Preview: Serial Killer Roguelike

By: Derek Yu

On: August 26th, 2010

Update: The creator of this project has announced that it was an elaborate “hoax”. Not sure I buy that, but… in any case, you can read more about it here.

As GameSetWatch’s Eric Caoili deftly points out, someone’s gone and started working on an actual murder simulator. CrimsonKing’s Serial Killer Roguelike was originally themed after the popular HBO Showtime series Dexter, but has since turned into a more general killing game, with detailed combat that’s inspired by Dwarf Fortress. The goal is to develop the game into a full-blown crime sim that characters can (virtually) stalk their prey in (or not, as the creator notes), either as lone wack-jobs or as hitmen for organized crime factions.

In the description of the above video, CrimsonKing writes:

Keep in mind that this is a GAME, and that I am not advocating or condoning murder or any of the crimes that take place in it. I feel that the subject of serial killers, specifically the psychological conditions that drive them to do what they do, is one of interest and will hopefully translate into a unique game that has a vast number of potential options for play.

Well, what’s art and entertainment good for, if not exploring these darker themes? Personally, I think the game shows a lot of promise as a genuinely disturbing horror movie generator. But will it see a release before a U.S. senator decides to stir up some outrage over it? It is an election year, after all…

(Source: TinyCartridge)

Hit the jump for a video showing the character generation:

  • The Grinning Bandit

    I agree so completely with this.

    Why is murder okay when we simulate it on a scale of dozens (Dawn of War, Company of Heroes), hundreds (most RTSes), or thousands (most grand strategy games)?

    All those little pixelated/polygonal soldiers presumably have lives, personalities, loves, children – and they were probably drafted, conscripted, or otherwise forced into serving, to boot. Why do we only get uncomfortable when we scale things down to the individual level?

    Hell, I'd like to see a war game in this same theme. Playing a lone soldier who has to go from house to house, clearing out enemy insurgents, and seeing their spouses and children and family heirlooms right in front of you.

  • Cam

    From what I've read this whole thing was a hoax. CrimsonKing was asked why:

    “Because I can? Do trolls need legitimate reasons to do what they do? It was fun and I was bored. I didn’t use an existing game as a template and I made the videos using flash. Didn’t take that long, maybe an hour for the first game play footage. Much less for the other one. The response was extremely positive though. Didn’t expect that. I figured I’d run with it anyway, throwing out possible game play elements. Why not?”

  • AfterShave

    That's a really good idea, let's find someone to make this real! :D

  • orlandofurioso

    So who makes this game now? Seriously someone has got to do it.

  • Karma Police

    Actually I think, that making this as a hoax, is EXELLENT idea and psychological litmus test.

  • Fisherino

    At least he is a very great fucking troll

  • modred11

    if this is indeed just a hoax, this article should be updated with that information. I suggest linking to… as that seems to be a good source for the information, plus it links to a bunch of other threads on other forums and stuff.

  • Drclef

    Why was this just a hoax? The author is a douche! But thanks for the inspiration, this is actually a nice and original idea! I shall write a murder simulation like this sometime! With psychopathic skills and all! Awesome!

  • TheCrimsonKing

    Half of me did it for the laughs, the other half contemplated that someone might actually be inspired to make the game (or something extremely similar) if I acted like enough of a weird asshole at the end of it. Think about it, it would hardly have gotten any attention had I just dumped it in a thread with the title of “My mock up roguelike game”.

    Take a look over at the Dwarf Fortress forums. A bunch of them are already trying to scrounge up a crime based roguelike. It will probably fail but hey, doesn't really atter either way. I found the whole thing rather humerus and it only cost my a couple of hours of my time.

  • tky

    Can we get both of these videos rehosted for reference? ;o

  • Mike Hunt

    Humerus is a bone.

  • Psycomega

    I figure anyone looking here won't see this, but this was proven as fake, as many have pointed out. Most importantly though, a couple of people on the site that shall not be named banded together in a thread and came up with this:

    Looks promising so far.

  • Karma Police

    It made sense and I realized that, which you should have been figured out, if you commented my comment. You do read comments of opposition, before just spamming new comments without new substance, no?

    I'm not english. There are professors outside of america too, no? Can I still partisipate on discussion? Is my point of view nullified, if I have slight grammar issues, or are you just trying to gain credibility to your cause by nitpicking, nitpicker? How about conversating about the substance, that others have showed in their comments? How many languages you can write with?

    What does this imaginary game have to do with freedom of speech? Yes, noda. How am I extremist, if I want a little sense in serial killing game (in a way I explained) whos author was also talking about including raping in youtube. And I was only talking about children, for christ sake!!!

    Actually this site reacted to my opinions with such immaturity and hot headed closed-mindedness, that it does remind a bit of islamic tolerance.

    Very immature of tigsoource. Shame on you.

  • defacid

    I'm not nitpicking, none of what you said made sense. And as I said, you are too dense to understand the viewpoints of others so this argument is null. It is, of course, very mature to claim that things you don't understand are evil and everyone who doesn't share your belief is immoral. Now, I'm done.

    I fart in your general direction, poophead.

  • Me
  • Karma Police

    Pot calling the kettle black.

    I understand what others said, and I don't disagree with everything written here and I acknowledge other opinions and viewpoints, but you are in denialmode. You are not even trying to understand, you are just nitpicking, because you see grammatical errors and put them ahead of real arguments.
    Games are holy to you, and if ever someone dares to voice even some slight concerns about your beloved hobby, you act like terrorist.

    If none, what I have written makes no sense, please by all means explain me the magnificant manifest, that this imaginary game was going to make in the name of freedom of speech. I was asking this days ago, and all I got is complaining about grammar(which is not perfect here anyway as people are very informal in this kind of forums) and ignorance in defence.

    And again, I was mainly talking about children. I fear that day, when peoples emotions get so weak, that they don't feel bad identifying them selves as characters, who kills families for their pleasure. I KNOW that games don't change people to anything else in matter of seconds and I KNOW that violent behaviour, like drunken fights has decreased relatively to population, BUT, get this: The much, much more fearsome violence has increased like an explotion! School shooting is almost weekly event novadays. I was talking about the social mind and how media affects that. I'm seeing that people are slowly getting more self centric and caring about other people is becoming abnormal.

    defacid has stained his name with involuntary spamming and I guess his behaviour tells something of effects of games(just kidding). But immature he is. Very much so.

  • Guest

    Whether or not the game developer wants to think about how this game can force people to open their eyes, this is a game that does so. See the reaction it has gotten here already? Look at all of the comments about wanting a fantasy option to tone down the game. There are already games more advanced than this! But if I'm killing a dwarf or an elf, somehow that makes a bloodthirsty desire for murder okay? It'd be hypocritical of someone to squick at playing this and then croon over their victories in Dwarf Fortress's Adventure Mode, for instance. In that game I can gouge out a child's eyes, strangle him to death, then beat his own siblings to death with his body. But it's okay to be bloodthirsty if it's against elves, right?

    Freedom of speech is about the exchange of ideas. The only tasteless thing I find about this game is the inclusion of real serial killers – and even then I wouldn't censor it, because I don't think I or anyone else should play morality police to complete strangers. You want to guide someone's morals? Throw away your television set and spend some time with your children. People lazy enough to let mass media babysit their children should not be complaining about the content of that media.

    A link to violent video games and school shootings has never been proven. You can link school violence to things like child-safe toys (they sure weren't safe before the 90's! Anyone else remember rusty, jagged metal Tonka trucks? How about lawn darts?) or an increase in the use of artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. The coincidental rise of two things simultaneously does not equal a causal relationship. I could blame an increase in school shootings on Hong Kong no longer being under British control! Linking the two is some heavy-duty, FOX NEWS sensationalism. You do know that political correctness has only really been a development since WW2, right? That children got to see things like mass homeless, lynchings, and even executions in person prior to the reactionary movements many countries had after the second world war? No? Because you're just speaking out of your desire to be a moral policeman, and not your desire to actually use your brain.

    This game has a valuable lesson to teach for those of us capable of using our brains. Should an immature child be allowed to play it? I don't think so. It's stupid to harass the developer until the game isn't allowed, just for that one child, though. People should be responsible enough that if they have children, they take an active interest in screening what material their child has access to. If they can't be that responsible then they should not be having children. Blunting society to make up for the lack of lazy parenting is not the solution to anything.

  • Trevor

    I just found out it was a fake, as well. It was a great prank, though I do hope the REAL project produces a cool game.

  • juice

    This may have been a hoax, but there is a similar game already out in the wild – or at least Xbox Live Indie Games: Hypno Vol. 1. To quote my own review of said game (full version available here *plug*plug*: )

    Hypno Vol.1 deserves an award: behind it's simple, monochrome interface lies one of the most disturbing game concepts I've seen for a while.

    The premise for the game is fairly simple: you play the part of Lydia, a psychotic telepath with the ability to manipulate people's minds…

    People are represented by dots: black dots are normal people while the dots for people you've manipulated are green and dead bodies are red. Manipulating people is actioned by firing up your psychic powers – anyone within range of your power will stop in the street, allowing you to walk up and start working on them.

    Implanting commands can be done to anyone you encounter – including those you've previously brainwiped. Commands take the form of a simple sentance and can be chained together – for instance, you can command someone to walk into the bar, buy a bottle of beer and then walk out of the bar and kill the first person they meet, before killing themselves. To maintain the level of grotesqueness, each death is accompanied by a highly detailed pencil drawing, presented in inverted colours – save for the occasional splash of red.

  • Zyklon B

    I generally think many people tend to be “politically correct” for the sake of geing politically correct. I am fascinated by both the serial killer theme (if it was not a hoax) and the degree of freedom such a game would give.

    The serial killer theme is interesting from a psychopathology viewpoint. Its rather interesting seeing what makes people “tick” ,especially what makes people “tick” in a societally extreme way.You dont have to live in your mother's basement and wear her clothes when she is away, pretending to be nursin back to health kittens you have killed , to appreciate it.You dont have to be SICK in real life to like it.

    The degree of freedom for me is something i always appreciated in games, many times i find myself not wanting to play towards a preset goal but rather building my own story the way i used to do when i was a toddler .Hmmm, in a way, given that as a toddler i wouldnt pickle people for fun and make altars out of their intestines. Eitherway a “sandbox” feel is almost always a “must” for me in games , even a “false hint” towards it can work miracles, for example look at Grow series where even “loosing” can be fun because “you did your thing”.

    Ok , got to go now mama does not allow me to stay in her computer past 24:00, i have to return to my basement. See you around folks!