Indie game storeFree gamesFun gamesHorror games
Game developmentAssetsComics
SalesBundles
A jam submission

Judged for CrimeView game page

Prove your parents innocence and find the real guilty folk
Submitted by TuomoL (@GamesTuomo) — 6 days, 22 hours before the deadline

Play game

Judged for Crime's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
People's Choice Vote#922.9382.938

Ranked from 16 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Engine
RPG Maker MV

Leave a comment

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Comments

(+1)

I'm not sure how I feel about this game, it's not a bad game but for some reason it just didn't really click with me.  Playing as a kid trying to collect details to save your parents from jail sounds like a neat idea in theory but unfortunately the lack of real detective work made it not as fun as it could've been.  If it had been more about finding clues and piecing the crime together it would've been awesome, but since you just find clues and don't even get to learn a lot about them it changes the game from a detective game to a 'find all the clue pieces' game.  The fact that there's only one obvious villain during each play through takes away all the fun of solving the case, since it's clear who is the bad guy once you talk to the mail kid or bartender.

Maybe not a major problem for other people, but I had issues with the lighting.  It was so dark in places that I could barely see, and I think the lighting system was the reason that there were so many loading screens (which I just don't expect in an rpg maker game).

The writing could do with some more polish.  There were quite a few spelling mistakes and awkward sentences (some of which can be enjoyed in my play through as I try to say them).  For a game so focused on the writing and story, it's a shame that those mistakes showed up.

Submitted (1 edit)

This is a review for the IGMC 2018 Secret Santa event.

Full disclosure, I've never been a fan of point-and-click, interactive adventure games, so I'm probably not the target audience for this game. In any case, I played through the entire game once and achieved the true ending. 

While it wasn't a critical issue, there were a fair number of glaring mapping/passability issues. To be fair, a lot of these might not have even been noticed in a normal RPG. However, given that the core of this game is to click on random stuff and talk to people, these bugs become magnified and detract from the overall polish and experience a lot more than they would've otherwise. 

The use of dynamic lighting was advertised as a main feature of the game, but its implementation was not user-friendly. When the lighting changes at the 30-minute mark, the city map becomes nearly impossible to see. I had to adjust the brightness setting on my monitor to be able to see where to go.

The game's story was understandably limited in scope due to the restrictions of the jam, but the issue with Judged for Crime's narrative unfortunately extends beyond just its length. There are three main issues that could use some improvement:

1) Grammar and (writing) Style. In the same way that the mapping bugs are emphasized by the point-and-click aspect of the game, having poor grammar and writing in a text-centric game also severely hinders the experience. 

2) Characterization (or lack thereof). The characters in the game are extremely flat. Between the grammar issues and the inconsistent character speech patterns, it was difficult to identify with and therefore invest in any of the characters. The worst offender(s) were probably the main character's parents; while reading their dialog during the visit in the dungeon, there was a moment when I seriously thought that this whole ordeal was some sort of exaggerated act that the parents were putting up to teach the MC some sort of lesson.

3) Logic. Every work of fiction asks its audience for the suspension of disbelief, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, Judged for Crime asks for more than that, it asks that logic and common sense be thrown out the window as well. This might okay if the game was highly abstract or fantastical and could be sustained on its own rules and systems. However, this game is neither a high-fantasy adventure nor a supernatrual horror, it is a mystery that asks the audience for logical thinking and deduction. Between the premise, the setting, and character dialog, there were just too many instances where behaviors of characters are unbelievable. 

All in all, while the game had a beginning and an end, and there weren't any game-breaking bugs that I encountered in my playthrough, the experience felt lackluster and unpolished. There was definitely a lot of missed opportunities, especially considering that the game was published a full 6 days before the end of the competition (20% of the whole contest duration).

Submitted

The core idea is good. There's a couple other entries that experimented with investigation as well, but I think this is an area that could use more experimentation. That said, I don't think this execution is good. You've set up a story-based setup with mechanics that encourage ignoring the story. Even if the timer isn't very strict, it still means the player have a vested interesting in skipping as much as they can. This runs completely counter to the point of investigation, which would normally be to enjoy thinking through the story. On top of that, the evidence isn't even explained to the player when they get it. I didn't finish the game, but I got 3 pieces of evidence that the items menu claimed were proof of people being related to the incident, but no indication of what the evidence actually talked about.

On a more technical side, your timer seems to go by real time passed, rather than game speed. I don't know if RMMV can support it, but such a timer is better off going by in-game time. Using the real-life time passed means that the player is punished in the case that the game lags (which was happening the entire time I had the character outside). Also, the hiding space for the brunette girl didn't make sense with the hitboxes for the other buildings. 

Submitted(+1)

Ok, live feedback here we go.

Fullscreen mode very nice. I like the title intro music. Creepy and sorta childlike. Good good. I like the custom art and like little advertisement thing popping up, like that fading thing, but I don't like it being on the title page. It's a game, not an advertisement but I won't question your marketing lol It's a demo for now. Gatta rack up those followers lol

ooooooo creepy music when playing. Wow love the shadows when she approaches the window and how it fades out a little too. Wow, well done! Though the tutorial thing popping up and remaining there is a bit of a problem, Fade it out over 7 sec? idk or close it when the character moves.

Ohhh the light from the lamps are moving! it feels as if its swinging! I like that A lot!

Wow, I like the mini to use to find the hiding girls/ creative. Love the little notebook to keep tabs too! That's helping me a lot.

Hidden wall!!!!! I love it. Very nice map transition too!

I really like the item received and items lost in the display but you made it in the upper right corner and It's hard to notice what you got if your so engrossed in the game. Do a little receive item thing pop up when you actually get something on the spot. That's always nice.

wow just noticing the custom dialogue box where the players speak out from. That's super cool! 

Ok, I pretty much guessed the ending...the climax wasn't as great i thought it would be.

I like the ending, I had true ending!

Well, here's my review of the game

I'm not too big of a fan on murder mystery but this was well done. Didn't think too much and just followed events haha. Thought I wish this game was more serious like holmes or something. Too much to ask in a demo haha. Very good submission.

Developer

Thanks for trying out my game and I'm glad you had fun!

(+1)

Really enjoyed this aesthetic. Your use of the tiles was appropriate, and the steam weather effect really lent itself to the overall atmosphere.  The text was difficult to get through at times, though I assumed this was a language barrier issue. It really wasn't bad enough to take away from the storyline though. I did find a slight passability issue in the "working girl" building, where you are able to get onto the stairs from the right side and bypass the event beneath them. There were also some instances where I was merged with the furniture in some areas, but again, not a huge issue.

I was enjoying the idea of an investigative game, especially playing as a child. Very unique. Unfortunately, I did experience a game crashing bug when leaving the bar after talking to the bitter, one-eyed Guardian. I have attached the Let's Play for everything up to that point, so you can see the error that occurred. I did try and go back and play through again later, but experienced the same problem.

I would love to try this out once it is perfected, as the premise is interesting and I'd love to see what happens! I especially liked the timer, as it really forces you to pursue the case and better helps to place you in the story.  Not a bad submission. Good luck in the contest!

Developer

Thanks for reporting the bug, you're sadly the first person to catch this so it totally went by unnoticed. If you try out the game again, you can actually do everything that you did, as long as the timer is above 30 minutes you can get beat up by Rosalind like here to get past it but getting beat up reduces your timer by 5 minutes anyway. Getting beat up by Rosalind is not required for beating the game.

Submitted(+1)

Fun game! The atmosphere was really good and the unique art was nice.

I managed to get the happy ending! I'll sleep well tonight, I think.
To be honest, I think I irreversibly screwed up like three times,
so maybe the parts I actually got right were juuust enough to save the day!
(If you're curious, I didn't find out much about Brisco, angered Rosalind and
got kicked out of Chastity's, *ahem*, womens' parlor.)

I figured out the chest's password and saved my parents just before nightfall. :D
For the chest, I had to turn my brain gears in the process of the actual puzzle, 
but I was definitely satisfied when my hunch was right! I think you gave a solid hint 
without giving away the answer, so nicely done there. d(^^)

The slowish talking adds suspense to the timer, though it's definitely a mechanic
meant for short games like this one. For a longer game, I'd implement a feature
to skip dialogue you've already read in case you accidentally
press the talk button in succession or something.

I basically guessed during the true ending,
but I clearly got the best outcome anyway.
That's a victory for me!

TOTAL PLAYTIME: 25 MINUTES

FINAL VERDICT: A guillotine and an iron maiden?
That'd make for one hell of an orphan story.

Developer(+1)

Thanks for trying out my game, I'm glad you had fun!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

I'll echo the sentiment that the slow talking was a touch annoying, only because the timer exists. It makes you feel like you NEED to get going but, as you've stated, you have more than ample time to do everything. Very good game, like the art, and everything was solvable. Some aspects of the mystery were a little weak, simply because some minor world building details just aren't there. The only reason I was able to fully solve everything was because of my knowledge of convention, and not really because the game told me, if that makes sense?

Edit:  I forgot to mention that I LOVED the music in the trail, that made me actually laugh out loud XD

Still, you did a great job TuomoL. I had a fun time playing the game. Best of luck to you :)

Developer(+1)

Thank  you from your kind words! 

Submitted

Of course, no problem at all! :D

Submitted

A little girl turns into sherlock holmes, gets beaten up, no one cares, and how the main evidence is placed is just hilariously dumb. It's too obvious who's guilty. And the way the girl just happens to figure out the code is ridiculous. Meh.

Developer

Actually if Rosalind is the guilty one, the beating can be brought up during the judgement. Even if she's not, the bartender does remark that she'll get punished for that but you need to focus on the parents.


Miranda figures the code as a safety measure to prevent player from losing  the whole game if you can't figure it out yourself.


Thanks for trying out my game!

Submitted

But I mean she can beat up a child and not get immediately arrested is what makes it so baffling. Is there some additional clues for the code? That safety measure feels kinda off, forcing the player to figure it out like that, if they don't figure out then they should fail. Or maybe the code is just too hard ?

Developer (1 edit)

There's no additional clues to the code, you have to figure out yourself.  I actually did think of making them fail but then I thought that it may be too cruel and leave a foul taste in their mouths, especially if that's the only thing from stopping them from saving their parents. It could potentially sour the whole game experience, even if they had enjoyed it until that point.


I didn't think that it's too impossible to be honest, I've seen several videos where the people figure out the password without Miranda telling them about it. But if  I do expand this game out, I probably would have difficulty options where Miranda could help solve several puzzles if you are stuck with on easier difficulties limited number of times  and on harder difficulty, you'd have no safety net and would have to rely entirely on your own wits.

Submitted(+1)

good job TuomoL. Not a fan of the slow talking with some of the characters' conversations. I feel like with a time limit, i just want them to say whatever they have to say without them pausing at all. Anyway good game!

Developer(+1)

Thanks, I actually really thought a lot about the way of presenting the timelimit and the message speed. The reason that I didn't give it instant text is that it'd be making the timelimit significantly easier and you could cheat it by left clicking through everything faster if it'd be instant drawn text. 50 minutes should be more than enough to find enough clues to prove your parents are innocent though, I was very generous with the time.