A Murder In The Public Domain

A while back, for a bit of fun, I started writing a game / visual novel called A Murder In The Public Domain. A Murder In The Public Domain is a murder mystery game or visual novel built from public domain movies, sounds, pictures, and images. I cobble these all together into a mystery story. The game follows the adventures of Dirk Caliber and Mary Livingston as they try to solve the murder of her mysterious employer. The game will always end at a conclusive point but I intend to extend it. How many times? No idea. In what direction will the story go? No idea. As I find new movies, clip art, images, sounds, and music, I let them guide the story. I also expect I'll extend the user interface over time. How? No idea, usually it just comes to me.

Here's a video of the game being played:


I've been able to run this on a 500 Megahertz Pentium with 540 Megabytes of RAM using Ubuntu Linux so it can run on just about anything. I've tested on Fedora and Ubuntu Linux. Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. I am releasing a source tar, 32 bit rpm, deb, and Windows install exe. The 32 bit Windows executable runs fine in 64 bit Windows systems. 64 bit Linux systems, however, should compile from source. There are some required third party applications. Here are the requirements for your operating system.


The game requires DirectX 9.0c or higher. This may be downloaded at:


The game also requires an Xvid and MP3 decoder for DirectX. My personal choice is ffdshow. ffdshow is an open source project, available on SourceForge here:



The game requires the Gstreamer Phonon backend. The game also requires the good, bad, ugly, and ffmpeg Gstreamer plugins.

A note about Phonon backends: The order of the backend that takes precedence is unknown so it's best to only have one installed to know which one is being used.

A note to Fedora users: The required plugins may not be found in the Fedora repository. They can, however, be found at RPM Fusion:



Sorry, I currently don't own a Mac to develop on. I'm looking for a used one at a reasonable price. Once found, I'll go ahead and make a Mac release.


I will continue the story in subsequent releases. How many? No idea. Releases that contain additional story will have a major release number. e.g. 1.0.0 to 1.1.0 will contain additional story. Releases with only bug fixes, typo fixes, and / or enhancements will have a minor release number. e.g. 1.0.0 to 1.0.1 will not contain additional story. Once released, I will do my best not to change the released story segments so your saved games and skip memory should be maintained. I don't guarantee this. If a change will enhance the game overall, I will go ahead and make it. If I do so, I'll mention it in the release notes, forum, and mailing list.


Special thanks to:


where I acquired the movies I used.


where I acquired the images I used.




where I acquired the pictures I used.








where I acquired most of the sounds I used.


Source code can be found at: https://sourceforge.net/projects/murderpd/files/

The Source Forge main page for this project can be found at: https://sourceforge.net/projects/murderpd/

Please report any bugs, help requests, and enhancement requests here.

Subscribe to the mailing list: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/murderpd-discussion