{PROJECT} Clue Chronicles: Fatal Illusion

{ROLE} Sr. Producer/ Art Director


{COMPANY} Engineering Animation – Developer

{CLIENT} Hasbro


I took over the production of Clue Chronicles when the previous Producer left abruptly. The production was in serious trouble: the Art Director had suffered a collapsed lung and was out of commission, the current assets were too large to fit on the 3 disks allotted, and the source code and build compilation was in complete disarray. There over 5000 reported defects and, to top it off, the company had just announced layoffs, and the entire gaming division was going to be dissolved. Morale was at an all time low.

To avoid lawsuits, EAI wanted to finish all products in production, so I got my team together for a “CTJ” discussion. I talked to them about finishing the game – and bluntly said “Anyone who thinks they are just going to slide by and do the bare minimum can leave now – there’s the door. But those of you who stay and contribute will get additional compensation and another credit to add to your resume. It’s either all or nothing – I won’t manage a team that doesn’t care. Who’s with me?!” Everyone was in. That was a great day.

Next – we all took a step back, prioritized the giant list of defects, cut any remaining features that had not been tackled already, and then did some major “housekeeping.” We set up Version Control to automate the builds and also used it for asset management. This helped eliminate duplicates and got the file sizes down. We also extracted the game dialogue from the code and set up in an external text file that could be compiled at run time – enabling us to swap it out for different languages at the last minute. So yes, not only did we finish the US version, but we localized it into 8 languages as well. I was really proud of that team – it was hard work, a tight deadline, and a depressing environment, but we all worked together and pulled it off. Such dedicated, amazing people.


Clue Chronicles: Fatal Illusion is a first-person perspective 3D adventure game where players must determine “who dunnit.” Players can ask other characters questions and keep track of clues and items in their notebook, where new topics appear as the investigation progresses. The main menu provides access to suspect biographies. Inventory appears at the bottom of the screen where inventory objects can be manipulated or inspected. A ‘clue’ option is also provided for novice players to give hints if one is stuck. Puzzles include riddles and abstract challenges to get gems, a maze, and some limited inventory-based puzzles.