Hosting a murder mystery party is a fun way to spend quality time with your friends and family, but sometimes it isn’t practical or safe to meet in-person. Thankfully, you can still host a virtual murder mystery party using video conferencing software that is still just as entertaining as when you’re face-to-face. Use these tips to create the most unforgettable night of the year.
Tip 1: Pick a Theme
Picking a theme will set the tone for the entire night because each murder mystery set-up comes with different decorations, costumes, and cadences. On top of that, some murder mystery parties can’t be done with a small group of people. Typically, Western-themed mysteries are larger and more complicated, while escape rooms can be done with 4 or fewer people.
Are you having a hard time thinking up murder mystery themes for your next online game? Follow the link for some great selections of themes to choose from, but Mafia, Ghost Ships, Space themed murder mystery parties tend to be popular with everyone.
Tip 2: Assign the Cast
With a theme selected, you can start assigning the cast members and who will play as the host. If you don’t want it to be you at this point, delegate this task to another person. However, many virtual murder party websites will let the host play along without spoiling the game for themselves. Casting requires little prep time as long as the character packets include their role in the story and what they’re more likely to do in a specific scenario. For example, some charters may scream when they see something scary, while others will remain stoic.
Tip 3: Gather Backdrops and Costumes
The best thing about a virtual party is that you don’t always have to wear a costume or paint/make a backdrop. Zoom integrates backgrounds without the need for a green screen, so it’s easy to pretend you’re on a ship or that you have a tophat. Still, it’s always more fun to go all-out on your hair, makeup and costume. If you don’t have what you need, there are plenty of costume shops in major cities. When all else fails, order online or search through a thrift shop.
Tip 4: Find a Date and Time That Works for Everyone
Our busy lives can make it challenging to find time for anything, but it’s essential for everyone to be on board with the date, or else the whole party may not happen. Ensure you are clear on when you meet up, so there’s no confusion. Some virtual mystery parties can last longer than 2 hours. When you and your team settle on a date and time, ask them to come 10 minutes early for set-up. Whoever is the video chat host must initiate the call on time and be prepared.
Tip 5: Enter the Party Early to Read the Instructions
The most entertaining part of starting a virtual mystery party is seeing everyone in full costumes and makeup. Your friends will likely want to talk a bit about their backdrops and makeup. As the host, you should let that happen organically because it’s more fun if everyone is in a good mood and ready to be in character.
Stop the conversation about 5-10 minutes in to explain the rules. If you’re using a company for your virtual party, a representative will play a minor character to guide you.
Tip 6: Start the Game and Have Fun!
Being in a virtual murder mystery party is going to be a fun experience if you let yourself enjoy the game. It’s fair game to lie, cheat, and gossip as a means to either solve the murder or prevent others from figuring out you’re the culprit. The main difference between a virtual experience and an in-person murder mystery is that you can hold conversations privately via Facetime or text.
All murder mysteries usually offer specialized steps prior to accusing a murderer, so you have to work together to find evidence. The detective players win the game if the murderer is accused.