From A to Z – The Agency
The Agency is a music pack collection created by Murray Atkinson. This pack focuses on mystery, crime and detectives. Melodies that build up tension and danger are scattered between songs that focus on lighter or more whimsical elements of detection. This makes The Agency versatile and useful for both serious and comedy games.
Although the Agency is all about crimes and detectives who solve them, there’s a wide variety of under-themes. Some songs are perfectly suited to Victorian or Steampunk environments – such as stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes. A few swanky jazz songs are perfect for the classic Noir theme. Other songs are more ambient in nature – fitting in with modern police procedurals that might have you chasing a serial killer or ten. This wide range makes the Agency a great investment to span across many games and game genres.
With 27 songs, this pack is a bargain at its full price of $14.99. But we know you love a great deal – so, you can pick up your copy of the Agency for only $9.99 until December 18th, 2016. Enter code “detective” at checkout to see your discount.
The Agency contains the following themes:
- Brood and Foreboding, Clockwork Detective, Crime Scene Investigation and Race Against Time are ambient and tense, which fits well with more serious settings (ex. Exploring a serial killer’s lair).
- Daggers and Cloakers, In the Conservatory with the Revolver, Mission- Abandoned Factory, The Candlestick and the Library and The Silence is Killing Me are complex and non-repetitive, which makes them great for general mysteries as well as for detectives solving major crimes.
- Jazz Club Combo and The Pink Pincher are in the tones of classic Noir Jazz
- Closed Case, En Route to the Scene, Falling Skies, Metropolitan Mystery, Spectral Visions, The Awakening, The Investigation and Theme for Stella are more modern police procedurals, with some songs doubling as great nostalgic/sad or character orchestral themes.
- Composing Helps Me Think, Get Sherlock, The Forgotten Cello, Theremin Killer and Ye Olde Nutcracker are inspired by classic Sherlock Holmes, with a touch of fun and whimsy.
- Mission Unstoppable, Stranger in Chinatown and The Heist are a Spy/criminal element bonus for extra variety.
For my map creation, I couldn’t decide on a private eye’s office or a crime scene, so I’ve created a couple of small maps of both:
For the details, I used the Sci-Fi elements of RPG Maker MV’s RTP. I added some extra variety by combining a little parallax mapping and editing into the mix. Although RMMV RTP was not built with detective games in mind, it’s still possible to use it to create some interesting content.
If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes like I am, it’s even easier to create your environments by combining the gothic elements of sci-fi RMMV materials with the standard medieval RTP.
And if Noir is your flair, pieces of RTP could still be useful if you stick to the black and white tint and add a few classic elements such as a rotary telephone, typewriter and the obligatory jazz club.
Lastly, here are a few thoughts and ideas to get your creative wheels whirring:
- Jumping into detective genre can be fantastic for those of us who struggle with finishing a game or keeping a project simple. By adopting the “one case per project” episodic model, you can narrow your focus a lot and limit your game’s size. At the same time, you can build up your characters and world (or even a big mystery!) over the span of several projects, so that longtime fans of your work will look forward to each new episode.
- There is a lot of room for characterization, and even more if you make your detective into someone rather unconventional – such as a private eye who is hated by the police, or an amateur sleuth who just likes a good puzzle. These features can translate into great minigames, such as breaking into the police station to steal a report or stealthily moving across the terrain to get into the mansion that’s been broken in.
- Books and movie shows can be a great inspiration, particularly when it comes to pacing. Modern police procedurals, for example, can be studied for how they tackle character development, the mysteries themselves and how they present resolutions. Does each episode end in a way that leaves you frustrated, or do you feel intrigued enough to want to keep watching?