“It started out like any other case I’d seen in my past 7 years working homicide. A neighbor complained to their building manager about a bad smell somewhere on the first floor which eventually led to the discovery of a body. The local blues thought it was an accidental death – a VR Junkie who didn’t know when to stop, dead from starvation. At least until they noticed the guy was chained to the couch. They call homicide, and the chief puts me on the case.
Normally I work with a partner but she’s somewhere over the Atlantic right now on her way to warmer climes – a leave of absence due to emotional stress. In this kind of job, it’s hard to keep your head on straight. You see the worst of what this city has to offer day in and day out and let me tell you, it’s a big list. It’s not often we get called to a scene that isn’t covered in at least a gallon of blood, gore and other miscellaneous viscera and Tracy never did get used to seeing any of it. Me, I just hide behind a bad sense of humor and try to tell myself that I’m helping keep the city safe; Hunting down the bad guys and doing my best to find enough evidence to keep them behind bars for good. Either way for the next 2 weeks at least, I’m on my own.
Oddly enough this particular crime scene was one that Tracy wouldn’t have had a problem with. Not a drop of blood. Max walked me through what they had found, pointed out the body and assured me that as soon as they noticed the chains, they called homicide immediately and hadn’t touched a thing. I spent 20 minutes searching for anything that might give us a lead and left the evidence with Max to bag it up. It was 4:30am and I wanted to get at least another hour of sleep before they needed me at the morgue. I must have been really good this year because I got 2. At 7am I was back at the station listening to Daina the medical examiner detail everything that they’d found. Turns out one of the clues I found at the crime scene – a bottle of dish soap filled with blood – matched a person of interest in our database. The local PD were checking out his last known address which meant that I got sent to his place of work, a gas station practically in the middle of nowhere just off of Route 6. “
Silhouette is my first commercial project and one that I’ve been working on since early March of this year. It’s what I like to call a First Person Detective Adventure game. It’s like an old-school point and click adventure except you play in First Person. You walk around the various crime scenes looking for clues and trace evidence and try to piece together what’s happened and why. The game follows a linear story that I’ve decided to break into two parts. The Prologue and then Part 2 which is the rest of the game. Since being Greenlit on Steam, I’m working my butt off to get the next crime scene put together and the story mission in between the two and then I’m going to be releasing the game on Early Access. I’m planning to do something a bit different with the Early Access for Silhouette; the game will initially go up on steam for pretty cheap – sub $10 and anyone who buys the game will get all future updates including Part 2 for free. This means that if you buy the game early you get a really nice discount as a way for me to say thank you for your early support. Once Part 2 is completed and the game is finished, the price will increase to reflect the added content. Somewhere in the $20 – 30 range depending on how many crime scenes actually make it into the final release.
Right now I’ve just been living off of savings so that I can work on the game full time, but I can’t do that forever so I’m going to be releasing on Early Access as soon as possible. I also want the first EA release to feel worth the asking price though so I’m holding off until I’ve got at least 45 minutes of gameplay finished. I’ll then be building out the missions in sequential order so I hope to be updating the early access every 2 – 3 months. The end goal is that the Prologue will provide somewhere between 1 – 2 hours of gameplay along with what (I hope) will be a thoroughly entertaining story with its own complete story arc (though admittedly it ends in a moderate cliffhanger to keep you excited for Part 2) and that the final game will provide around 5 – 7 hours of gameplay with an even better story and a complete ending.
I’ve been a huge fan of detective shows and movies for as long as I can remember and I’d say that my all-time favorites are any of the incredible David Fincher movies like Fight Club and Se7en. I had originally started working on Silhouette about 3 years ago as a short story but after typing out a single page and never going back to it, I decided to turn it into a video game. I’ve been working in the indie game scene so to speak since 1999 when I got into level design with the original Half-Life. I made a few death match maps, discovered Counter-Strike and fell in love which led me to release about 4 maps (three of which earned me various awards and acclaim) before deciding to make my own Mod that a friend and I spent 2.5 years on before releasing in 2003.
After that, I started and scrapped a few indie games before working for Interdimensional Games as an environment artist on Consortium. Fast forward a few years and I’ve now decided to get back into indie game design with Silhouette.
I hope this exclusive preview gets some people excited for the project. I’ve decided to write out a unique piece of story for every feature I do so the introduction to this article is the first place you’ll get to read about Jim’s experience with the Prologue cases so far.
There’s a playable demo of Silhouette available on the Apeirogon website http://apeirogon-games.com/
and of course you can follow the game’s progress on Twitter https://twitter.com/ApeirogonGames