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Deadly Smart

University project to create a game around a crafting system.

Version 1.2

Last Update 28/09/2022



Deadly Smart


Narrative Story (Disco Elysium but in first person point of view)

Point of View

First Person

Target Audience

Adult gamers (18+) looking for a dark unnerving game


Dark and intense suspense driven game in black and white


  • It’s a narrative driven detectives' story.

  • Finding clues/evidence and having certain mental traits unlocks important dialogue trees with NPCs necessary to progress in the investigation.

  • Non-linear story with plot twists.

  • Side missions add variety and allow the player to develop and improve the character.


Background Story

The Illuminati exist, they are an elite group of extremely wealthy individuals with special supernatural skills that give them advantages that allow them to succeed above everyone else. They also have a self-imposed control system of mating and engaging with other non-Illuminati members as they don’t want their skills to become mainstream. But obviously, people make mistakes, have affairs, etc.

Your grandmother was one of those mistakes. The result of an affair between an Illuminati and a housemaid, kept hidden from the Illuminati for fear they will kill her. She inherited one of the most powerful but also one of the most inconvenient of the many abilities the Illuminati have. The ability to absorb the mental traits of dead people.

It was your grandmother actually the one who started and consolidated the women's emancipation movement that gave women theoretically equal rights to men. The reality was very different though.

The Character’s Story

It’s 1890, London. Lisa Menéndez is the daughter of a wealthy man with a very special skill that she has inherited. This skill allows her to absorb personality traits from dead people that are ‘fresh’ AKA have been dead for less than 9 hours, 9 minutes and 9 seconds. Once she absorbs the deceased's mental capacities, she can fuse them with other victim's mental skills and create “personalities” that she can “equip” and use to give her advantages.

Her father, a retired mafia boss that had acquired his skills by killing hundreds of people, could never become a powerful public figure due to his turbulent past, so he always had to keep a low profile. Wishing a different future for his daughter he encouraged her to become a crime detective. He exposed her to books, bedtime stories about heroic detectives that captured evil serial killers for her entire childhood. The father knew that this job would expose her to lots of “fresh” deceased people she would be able to absorb skills from. This won't taint her past and won't make her become an assassin, a monster like he is. The problem was the “quality”. In the father’s view, criminals, drug addicts and people that tend to commit suicide are not the best targets for her daughter. So once she finally got accepted in the Homicides Police Department, he went out and started killing the right people for her daughter to get her skills from. He planned it all, his case would allow her daughter to absorb skills from selected individuals and will also serve as a test. To get him, she’ll have to absorb a lot of skills and become an extraordinary person. Then, when she is ready, she will climb the social ladder and become what he could not, famous, rich and powerful, extremely powerful.

The Beginning

The player assumes the role of Lisa Menéndez, she has just been accepted in the Homicides Police Department as a detective, and as soon as she starts, a serial killer starts murdering people. The killer leaves a very cryptic message with the first corpse mentioning Lisa. This puts her on the case.


Game Loop

  • Murder happens and the player is called to the scene.

  • The player may or may not be able to absorb the victim's mental traits.

  • The player investigates the crime scene and gathers clues and evidence.

  • An assistant policeman provides a list of the witnesses.

  • The player may have to find other witnesses or interview people that live around the area.

  • The player obtains leads that point them in certain directions, to talk with other people or visit certain places.

  • This leads to gathering of more clues and evidence and so on.

  • The player will get side quests during her investigation.

  • Another murder happens.


The game is in first-person perspective so the standard WASD + Mouse system will be used.

Left Mouse Button - Interaction

This will be the player's mains of interacting with the world and it will allow the player to:

  • Open doors

  • Pick up items

  • Talk to NPCs

  • Switch / activate things

  • Use the Assimilation skill.



This is the player’s ability to absorb the mental traits of a “fresh corpse” (being dead for less than 9 hours, 9 minutes and 9 seconds).

The player won't always be able to use their skill as some victims will be found too late.

Mental traits

Intelligence – Deduction and problem-solving.

Memory – The capacity to recollect memories NOT the memories themselves.

Empathy – Understanding others, put yourself in someone else's shoes.

Eloquence – Making others understand you and get the full message.

Attitude – How assertive, passive, fearful or aggressive you are when interacting with others.

-50 to -40 Highly Fearful

-40 to -30 Fearful

-30 to -20 Slightly Fearful

-20 to -10 Passive

-10 to +10 Average

+10 to +20 Assertive

+20 to +30 Very Assertive

+30 to +40 Aggressive

+40 to +50 Very Aggressive

Sociability – Introverted / Extroverted. A positive number means extroverted and a negative number means introverted.

Personality Profiles and Crafted Personalities

Once the assimilation is executed, the player gains a Personality Profile. This Personality profile can be used by itself adding their traits modifiers to the player ones, or she can combine with another personality profile from another victim to create a Crafted Personality.

You can only combine two different Personality Profiles. Once the Crafted Personality is created it can not be combined any more.

The Traits Score

Each trait has a score from -50 to +50. A theoretically perfectly average person, would have a zero in all skills.

Personality Profiles Examples

The Scientist

  • Intelligence +30

  • Memory +25

  • Eloquence 0

  • Empathy -10

  • Attitude -30

  • Sociability -15

The Boxer

  • Intelligence -20

  • Memory- 10

  • Eloquence 0

  • Empathy -30

  • Attitude +40

  • Sociability +20

The Artist

  • Intelligence +10

  • Memory -5

  • Eloquence +25

  • Empathy +40

  • Attitude -20

  • Sociability +10

The Doctor

  • Intelligence 0

  • Memory +20

  • Eloquence +5

  • Empathy +5

  • Attitude +15

  • Sociability -10

The Thief

  • Intelligence 0

  • Memory +10

  • Eloquence 0

  • Empathy -25

  • Attitude +25

  • Sociability +10

Crafted Personalities

Initially they will be limited to 5, and each can be crafted by mixing 3 Personality Profiles, but this is something that will have to be tested. The idea is that the player will have to compromise and be resourceful.

Déjà Vu Points (DVPs)

At the beginning of each conversation, the player is asked which personality they want to use to talk to that NPC. Once chosen, it can not be changed halfway through the conversation.

Also, when the player is going through a dialogue, once they make a choice in the dialogue tree, they can’t undo it. Each choice counts. But if the player feels the conversation is going the wrong way, they can use a DVP to create another conversation from the beginning.

Then, they have the choice to select a different personality, or keep the one they have and redo the dialogue following a different dialogue tree path.

Once a DVP is used, as long as the conversation is not finished, if the player is not happy with the outcome of the second attempt, they can undo the Déjà Vu and go back to where they were on the first attempt with the dialogue. This completely removes the second Déjà Vu dialogue option and can’t be accessed again.

Each player gets X DVPs per dialogue depending on the game’s difficulty level, but they can collect extra points by doing side missions.

There are two types of DVPs:

Permanent DVPs

These the player carry over if they are not used in a conversation. You can gain more by doing side quests.

Temporal DVPs

Whenever you start a conversation, depending on the difficulty level, you may or may not get some temporal DVPs. These disappear once the conversation is finished.


Clues are milestones in the player’s investigation needed to progress in the quest lines.

There are two types:

Main Clues

These are the big important ones. These have an impact in the game, in the form of new accessible areas, or new NPCS to talk, or new Quest Lines, etc.

Directional Clues

These just point the player in one direction or the other in between Main Clues. There are two types of Direcional Clues:

  • Lead Directional Clues: these are the good ones.

  • Mislead Directional Clues: these divert the player into false investigation paths.

The Dialogue Trees (DT)

The DTs play a very important role in this game as it’s a narrative/investigation based game. The player has to increase their stats to unlock DTs that allow them to find new clues.

There are 3 types of DT:

  • Introduction DT

  • Quest Dialogue DT

  • Lore Dialogue DT

All 3 types have visual clues that allow the player to identify them and let them choose if they want to progress within a given quest or get information about the game’s lore.

Introduction DT

  • These are the first dialogues the player will have with any NPC.

  • They require no stats.

  • The player has to go through them to access the higher level dialogue trees.

Quest DT

There are 2 types of Quest dialogs based on the type of quest:

  • Main Quest

  • Side Quest

They both should have visual cues that make them distinguishable so the player can choose between focusing on the main story or doing side quests. And both of them have 3 different subtypes:

Quest Introduction DT

  • These dialogues trees require no stats and introduce the quest and give the player something to start with.

Quest Clues DT

  • Quest Clues require certain milestones or other Quest clues to be achieved to unlock them.

  • Quest Clues remain hidden even when they have been unlocked unless the player has the required stats, then they will appear as a choice.

Quest Assertions DT

  • These dialogue trees unlock other dialogue trees.

  • These are always visible but not always accessible.

  • Certain stats are required to access them.

  • These can allow the player to access certain difficult dialog trees they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise.

Quest Assertions DT to decrease the game’s difficulty

  • The amount of these dialogues can be reduced or increased depending on the game’s difficulty.

  • Obviously their stat requirements should be lower than the Quest Clue DT they unlock as they are meant to make them more accessible.

Lore DT

These are entirely optional and provide the player with more lore or ways to access it.

Hidden Quest DTs

Whenever the player finishes a conversation with a NPC that has some unlocked Quest DT that are hidden because the player stats are not high enough, the main character will do a voice comment like:

  • “I think he’s hiding something”

  • “She’s keeping something for herself”

  • “I have the feeling that was half of the story”

  • “Hmmm… is that all?”

  • “My gut tells me there’s more to it”



First UI draft.

(It doesn’t need the Cancel button and the bottom, and the crafting button clearly has to be more visible. And maybe put it on the side instead of the middle of it, but otherwise, it’s how it’s going to look pretty much)

Some facts (subject to change):

  • Player can store up to 10 Personality Profiles

  • Player can store up to 5 Crafted Personalities

  • Crafted Personalities can be created at any time.


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