Deadly Affairs: Some Final Thoughts

Now that the Deadly Affairs experience is over, I have a little housekeeping to do!

First up: Though I'm being widely credited as the writer for the project, this is only a partial truth. I did break the story and write most of the pre-scripted stuff, but I also had a family vacation scheduled smack in the middle of the run. There was no way it could be a solo effort.

And so let us all give mad props and credit to Dee Cook, who not only saved my bacon by handling the vast majority of the responsive writing, but made the character of Julie come to life with pieces of a romance novel so bad they could only be written by a creative genius. I am awed and humbled. I mean, look at this:

A storm was brewing in her viscera, the kind of storm that knocks the power out and leaves car windshields all coated with pollen and leaves from the trees. She covered her face with her elegant, slender fingers and wept tears that were more bitter than the pith from inside the rind of a really old lime. Afterwards, she felt cleansed, renewed, almost like a bird caught in an oil spill who had been painstakingly wiped off by a loving environmentalist. But the fact remained: she still needed to win back the affection of her one true love.

Talk about going above and beyond. Dee, if you were to write such a book and send it to Kindle, I would flog the hide off that thing. You would make so much money. All of the money!

Beyond that: The structure of this story was really interesting to develop. I've been considering it high-level plotjitsu. That's because our mission was to integrate with the Deadly Affairs promo, which shows you whodunit right out of the gate. That put certain limitations on how to create and prolong narrative tension... and so we pulled a proper Roger Ackroyd, as I've been calling it.

If you're not familiar, that's a reference to an Agatha Christie novel in which you learn at the end that the first-person narrator has been the murderer the whole time. And for Deadly Affairs, we led you down a garden path thinking the character of Gabs is the wife -- but she's been the mistress the whole time. Switcheroo!

That narrative complexity was balanced, though, by making the actual story itself fairly accessible and easy to navigate. Light on challenges, moderately heavy on available character interaction (especially compared to the standard for a project out of a TV network or film studio). It did the things we wanted it to do very well, and the community it was aimed at -- the ID Addicts who make the network go -- were asking us to do another game like this one even before the end. A good feeling, that.

And of course I am delighted that I finally got to do a soap opera like I've always wanted... though I didn't get to throw a wedding at the end. One day. One day.

Last but not least: I owe a huge thank you to TC Conway in specific, and also to Investigation Discovery as a whole, for making the project possible. It was a lot of fun, and I'd love to do something like it again.

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