Private Eye - Case Files: The Wooden Lady
Environmental storytelling with a noir aesthetic, join Det. Sunderland on a case that is anything but open and shut
Private Eye Case Files is a detective game which places you in the role of fledgling detective, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s just got the call for his first case: the suspected suicide of the high-profile, rich industrialist Robert Rosentelle, who’s been found at his family home, Blenheim Manor, New York City.
On closer inspection, this is a case that’s anything but open and shut. The gun shot angle is off, and why was the victim found with a mannequin with half a key in its mouth? You’ll need to trust in your convictions and dig a little deeper if you want to solve the case of The Wooden Lady.
This gripping noir mystery is delivered through intricate environmental storytelling and suspect interrogation that utilises a unique interactive questioning system.
The central game mechanic rests on you investigating each room of the manor for clues which will help you piece together the intricate back-story to the victim’s death. The twist here is that you can assess each room from a bird's-eye vantage, spinning it around as a diorama from your office.
As you discover investigation areas within the house, you can transport yourself into the room for closer inspection. This game plays with your sense of presence and time as you constantly switch perspective from your god-like, conceptual view, to a first person perspective inside a scene in the murder house, as you carry out your investigation.
Here you can search for clues and inspect these closely, getting snippets of to help you piece together the bigger story from old forgotten belongings.
Evidence which is found to reveal crucial points in your investigation can be used in the questioning of your seven suspects. You also have the ability probe them on their answers if you believe they may be with-holding information.
Again, the concept of time is bent here, as your discoveries affect Sam's questioning of the suspects, which takes place the day after the crime-scene investigation. As you investigate the scene and choose to interrogate suspects on the items you find, you hear the tape recordings of your future conversations from the interrogation room.
In the fashion of all great exploration games, to progress with your investigation you will also need to find and use items within the scenes.
Private Eye is currently only available for use with the gamepad although we will look to offer a gamepad free version in the future.
The controls are as follows: Left Analog: Interact Right Analog: Spin object/Diorama Single Dot: Inspect, Open Door, Action Double Dot: Cancel Triple Dot: Toggle Inventory (clue: You start with a key!) Four Dot: Interrogate (when available) Right Trigger: Squint Start: Return to Diorama
Navigate around the world in the diorama view. Use the right analogue stick to spin the diorama to give yourself a better view of the scene. Some furniture can be interacted with in first-person e.g. by looking in drawers or behind bookcases, etc. to discover items.
When you are examining an item and the tape recorder icon appears, press the Four Dot button to interrogate any of the suspects and learn a little more - and don't forget, if they seem a little shifty you can probe!
The aim of the demo is to explore the entire first floor of the manor and discover as many details about the Rosentelle family as possible to piece together Part I of this twisted tale. To complete the demo you must open the case in the basement. Part II will conclude the story as you explore the first floor and remainder of the grounds.
The Private Eye Case Files utilises the power that VR has to give players an unparalleled feeling of presence in interactive storytelling. Transporting you back to the early 60s through detailed art and music design, to create a realistic and ambient noir aesthetic.
This is a house where every item conveys meaning whether it’s a character's fears, quashed ambition, a secret love or an intent to kill. By blending cinematic narrative and aesthetics we aim for a state of presence that lies in familiar environments and everyday objects and actions, creating experiences which can be easily related to and embodied.
A fully optimized experience (the demo has not been optimized and this has resulted in a slower playing experience than we would like and what we know is achievable). Part II of this turbulent tale with a moral choice to be made with real consequences We will add in the feature to give you your detective rating from your superiors, and the ability to get yourself thrown off the case for not using tact in your interrogation choices and using up your suspects limited time and patience.