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X-Noir is the story of Eddie Humphrey, once an up-and-coming City Councilor but now an alcoholic has-been making a living as a private investigator. The game is a unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction. Hardly a typical film noir hero, Eddie is beset by severe anxiety, depression and low self-esteem as he balances his work with visits to the therapist and the concerns of his circle of friends. When a mysterious drug called "Chemical X" begins to play a recurring role in his investigations, Eddie realizes he is being drawn back into the twisty world of city politics whether he likes it or not. Along the way, he may also unravel the biggest mystery of all - himself.

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Those Wings You like Are Coming Back in Style

It's been five years since Volrath and I actively worked on a project together. It's pretty hard to believe we've been inactive for so long. There were many reasons we went dark but that's for a different blog post.

I just moved back to my homestate where Volrath lives and we discussed working on another project together. I started playing through some of our old projects for inspiration. I hadn't touched or seen X-Noir since 2015 and forgot most of it. During my playthrough, Volrath joined in and we've been having a fun time doing a let's play together and voicing the characters just like we used to do whenever we playtested our games together.

We've been discussing doing a sequel of sorts to X-Noir for the last few years but other than a rough draft of the early game we haven't made any progress. It's been a long time since we've done any serious game make and it's honestly quite intimidating thinking of starting a new project. Playing through X-Noir again, I realized there was a lot of potential for a remake.

X-Noir is described as a "unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction." It's our most experimental project to date, and ended up being kind of a mess. The action combat is clunky and simplistic, as expected from an action RPG in Ace. The logic-based investigation sequences have a bit too much guessing, and there's a lot of needless back and forth around the city. The story is also a bit all over the place, especially in the beginning. But in the mess there is beauty.

Volrath and I take a very organic approach to game development. We draft a rough outline of the mechanics and story early-on for our games but we leave a lot of room for ideas to emerge later. In the case of X-Noir, we didn't really figure out the identity of the game until around Case 4. By then we had more confidence in the characters, story, and investigational sequences. Because we committed to having an action combat system, we still had segments where Eddie fought off enemies but these were given less focus. We realized the Anxiety mechanic was going nowhere and it just became a superficial aspect of the game.

I've had a lot of time to think about how I'd approach X-Noir if I did it all over again. I would ditch the combat completely, which tonally never fit with the game. In its place, there would be more focus on the Investigation and Interrogation sequences. The Ace Attorney series have been a big source of inspiration, as well as the Zero Escape trilogy, Hotel Dusk, and Danganronpa titles. Eddie was an attorney, and his best friend is a cop, so modeling the game after the Ace Attorney Investigation series would make a lot of sense thematically. I'd also like to rethink the Anxiety/Depression system to have a bigger impact on the overall plot.

Right now Volrath and I are just talking about it. We still have to complete our playthrough and decide if a remake of X-Noir is something we want to do. We fleshed out the world more in Labyrinthine Dreams, as well as the sequel that we're still planning, and it would make sense to remake the game that started it all. I know there isn't as many fans of these games as our titles in the Solest universe but I'm hoping there are still some subs here that would be interested in seeing us taking another swing at this strange sci-fi detective game.
  • Completed
  • Stoic
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • Action RPG
  • 06/28/2012 01:13 PM
  • 06/25/2019 11:39 PM
  • 07/09/2014
  • 182226
  • 68
  • 623


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This one looks awesome, I have always been a fan of noir films, and their dark, gloomy atmospheric feel. Apparently, you've nailed it pretty well, I might add! The game looks amazing. *subscribe*
And the reason I'm not subbed to this is.... because...?? :D
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
"Chemical X" makes me think of PPG. but whatever, i hope to enjoy this.
I'm not sure what PPG refers to...but we will soon start a round of testing and then hope to have an updated demo out after that.
He's referring to Powerpuff Girls. I totally forgot that was what that stuff was called.
Thought to share this interesting video with you guys. It might help when designing the battles and what not.

Because my comment on Eddie being a suicidal superman holds a bit more weight than before.
Good video. Unlike LA Noire though where I'm pretty sure they tacked combat on later we did plan having combat in X-Noir from the start. The creator of the video referenced Chinatown and LA Confidential which have great shootouts even if they are few. It would be a waste of resources though to create a combat system like we did for X-Noir and only use it a few times. I don't think it's good to look at combat so literal in games or else it does seem silly.

Maybe combat wasn't appropriate for X-Noir but I think I'd rather have it in than not. Before we had a very moody intro to X-Noir that featured almost no combat. Players complained that the game was "boring" and lost interest before they even got to the first fight. Hence the new intro where Eddie is shooting up a hotel full of mobsters. I know it seems a little ridiculous that Eddie would pick up a gun and be able to take out these cold-blooded killers but in that case suspension of disbelief was necessary to improve the overall experience.

I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that this is what we expect. Our next project will have no combat which I'm actually excited about. It's always seemed to be a point of contention with our games and it will be nice not to have to focus so much energy on it.
I can't for the life of me figure out how to pass the room with the pipes. Help please...
I can't for the life of me figure out how to pass the room with the pipes. Help please...

Try walking along the pipes and seeing where there's a break in the pipes that cuts off the connection. If you still can't figure it out here are screens of the solutions:


Also yay at being spotlighted! :D
"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
I consider Master of the Wind the finest episodic RPG Maker game ever made. That you guys have made something else fills my heart with geekish glee and I am downloading and playing this immediately.
I consider Master of the Wind the finest episodic RPG Maker game ever made. That you guys have made something else fills my heart with geekish glee and I am downloading and playing this immediately.

Thanks for the high compliment Trihan. Hope you like X-Noir. It's a much different experience from MotW.
Played the game and it is pretty good.
We do not condone harassing other members by PM.
a detective style game of the ones ive tried
happy birthday-fav so far

childs light-custum art and a simple plot

and some other one that i could not even get by the tutorial for
^found this one The Folkland Case
sure alot of work was put into it but its to slow with game style for me
and apparently its been canceled
ive generally learned to like these types so i defiantly want to try it
Just wanted to say congratulations on your kick-starter! (Albeit being fashionably late) X-Noir looks interesting,btw. I can especially relate to the main character. (Been diagnosed with bipolar disorder myself)
Anyone try out case 4 yet? We'd love to get some feedback!
I like it so far. It actually inspired me to start making a crime solving game also. The game had only two game breaking errors, that I could see though. First, the song "Hotel Noir" is missing. (I quickly placed a song in there with the same title to keep going in the game.) Second, in the dream sequence where the character is falling, it seems to glitch. I'm not sure if there is a "fadein" missing or if it just completely freezes. Other than those two things I saw nothing wrong. Great game so far :)
does it have any battle scenes? i wish not :/
does it have any battle scenes? i wish not :/

It has a custom action battle system where you fight enemies on the map. But those scenes are isolated so you should still be able to enjoy the story and puzzles if you don't like the combat.
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