1. Where do you get inspiration for your mysteries? Any famous sleuths stand out?
I get inspiration from logical puzzles in magazines or books. I have always loved books with mysteries — especially murder mysteries. "Springtime Slaughter" was created based on a logical puzzle. The challenge was to bring it into a 3D world. And using a murder as theme for it made this easier.
As we have a lot of other games here at Heart of Dragons, like fencing and various board games, I am constantly looking for ways to combining one of more of those games into a bigger setting. In that way, other in-world games are an inspiration too.
2. Do you plan out the clues in advance or just make them up as you go along?
Yes — I plan everything out in advance — or most of it. It is easier to check the logic and solutions on paper, or on a "map.” Usually, I start with a puzzle, and then I have to find a background story that fits with the sims here. My partner, Eden, helped me with the backstory of Springtime Slaughter. Creating the clues is easy once you have those two in place. Sometimes the best ideas can pop up at a late stage, and you have to have room for some late adjustments.
3. What historical stories or figures do you look to for ideas?
Oh, I am easily inspired! But I can't name any in particular. The fantasy theme of my sims really makes it easy to make a "parallel" universe, rather than recreate a real story, event or person. I want the players to focus on the game, the puzzle and the logic, and not get hung up on historical incorrectness. That way SL is excellent. You can create your own reality and universe.
4. What are some of your other favorite mystery or game spots inworld?
My top three favourites must be "The Pot Healer Adventure," "Black Heart of New Babbage," and MadPea. I love the immersion in all of them, and they are challenging. They are great games to play with friends.
5. What are your tips for getting over “creative block” when you’re building your games?
If I only knew that there is a "cure" for that! Hehehe. What I do is either to take a complete break, do other things (RL or SL), to go exploring in SL to get inspiration (I never get tired of that) or I even try to see if I should start from scratch on a new one...
Visit Springtime Slaughter inworld.