chair 3! Clara was the victim! Gee what a birthday present! As for chair 5, it has to be Clara’s cousin since the drink prepared was orange juice. But who is Clara’s cousin? From the guest list, was it Jake or Jenny? What gave it away was the note stating that he should be served orange juice. So chair 5 must be Jake's. That leaves only Henry and Jenny for the 2 remaining seats.


Who sat where? There is no way to determine precisely. To solve this dilemma, I need to know the method and the motive of the killer.


Having found an empty bottle of medicine could mean that the killer used a large dosage of it on the drink. If that is true, then the method of killing must be poison. In order to do this, the killer must be seated next to the victim and able to pour the poison into the victim’s drink. Or an easier method would be to switch drinks. If so, the killer would need to sit next to the victim where the drink can be switched easily and at anytime. From this viewpoint, the killer most likely sat in chair 2. I did notice the placement of the glass on setting 2 seemed a bit off. Now that I'm pretty sure of the method, I need to find out the motive.


(Wine glasses are next to each other for easy swapping.)

Henry had issues with Clara. This much is clear. He is also having an affair with Jenny. Evidence for this assumption came from the following. First, the dinner reservation found in Henry’s notebook, the phone number was the number for Fantaisie Amour. Second, the valet parking receipt for February 14 at Fantaisie Amour during dinner hours. Third, the dinner reservation was not for Henry and Clara as she was away in Los Angeles. Fourth, the book of matches found in the woman's handbag was from Fantaisie Amour. Since it didn’t belong to Clara, it must be Jenny’s bag. So why would someone who's having an affair have an abortion clinic card? There must be a pregnancy involved! If Henry and Clara have been having issues for awhile, then it's probably not Clara who is pregnant. It must be Jenny! Looking from this angle, would Henry be the killer? Why would he kill Clara? The pressure of having an affair? It just doesn't sit right with me. The motive doesn't seem strong enough. I don't see evidence of Henry wanting to kill Clara. So that leaves Jenny...


The killer must have been Jenny. As for the reason? I must assume that Jenny thought she could be with Henry if Clara is out of the picture. She was carrying Henry's baby and wanted Clara gone...


Answers for the PC Demo

Question 1: Who sat in chair 5?

Answer: Jake


Question 2: Who sat in chair 2?

Answer: Jenny


Question 3: Who is Clara’s cousin?

Answer: Jake


Question 4: Who died?

Answer: Clara


Question 5: Who is the killer?

Answer: Jenny


(Questionnaire for Scene Investigators PC demo.)

(P.S. Although solvable, there are a few errors that made the PC demo ever so slightly harder to solve. We apologize for the mistakes that slipped through our QA check.)



Live Demo

The live demo is almost identical to the PC demo in terms of content and setting. Below are the differences:


1. Items have been placed in different locations to accommodate the limited booth space.

2. Coffee is used instead of wine, and glasses are replaced with cups.

3. A box of nicotine patches was included in the handbag with the book of matches and lipstick - to hint at Jenny's pregnancy.

4. The set up of the table is slightly different in terms of who sat where and the chair tipped over on the floor. In the live demo the fallen chair belongs to the victim, Clara. In the PC demo, the fallen chair belongs to Jenny. This was mostly due to space restrictions in the booth area.


Note that although the answers are slightly different, the deduction aspect of the PC demo can be used as a close reference to the live demo.


Answers for the Live Demo

Question 1: Who sat in chair 5?

Answer: Jake


Question 2: Who sat in chair 2?

Answer: Henry


Question 3: Who is Clara’s cousin?

Answer: Jake


Question 4: Who died?

Answer: Clara


Question 5: Who is the killer?

Answer: Jenny


(Questionnaire for Scene Investigators live demo.)

Thank you to those who visited us at PAX East 2020 and gave our demo a try! We hope you all loved it! We'll be sharing more of our progress with everyone soon!

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