The suspects in a mysterious crime, Jenna maintains, are very important.
Long before the party even saw the light of day, Jenna and I worked out the plot. Which meant establishing the crime and determining the motives and culpability (or innocence) of each of the suspects. Which meant having suspects in the first place. And, by association, profiles of those suspects. With alibis. And clues and other evidence to either incriminate or exonerate them. Anyone who's played Clue knows this.
The challenge was not so much world-building as creating a kid-friendly way to sift through all the data and stuff and reach a verdict. During a party. Within a time limit. I'll show you what we did, and then disclose how well our plan worked with the kids who played our game, in a later post.
This post is about the various printed documents we made to give substance to the plot.
1 Document Folders
We made one for each guest. We bought open manilla folders, printed out and stuck on labels
and taped up the sides.
The kids wrote their names on them and decorated them with the same stickers as with the detection kits.
Inside each folder, we put
dossiers of the suspects,
a suspect chart to help the kids organize their investigation
and a map of the surrounding area (i.e. the neighborhood block).
We made two sets- one for each team.
Each set contained one envelope for each of the suspects.
Three of the suspects were innocent; their envelopes contained Try Again notes.
The fourth envelope contained a letter, written by the culprit, explaining what happened,
and included coded instructions on how to find the missing cars,
along with a photograph of the hiding place of the cars - a neighbor's house - cut into pieces.
Up next: Clues and Evidence.
Updated Jun 2016 to add: Many people have written to ask if I have made/will make these documents available as a printout either for sale or for free, and I am sorry to say no.