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Death by Chocolate

PostPosted: December 15th, 2007, 12:56 pm
by dcfalls
Death by Chocolate was used as the background for the staff at my office. I spared no expense. Hired 2 support staff who studied the game and prepared the evening. Also hired a butler, massuase, and manicurist. Had around 10 players plus supporting staff.

Every one studied their parts and came in character. Things started well, we did massages, had a catered dinner, etc... but when it was time for the actual "game", things fell apart. Since the game is not scripted, important clues can be missed or totally omitted by characters. This game was designed for eight women. However there are many more characters are available. If these characters are not played, their clues are not revealed. All the players seemed lost and confused, no one knew who to murder or bribe, or why?. After about 2 hours of seriously trying to play the game, we quit. We laid all the confidential player cards out in frustration, and tried to piece the game together.

In our opinion, (1) the game should have come with some type of script to assure that all the major clues come out. (2) The players are given minimal info about themselves. Each character needs to understand their own character better. (3) You must have a full slate of characters, not the minimal eight players. Without all the characters, not enough clues are presented. Without clues, the game does not take shape.

In the end, I spent about $900 to put on this party and its was not very fun. The concept is good but better game development is needed.

PostPosted: December 15th, 2007, 4:52 pm
by 2coolbaby
Do you think this had anything to do with the fact that you emailed us at 8 p.m. last night (Friday Night) telling us that you had lost all of your Confidential Booklets? Is it possible you lost other things too?

You would be the first person in 3 years to have experienced a problem with this game. It has been played with over 1000 groups, so I find that odd that you had these issues.

Are you sure that you followed the Host Guide directions and the step-by-step exactly? I don't think you did. Above you stated that you started the game after massages and dinner. The game is supposed to start before dinner and the step-by-step is planned out around that. In fact dinner isn't suppose to take place until after the murder! Did everyone received the Confindetial Booklets after the murder? You lost all your Confidentials and did not follow directions. I am not sure how do you expect it to play right under those circumstances? Did you have the weapons scavenger hunt?

The fact is, that the murder can be solved just from the Evidence alone. There are no clues that the secondary characters have that would be absolutely necessary to the game.

In addition to this when you have additional murder, they become new characters, which bring in new information.

If there were an issue with the game, or others had problems, I would accept that, but as long as directions are followed exactly, and nothing was lost, there should NEVER be a problem with any of our games.

PostPosted: December 16th, 2007, 12:17 am
by dcfalls
No, we did not lose all the confidential scripts, in fact we did not lose anything. One piece of paper was misplaced for a few moments, then we found it. The host guide was followed through out the night.

For us, it just didn't work and I was trying to help others.

PostPosted: December 16th, 2007, 2:21 pm
by 2coolbaby
Did you not email me saying that you had lost all of your Confidential Booklets? In fact this is the email I received from you:

"I lost the confidential books for all the characters to Death by Chocolate. I ordered the box kit. I was hoping if you check this in time that you could email me those confidential items."

You also stated in your post, "Things started well, we did massages, had a catered dinner, etc... but when it was time for the actual "game", things fell apart." The actual game should have been played during the whole evening. But most especially before, during and after dinner as instructed in the Host Guide.

I am saying these things, because this game always works. If it did not, then something must have been done incorrectly.

Did the Guests have their Guest Items?
Did everyone have both their Background booklets and the Confidentials?
Was the Evidence presented after dinner?
Did both the Weapon Card Scavenger Hunt and Action Card drawing take place?
Were there any murders, after the first planned murder?

PostPosted: December 16th, 2007, 3:48 pm
by dcfalls
In preparation, one of the confidential character sheets got misplaced. The purchaser of the game thought you had an online download for lost information. Someone sent you a request for information as this was easier than searching for the lost piece of paper. When it was obvious that there was no online download, we searched and found the missing sheet of info. It was one confidential character info and it was found before time to hand it out, no big deal. All packets were complete, all weapons present, everything was prepared in advance.

We came in character, had our meal in character and set the stage. Since there was a poisoning, we had dinner first (more realistic). The first person to be murdered actually became "sick" during the meal and suggested to the others that their stomach was feeling very bad. We then had a short tour of the "spa" It was at this point that the person became gravely ill (terrific acting). When the person actually died, it was so realistic and had been set up so well, someone called 911 not knowing it was part of the evening. Then the game began, confidential paperwork was handed out and studied, then Detective Straight began. During the game we had 3 additional murders with the introduction of additional characters. Our butler gave in and became a character.

Did the Guests have their Guest Items? Yes
Did everyone have both their Background booklets and the Confidentials? Yes
Was the Evidence presented after dinner? Yes
Did both the Weapon Card Scavenger Hunt and Action Card drawing take place? Yes
Were there any murders, after the first planned murder? 3 with character replacement.

We are not newbie's. We have done this sort of thing before. I was not the host, but they did everything perfectly. They were the highlight of the evening. I guarantee you that there has never been a better set up. Perhaps the game was upstaged by the set-up and this caused the problems. In summation, I guess the game worked, 2 people guessed the murderer. My character (Matt) was not fun, I could not get clues, had few clues to give, and stayed confused. A number of others felt the same.

Death by chocolate

PostPosted: December 18th, 2007, 12:04 am
by graciouskitty
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they should not have script!! that makes it Fun!!! My niece's friends did not entirely get it, but I just had to go over it by like saying No Pearl was not needed, so it would not have made Much of a difference. And then they finally got it! it just took about 12 min.

PostPosted: December 18th, 2007, 12:30 am
by 2coolbaby
Don't worry, I would never script our games. I have played plenty of those and found them to be confusing, stilted and beyond boring.

I am sorry that dcfalls had problems, but you just can't please everyone all of the time and I feel proud to have been through 6 years and more that 20,000 parties without a complaint about how our games played!

PostPosted: February 3rd, 2008, 9:42 am
by swaterman1
Oh wow. I am sorry you had difficulty with this party. Just my 2 cents. We hosted this for 21 people (not one of us had ever played a murder mystery game). There was minimal confusion. I followed the directions to the letter and it went off great. I think if you had started the party first before eating dinner it may have made a difference.

I just have to say that it has been three months since I hosted and LITERALLY every time I see someone that was there, they ask me "When are you hosting another one?" I am so glad I found this site. I will never use a scripted game. : )

Murder at the Four Deuces is next up for us!! 03/08/08. : )

PostPosted: February 3rd, 2008, 1:48 pm
by 2coolbaby
Thanks so much for letting me know your experience also. That is my first complaint about how a game of ours runs in 6 years, so it rattled me. I started worrying on how to fix something that might be broke. But then I have to look at the fact that more than twenty thousand people have hosted our parties with no problems that I know of, as long as they follow the instructions. The odds are that sooner or later, someone would have a problem. I have to conclude that it isn't a problem with the game itself.