Mystery Page

Made by Lucy Tan, mzhong1, Rachel Gu and Marie Shaw

Solve the murder before another victim appears! Explore the pages of the wiki for clues and watch the shadows for memories of the crime.

Created: November 15th, 2015



Detail what you created. What methods or techniques did you use? What tools and technologies were involved? Include images, code or video.

Our project is a murder mystery where the audience needs to navigate a wikia to find clues, like a scavenger hunt, to solve the mystery. The other main component is our reenactment of the murder scene, which we do by using a projector to show only our shadows. This gives hints as to how the murder occurred, as well as brings the world of the murder to the audience. An audio track from a video game that deals with crime adds to the atmosphere and prompts the audience to feel like they must solve the mystery quickly. 


Finally, there is a google doc where people can share clues, which brings an aspect of collaboration into the performance.



Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

Our intentions were to create a game in which people had to solve something that could be done without technology, but with limitations that required them to use it. Because we have a constraint "unspoken with words," that we can interpret in different ways, we decided to interpret in such a way so that neither us nor the audience could talk, but the audience still had to communicate to solve the mystery within the 4 minutes. Another interesting aspect was to see if, given a larger amount of information with a restricted amount of time, a larger group of people could still figure the information out. We also had a poll that people used to vote, so it was interesting to see if people who didn't know and guessed incorrectly outweighed people who actually knew it or guessed correctly.



Describe what informed your ideas and your outcome. How does your outcome relate to other work in the field? What are the precedent projects?

We took a lot of inspiration from board games and card games, such as Mafia, Resistance, and Clue. Because of the limited time constraints, we thought giving the audience roles would be too difficult, but we wanted them to still participate. 

In the game Mafia, the audience are given roles, while the actual "performer" has the role of "God," depending on the version, and leads the game more or less. The actual 

Our game blatantly incorporates Clue, the detective mystery game in which the players have to find out the murderer, weapon, and location. Because of the time constraints, however, we also help the audience figure it out, and our clues that point them to the right suspects.

The Wikia aspect of our performance was inspired by internet scavenger hunts where people have to navigate through websites and click hyperlinks to learn about a particular subject or reach a certain end goal.



Describe how you arrived at the outcome. Show iterations and refinements. Document design decisions and challenges encountered.  

Originally we were going to do a Mafia-esque game where the audience members and project members would be randomly assigned roles of killer, victim, and civilian trying to catch the murderer.  This turned out to be quite complicated and unfeasible in 4 minutes, so that idea was scrapped.  We then thought about limiting the performance to a few audience volunteers who had to find clues to determine the killer -also too long for the time constraint. We also struggled to incorporate technology as a NECESSARY element, rather than a supplement that wasn't actually needed. 

Finally, after deliberation, we decided to incorporate a wiki as our main medium, where the audience could quickly and efficiently travel through to participate in the catching (or failure in catching) of a murderer.  A performance using shadows to hide obvious details would help provide clues while the audience searched through the wiki to gather information.  Part of the challenge of this project was making the clues and profiles obvious enough to be solved in 4 minutes while also being vague enough so that the audience wouldn't figure everything out in the first minute.  (insert more things after performance here, like wiki page nav things)



Outline how the collaboration worked. What were the roles of each team member? What elements did each person contribute to the final performance?  

When it came to workload everyone worked together -there weren't any pre-defined roles. We decided on the plot and details together, with everyone giving input and ideas. We all worked to figure out what we would do, how we would do it, what roles and props we needed. It only really "split", as it were, when we actually made the wiki pages.  Lucy and Marie worked on making the profile pictures and Rachel helped link all of the pages together and Michelle made the profiles which everyone edited and improved for the performance.  Roles for the performance were split for the sake of efficiency.  Lucy manned the wiki since she is the most wiki-savvy, Michelle took the projector, and Rachel and Marie were our actresses.  It was a team effort and we mostly all worked on pretty much the same things. Rachel and Marie worked on the documentation, but really everyone added and edited things. We all had similar thoughts on the results after the actual performance, so we discussed and added ideas together.



We feel as though if this performance was longer, we could have made a more complex and interesting rendition of our performance that involves more thought out riddles and more acting. Although we meant for the entire mystery-solving experience to be the performance and the acting out of the murder scene to be just a way to deliver a clue, some people seemed to be confused and thought that the acting out of the murder scene was the main part of the performance. This caused many people to sit and wait without looking through the Wikia before the scene started, which we didn't intend for. If we could do it over again, we would give better explanation of what the audience should have been doing (ie: look through the Wikia and keep an eye out for a performance, use the google doc to exchange clues and collaborate). This could be done verbally or through an email like we originally intended to. Additionally, we could have rented out some laptops for people to use because many people were on their phones which makes it harder to navigate the Wikia and add things to the google doc. However, the audience figured out the murderer correctly, which was what we hoped for, so we were successful on that front. We learned that although the way a performance is supposed to be perceived may be clear to the creator, it requires more explanation for it to be interpreted the same way by an audience.



Reference any sources or materials used in the documentation or composition. 

-3 references that influenced approach

Clue for BGM

Background image: Pierpont Morgan Library

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Solve the murder before another victim appears! Explore the pages of the wiki for clues and watch the shadows for memories of the crime.