January game: Elementary

[Elementary was January’s patreon release. It will be available on our itch store soon.]

Hey everyone

I’m delighted to share with you January’s patreon game, Elementary

Elementary is an Agatha Christie-esque game of convoluted relationships, seemingly insoluble mysteries and quirky detectives who solve them. It has a fair bit of Lovecraftesque DNA in it, and like that game, it is GMless: you take turns to introduce clues one at a time, building up a picture of the murder and who might have done it. A big difference, though, from Lovecraftesque is that it’s competitive. You each have a preferred suspect and you try to introduce clues that will implicate them. At the end, like the movie Clue, you each create an alternate ending where the detective accuses your target suspect.

It’s a really smashing game, and I hope you enjoy playing it.

Elementary is card-based. A PDF file for the cards is included. Knowing how difficult it is at the moment to play in person, I have also created a dedicated room in playingcards.io that you can use for online play.

Instructions for setting the game up on playingcards.io:

  • Simply go to playingcards.io, open up a room, click the briefcase on the left and under “room options” (at the bottom of the screen) select “import from file” and use the .pcio file I’ve supplied. 
  • You’ll find this creates a room with the cards already in order and ready to use, together with instructions for how to proceed. 
  • Note: playingcards.io automatically deletes rooms after 30 days without use. I don’t recommend leaving that big a gap in an Elementary game but if you’re playing over multiple sessions, it’s worth saving your room using the “export to file” function, just in case.

As noted in our last update, we are pausing the Patreon after this release. We will keep you posted on plans to re-open, which I hope won’t be long off.

Cheers

Josh

Patreon pause

Hello everyone

To our great disappointment, Covid cases are going bananas here in the UK and it has gotten so bad that schools have had to close again to limit transmission. This means we’re back to doing home schooling, and have lost the time we normally dedicate to game design. We’re doing ok: there’s been a long enough break that we’ve pulled back from the brink of total nervous breakdown, and we feel ready for this challenge.

We’ve decided to pause the patreon right away, this time. Last time we tried to keep going and exhausted both ourselves and our entire pipeline of WIP designs, meaning when lockdown ended we came back with nothing. We’d like to bank the progress we’ve made to date and protect our mental health, while perhaps working at a reduced pace in anticipation of starting up again.

We are going to release Elementary as planned in January, but there will be a short delay because the day I planned to spend doing final proofreading etc turned out to be the first day of lockdown. After that we will stop releasing new games, and pause payments, so you should not get charged at the start of February. We will take a view on whether to charge in February nearer the time – currently we’re expecting schools to open again in late Feb, but experience has shown that these things tend to go on longer than initially planned. Whatever happens, we won’t start charging you until we’re ready to start releasing games again.

We’re so sorry to have to down tools again, but the good news is that we have a number of game projects already well-progressed, so when we unpause – hopefully fairly soon – we will hit the ground running.

I hope you are all doing ok. What is happening now is the darkness before the dawn.

Best wishes,

Josh and Becky