In this part I’ll describe some of the things I would have liked to do with Murder Island, but could not do given the limited time and resources.
First off, I wanted the people to still be at the location they were at at the end of the simulation. Then you have to travel around from location to location to interrogate them. This travelling around would also come with a cost (probably time), so you have to carefully decide where to go next (by, for example, guessing where people are based on when other people last saw them).
Every location you visit should then have a background image (which I couldn’t find) and the people that are at that location should be integrated in that ‘background’ image. For example, if person A was at the bar, he could be sitting at a table. You then would have to click them to interrogate them. The weapons would also be hidden at these locations (based on where they were at the end of the simulation), but more or less hidden, so you would have to look really good if you wanted to find them (instead of asking other people). This would make the game somewhat more interesting (I think, I can’t know for sure without actually making and testing it). It would definitely make it look a lot nicer.
Secondly, people now literally tell you everything and everyone they saw, no exceptions. I would like it more if there was some more ‘intrigue’ to the situation on the island. People would lie to you to hide what is really going on. For example a guy cheating on his wife with person B would deny having seen person B without anyone else around. But person B would tell you that she saw that guy, so you can still solve the puzzle. Also, people could not tell you they saw the weapons they were carrying themselves. This would be very easy to implement, so I could have done it, but that would make the game a little too hard in this prototype in my opinion. Also, the murderer should always deny having seen the victim or the murder weapon or having been at the location of the murder. This would certainly add more depth to the game, since you don’t know who you should trust and who is lying.
Another thing I didn’t add, is sound. Partly because HTML5 is still a bit wonky regarding sounds, but mainly because I didn’t have enough time (and I didn’t think it is that necessary). If the locations-system (where you visit the people at the locations they were at at the end of the day) would be implemented, every location should probably have different BGM, fit for the scene. E.g. something sounding like the sea at the docks or at the wrecked ship, some relaxing music at the inn, etc.
I would also probably change the way the remaining time is shown. RIght now it’s just a timer in the top-right corner. But I would love something a bit more ‘abstract’ that would show the day is passing, for example the sun rising and setting in the background and a colored “overlay” depending on the time (e.g. everything getting a bit orangey near the evening and dark when it’s night). This would probably make you feel “hunted” (is that the right word?) if it’s getting late and you still have no clue what the solution is. But again, I can’t know for sure unless it gets made and tested…
Finally, here are some statistics (gotta love numbers!) about Murder Island:
In the first 24 hours, 143 people played Murder Island. This might not sound like much at all, but it’s the most I’ve ever had in the first 24 hours after release.
Nearly two thirds of that was people playing the mobile version. Which is a bit surprising, since I released that version more than 12 hours after the initial release. I’m pretty sure I’ve got to thank @McFunkypants for that!
The average time people spend on the game is around 7 minutes and 35 seconds for the normal version, and 10 seconds less for the mobile version. I think that’s about one game’s worth in time.
Both versions see about 25% of people returning (which is also a pretty good number for something like this).