Gameboards General Discussion

As noted previously, the Gameboards category is about creating games for the community to participate in. Such games tend to be pretty complicated, requiring a good amount of writing and effort; here, we can discuss Gameboards more in-depth, as viewers, players, and creators.

While I would like this to be a totally spoiler-free topic for Umineko, I can’t help but imagine that they would at least need to know about certain elements introduced in Episode Two, namely: Red Truth, the appearance of Beatrice, and their meta duels over the locked rooms.

Thus, I’ll say: please mark all Umineko spoilers, except those pertaining to those main elements of Episodes One and Two. If you’re someone who hasn’t read any of Umineko yet, I’ll leave the judgment up to you. It’s not a gamebreaking spoiler, but it would be pretty awesome to run into Umineko without hearing about any of this. I’d advise you not to proceed until you reach probably the first few segments of Episode Two.

I’ll start us off.

I’ve been considering creating a Gameboard after the current one winds up, and I’ve come across a few ideas; I’m curious to know what you all would prefer and think would work best.

My main goal is to create a Gameboard faithful to the originals in Umineko, meaning I’d like to include Red Truth and our beloved Endless Witch. There were a few elements under consideration:

  1. Lore. Like Umineko, the game would begin with the usual happenings, up to the discovery of the murders of the first twilight. Thus, there’d be talk about Beatrice and the rest within the writing.

  2. Investigation. Much like the current game, after the first twilight, we would have an investigation and discussion.

  3. Red Truth. This is one of the things I’d like to discuss. I had two main trains of thought here (there are other possibilities, naturally, but I want to explore these two first):

3.a. NPC Battler vs. Beatrice “prologue.” In this version, I would write up the Red Truth battle, as happens in Episode Two. Naturally, Battler wouldn’t be able to figure out the locked room; that’s why the family will take the knowledge of the Red Truth they’ve been given and use it in their Investigations and discussions to try and root out the truth.

3.b. Player Battler vs. Beatrice. In this version, the players would share control of Battler. Perhaps each person would be given exactly one Blue Truth bullet to fire; something like that. It’d be a little group Red Truth battle. We could either continue it until: i) everyone runs out of their assigned number of Blue Truth; or ii) until the well of theories runs dry.

Of course, the major problem with 3.b. is: what if they solve it? Unless the locked room is much stronger than the players, it’s quite possible the locked room will fall in that early stage, ruining the game. Admitted, you’d still need to investigate to find the culprit; but it’s not as fun as also having the locked room mystery unsolved. Unless the intent is for the locked room to be solved at that stage, which is also possible.

That’s the first question: would you prefer 3.a. or 3.b.i. or 3.b.ii. in a Gameboard?

Next: continuation.

We can also plan the game to continue further in the event the first twilight isn’t solved. Perhaps we’ll even plan for that and kill off more NPCs. Then we’d have multiple locked rooms and such. Which would you prefer: a single twilight or multiple?

Finally: the amount of story.

This really depends on how much story you want. On the far end, you could go all-out: pull out the Umineko assets and forge your own mini fanfic VN for the story, the Red Truth battles, etc. If that’s even possible; I haven’t a clue. On the other end, it’d be a pretty short write-up. If you had to rate these extremes as 1 (short write-up) and 10 (full out story, miniature VN), what would you most prefer?

In summation:

  1. Would you prefer 3.a. or 3.b.i. or 3.b.ii. in a Gameboard?

  2. Which would you prefer: a single twilight or multiple?

  3. If you had to rate these extremes as 1 (short write-up) and 10 (full out story, miniature VN), what would you most prefer?

Since one of the biggest issues for question 1 is whether any writer can make a “sufficiently hard locked room” that the players won’t be able to break, I’m sure some of you might want 3.b.ii but are worried it won’t work out. In that case, we can do a test. I’ve already written several other locked rooms that some reddit Umineko readers haven’t been able to solve (though some have; only one hasn’t). We can test a Red Truth/Blue Truth battle for one of those, if need be, to determine whether a “sufficiently hard locked room” exists for players in Rokkenjima.

I know some post-Umineko readers have a sense that they can conquer most/all locked rooms, now that they’ve discovered the secret behind Umineko’s locked rooms. (At least, I’ve met a good number who have that mindset.) I am thoroughly against such a view; one mystery does not equate to all. A good mystery writer knows how to inspire false assumptions in their readers that only the most clever of readers will realize is false. It’s part of the ambiguity of writing.

In any case, please let me know your thoughts! And, of course, feel free to post your own ideas for Gameboards and such; this is a General topic, after all.


While your goal and intents do go hand-in-hand and complement each other quite well, I must ask: why the need to include Beatrice? Heck, why the need to make it faithful to Umineko as well?

And if you do want to make it faithful to Umineko, wouldn’t you need to instill the idea of witchcraft? I always thought one of the main points of the mystery is that you can (and those of weak mind most definitely will) explain away all the doings as supernatural, blaming it on the witch. I personally would like to see that sort of interaction should you truly wish to make it faithful to Umineko.

Well, there’s no need to make a Gameboard at all. I just want to. Same with this. I want to re-create that thrill and awaken that excitement, even if for but a moment.

That’s really why I spoke about the strength of the locked room. Anything short of what seems totally impossible and yet “is solvable” will appear fake. It’s ironic: an unsolvable mystery doesn’t seem like magic - it’s just a gimmick; but a solvable mystery that blows your mind is more magical than an actual magic mystery, precisely because it seems impossible. If I tell you the witch can magically lock doors and give no impression the story’s a mystery, you’ll accept it easily; there’s no doubt. Only a mystery that appears impossible can be magical.

Mix such a locked room with Beatrice and Battler’s Ep. Two like arguments, and you have your witchcraft.

Really though, Umineko only truly becomes a fair game in Episode 5, where all the rules are laid out and neither side has an advantage, and both are playing to win. Beatrice’s game was much less a game and more of an experience. You should keep this in mind.

And uh, blue truth is also an Ep4 spoiler, not sure what you wanna do about that.

I’ll post a more detailed response later. I’m very eager to see this kind of gameboard though. Maybe you need some kind of hotseat system where only one player challenges Beatrice at a time.

Hi! I’m sorry if this is the wrong place to ask but…

That first gameboard looks very interesting! I’ll be following it but it’s obviously too late for me to join now. When would the next one be taking place? Is there a set date?

Thank you!!

The next one should start once the current one ends, I think, there’s no real set date though!

The game boards aren’t an official scheduled event, they happen whenever someone makes one. You could make a gameboard yourself right now if you wanted!

Except for the fact you’re in a community where 99% of the members will be all too quick to deny that “fact” :stuck_out_tongue:

Willing suspension of disbelief!

I already know all the murders in the original are all possible to explain without magic, it basically tells you so at several points. That doesn’t make them any less compelling, because it works as part of the story and setting.

I could just be boring and drop everything but the hardest of SciFi for being unrealistic, but I’d rather just accept that maybe, in this work’s world, what isn’t possible in mine is just a wave of a wand away.


I think the most interesting way to do it would be for the game master - you - to literally take the role of Game Master Beatrice and mostly control the pace of the game yourself. As in, you are free to ignore (Episode 4 Minor spoilers) blue statements until the end of the game (where at last you MUST deny them), and the players can ask you to repeat statements in red and you can opt to comply or refuse freely. With that we can add the restriction that every player can only make 1-2 blue statements about every twilight and still move the story forward, and not have it end immediately when one locked room is pierced. And yes I think multiple twilights it the way to go.


I had an idea about two years ago for a really complex gameboard. I would basically use the entire structure of Umineko with completely different setting and story. It’s own mystery, it’s own (general Umineko spoilers) metaworld characters, it’s own catbox. I had an idea of introducing more mechanics gradually just like Umineko did, but giving different abilities to different players. Red and blue would still be a thing, as would the detective’s authority, but there would be more roles beyond that. Players would PM me if they thought they knew the answer, and if they got it right I would give them a golden truth that they could use at a climactic moment, one that would show they knew the truth but not give it away to the other players. I would then have them GM a game just like Battler did to show how well they understood the story. I would follow up with something similar to an episode 7, except I might reveal the whole truth, I’m not sure yet. I might have an episode 8 equivalent if it feels like there are other threads that still need to be cleared up or if people just want some cool action

The problem is actually coming up with a suitable mystery and cast takes a lot of effort so it never progressed beyond a simple concept.

This is how I would write a gameboard! In my mind, the plan is for the player to eventually corner the game master by claiming a statement in blue that they can’t deny. The game master should create a winnable game, to show compassion for their player, but also a difficult game, to show respect. And the player should respect the game master by not spamming in blue and only making logical deductions, not wild guesses. After all, by setting the gameboard, the game master is already admitting defeat. The player must understand this. Rules like Knox’s 10 could potentially be confirmed to hold true by the game master, if they state it in red, giving the player a set of tools to work with.


I meant like, if you’re browsing the fantasy section of the bookstore, you won’t be surprised if a witch in the story blows up a mountain or something, while IRL you’d be quite terrified. It’s all about the reader’s:

…as the magical loli says. We only feel a mystery is truly “magical” (i.e. we only feel wonder and awe at it) if we both believe the story is real (the mystery is solvable), but we have no idea how. We’ve honestly exhausted every logical possibility we can imagine, so it seems impossible. But it’s also supposed to be real, not fantasy.

That’s when we begin to grasp that elusive sense of wonder that’s so awesome to encounter in Umineko, if you couldn’t solve the locked rooms the first go-around. Beatrice continued to push the idea of the witch being responsible, and as you found yourself unable to reply, her words became almost mystical. Is it magic? It’s supposed to be mystery! It’s supposed to be solvable! Then why can’t I solve it? It seems impossible! But the witch…!

And so on. That’s why a “sufficiently hard locked room” would be necessary.

Yeah…forgot about that. Maybe we’ll just go with the Ep. Two format with no Blue Truth and just people reasoning and saying “Repeat this!” and Beatrice weaving a web of Red Truth around him.

That might work well. Part of me, for the “full Umineko experience,” wants to make sure that it seems impossible at first, but we also don’t want to waste time. I think that would be a good idea.

I had thought about something like that, but then I realized I could just work on my own book at that point, haha. Admitted, it wouldn’t be using the exact structure of Umineko and stuff, but if it’s going to be an original setting, story, characters, and mystery, I’d honestly rather just focus on my current work in progress.

Right. The locked room can be difficult, but creating the cast and setting usually takes more time. Or, at least, more effort in actually writing them.

I’ve considered that, but since I’m thinking more Episode Two-ish (to let more players who haven’t finished Umineko play), I’ll probably exclude those.


I dig that so far, all these gameboards have been forum games. But I was thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if we had a live gameboard? Something that we can play over Discord. There’s lots of apps for playing board games online that we could use for this kind of thing as well. But if we wanted to make our own mystery gameboard, then that kind of thing could be done live over voice too.

Imagine a red truth showdown broadcast live to the internet. It’ll be the new esport!


That would be the best eSport. Tune in for locked rooms and murder mysteries! Was it magic? Is our challenger incompetent? Find out tonight at ~~~~~~~


Lot of potential options. There’s the Umineko Online thread, and there’s always stuff like Roll20 for a RPG-ish thing.

If you can build a working concept idea it might be fun to trial it out.

I’m still interested in trying that Class Trial styled idea you had too.


That would be really neat if we held it live on Discord voice, though that would require all the participants to have mics. It’d also be challenging, but I think it would be a really fascinating way to try this out; /r/danganroleplay did something similar (just on reddit text posts instead of Discord live; 22 Class Trials so far) and they love them! Though we’d need the investigation itself to happen on a forum thread, I suppose, prior to it.

I’m up for it, though I don’t have anything prepared atm.

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Here we are, haha.

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I really had no idea this even existed. Either way, it makes me sad how creators usually ignore the “whydunnit”, even if it’s tough to write it’s still an important part of the mystery, in my opinion.


now this is a story all about how
i was in the discord chat and got told to move it to the forum
and i’d like to take a minute
to sit right here
im gonna tell you how this fresh prince of bel air rhyme fell apart

Anyways. As I was saying, whydunnit is usually bonus for me. There usually should be at least an explanation for all of the actions taken in the author’s head. What I failed to learn when I was starting out when making mysteries is that there should always be some reason behind human actions. Even if it’s something as simple as “they were confused”. I think a lot of people, especially when coming straight out of Umineko, end up thinking more along the of the EP8 locked room battle (EP8 spoilers) - where the trick lies more in the wordplay, instead of a story behind it.

EDIT: Mind you, wordplay isn’t all bad. Hell, it’s not bad at all. But it’s important to not take it to a ridiculous extreme to the point where, if real human beings were in that situations, their actions would make no sense.