How we helped bring personalised murder mysteries to the masses
You Dunnit are a murder mystery events company. Since 2017, they've been writing and distributing personalised murder mysteries for dinner parties and events.
Each time a new murder mystery order came in, the team would create the mystery manually using a series of emails and phone calls with the customer and good old Google Docs.
It was time-consuming and inefficient with each game, taking up to 4 hours to write. But the personalisation element proved extremely popular and orders flooded in just by word-of-mouth marketing.
You Dunnit knew they were onto something. They also knew there needed to be a better way to do it. Something more efficient, to reach more people – and to deliver personalised murder mystery games, much quicker.
Market research showed demand for Halloween murder mysteries, Christmas murder mystery parties and even Stag and Hen doo's – once an automated process was in place, it would free up time to start marketing the business properly and forge ahead.
Increase in revenue
Games created and sold
We knew from our initial conversation that this was a great idea – and something we could take to the next level. However, we knew it wouldn't be easy.
Initially, the concept seems simple: have a set of murder mysteries pre-written with variables which can be filled in and replaced by users.
But on top of that we need to factor in a mechanism for payment, for distributing the game amongst players, and to allow the game to be played in unison online or in real life.
Wireframing and prototypes
The decision was made earlier on to make this a web app rather than a native phone app, so that path from marketing to playing could be as seamless as possible and users could play without having to download an App from the App or Play Store.
Since this was a B2C product our intuition and research pointed towards users that would be using this product, at home on a mobile device, rather than on a desktop computer – so we opted for a mobile-first approach to the UX.
We aimed to make all interactions as slick and quick as possible – to almost feel like a native app, but without the budget.
Together, with the new brand, the UI design needed to feel lighthearted and fun. We wanted to stay clear of the dark, gloomy, blood-soaked cliches already saturating the market. This was rolled out across the whole interface, including the copy and imagery selection.
As a Craft CMS development agency, the obvious choice was to use Craft CMS, utilising the first-party plug-in Craft Commerce.
As the user populates the script variables, Google firebase collects the data in real time, ready to present the customer with a preview of the script before purchase, and then passing variables through to the final playable game script.
Right at the start, we knew every brand needs to be in a conversation too.
You Dunnit it hooks into Stripe for all payments. There's also an option to buy vouchers which can be given as gifts and routines at a later date.
The personalisation mechanism allows the user to fill-in variables which get replaced in the script. We decided that users should be able to preview the script before paying for it.
To host a game, a player needs to be able to login and distribute the game to the other players.
Players access the game via a unique game code. Only once the host has started the game, do the players gain access to solve the mystery.
As a failsafe players can download a printable version of the script – just in case the battery on the phone, dies, or worst-case, there’s a power cut mid-game.
Go try it for yourself... we dare you