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This article is about the 1998 video game. For the 1992 video game, see Clue (1992 video game).
Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion
Developer(s) Engineering Animation, Inc.
Publisher(s) Hasbro Interactive
Distributor(s) Hasbro Interactive
Designer(s) Rick Raymer
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) 1998
Genre(s) Strategy/Board game
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Clue (known as Cluedo outside of North America) is a video game based on the board game of the same name. Its formal name is Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion or Cluedo: Murder at Blackwell Grange (depending of whether the country uses American or British English). It runs on Microsoft Windows. It was developed in 1998 for Hasbro Interactive by EAI. Infogrames (now Atari) took over publishing rights for the game in 2000 when Hasbro Interactive went out of business. The game, just like the board game, is "meant for 3-6 participants". This is because there are only 6 suspects, and with two people there is very little
- Clue was developed by a branch of Engineering Animation, Inc. called EAI Interactive. The development team was divided between EAI's interactive division in Salt Lake City, Utah and its main office in Ames, Iowa. Most of the programming and game design took place in Salt Lake, while most of the art and animations were developed in the Ames office. Development of the mansion, constructed piece by piece, began in Ames, but moved to Salt Lake City about halfway through the project. It was developed as "The existing version [released in 1992] is not free and is also not that good. The AI, board presentations, and game mechanics of the existing version were all bad". This version of Clue aimed to "improve...on all of those areas with most of the emphasis put into the artificial intelligence of computer players in the game". Development of Clue took approximately one year. Hasbro Interactive, the game's publisher, funded the project. Chris Nash, Lead Programmer on the game, who was interviewed by the official Cluedo fansite Cluedofan.com in May 2003, said that while it was a fun project to work on, "it was hard at times too, e.g. crunch time near the end."
- He explained, in regard the design of the game: "We were given some freedom, but in the end Hasbro had final say on graphical treatments and such. One big flaw in the game is the lack of a visual for suggestions made. For example, Miss Scarlet in the kitchen with knife should have a visual representation somewhere on the screen, but it doesn't. This is because of a call by one designer at Hasbro". This was most probably due to cost/time factors - it would have required 6 * 6 * 6 = 216 suggestion animations. However the final cut-scenes were designed to be dark enough for the room to be unidentifiable, thereby overcoming this problem. He further explains "The layout of the UI was the only real sore point for the whole game. The Game Designer wanted it one way, but Hasbro wanted it another. We did what Hasbro wanted despite the major flaw. For the look of the mansion and such, I think we were given a lot of freedom, however I wasn't involved much in this process. The art was handled in Ames, Iowa and I was in Salt Lake City, Utah. All I heard was that it should look 1920-30-ish. One early art lead (she was later replaced) wanted to make the entire mansion Art Nouveau or Art Deco, but Hasbro said she could do one room that way, but not the whole mansion". He recalled shared a cubicle with the interface designer who wanted to make most of the interface elements Art Deco, so Hasbro green lit the idea on the basis of consistent user interface. He summed up by saying, "Overall, as far as I know, Hasbro didn't nit-pick us about every little element. They gave some broad guidelines and let us go. Of course they had the final say on everything, but I don't think we bumped heads on too many things". When asked if any of the characters were originally designed differently to how they turned out, Nash said "In an early design document, which was never used, it was mentioned that Miss Scarlet should be from "indeterminate Asian origin".
- The game does not include credits, however dozens of people were involved in Clue's development. Some of the more notable contributors: Michael S. Glosecki, Executive Producer, Hasbro Interactive Bryan Brandenburg, Executive Producer, EAI Interactive Tom Zahorik, Producer, Hasbro Interactive Virginia McArthur, Producer, EAI Interactive Rick Raymer, Game Designer Tim Zwica, Art Lead Chris Nash, Lead Programmer Joshua Jensen, Lead EAGLE Programmer Mike Reed, AI Programmer Greg Thoenen, Programmer Darren Eggett, Programmer Steve Barkdull, Programmer Emily Modde, Level Designer Greg German, 3D Modeller Jonathan Herrmann, Cinematic Lighting Jason Wintersteller, Graphic Designer Cole Harris, Lead Tester The very same 3D characterisations in this game would later appear in the Cluedo-inspired title Fatal Illusion.
- A report showed that "simple propositional reasoning...encod[ing] the knowledge gained over the course of a game of Clue in order to deduce whether or not any given card is in any given place...clearly outperforms the "expert CPU" players in Hasbro Interactive's software Clue: Murder at Boddy mansion, making deductions of the case file contents well before the Hasbro Interactive's AI". A similar finding was released by Gettysburg College. Clue had enjoyed an unusually long shelf life for a video game. It went on sale late in 1998 and, as of 2007 was still for sale, available at many retail stores and via the Internet. The original game came in a box with holographic images. Now the game comes in a less expensive jewel case, or as part of a collection, the Classic Game Collection (also including computer versions of Monopoly, The Game of Life, and Scrabble). At one point the game was offered free inside boxes of cereal alongside other Hasbro video games such as Operation. Allgame explains that "to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Clue, the European release of Cluedo: Murder at Blackwell Grange, by Hasbro Interactive, introduces an updated version of its earlier computerized release." Gameplay The premise of the game - evidenced by the "Deal" cut scene that plays when a new game commences - is that Mr Boddy/Mr Black's spirit has returned to shuffle the cards and hand them out the players, in order for them to discover how he was murdered then puts the three cards representing each game's murderer, room and weapon in brief case. Clue is a direct conversion of the original game as a video game. As such, it takes place in the same mansion and features the same goal of the board game. In addition to play by the original rules, Clue has an additional mode that allows movement via "points." Each turn begins with nine points and every action the player takes costs points. The player can only do as many things as he has points.
- A few features of Clue: Detailed depictions of the characters made famous by the board game A 3D isometric view A top down view reminiscent of the board game Video clips of the characters carrying out the crime (which garnered the game's T (Teen) rating) Online play via the Internet The game is highly notable for its very dark tone. It has rather vivid suggestion scenes which are from the perspective of the host being murdered by the guests. The animations are all characters based (for example Mrs. Peacock physically struggles with some of the weapons, and Professor Plum seems unwilling to commit murder. The cut scenes also utilise the many imaginative ways one can murder someone with each of the weapons). The Providence Journal described the game as having a "film-noir environment (like a murder-mystery movie of the 1940s)". Christian Spotlight explains that these can be switched off if one so chooses. Allgame explains that "each room is richly created in loving detail, complete with exotic period furniture and secret passages. Both the mood and gameplay is enhanced by the deep, sonorous voice of the Butler as he announces events as they occur. Spong says, "Cluedo takes place mostly in the house where the murder was committed, creating a chilling atmosphere. Environments are beautifully rendered, featuring all characters from the original board game in full 3D." Cnet explains, "Clue offers full animations of the characters walking from room to room. While this is interesting for a while, you'll probably want to play with the standard overhead view of the board. Along with the animations is a really good soundtrack that includes sounds of the storm outside the mansion and a forbidding butler who calls out each suggestion as it is played". It adds, "The "autonotes" feature that takes notes as to what cards you've seen doesn't record what suggestions have already been made, so making educated guesses as to which cards people don't have by their suggest
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