Shadows of Doubt is a detective story in a fully explorable 3D city

Shadows of Doubt is a procedurally generated detective game with a massive depth of layers and potential.

Originally designed as a top-down detective game where you collated clues as a simulated sleuth, Shadows of Doubt changed into a visually charming first-person experience where you pass hundreds of potential victims or murderers as you explore the blocks of a lofty, voxel-based city.

I was lucky enough to see a build of Shadows of Doubt while visiting the Bristol Games Hub earlier in the year and, while the game is still in its early stages, it is already clear that it is a game to be watched.

The concept behind it is simple enough: a city has a resident serial killer in its midst and you’re the gumshoe stuck with the duty to track them down. Where it gets especially interesting is the depth of the procedural generation. Each of the citizens (who number in their hundreds) observe, recall, memorise and process information independently — they even forget things over time. Cole even plans to have characters lie to cover their tracks if they feel they don’t have an alibi. Yes, the innocent will lie in an attempt to protect themselves.

It’s a fantastic depth of simulation and something that will surely lead to a few misplaced accusations, leaving the serial killer to strike again. And strike again they will, as fading memories and character routines will give players a natural time limit to resolve issues.

This all seems extremely new and unprecedented — definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Shadows of Doubt is currently being developed for release on PC. It is, however, far too early to speak of specific release dates. Those who are interested in keeping up to speed with the development of the project can follow the developer on Twitter.

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