Welcome to the Scene Investigators Demo walkthrough! The objective of this walk-through is to explain the story of the demo and provide insight to the game design of Scene Investigators. Lets begin!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Upon starting the game, you are shown the controls for the game on a laptop. Press next and you will be presented the objective of the game, shown as 5 questions.
Who sat in chair #5?
Who sat in chair #2?
Who is Clara’s cousin?
Who is the killer?
These 5 questions correspond to the demo scene and you will need to find clues around the scene to properly answer them. The clues can only provide so much, and you will need to use your own deductions to make an accurate assessment of what had just occurred. We call this the 70/30 principle. The game provide 70% of the information and players will use their insight to fill in the missing 30%. In other words, there may not always be concrete evidence and you will need to look at the motives and intention of the characters and compare it to the clues you find to deduce what could have happened. Press “Start” to begin exploring.
OBSERVE THE SCENE CAREFULLY
Upon navigating the scene, you immediately notice a table set up as a dinner gathering and a body outline on the floor. Someone died here. A quick glance, and you will see five chairs all numbered, four of them moved, and one that remained stationary. One guest never made it to the gathering. Chair number three appears to be the victim’s chair and there is a tipped cup of wine where the victim sat. Further inspection and you may notice that chair user five was served orange juice and chair one was set up for a left-handed person. This setup will give a basic understanding of the crime scene. After getting a feel for the area, you can begin to sweep the area for clues.
ANALYZE EVERYTHING ON SITE
There are a total of 16 interactable clues to discover. Observing or reading these items will provide more info on the characters, their relationships with each other, and shed some light on what could have led to the victim’s death.
A few of these objects will provide some basic information. The Guest list provides three names, Edwin, Jenny, and Jake. Since the table was set for five people, that leaves two unaccounted for. The Wallet provides another name, Henry Gibson, and Envelope provides the last, Clara Gibson. Both Clara and Henry share the same last name and same address implying that they are husband and wife. The Birthday card with the present beside it implies that it might be a birthday gathering. The Calendar shows the month of April with “Clara’s Birthday” written for the 22nd. Could it be Clara’s birthday they are celebrating? A Bottle of Benzacline can be found inside the kitchen’s trash bin. The bottle states that high dosages combined with alcohol can be deadly. If true, then the means of murder must be poison. Each item you discover will provide crucial information and once you’ve found them all, you will have everything you need to answer the five questions.
START BY PIECING THINGS TOGETHER
You begin by answering question one. Who sat in chair #5? This one is quite easy. The user of chair five has a glass of orange juice compared to the other attendees who have glasses of wine instead. The Reminder on the fridge states, “My cousin can't drink wine. Serve him orange juice instead,” and “Ed is left-handed.” This note handwriting is different from Henry’s planner, so it must be Clara who wrote it. From the note, you know that the cousin is a “him” and Ed, probably short for Edwin, is referred to by his name. The only other males in this scenario is Henry and Jake. Since you deduced that Henry is most likely the husband, this leaves Jake to be the cousin. This is further supported by the Birthday card, which implies that Jake doesn’t drink alcohol anymore. With this understanding, you are also able to answer question three. Who is Clara’s cousin?
You set your eyes on question two. Who sat in chair #2? But before you answer that, you will need to answer question four. Who died? You know that the victim sat in chair three and chair three is at the head of the table. Could it be Henry? Inspecting the cup of chair user three will reveal a lipstick smear. This implies that a woman must’ve sat here. That leaves only Jenny and Clara. Considering this could be Clara’s birthday gathering, it’s highly likely that Clara sat at the head of the table. How unfortunate for the birthday girl! You are now able to narrow down the answers for question two.
It is at this point in the game that you will need to understand the character’s motives and the hidden story beneath it. The last two questions heavily rely on how well you understand these characters and their relationships with each other.
LET'S CONNECT THE DOTS, SHALL WE?
The first step to uncovering this secret is found in the valet parking receipt. The receipt is for Fantaisie Amour and is dated February 14, 2003, or Valentine’s day. After glancing at the Restaurant guide, you will come to know that Fantaisie Amour is an awfully expensive restaurant. Hmm, Henry and Clara must’ve gone out to a dinner date. You take a look at the Calendar and flip back to February, but something doesn’t add up. Clara was out of town from February 11th to the 17th. So, who did Henry go with? Inspecting the green handbag gives a possible answer to that question. Inside the handbag, you will find a box of Nicotine Patches, a lipstick, and a matchbook. The matchbook reveals that the matches are from Fantaisie Amour. Could this handbag belong to Henry’s mistress? That would imply that Henry is having an affair with Jenny! Examining the lipstick’s cap reveals that the lipstick is “water resistant” and “leaves no marks or smears.” This further supports your deduction of Clara being the victim as the wine glass for chair three has a lipstick smear. That leaves the last clue, the box of Nicotine Patches. The box explains that the use of these patches is for those who want to quit smoking. That probably also explains why there are a few unused matches in the matchbook. Now why would a woman want to stop smoking? Revisiting Henry’s wallet reveals a business card for an abortion clinic. Comparing this card business card to the lawyer’s, the clinic card looks cleaner. This could imply that the clinic card was attained more recently.
The pieces are starting to fall together. From the clues, you can deduce the possibility of a pregnancy. From the letter, you know Henry and Clara were having issues so it’s highly improbably that Clara is pregnant. You also know Clara couldn’t have been at Fantaisie Amour date so it’s highly unlikely that the green handbag belongs to her. That would imply that Jenny is likely pregnant, and she is having an affair with Henry. Reobserve the table setup with this information and you may notice something. There are three glasses of wine, one half full, one tipped, and one that remained untouched. It makes sense that a pregnant woman would not drink any alcohol hence her drink would remain untouched. It’s a stretch, but this would imply that Jenny sat in chair two.
TIME TO MAKE CALCULATED ASSUMPTIONS AND FILL IN THE GAPS
Now it’s time to look at the motives for the murder. The possibility of Edwin and Jake goes right out the window. Edwin didn’t even make it to the gathering and Jake doesn’t have any motive to kill Clara. From his card to Clara, you can understand that he loves and appreciates her. You know that Henry and Clara’s relationship is a bit rocky and you deduced that Henry had an affair with Jenny. Looking from this angle, would Henry be the killer? Why would he kill Clara? Does the abortion card imply guilt or a desire to avoid the consequences of his actions? Was he afraid of hurting Clara or receiving judgement? Did the pressure of having an affair get to him? These are all possibilities but are weak motives nonetheless. Now you set your sights on Jenny. You deduce that Jenny is pregnant with Henry’s child. Was Clara aware of the affair? Did Jenny fear retaliation from Clara? Was Henry trying to abort the baby and abandon Jenny? Maybe Jenny wanted to remove Clara from the equation to ensure Henry’s loyalty to her. Perhaps Jenny was in a situation where she’s vulnerable, afraid, and doesn’t want to be left alone. When you compare Jenny’s motives to Henry’s, Jenny has the stronger motive.
Everything seems to fit, but you decide to continue a bit more to find more evidence. You decide to visit the probable means of death, the Bottle of Benzacline. You suspect that the bottle must’ve belong to the killer making it either Henry’s or Jenny’s. You notice that Dr. R. J. Hayes is the prescribed doctor. You remember that Henry’s planner mentions an appointment with a Dr. Richardson and the clinic card mentions a Dr. Charleston. None of these doctors are the prescribed doctors. These clues points to Jenny as the bottle owner. You decide to revisit the table setup and notice something interesting. Chair user number two has their glass on the left side, opposite of where it should be. This is indicated by the cup stain on the right of the napkin and the fact that every other right-handed user has their cup on the right as well. It is definitely an awkward position for the glass. Why is the glass on the left side? You deduced earlier that Jenny was the most likely to have sat in chair two. The killer must’ve sat next to the victim to pour the poison, or an easier method would be to switch the glasses. Did the killer pour the poison into their own glass and switched glasses with the victim’s? If so, then this further supports the presumption that Jenny is the killer and she sat in chair two.
Satisfied with your deductions, you head over to the computer to input your answers. You start typing on the computer and voila! The game says got five out of five questions correct. You have reached the end of the walk-through.
Who sat in chair #5? [Jake]
Who sat in chair #2? [Jenny]
Who is Clara’s cousin? [Jake]
Who died? [Clara]
Who is the killer? [Jenny]
As you can see, the 70/30 principle provides ample room for the player to formulate and theorize without blatantly telling the story. Not everything is always black and white. We wanted to create a game experience where the players will have to navigate through the grey zone and use their wits and observation skills to piece together the story. Our intention with the demo was to give a taste of the type of gameplay to expect from Scene Investigators.
Thank you for those who downloaded our demo. We hope you all enjoyed it. For any comments, questions, or concerns, head over to our steam store discussion page. We’d love to hear from you! We’ll be sharing more of our progress with everyone soon!