Conference Brawl – A Zoom Murder Mystery

2020 Zoom Jam Honorable Mention

A murder mystery on Zoom for 6 – 10 people. Oz Zevern is a tech entrepreneur who is murdered on a corporate retreat. You’re a member of his company. Can you figure out who killed him?

This game was co-designed and co-written by Hugo award winning writer Maureen McHugh and myself, and is an attempt to replicate the joy, intrigue and social experience of a murder mystery party in the age of social distancing.

Set in the near future, the employees of a tech company convene from a distance using the very app they were developing to try and determine who murdered the charismatic and eccentric chairman. On this project, I helped shape the narrative puzzle of the murder, wrote several character sheets, and came up with character abilities that make use of the unique affordances of the format, such as forcing other players to turn off their camera, and creating breakout rooms to hold private conversations.

We were proud to be one of just a few games to receive an honorable mention at the 2020 Zoom Jam. A competition that challenged creators around the world to design sociable face-to-face games to play with family and friends using teleconferencing software like Zoom.

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