The Shadows That Linger is a supernatural mystery game. Play as a medium named Ilana who can peer into the realm of shadows and solve a haunting murder.
My roles ......
Team size ...
Crimson Ink Games, LLC
Game Designer / Producer
Design mystery-solving gameplay & resource systems
Establish game's central plot, setting, & characters
Maintain game's vision
Manage a team of 10
My main goal with The Shadows That Linger was to immerse the player in a dark world of "paranormal noir".
Early on, I decided to make the setting black and white, while using pops of color purposefully and thematically. Any color the player sees in the game, signifies a spiritual trace on a clue that they can use to solve the mystery.
In addition, I designed the following pair of supernatural detective abilities:
Shadow Vision - a proximity-based discovery mechanic that highlights hidden clues with spiritual traces. The player can click on their crystal ball (which serves as diegetic UI) to toggle Shadow Vision, which further dims the environment and allows Ilana to focus. The player can then move their cursor across the screen in search for clues. The closer their cursor is to a hidden item, the more intensely the crystal ball glows until it ultimately reveals the item. I designed clue discovery this way because it felt engrained in Ilana's powers and made players feel like a spiritual medium
Shadow Dialogue - an insightful ability that allows the player to discern the true forms of characters' shadows, which carry their darkest secrets. The player can use this ability when they engage in a conversation with an NPC. When they do so, the NPC's shadow takes a haunting form and reveals the true meaning behind the character's words. This ability offers another way to unravel the mystery by functioning as a sort of lie detector or a way of reading characters' minds
Using these dark, spiritual powers drains Ilana's energy, but there are ways for the player to restore it. By performing acts of self-care, such as drinking tea, petting a dog, or freshening up in the bathroom, Ilana can regain lost energy. These moments serve to lighten the tension of solving a murder while showing off another side of Ilana.
*My team, Crimson Ink Games, was a winner in the IU Media School's Shark Tank game pitching competition, and went on to demo the game at the GDEX 2020 Exhibitor Showcase.