Creating Bespoke Murder Mysteries

Can we design something from scratch?

Yes!  In fact this is a question we get asked quite regularly.  And the answer is – yes!  We have Jo!

As well as designing 6 standard formats of murder mystery game from scratch which other authors now write to – Jo is extremely skilled in games design born out of years of experience.

Which is why – when we get asked “Can we create something that does X, Y or Z?” – the answer is always yes!

If you need a game for a corporate event that brings in the learning points of a conference, or have an idea to create a murder mystery treasure hunt around Paris – we can design it.

There’s quite a lot to consider when writing games from scratch.  Which is where Jo’s skill set comes into its own.

The biggest difference between novel writing and script writing and game writing – is that games are just that – GAMES – there needs to be a “win point” and a system of play that’s easily understood by all taking part.  It also needs to last a specific length of time.  All these factors are something Jo juggles day to day while she’s game designing.

At the moment she’s mid-write on a couple of major projects other firms have out-sourced to her as well as a private wedding event.

Sometimes what you want – fits easily into one of our standard formats – if that’s the case it has the potential for resale and takes the price down on the initial write.  The wedding one Jo’s working on at the moment will be a Jonathan Creek style, slightly quirky murder mystery – which fits into our standard acted format – which has taken the cost down for the customer.

Sometimes what you want is an adaptation of a design already on file.  Although these will turn out as single use formats – we have a base starting point – so it’s easier to design as we know we can tweak an initial design and create something that delivers slightly differently.

Sometimes it’s something totally fresh.  A game format that is so unique it’s never been done before and probably won’t be reused.  This needs “thinking time” and uses our skills as games designers to the full.

What sort of things do we do?  Well… it varies month to month and year to year.  But it’s always constructed to meet the needs of the company who requests it (or private individual).  To give you a few examples… At the moment Jo’s working on a game that will have up to 700 participants over 2 days – with a varied delivery method of clues, including digital delivery, and a very real crime scene to investigate.  She’s also quoted recently to create another game that will have teams charging around a city solving a crime, and another quote for a company teambuilding that wants to be set in the world of a well-known TV drama with teams pitted against each other vying for a certain throne.  Each game has totally different sets of criteria and a very different formula for construction and delivery, but all are loosely “Murder mystery games”.

It’s certainly a varied mix of design, and it’s something our firm is uniquely able to provide.  Which is why we’re regularly called upon to work with production companies, team building firms, promotional firms, event management firms and PR companies.

If you need something “odd” then you’ve come to the right place.  Just drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do to help create something unique for you.


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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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