A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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In P.I. - The Chartide Cases, you assume the role of a new recruit in the Chartide Investigation Agency. In a fantasy-inspired setting, you must pay careful attention to details as you investigate evidence and engage in various conversations with the many quirky individuals around you to solve some mysteries and uncover even more.


Originally created for the 8-Bits-to-Infinity Text-Only Jam. First choice winner of Community Choice Award.


Note: The title of this game, The Chartide Cases, is plural because I originally intended there to be more levels; more mysteries; more cases. Unfortunately, I am not currently looking forward to creating any more, because I wish to move on to other projects. I hope you can make the most of the one Chartide Case I have provided.

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

the-chartide-cases-linux.zip 50 MB
the-chartide-cases-mac.zip 52 MB
the-chartide-cases-windows.zip 48 MB

Development log

Comments

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Watch P.I. - The Chartide Cases ~ 8 Bits to Infinity Winner Revisit from MrJoshuaMcLean on www.twitch.tv

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Watch Text Only Jam (8 Bits to Infinity) Feedback Part 2/2 from MrJoshuaMcLean on www.twitch.tv

Hey Joshua, you may have already seen on Discord but I have finished a big update for my game! It features many improvements that you were wishing for during your stream 3 months ago, and you should check it out! In fact, you promised to ;)

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Very nice game. I just got out of the office. I'll bookmark it for later. very clear instructions and non-frustrating ui. R ITCH-IO GOOD-PASTERY-GAME

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I'm glad you enjoyed it! I was certainly inspired by my frustration with old text adventures to make every possible command clear at all times. However, given it was made for a game jam, I hadn't the time to perfect the actual writing itself. I have plans to greatly improve this project, so if you enjoyed the prototype, keep an eye on this page ;)

Hey Mana24, I'm glad you were enjoying my game 3 months ago. If you thought that there were clear instructions and a non-frustrating UI, you should love my new update with a completely redone mystery! There were many improvements for feedback, encouraging progress, and making sure people don't get lost. And if you want the challenge of the original version, there's a Super Sleuth Mode for just that! Check it out if you wish!

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The recall function is excellent. I'd like to see this developed further. I also like your layout as being different from the text adventures I played in my youth. Seems to be less about knowing what items to grab, and more focused on asking the right questions which is great for solving a mystery.

I'm glad you enjoyed the prototype! I certainly plan on developing this project further - exploring hopefully more refined mechanics and less rushed writing. It's awesome that you enjoyed the more interrogative structure of the mystery - once I rework my dialogue system and develop a tool that allows me to set up more complex interactions easily, I am eager to write more ambitious stories :)

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Hey Cee_64, you thought the RECALL function was excellent? Well what if I told you I made it better over these three months? That's right! It is now more intuitive, and needs less arguments to function efficiently! Anyway, I've redone the first level entirely, if you would like to check it out.

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Really enjoyed this!
Inputting text with the overall aesthetic does work for me (echoing other comments below)... If it were possible to have some dialogue options to choose what I am saying as the investigator, that would cinch it for me :)
Loved the fantasy element too.
Cheers!

Thank you for the feedback! Branching dialogue would be neat! That, alongside many another suggestions in these comments (dynamic "typing" speed, colored text, etc.) will require a massive rework of my current systems but I think it will be a fun and rewarding challenge!

Hey theatrewalker, thanks to your input 3 months ago I was able to make a greatly improved version of my game! Your suggestion - and yours alone - of branching dialogue is now one of the defining features of my game. There are even 7* endings now! If you want to check it out, I'd love to know what you think!


*Kind of 5, but mainly 3, but technically 7

oh my gosh. Really?

No ways!

Congrats on the rebuild. I will defs make an effort to check it out again (especially during Corona lockdown).

Wow. Glad I could be helpful.

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love the text style. kept thinking i was a detective in an 80's infomercial writing on one of those machines that prints out on two toned paper. easy to play and learn game, but wish there was a faster lead into a clue. thought i'd get something about who loves pastries the most when investigating the pastry in the lobby.  the characters were fun to imagine though. definitely thought of a big gutted guy, comb over guy with a corn blue suit

I'm so glad you enjoyed! In the future I will work on making the cases flow a lot better - my first level was pretty rough due to it being a game jam and all. I'm glad you could visualize the characters as well, I was hoping they came across well. Also, I saw your comment regarding your game being fixed. I will go check it out now!

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I played through the first case. Although the game has potential, and the aesthetics are nice, it doesn't really feel like I had a lot of input into solving the case. Just trying everything and walking back and forth to talk to people. Some of the dialog and descriptions were amusing though.

Deleted 69 days ago

Hey mrhthepie, thank you again for your input! I am not sure if I fixed the exact problem you were having - the gameplay still revolves around walking around and talking to people. However, there are new improvements that improve the feedback and helo you progress with understanding of what is going on. You're welcome to check out the new version, if you wish!

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First of all, the game looks nice, I like the typewrite effect and the menu's,

I also like the sounds, well, most of them, I don't see why you needed to put the high-pitched sound in the beginning, it really destroyed my ears...

Maybe it's just because I find these kind of games not so fun in general but I felt like the game was a bit grindy, just trying out every recall option untill you find some unique dialogue, that's why I also didn't play that much, maybe the game got better after a while but well, take this critique at least for the first part of the game, give some more noticable clues like colored text when a word is important or something like that!

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Apologies for destroying your ears. I wasn't as hurt by the intro and failed to consider that others could be - I'll definitely edit it as I update the game in the future. That was also one of the last touches I made as I stayed up until 6 AM grinding for this jam. I'm glad you enjoyed the other sounds though, I tried so hard to create typing/carriage return sounds without using external assets.

Yeah, it seems a major flaw in this original build is that the writing/mechanics don't really provide enough feedback as to if you are making progress or not, so many people end up going for the "brute force" approach. My "excuse" for this is that the first level is honestly super short, and I never finished my ambitious second level, so I didn't want it to be "too easy". But in the future, I will definitely add relevant feedback both in the writing and through game mechanics. Colored text may be difficult to implement given my current systems, but it will be a good challenge when I'm not under a time crunch :)

Hey LineartLemur, thank you again for your input 3 months ago! I took your advice, and incorporated features such as highlighted text and better feedback to make the game much less repetitive and grindy. As for the sound at the beginning, I did lower the pitch quite a bit and lower the volume, however I was unable to part with it entirely. Anyway, the game has been greatly updated if you would like to check it out!

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After a somewhat weaker start, the funny dialogues quickly recovered this game for me. However, the Recall mechanics was the part that made me stick with this game a little more. 

But after a while, when I investigated most of the seemingly unrelated items, I started to realize that to progress the story, in the beginning, I just need to go back and forth between the characters. Then I stuck, I investigated everything once again, recalled everything with everybody, and still got the same answers, so I gave up.

The typewriter effect on the text gives the game a good vibe, but making it dynamically change speed to highlight different parts of the dialogues or even adding some stops, or deletions would significantly improve the illusion.
Typing in all the words, especially the redundant area names during recall, just to confirm that the answer didn't change, makes the game a little bit frustrating pretty quickly. Maybe adding some highlighting to give a little clue which words worth checking again and which ones will result in the same, unskippable, multi-page answer would ease the pain.

To summarize, I had fun but gave up because of the repetitiveness.

Thanks for the compliment regarding the dialogue. If you liked the recall mechanic, hopefully you'll enjoy the "Indict" command that I intend to add in further levels :) It was one of my original ideas that I unfortunately did not get to show off. It was my solution to giving these kind of puzzle games a clear win/lose condition, rather than getting "stuck" all the time. 

Yeah, my first level was honestly not as polished as I wanted it to be. A lot of items are pretty unrelated, as I was a little worried both about how "easy" I was making the level and how much I was sticking to the D&D theme. Hence the strange items that pretty much only serve as tiny, tiny morsels of worldbuilding. I certainly intend to tidy up the first level in the future, make the feedback regarding progress a lot more clear, and clarify goals through more dynamic dialogue as well.

Frankly, I can think of a super easy way that I could have implemented a "skip" button, but I just never thought of it. My bad. Dynamic speed, highlighting, and "mistakes" would certainly be amazing! That is a great idea. I am unsure, given the current way my project is built, how I would go about adding that. But that seems like a great challenge to improve my game!


To summarize, I overscoped a bit, and in trimming down my first level to a state of being "completed", I was left a pretty unpolished, unclear, and somewhat repetitive experience. Thank you for the feedback! I am eager to improve this game in the future.

Hey Kosinaz, thanks to your input 3 months ago, I was able to improve my game! I did add dynamic text speed, as well as highlighted text. I have also made the RECALL command more intuitive, so you don't need superfluous arguments. Additionally, the game has much better feedback on what questions were already asked / were updated, so it is overall less repetitive. I have completely redone the first level with multiple endings if you would like to check it out!

When I try to run the web build (in Firefox), all I get is "abort(114). Build with -s ASSERTIONS=1 for more info."

The (Mac) download works fine, though.