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Automated Sleuth Helper complete!
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Jan-30-2007 12:13

Hello, fellow Sleuths!

Over the last two months, I've been working on a brand new Sleuth helper. You might not think that sounds all that special - after all, great helpers are already available - but what makes this one different is that it's automated!

What it does is monitor your progress in the game, and extract relevant information from the pages. The information is stored and analyzed, in order to help you determine who did it, and who didn't.

It's heavily inspired by Evita's JavaScript-based Sleuth Helper, so a special "thank you" goes out there.

The application is made with Delphi 2005, and should run on any machine with Windows NT/98/ME/2K/XP/Vista and Internet Explorer 4 or later. Additionally, source code is included (ZLib license) in case someone wants to port it to another platform and/or language (such as Java).

The program can be downloaded from (330 KB), and a screenshot of the program can be seen at

Please take a look at the help file before using the program (it's very short), so you are familiar with how the program works.

(Disclaimer: The application depends heavily on the current structure of the game pages, and changes to this may break the program. Although the application is designed in such a way that it should fail entirely if something goes wrong, this cannot be guaranteed. Use of this program is entirely at your own risk, and any cases lost because of errors in the program should not be blamed on the program or the author.)


Adonis Parker
Adonis Parker

Sep-5-2007 22:20

Okay I had a pretty bad experience with the helper.

I had a matching PE + FAKE ALIBI. The name of the suspect turns red.. and I accuse.

Guess what?
False Accusation.

Apparently he has a real alibi! As far as I'm concerned this is the first time this has happened to me. It sucks really bad though, because with my exp, Shady is REALLY expensive. =/ Is it a programming glitch?


Sep-6-2007 01:43

I'm not aware of any bug that could cause such a thing, but of course, that doesn't mean it couldn't be there. I'll need more details if I'm to figure that out, though.

Do you remember the names of who actually did it (according to the game), and who the helper marked as guilty?
Did you, at any point during solving the case, receive an error in the helper (this might have caused internal corruption of the data)?
Do you remember how you got their alibis (and how they were confirmed)?
Did the helper's data match what you discovered yourself?

If you can answer *any* of those questions, it would help me greatly in figuring out what might have gone wrong.

Adonis Parker
Adonis Parker

Sep-6-2007 13:39

1. I do not remember the name, sorry. :( I think it's 'Christian Macklin' or something along the lines of that name.
2. Yes, I received something like 'error (plus some coding here) bla bla'.
3. Alibis were checked. Research eliminated one. Physical Evidence was a hair I think.. I checked it with Barber, matched. Alibi was a fake one, I believe it's the Bartender (I'm really sorry, I do a lot of cases, I'm not too sure about either).
4. Yes. Matched.

It's alright though. I only have 1 FA on me right now, and I have a bit of cash stowed away.

None of my cases today suffered anything though. I think it's a one-off.

David Adams
David Adams

Sep-6-2007 14:24

Regardless of which helper you use, they ALL cannot replace the gray matter you have between your ears. USE IT, people. Double check your evidence on the Case page BEFORE you accuse EVERY time.

I've had almost instanteaneous instances of this helper lighting up on a suspect out of the blue and saying he/she's guilty. So far, it's been right. Doesn't mean I don't double check.

Computers can only do so much of the work for us, regardless of how much we'd like to have it be otherwise....:-/


Sep-7-2007 02:28

Completely true, David - it is, after all, a HELPER, not a solver.

If you doublechecked its deductions *by hand*, and wound up at the same result (that is, you'd matched the PE in-game, and you knew his alibi was fake), then odds are you simply accused the wrong suspect (possibly due to similar-looking names?). Though it could, theoretically, also be a problem on the server, that is not very likely - other people would most likely have experienced the same problem.

However, please remember that such errors can corrupt the internal state, causing it to make incorrect deductions. They're usually caused by moving to the next page before the helper picks up on any info it can gather. It's a good idea to restart the helper if you get one.

For v1.15, due in a few days, I've made the title bar indicate when the helper is waiting to parse the data, so you're less likely to accidentally move too quickly.

Adonis Parker
Adonis Parker

Sep-7-2007 10:13

Alright thanks.
FYI Dave, I still do the notepad thingy, especially in favors. :P

I think it's a one-off though. No problems since the incident.
Thanks Pidgeot.

Adonis Parker
Adonis Parker

Sep-8-2007 01:33

Check this out.

Definitely a bug. :P
I took a screenshot this time.


Sep-8-2007 04:35

Indeed it is, though I'm not certain what would cause this. I'm assuming it's something I introduced in v1.14, though, considering no one has experienced it before, so I'll doublecheck my changes.

Do you remember what you were doing when it suddenly decided no one could be guilty, and that the heavy footprint didn't match anyone? That might help me find out what causes this to occur.

Cornelius Sledge
Cornelius Sledge

Sep-8-2007 04:39

I've had a similar thing happen once after visiting a suspect and having the page time out twice. When the page finally got loaded, the helper registered the suspect with wrong characteristics (IE straight hair instead of curly).

I think the helper will only check characteristics once (which makes sense since characteristics never change). If characteristics were refreshed every time a suspect was visited or checked out on the case page, then maybe glitches like this could more easily be countermanded. I have no idea what kind of havoc a suspect changing characteristics mid-case would wreak on the rest of the logic though.

Adonis Parker
Adonis Parker

Sep-8-2007 05:11

^ Cornelius that's it. :P

My contact was the Tailor and I was checking out PEs and the footprints were the one turning green. :P Then after the last no match, the whole thing went The Hulk.

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