A Death at Sea

A murder mystery set on a transatlantic liner.

When a passenger is found dead, the ship's bellhop is tasked to investigate.


  • Move - Left/right cursors
  • Interact - Up cursor
  • Conversations - Cursors + Enter
  • Press escape to access the save/load menu.

Running: Use, or python3 -m pgzero

Release Changelog:

  • 1.0.1 - fix problems with calling bundled pgzero from
  • 1.0.0 - initial (midnight) release


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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 4.0
Fun: 3.8
Production: 4.7
Innovation: 3.5

Respondents: 11


File Uploader Date
A Death At Sea 1.0.1
mauve 2017/02/26 11:03
mauve 2017/02/24 01:35
Being briefed by the Captain
mauve 2017/02/22 01:04
In the bar
mauve 2017/02/19 23:33
On deck
mauve 2017/02/19 18:45

Diary Entries

Day 1

Today wasn't the most productive Pyweek Sunday I've had. "The Lesser of Two Evils" wasn't a theme I had put a lot of thought into, and I spent a while deciding whether to proceed with my first idea or think up something new. I ended up recommitting to the original idea - a murder mystery set on an ocean liner.

I don't have a plot yet, but I do have a dramatis personae and you can wander the ship:

Oh, yes, and you're all anthropomorphic cats.


Day 2

I didn't touch a line of code today, and I only drew one new character. The effort all went into writing a murder mystery plot that involves all my characters and can be told without needing too many more features.

Among the resources I looked at, I found this excellent page of Agatha Christie plot twists and plot devices.

The first thing I wrote down was a little table of plot elements I could think of from crime dramas and what they mean. I didn't use it much, but it's a fun little aside. Here are some items from it that I don't think I'm using:

  • An old photo - people in the photo knew each other
  • A book - someone has an interest in or knowledge of a topic
  • An earring - a woman was somewhere she was not expected to be
  • Pool of water - the murder was committed using ice

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The Rules of Crime Fiction

After reading about Agatha Christie plot devices last night, I thought it was coincidental to find these Rules of Crime Fiction an author acquaintance of mine just shared.

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Day 3

Today I made steady progress on a number of fronts.

I got the dialogue and interaction system complete enough to start writing the plot dialogue. Like Legend of Goblit, it's based on a DSL, but this one is quicker and dirtier because it doesn't feed into an extensive animation system. It's also less scripted, and based more on seeking out information and growing your knowledge. When you know more, you can ask more searching questions.

I've also started to clean up and adapt the initial artwork I drew on Sunday to tell the plot. There's a fair bit more to do, and the plot has some loose ends I need to work out how to tie up, but it all currently feels on track.

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Day 4

Today I finished off the majority of the art needed to complete the plot. The plot has had a few tweaks over the last couple of nights, ranging from swapping characters entirely to changing what proves what - hopefully that means it has fewer loose ends.

With the art and a few bits of sound and music complete, I have three days now to write all the dialogue. Obviously the dialogue that lets you complete the game is the first target, but I'd hope to write a fair bit of incidental dialogue to tell the backstories as well.

No new screenshots tonight as it'll be too spoiler-y.

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Day 5

Today's effort went into polishing the dialogue system, then into starting to write dialogue. Progress is good. I'm about 40% of the way through the story's critical path, and the dialogue system is working well - conversations evolve naturally as you learn more.

A brief diversion was to create a save/load system - this is a must for writing a state-drive story like this - so that you can restore to the same point with code changes. This turned out to be much easier for this game than it was for Legend of Goblit, though. You don't have an inventory as such, and you simply acquire knowledge by engaging in dialogue. So restoring the location you are in the ship, and the things that you know is basically all there is to it.

I made it autosave every 5 minutes just for peace of mind. Not a very interesting screenshot, but there it is:

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