Project 2 Checkpoint 1: Concept Doc

Concept Doc


A social media influencer disappears while on a vacation to a private island. Her social media accounts disappear along with her.

The police agency in charge of the investigation has heard about your formidable detecting skills. They ask you to help lead the investigation (although you will need to stay off-site, as your involvement must be off the books).

You will direct a team of police officers as they travel to relevant locations and send you live updates via text and email. Meanwhile, you will search online for clues about what could have happened to the influencer and where she is now.

To complete your investigation, you will have to do the following:

  • Search the social media accounts of the key players/suspects, looking at posts, locations, comments, and DMs
  • Look at other forms of documentation (hotel itineraries, receipts, news articles, uber records, etc.)
  • Receive texts with updates from your team of partners as the narrative progresses, and use these updates together with your internet clues to solve the mystery
  • Urgently text directions to your field team when time-sensitive issues arise

Be careful–you will have to make an arrest at the end of the story, and you could be right or wrong.


Our game is a thrilling adventure for the player which might feel spooky or creepy at times.


Contemporary times (age of social media); private island (which we will invent) that the social media influencer has disappeared on.

Target Audience

13+ years old (age limit for Facebook account)

Number of Players


Play Duration

1 hour

Similar Games

Society of Curiosities

Escape rooms

Her Story

Types of Fun

  • Challenge: sifting through evidence and piecing together all the clues
  • Narrative: the engaging story of what happened to the victim is slowly exposed as the player solves clues and uncovers the events that transpired
  • Discovery: player explores the “uncharted territory” of social media accounts and other forms of documentation as they strive to uncover the mystery

Key Challenges

  • Creating believable social media posts and accounts, allowing the players to immerse themselves into the story and their role
  • Creating challenges that are difficult (not immediately obvious) but still doable
  • Keeping an engaging pacing
  • Not frustrating players who aren’t correct in the end
  • Having a satisfying and agreeable ending
  • Having players understand how to begin and play
  • Balancing hints with difficulty
  • Creating characters that players care about
  • Developing story



  1. Suspense
  2. Thrilling/exciting
  3. Satisfying/fulfilling



Modern/contemporary social media mystery: A murder mystery solved by identifying hidden clues from curated social media accounts and articles

    1. Clues can be present in posts, captions, comments, connections, etc.
    2. Objectives of the game are to figure out who killed victim, how, and why
      1. Example: High school student is murdered by a best friend out of jealousy over some situation. User should scroll through social media account histories and links to articles to piece together the events that took place, how the murder happened, and the motive behind it. Inspiration: Murder of Skylar Neese
    3. Narrative: Evocative narrative
    4. Kind(s) of fun: Narrative, Fantasy, Discovery, Sensation

Historical mystery: A game based on solved historical mysteries

    1. Story can be inspired by solved historical mysteries listed here
    2. Clues to case can be hidden in “historical manuscripts”
    3. Doubles as an educational game – adds to the “fulfilling” element
    4. Example: Cracking the case for what happened to the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II in 524 BC
    5. Narrative: Embedded narrative
    6. Kind(s) of fun: Narrative, Discovery, Fantasy

Choose-your-own-adventure mystery: A mystery game with multiple endings

    1. The player finds out if they’ve cracked the case correctly at the end of the game
    2. Wide range of outcomes:
      1. Convicting the true perpetrator
      2. Convicting the wrong person
      3. Failing to convict anyone at all
      4. Getting thrown in jail yourself
      5. Accidentally causing the deaths of more people
      6. Dying
    3. Clues are based on conversations held with other characters and a medley of other artifacts
    4. Genre TBD
    5. Narrative: Emergent narrative
    6. Kind(s) of fun:  Narrative, Fantasy, Discovery, Expression


  • Historical → Modern Mystery 
      1. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, an actor goes missing. The case was closed; people assumed the actor just changed his name and left the country or something.
      2. In the modern day, another actor disappears. You are hired to find him.
      3. Eventually, you discover that the two cases are connected; you must synthesize clues from old Hollywood facts and modern social media pages to solve both mysteries at once.
      4. Emergent Narrative
      5. Narrative and Fantasy Fun
  • Personal drama → Worldwide conspiracy
      1. Someone reaches out to you because they’ve heard of your formidable detective skills. They want you to research their SO, who they think has been cheating on them.
      2. You go to SO’s Instagram page, where you eventually will discover the entrance to a secret website for a cult through his Instagram page. (e.g. some tag on a picture leads you to a private page, and then you have to figure out a password to DM to this private page for it to accept your follow request)
      3. This is a cult that does [something nefarious]
      4. You must update its web page to spread the TRUTH to all of its followers and thus end the cult
      5. Emergent Narrative
      6. Narrative and Fantasy fun
  • Find the Dog Thief
    1. Your friend’s dog has gone missing!
    2. Search through adorable dog pet pages and their followers to solve the mystery of who has stolen the dog
    3. Must also DM the thief and figure out their motives/how you can bribe them to get the dog back
    4. Emergent Narrative
    5. Challenge, Narrative, Fantasy


Spotify playlist


Missing social media influencer. 

A famous Instagram model went on a tropical beach vacation. She started posting at a beautiful resort, but weeks have gone by since her last post. Her manager reported her missing to local police, and her friends, family, and fans have all started looking for her. Take on the role of an investigator to find her, utilizing her travel itinerary, communication with her manager, social media posts, comments, and DMs on her account and her friends, and information from the resort she was staying at.

Game play will begin with an email address for the investigator that updates are sent to. It starts with an email from another investigator supplying her travel itinerary and an email from her manager with the login information for her social media accounts.

Possible directions: crazed fan, ran away from social media life, accident while performing a stunt for social media, etc.

Themes: mystery, crime, travel, fame

College Student Gone Missing From Party.

Sarah left to go to a party, and never came home. She was seen leaving her dorm by her roommates, and multiple people saw her around campus throughout the night. After the next day came and went, her roommates reported Sarah missing. Take on the role of an investigator to find what happened, where she went, and how to bring her home safely, utilizing accounts from her roommates, friends, and party-goers around the university as well as information from her school about the campus, university traditions, and hotspots for students to go.

Possible options: could be Hangover-esque or more creepy/serious depending on the route we want to go.

Themes: mystery, crime, college

Husband Disappeared on Honeymoon. 

After a beautiful wedding, the newlyweds went on their dream vacation, staying in a gorgeous beachfront Airbnb. In the middle of their weeklong getaway, the husband left to go grab drinks from the corner store but never returned. Investigators and the local travel industry are desperate to find him, thinking about how much bad press could come about, but the press is desperate for a good story. Tackle finding what happened to the husband amidst an industry coverup and wild tabloid headlines.

Possible options: could be something about the relationship that made him leave (regretting the marriage or having an affair), tourist looking for directions gone wrong, or some other kidnapping/crime

Themes: mystery, crime, travel, romance/relationships



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