Daily Design: Day 98

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on three randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Editor, Caution and Postcard.

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

Mystery Missive

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In Mystery Missive, players take the role of a prison guard tasked with checking prisoner’s letters to home for anything unusual.

Exclusively a single-player game, the UI consists of nothing but the player’s desk (think Papers Please), that’s covered in the necessary information. They have the letter itself, which they can read over for as long as they choose. They also have two stamps – one for approving, one for denying.

The idea is to approve innocent letters while denying ones that are trying to send banned information – things like collaborating on crime, or asking for something to be smuggled in. These sorts of letters obviously hide their information quite well, which means some sleuthing is in order.

On the player’s desk is also a computer that includes profiles of their prisoners. By searching a name, you can bring their dossiers up and read through them, which often offer huge clues. For example, if somebody references the time they spoke to Aunt Martha and you discover that they have no known family, it’s a safe bet that there’s something suspicious going on. While this isn’t enough to deny the letter off-hand, it’s enough to warrant further investigation.

That’s the whole game, really – sorting through letters to see what ought to be sent out and what shouldn’t. It’s essentially a puzzle game that’s a little more grounded in reality than most.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.

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