Criminal Case is a crime themed hidden objects game with a strong emphasis on storytelling and character development. The game is among the top 10 most played facebook games on a daily basis, with a number of 4 to 6 million Daily Active Users. There are also iOS and Android versions.
The player character is a top cop with flair and an unquestionable capacity to catch bad guys. They’re helped by a complete crime investigation team (detectives, forensics experts and so on) to find clues, gather evidence and finally put the murderer behind bars.
The game alternates classic hidden object sequences to find clues, minigames to analyze the said clues and witness/suspects interrogation to eventually lead to the murderer’s arrest. The investigation/observation/interrogation combined TV/Movie inspired plot formula is the core of the game.
PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT AND WORK ON THE PROJECT:
I was working on Criminal Case as a Bilingual Writer/Mission Designer (exact title of the job).
On a global level, my task was to work with my fellow Mission Designers to write the game’s plot, various story arcs, develop the characters and the game’s universe.
As the game is articulated around the storytelling, every Mission Designer had to write their story and dialogue keeping in mind the game structure with clue analysis minigames and hidden objects sequences to being integral part of it.
I was, with a team mate, in charge of the Additional Investigations.
Additional Investigations (or AI) are the segment of each game episode that’s set after the murderer’s arrest.
They AI were first a way to make the players grind the content with few additions and reward them with in game currency, energy and character customization items. All of the aforementioned things without much new lore to discover. The players being aware of that, this part of the game needed change, and that’s how my addition to the Mission Designers team was put to contribution.
With my team mate, we worked out how to make them more entertaining, consistent, and most importantly, fun for the players. We did that by developing the main characters, creating interesting sub-plots and closing the loop of each main crime investigation. The players feedback was very positive, so we kept improving the formula.
Example of a dialogue line I wrote and integrated to the game: Here, Frank Knight, one of the player’s main sidekick is arresting a woman who used her charms earlier in the investigation to trick him
Tasks on the project:
- Creating stories and sub-stories for the game; developing the game’s background
- Deciding the characters to use, the clues to find and their link and meaning towards the said stories
- Designing a story tree including characters interactions, minigames and investigation sequences
- Writing dialogues based on the story arc I created
- Working with graphic designers to put clues, visual info and characters to life
- Integrating the dialogue, characters, objects, minigames, and everything related to Additional Investigations to the game (using JSON)
- Constructing the level design on the Additional Investigations I was working on (tuning, rewards, key moments)
- Working hands in hands with other writers to develop the main story and game’s setting