"The motive, means and opportunities": Infinite Whys discusses Whispers in the West's gameplay, development, the Wild West, and more 

The online co-op murder mystery game (Image via Whispers in the West)
The online co-op murder mystery game (Image via Whispers in the West)

Whispers in the West is an exciting online co-op title from the minds at Infinite Whys, where players will get to choose a story, team up with their friends and solve a murder mystery.

The unique indie game involves 1-4 players choosing from four playable characters, interacting with townsfolk, and collaborating amongst themselves to figure out the true culprit.


Hear directly from the horse's mouth as I had the good fortune to engage with the developers behind the title, regarding the developmental process, the reason for the setting, what the future holds, and more.

The team behind Whispers in the West talks about the game's premise, mechanics, and more

Q - As an introduction, will you please share a little about what Whispers in the West is for our readers?

Infinite Whys - Whispers in the West is an online co-op murder mystery game for 1-4 players. The game is set in the far reaches of the Wild West. Imagine Among Us but with stories, or Ace Attorney but an online co-op.

Each story is a unique and intriguing mystery waiting to be solved. To succeed, players need to work as a team and debate amongst themselves - things may get heated.

Q - Before getting into the mechanics of the game, I would love to hear how Team Dissonant came to be.

Infinite Whys - Infinite Whys was founded in late 2019. During the pandemic, the company proudly supported a group of recent graduates to develop their own game - which turned out to be Whispers in the West. You can read more about how Team Dissonant is formed here.

Q - What led you all to conceptualize Whispers in the West, especially as an online co-op murder mystery game?

Infinite Whys - As a team, we are big fans of offline murder mystery games. And, we specialize in narrative games and multiplayer game technology, so an online co-op murder mystery game becomes our natural choice.

Yoyu is one of the narrative designers working on Reigns: Three Kingdoms, which was just announced by Devolver and Netflix. Built on her experience, we designed and developed our custom narrative engine to support the game’s unique multiplayer storytelling.

William, the developer who implemented the narrative engine in Unity, worked on a game called Spaceman Scramble, a 1-4 player casual multiplayer game built with Unreal. And we plan to offer a Custom Story Editor to our community, so players can even write their own mysteries!

Q - Were there any particular reasons for choosing the Wild West as the setting?

Infinite Whys - Many classic detective mysteries are set in the 19th century to early 20th century; for example, Sherlock Holmes in the 19th century and Hercule Poirot in the early 20th century.

We think the reason is that during this period, forensic science was sophisticated enough to provide some basic evidence to solve a crime; for example, matching fingerprints and deducing the cause of death, but not conclusive enough to pinpoint the perpetrator in a way modern technology is capable of; for example, matching DNA, phone tracing and surveillance cameras.

The game world (Image via Whispers in the West)
The game world (Image via Whispers in the West)

This leaves the sleuths with enough room for reasoning and deductions. To reach a conclusion, players need to combine multiple pieces of evidence and analyze the motive, means and opportunities, which make the game fun.

Q - Given the four characters to choose from — Deputy, Sheriff, Outlaw, and Cowboy — what is the favorite role among the developers, and why?

Infinite Whys - We don’t have a favourite. But we frequently choose the Deputy because it’s the character closest to the ready button, because we have to do so many tests ourselves.

Q - How has the developmental process been for Whispers in the West? Are there any interesting tidbits or incidents that you would like to talk about?

Infinite Whys - We believe in fast prototyping. We developed the first playable prototype of Whispers in the West in about two days. Our writer Sebastian came up with a story, and three people in our team played the NPCs, and the other two played the role of the players, and we interacted with the game verbally and came up with gameplay on the fly. The core gameplay came into shape in about two weeks.

Our second playable prototype is a Discord bot. We fed the bot with scripts, and multiple players can interact with the bots at the same time, and each Discord channel is a different location. So, players can move between locations too. We even organized an external playtest.

The positive feedback gave us confidence that players will like this game. We did all these before we started Unity development.

Q - How did it feel to find the game as one of the official selections for the London Games Festival?

Infinite Whys - It was great to be recognized by the industry. As most of our team are recent graduates, the official selection of the London Games Festival has been a milestone in their careers - it was a confirmation that we were on the right track and making a game that can potentially be commercialized.


Q - What has the initial response been from players towards Whispers in the West?

Infinite Whys - Almost everyone who played Whispers in the West described it as a game different from any they have seen. More than 90% of players who played Whispers in the West are happy to recommend the game to their friends.

Here’s just some feedback we received from players:

"hello! me and my friend finished the demo version of the game. very good! I've always wanted to play something similar with my friends. " via Discord
"We were looking for something to play co-op during the Steam Next Demo Fest and stumbled upon this one. Weren't sure at first ... but stuck with it and ended up quite enjoying it. The mystery difficulty seemed perfect for us" via Steam Community
Guys, don't miss this hidden gem. We had so much fun, and can't wait for full release so we can play it again! @Deafgirl_gaming on Twitter
My family got a chance to check out this game over the weekend and we haven't had that much of a rootin' tootin' good 'ol time in a while. @8BitsofVelvet on Twitter
Whispers in the West is a lot of fun. Great for anyone who wants to do a fast-paced, brain-based co-op game @EhJaredJ on Twitter
This was such a fun game to play! So go ahead and grab some friends and try solve the murder that happened in the old west @StefThings on Twitter

Q - How was the experience with the reveal at the Steam Next Fest?

Infinite Whys - There were more than 1000 games at Steam Next Fest this year. So it was very competitive to be noticed even with the help of a platform like Steam. Still, Steam Next Fest brought us unprecedented visibility, we had thousands of downloads and we were happy to see about 30% of players who visited our Steam page wishlisted our game. We also receive many heart-warming messages during the festival.

Q - What are the next plans with the title?

Infinite Whys - We are going to announce a Kickstarter campaign very soon at the end of July, where we are going to raise funds to create three new mystery stories - which means more cases to be solved.

The physical rewards (Image via Infinite Whys)
The physical rewards (Image via Infinite Whys)

As part of the Kickstarter campaign, we are also introducing two exclusive physical rewards; one is a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle and the other is a silver sheriff badge.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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