The purpose of this game is to experiment with video game narrative and replayability. I have played perhaps too many a game so far in my life time and more often than not I play through a great story once and that is it for the game. Upon the game's completion I pack the game away and never touch it again outside of nostalgia sessions. In addition to this lack of replayability the game's story is always told from the point of view of the hero. You never see the story through the eyes of the many other characters. Perhaps these characters can shed light on story and reveal hidden portions of the plot.
The Rashomon Effect will in theory offer up to the player 5 different points of view to the same story and within the same game. Similar to the Akira Kurosawa film, Rashomon, the story revolves around a murder. But rather than a samurai being killed, it's the local bartender. The motel has the town's only bar and it's the hot spot where everyone goes to knock a few back. Unfortunately they find the bartender missing and his rooms is covered with blood. The local retired policeman seals up the motel and everyone sets out help solve the mystery of the missing and possibly dead bartender.
The game will randomly select which character you play and as you play through all the scenarios the story will unfold with characters becoming more and less suspicious throughout each scenario. After playing through the 4 scenarios, the 5th scenario, the bartender's story will be available to the player and he or she will see true behind what really happened. Similar to Akira Kurosawa's film where it presents the stories of the many witnesses and eventually the truth is presented to the viewer.
In addition to the multi-perspective story, there will also be a somewhat random placement of the clues and evidence. To increase replayability placing the evidence in different locations each time will hopefully continually challenge the player.