Dune: House Secrets and Batman: Everybody Lies, the spin-offs from Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, already have sequels in development, according to the games’ co-designer.
Both Dune: House Secrets and Batman: Everybody Lies were based on the mystery-solving gameplay used in 2018’s app-powered game Detective. The original co-op board game tasked players with solving a series of connected cases using a database of information accessed through their web browser, which combined with the need to manage their available time and travel between locations on a physical board.
Dune: House Secrets relocated the action to Frank Herbert’s vast science-fiction universe, introducing the need to manage the players’ allies and complete secret missions as they wrestled for political control of the planet of Arrakis. Also new to the game was a levelling system that allowed players to unlock additional story options across its three connected scenarios, with publisher Portal Games teasing at the time that choices could impact a further two games in a planned Dune trilogy.
Co-designer Ignacy Trzewiczek has confirmed to Dicebreaker that a sequel to House Secrets is currently in the final stage of development, ahead of a planned release in 2023. The game will take place approximately one year after the events of House Secrets and focus on a confrontation between players’ resistance members and Glossu ‘Beast’ Rabban, portrayed by Dave Bautista in Denis Villeneuve’s movie reboot of the series.
Batman: Everybody Lies, which is set for release on May 19th, adapts House Secrets’ gameplay to the comic book universe, as players - as journalist Warren Spacey, reporter Vicki Vale, detective Harvey Bullock and Catwoman - join the Dark Knight and other allies (along with some villains) in cracking a series of crimes across Gotham City.
Like Detective and House Secrets, players must manage their time carefully as they move between familiar places in Gotham - from Arkham Asylum to the Batcave - to chase leads and gather information. The game adds a new gameplay twist in the form of hidden agendas for each character, which provide unique objectives and ways to win depending on the character.
While Everybody Lies is yet to be released, Trzewiczek revealed that a sequel is already in the works ahead of a planned crowdfunding campaign later this year. The upcoming board game will feature new characters, villains and cases.
As well as sequels to its two licensed spin-offs, Portal will also release a new instalment in the original Detective series, Trzewiczek said.
The untitled Detective game will feature four new scenarios in an overarching “master plot” from the series’ lead writer Przemysław Rymer, and is set to be unveiled in early 2023.
“Let me just tease you with the statement that if you liked Indiana Jones movies, you will be very happy,” Trzewiczek said.
“We have a great time developing the Detective engine and finding new ideas for the game mechanism. Batman: Everybody Lies introduces a brand new concept of secret agendas and personal goals - it was created to represent Gotham City's mistrust and dark side. There is no doubt that the pool of rules the line has, the designer toolbox, grew over the years, and when we go back to base Detective and revisit Richmond, we will have plenty of cool rules ideas to choose from. A good problem to have!”
As for future spin-offs based on other pop-culture, Trzewiczek left the potential open: “Many settings are very tempting, and we might pursue some particular licences to tell our Detective story in the future.”