Case Study

Mystery Game Design System – Box contents

A complement to the printed inventories inside the mystery boxes, the component list gives players a quick way to confirm their mystery box has everything they need. And an easy way to request anything missing!

Component objective:

Give players an easy, digital way to confirm they’ve received all components they need to complete their mystery box. And if they didn’t get something? The system recognizes and invites them to submit a request for the missing materials! I also wanted an easy way for players to access hints in case they do get stuck, which is currently a clunky mechanic buried within the website.

Design challenges:

With the physical mystery boxes, the game designers gatekeep sections of the game by sealing envelopes of materials that players should leave sealed until prompted to open them. By providing a digital inventory of game components, I needed to respect the need for spoiler-proofing the game and allowing the realism of a mystery unfolding as players reveal clues. I enhanced a simple accordion component with some useful data that ties the digital inventory to the physical envelopes, thus reinforcing the “don’t open this yet” aspects of later game components.

But if players choose to disregard the instructions not to open the envelopes, perhaps because they truly want to make sure they have everything before they start, they can still validate their components with the digital inventory and request any missing ones.

Other components:

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