So the other night I had a dream that I managed to remember on waking. It was a mostly cool one in which I was a character in some kind of point'n'click murder mystery game which as far as I could tell was multi-player somehow.Or at least the other characters I was with I believed were being played/controlled by real people. Also I wasn't seeing it as a point'n'click, but more as a 1st person game. For the vast majority of the dream, we all rampaged about the place trying to solve the mystery and at one point I found a recently dead body of some random NPC. Which had us panicing cos that meant the killer was still around and killing people.
In true roleplaying style, I suggested that we set up watches for that night so that we'd not get murdered in my sleep. Except of course I clearly fail at planning stuff in my dreams, cos I suggested we take watches in pairs. Which if one of us was the murderer, it'd not help as they could kill their shift-partner and then the rest of us in our sleep. I'm not sure how things ended up, as the next thing I knew it was the next day and everyone else had vanished. Wandering about the mansion (these things are always in mansions, obviously), I found a guy just standing at the top of the stairs who I recognised as being a character we'd met at the start of the game, but who hadn't been seen since then. Something record company related I think.
Thinking he might be the killer, I hid until I realised that he was clearly an NPC who was programmed to wait at the top of the stairs and be "clicked on" to spout some plot stuff or something. So I went up the stairs and "clicked on" him and suddenly it was all "Game Over" as apparently the mystery had been solved. Which made me very annoyed as it was clear that my fellow players had solved it whilst I was asleep and I'd missed out. I think at this point it turned out the game must have been some kind of RPG instead as I was complaining to charliemouse as the GM.
Anyway, the dream got my thinking about writing a multi-player point'n'click adventure sort of game and how to deal with the problems of having players not solving things at the same speed or at all. In some ways it'd almost be like having a characters location containing a time element and having puzzle solving increase the time at which you are in the game. Which reminds me of an old Infocom adventure called Moonmist that coincedentally was a murder mystery too.
I don't however think I have the artistic skills to pull off a point'n'click, so instead I think I might make something a little more textual. Possibly browser based since it'll in some ways be a little like a choose your own adventure and it'd be easier on the players if their options were links they could click on. Certainly something I shall be pondering/working on for the future until I get bored or something anyway :)