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:

  • WhippedCarrot

    Have you watched Dexter before? You should.

  • Karma Police

    Why? Its stupid teenage show.

  • TCM


    Watch Monster, or something.

  • bradf

    You should try playing some games or reading a book sometime. Sure they get some bad press sometimes, but they can actually be pretty good!

  • zeekthegeek

    This argument would make more sense if you know, people were really being mutilated and raped because of a video game. It's a pointless comment at this point :P

    As for the other stuff you mentioned: a lot of that is planned. It will very much be an open world game full of choices. You will have a day job and will be CHOOSING whether you're killing hardened criminals or school children or in between, and you will be able to sneak into homes at night without murdering. There will also be things like working as a mob hitman and who knows what else by the time CK gets done – feature creep is going to be hard for him to control.

  • zeekthegeek

    Your argument would only be valid if this game killed real people when you clicked the button. Nobody is getting killed and mutilated, this is a video game. Perhaps you are the disturbed individual here if you're having trouble separating reality from fiction.

    And yes, the moral choices are 100 percent up to the player in this game, you could theoretically make a character who does not :P

  • zeekthegeek

    And here we have even further proof: you literally have no idea what you're talking about and are incredibly sheltered from the media apperently.

  • Karma Police

    I read lots of books. You too should.

  • bradf

    I re-read your post. I'm kicking myself for not realising this sooner:

    “…this kind of immorality is contagious”
    “…affects the mind of society”
    “…another stain in my hobby…”
    “…insidious conspiracy of greedy politics”

    Very nicely done!

  • Karma Police

    “Most likely”…not.

    But when the first human being is killed just for shit and giggles, because morality of society has lowered enough, because of attention whoring and making better business in media, the opposition of this thread, and the avid gamers, that are not in defence mode immediately, when someone raises even slight hint of critique against their beloved hobby-
    (which you CAN critisize, its not in danger to go anywhere. And you gamers are only getting older, so your moms will not be taking your computers away in couple of years. So make critical observations, and make games better, alongside the whole wolrd.), -are remembered as being very wise, but then it will be too late.

    If you really are “someone who works in psychology”, then you should know that the mechanics you described there, are not how it works.

    I'm professor of psychology. I know, that collective mind of human kind has brutalized very rapidly in 20 years, partly because of media. I am also avid gamer, and I think games are best and most effective medium because its interactive nature. Because of that, it also should be much more dutiful. Media in general makes people scared, morale is lowered and people are getting TOO self centric.

  • zeekthegeek

    Proof or it didn't happen. The Professor of psychology bit I mean. And Bob Jones University doesn't count; you come off as a real whackjob in this thread, especially claiming that people are not capable of critical thinking on their own about a god damn videogame.

  • zeekthegeek

    Some clarifications made by CK on the RPS article:

    I never claimed that this was going to be a point for point simulation of serial murder, or that the psychological traits would (or should) accurately mirror their real life counterparts in my game. It seems to me, based on the feedback I’ve received thus far, that most people want a degree of dark humor in the game. That’s what I’m going for. Apologies if you are expecting a hard core psychological simulation, but that simply won’t be the case. I should have clarified that fact in my last post.

    In addition to the gruesome things that you can do, I want people, in game, to be doing all sorts of insanely campy things. I want them to cut off their own arms and attach hooks to them. I want them to see LP’s where they stalk and attack the same guy with a spoon countless times over (and at the worst of times) without being caught.

    And keep in mind that it’s a project that began with no clear design goals (and I, initially, was not going to release it anyway), that I’m (obviously) not a professional game designer and that this is the first complex game that I have worked on! And yes, you are correct in that my initial focus has been on the combat. All I really wanted to do from the start was have a game with similar (but more descriptive) combat mechanics than DF, and that evolved into using the system for a game based on Dexter.

  • defacid

    Wow, Karma Police, you are the only one defending your stance and you're not even bringing up legitimate arguments.

    1. Noone has been or will be murdered through the actions of this game.
    2. You seem to be the one who is unable to separate reality from fiction – to regard this game as “evil” is just childish.
    3. Studies have shown, as well as the statement of everyone I know that plays violent videogames, that games of this nature actually reduce the urge to commit violent acts.

    I can understand wanting to limit children from violent media, but that isn't what this discussion is about. >_>

  • zeekthegeek

    Funniest part of Karma Police is comparing his first post on here (and other posts on his Disqus account) to the one where he claims he is a Psychology Professor. Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Karma Police

    Like how do you suggest, that people should identify themselves in internet? And do you think, that I would reveal my personal details in internet, and especially in serial killer conversation, nope, zeekthegeek , I'm not doing that.

    Most individuals are well capable of “critical thinking on their own about a god damn videogame”. Some are less so, don't generalize. And as you perhaps read, I didn't talk about how media affects for certain individual, I am talking about their effects to society.

    “If you were really a professor you would also probably know that western rates of violent crimes are actually down year for year. “
    Proof or it didn't happen. Perhaps you can reveal that bit of “proof”, since it is not personal detail. And I'm not talking about shoplifting and pickpocketing either. Were not afraid of those.

  • defacid

    You are very reactionary and emotional for someone who should take a professional view of this topic, if you really are a professor. Calling it 'evil' and attacking another person's morals, especially one who has done no wrong as far as you are concerned, is something I see akin to sophomoric attacks because you are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar rather than defending what you believe is right.

  • zeekthegeek
    Source: The Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  • zeekthegeek

    Not to mention his poor spelling, grammar and logical fallacies, all things a university educated individual would probably know a bit more about.

    I also don't believe a real professor really has the time to post essays on TigSource but I could be wrong.

  • WTF

    Dude, get help. That's sick.

  • TCM

    Oh man, two people who both dislike the idea are going to fight over sarcasm. Brilliant.

  • defacid

    Amazing, isn't it?

  • Guest

    “I'm all for freedom of speech, which this game is not about. This kind of immorality is contagious and ultimately dangerous as media all over the place is one piece at a time going more and more brutal, which affects the mind of society.”

    You obviously have no idea what free speech is all about. Perhaps you would be more comfortable in an extremist Islamic society? I hear there's always more need for morality police in Iran.

  • Karma Police

    Does this game have anything to do with freedom of speech? How? What is it then? Why do you think, I want Islamic, or anything other extreme? Why do you think, the extreme is only way?

    Have you ever heard of golden mean?

    I see, your getting there though. Keep thinking.

  • Karma Police

    4. You either read, what I wrote, or don't just understand.
    5. Actually “limiting children from violent media” is partly, what this discussion is about, although I didn't write about that either.

  • defacid

    First of all, that comment made no sense. Second – You do realize he's calling you the extremist, right? Third – Lern 2english

  • zeekthegeek

    It is almost impossible to read what you wrote, your grammar is bottom tier, 'professor'

  • defacid

    Wow… what are you doing? Why are you adding to my list AND why aren't you responding to what I said? Is English you're second language, and I mean that with no disrespect as I did in an earlier comment, because you aren't really responding in a way that makes sense. :P

    4. I read what you wrote… I think thats what you were trying to say. :P
    5. Where in the post does this have ANYTHING to do with children? At all? I've seen people bring it up in comments that were blatantly off topic but children have nothing to do with this game. And if you want to limit violent media, go ahead but telling the creator he's warped and everybody who plays his game needs to be evaluated is not the same thing. I'm done arguing with you because either you're too dense to understand what I'm typing or you don't understand English well, I can't tell and it's just getting to the point of stupidity and redundancy now. >_>

  • zeekthegeek

    Holy crap you guys the entire thread has been for nothing: the entire thing was a fairly well played out Hoax on behalf of a bored troll. The gameplay videos were hashed out in Flash quickly. Check his YouTube account or the thread on the Bay12Games forums for proof from him.

    Well played sir, well played.

  • Santiago Zapata

    We have been fooled, Derek… or were you part of the “experiment”? :D

  • defacid

    Dude… that sucks. I really wanted to play that game. Ah, well… back to Dwarf Fortress it is… :P

  • WhippedCarrot

    Oh wow so this game doesn't exist? I want to make it now :P

  • DrOctapu

    That was his intended reaction to announcing he was a troll. I have proof over at the temple and bay12.

  • WhippedCarrot

    Yeah I read the posts over there. Pretty badass.

  • DrOctapu

    I know. Unfortunately toadyone and threetoe banned me. IP, in fact. I'll be unable to post screenies of the Inbox as well.

  • Al3xand3r

    Sucks if it's a fake. I hope someone makes such a roguelike inspired by this then. Or even something more mainstream, less ascii based, with an engine similar to Introversion's new thing… Though I suppose that would limit actions if they had to be represented with more than just text so I guess roguelike could be best.

  • WhippedCarrot

    That's one of the problems with having graphics. I had actually thought of a similar game to this 'mockup' before but more dexter-like. You would have free-roamed around a neighbourhood and been able to go into people's houses and do what you wanted. But after seeing this roguelike it makes a lot more sense to do it in that format because the turnbased/paused element allows you enough freedom to make choices that realtime gameplay wouldn't allow.

    And as you said, there's no need for a huge amount of assets to cover all of the possible actions.

  • zeekthegeek

    This is the main reason I think that stuff like Dwarf Fortress will never have convincing graphics. Nobody really wants to go into the level of detail necessary to show every possibility that the text describes.

  • Simonsays

    It makes no sense. Why pull the plug so early if it was a prank? Why not draw it out and try to get some actual press attention? It wouldn't be the first time an indie game has reached the media. Look at Super Columbine RPG. This Crimson King guy could've made a fake video with actual rape in it or something if it was his intention to troll.

    I think he couldn't stand or didn't like the early controversy it was generating so he made up a bunch of lies to cover his tracks.

  • DrOctapu

    It probably wasn't. He was an odd person, and he probably has his own reasons.

  • Kenzya

    And what's so funny or troll worthy about the game being originally about Dexter.

  • Al3xand3r

    What controversy would get to him? Posters like Karma? That's just lol worthy. Even if someone makes a video of the most awesome game ever, some troll is bound to show up and speak against it… Or did some pretentious pricks with actual weight on some (still most likely very niche) communities speak negatively about this project? That's sad if so, but he should still just ignore them, much like Karma should be ignored…

  • defacid

    Yeah, I don't think he was trolling. That is too much time and effort put into a fake game… and he kept going on with ideas that weren't necessary to make the story believable… Why would a troll waste his time with that? Plus, like someone said earlier, he could have made this bigger and got more attention.

    I think someone chickened out because of opposition or because the scale was too great and he knew he could not handle a game of this proportion.

  • Stupid Wife

    His stupid wife told him to quit, thats the only explanation he gave me.

  • Mike Hunt

    New TIGS competition: Serial Killer Games

  • Frabble

    So it turns out that this is a fake.

  • DrOctapu

    That's actually a pretty cool idea.

  • zeekthegeek

    He said the game doesn't exist, the videos were Flash mock-ups.

  • defacid

    I know he SAID that but that's what I think actually happened.

  • Hamster

    I hate this guy. Gives us hope for an interesting, original roguelike and then what? Turns out it was a fucking troll! I hope somebody will pick up the idea and make an actual game…

  • Fake

    What are you doing when you play Risk? Does detachment make things better, or worse? Call a spade a spade, or a murder simulator a murder simulator.