The Game’s Afoot: Designing Sherlock Holmes


A videogame based on the Sherlock Holmes’ stories by Arthur Conan Doyle is an interesting design challenge, which commercial games have tackled only half-heartedly. This paper discusses this challenge by examining the game design strategies across pre-existing games, then proposes a new set of strategies that would help players become the dweller of 221B Baker Street. The design critique of the games focuses on the actions available to players to become a detective, and the aspects of the interactivity that invite the player to become Sherlock Holmes. The suggested design strategies to encourage detective work are based on prompts from the original stories, such as disguising oneself, doing chemical analyses, or turning the process of deduction into game mechanics.