You were right, taking the car and not the train. Otherwise we couldn’t get our things now. And we should pay Mr. Compton a visit, just in case. Something doesn’t add up.” Earl nodded to the words of Margret but kept his eyes on the street.
“Same food, same drinks. But only one fellow ends up dead. On his 60th birthday, bless his soul. I knew him half his life. Well, we will have to mope later, Earl. Time to reconstruct the day.” “Honk!”, Earl answered and waved his wing angrily at another driver.
Margret and Earl were created during Character Design. We were given a choice of 8 photographs each containing an animal and a person. I chose this photograph of an old lady and her swan. While I was working on them they developed a life of their own. Margret became a calm, patient lady full of wit who likes to play the role of the old dame. Earl, the swan, in contrast is rather energetic, especially when he’s behind the wheel. Together Margret and Earl are determined to solve a murder that occurred during their friends 60th birthday party.
Margret was born in 1874 and has reached the proud age of 72 as of the time the game is set in. Margret has a calm nature and a patience that never seems to run out. Despite her age she still has her wits about her but loves to play the role of the old, borderline senile woman if it helps with her situation.
In 1892 Margret and her mother moved to London. Both became seamstresses and Margret eventually became a tailor, owning her own shop. She developed an eye for peoples characters and clothing to the point she only has to look at a mans coat or trousers to know who he really is.
Margret was happily married for 27 years with her first and only husband George. Together they raised to children, three, if one would include Earl. They found Earl as a young swan as he was fighting dogs which came to close to the pond he called his home. He got bitten so Margret and George took him in to nurse him. Earl simply stayed with them and became a member of their family.
In her old age Margrets memory often escapes her so she made a habit of writing down everything important. She always carries a pen and a notebook with her.
Since he was very little Earl had an urge to prove himself. Being one of seven nearly identical cygnets was not easy for him. While his siblings swam with their parents, Earl was guarding the pond from everyone who came to close.
After fighting of some intruding dogs he got taken in by the couple of Margret and George. They seemed to appreciate his company and skills more so he decided to stick with them. He likewise enjoyed their company, especially the Sunday outings with their car. After George’s death he insisted on continuing these outings and since Margret did not know how to drive, he did it himself.
Earl is really protective about his new family. He does not like being fed bread by strangers or being treated like an animal at all. His true calling is to serve and protect so he is quite eager to help as one day someone died at a birthday party.
The story of Margret and Earl takes place in a 2D point and click adventure. The player investigates the murder of a friend of theirs at his 60th birthday party which takes place at an old hotel in the countryside.
The player has to experience the party once but is free to revisit specific points in time later (or the whole day if she chooses to) to ask new questions to the guests, pay attention to different things and to be at another room at a specific time. Since Margret and Earl can not time travel, changes in their version of how they experienced the day, things they might have asked or taken with them, will change what they know or carry with them in the present.
With the things and information gathered during the day and after the murder the player can visit different places and persons to investigate the murder further. She can visit the home of the victim to find out if he had any quarrels with anybody or go to Mr. Compton, a friend of Margret and Earl, shop owner and poison enthusiast to learn how to examine a food sample.
The challenge is to experience and recreate the day in such a manner that Margret and Earl have sufficient knowledge to frame the murderer and to find out, why they done it.