Game nights over Zoom may not be for everyone, but if you're a fan of group games and thrilling experiences, this may be an idea for you! Although many people are unable to see their closest friends right now, making an effort to create fun parties and hang-outs can definitely keep one's social life alive. My close friend and roommate is a very intelligent and creative woman that thought to make a bi-weekly, self-made Murder Mystery for our friends to participate in. With hours of work and ample research, she was able to create an accurate Murder Mystery with multiple suspects and possible theories. She used pictures of our friends who were a part of the game to make complex characters and suspects, making the game even more engaging. Putting in the extra effort of cosplay and realistic storylines, my Saturday night is a lot more exciting than usual.
Interested? Well here's how you can make your own!
1. Gather friends and family members who are willing to participate.
If you are interested in doing this, the first thing you will need to do is find people to help you create it, as well as those who are willing to participate in the actual party. Depending on how large you want your party to be, you can tell people to bring friends and spread the word. Even a small group of close friends working together is a really awesome way to connect with each other during a time of social distancing.
2. Create a basic story-line layout
First, figure out your victim, their age, cause of death, as well as the setting of the mystery. Get as creative as you want during the process. Decide who you want the suspects to be as well as the murderer and their motives. As you set up the documents or presentation, add in more details and photos to create a more personal and engaging feel to the story.
3. Figure out teams/player dynamics.
Depending on your group, figure out if you want to have individual players, split your group into teams, or have everyone working together. This part is personal preference.
4. Decide how players get their information.
Players can either interview characters, interview the host who can play multiple characters, or the host can be an omniscient "god" that feeds the players information. Players can get information from a google or powerpoint presentation, as well as other documents they can find in their own way. Think about alibi's for the characters, possible motives, forensic/scientific information about the death, DNA, the relationships between characters and murder weapons. With many things to consider, this may take research and time, but with possible help from others and an interesting storyline, this can be the creative escape you need.
5. Make it your own!
Whether you want to go all out with makeup and costume or make it more comedic than scary, it's up to you what you want the game to look like. You can do whatever you see fit because it's your game! The beauty of this is the control you have over what the game looks like, whodunit, and why. Enjoy yourself and don't get discouraged with all the work. Take your time to prepare for it during free periods and give it a try if it sounds like it's for you.