We have made every attempt to make our site and murder mystery games as simple and user friendly as possible. However, sometimes you will still have a question that needs answering. Please consult the list of the most frequently asked questions below.
Why are my emails not getting delivered?
Unfortunately due to ever growing problems related to SPAM and email viruses, some email hosting providers have become extremely vigilant about protecting their email accounts. These email providers sometimes block bulk emails or emails that are sent on behalf of someone, as we do on our site. Here are a few solutions that might work around the problem, and allow your guests to logon to the pre-game site.
- 1) Ask your guests to add 'Host-Party.com' or 'email@example.com' to their safe list (learn more).
- 2) Print invites and instruct guests to access the site via the link on the printed invite.
- 3) Ask them to contact their email hosting provider and allow emails from host-party.com. Once they have done this you can resend.
What can be customized in a Host-Party murder mystery game?
Nearly all aspects aspects of a Host-Party.com murder mystery can be customized. You can change the name and description of the party and add party specific details (what, where, when). You can add guest names and change character descriptions to suit your guests. You can add totally new custom characters and custom clues. All changes are blended into the game materials and pre-game site.
How do I customize one of your murder mystery games?
All the customizations are made on the site and then the game materials are generated with these customizations. This approach ensures the pre-game website, the invitations, any emailed information and the entire set of printed game materials are consistent and makes it impossible to detect what is part of the core game and what are elements the host customized. In this way, your guests can not tell if they are a prime suspect or a custom suspect that you have created. Host-Party is the only site on the web to allow you to customize games in this way!
Do you carry any seasonal murder mystery games designed specifically for Valentines, Halloween, New Years Eve, or Christmas Parties?
Any of our games can be used for a Holiday or Seasonal party. In addition, we often have special games for the current season: Holiday Parties.
How do guests get a password and login?
Guest access to the host-party website has changed with our 2.0 release. It has been improved to provide better security and easy access to multiple games. However, it can be a little confusing if you are used to how we used to do it. The follow explains how it works:
When you assign a guest email address to a character, our system will try to create a new user or link it to an existing user. Specifically, the system will look up to see if a user exists in our database with that email address. This occurs in a variety of circumstances, most commonly it will occur if the guests has been a host or guest of a previous host-party.com game or if you have assigned the email address to multiple guest characters. In any case, if the user record exists, this user record is attached to the character. If not, a new user record is created. Because a unique email is required for login, you need to supply an email address for each guest that you want to login to the pregame site. While the email address does not have to be their real email address, it is highly advised so they can recover their password if they need to. If you assign the same email address to multiple guests, they will all have access to the others host and guest information. You definitely don't want to do this with the host account, so be sure not to assign your host account email to any of the guests assignments unless the host will be assigned to that guest. For security reasons, the host can not view or update the guest passwords.
Email Invites and Other Email Communications
Whenever an email communication is sent from our site, the email will include a link back to our site. When the guest hits our website, our system will check to see if the guest has completed the registration process. If they have not, the system will prompt them to provide a password for their Host-Party.com account to complete the registration process. If they have already complete the registration process, the system will prompt them to enter their email and password to enter the site. If a guest is prompted to login with an email and password, and they don't remember their password they can click the Forgot Password link and have it sent to them. One word of warning when sending emails: many modern email applications will block automated emails like those sent from host-party.com. Thei can be avoided by adding Host-Party.com to your Safe Sender List
Our system allows you to print invitations. Each printed invite will include a special web address to the guest access page of our site. If the guest enters this web address into a browser, they will get be able to access the site in the same way as described above in the email section.
I purchased the game, how do I get it (I can't log in)?
Once you have purchased the game, you should be able to login from this page: Host-Party.com Logon using the email and password you supplied when you registered for the game (not the email you used with PayPal)
Can I add characters to your murder mystery games?
You can easily add characters to any Host-Party murder mystery party (On the 'Guest Characters' page click the 'Add a Custom Character' in the bottom row of the character list). By doing this through our site your guest and their character will automatically be included in all mystery party game materials and throughout the website. Your guests will not be able to tell which characters are the base characters and which are custom.
Of course, you will likely want to add a few clues to keep this character "in the game". It is fairly simple to come up with some clues that relate the custom character to the murder scene. This can also be accommodated through our site (On the 'Guest Characters' page click 'Clues' in the right column. Then click 'Add New' in the header of the Custom Clues box).
I paid for a
game. Why am I still prompted for payment?
This can be caused by one of two reasons:
1) You are using the wrong email. Sometimes our customers forget which email they registered at our site (this is not necessarily the same as your Paypal email address).
2) You paid through an eCheck or Bank Account draft with PayPal. These transactions usually take a few days to process. If you need it sooner, please send the payment confirmation email and we can activate the game.
In very rare cases, the transaction does not get posted back to our site. If you think this is the case, please send us a request to activate your game with the details from the confirmation email you received from PayPal.
What is the lipstick test? And how do I prepare for it?
Several of the suspects are smokers and left behind cigarette butts. These are vital clues. Prior to the game you will want to prepare four butts for use in Round 3 from at least two different brands. Two butts will have been smoked by different women, Augusta Wright and Gloria Swain, and should be marked by their colored lipstick. The other two butts are left plain, but should be identifiable as different brands. You will need to provide cigarette packs or cigarette cases for Augusta Wright, Gloria Swain, Vince Grand, and Guido. And two different shades of lipstick, one for Augusta and one for Gloria.
Other guests may have lipsticks or cigarettes to compare. It will not matter if they match or not.
Changing the character images was fun, but why did some 'lock' and others not? And, how can you lock and unlock them?
Pictures can be modified in the pre-game site as follows:
Any guest can upload a picture for any character if no pictures have been uploaded. Once a picture is loaded only the guest to whom the picture is assigned can change or remove it. This ensures that guests will have ultimate control over what pictures are assigned to them.
The host may add, change or remove any picture from the guest characters page.
Pictures can be modified in the post-game site as follows:
Any guest can upload a picture from the party. Once a picture is loaded only the guest who uploaded the picture or the host can change or remove it.
Do you accept Purchase Orders (POs)?
Yes, for purchases over $100. Learn more
What file format are the files?
The download files are in PDF format and they cannot be modified without the full version of Adobe Acrobat. However, nearly all materials can be customized using the web site tools. In this way, any customizations are transparent to your guests.
I purchased the game, but I did not receive a game kit via email.
The materials may have been blocked due to size or because of an overaggressive spam filter. If you can accept emails larger than a megabyte, it is probably due to a spam filter. You can download and print (Shipping is not required) the game materials from our website web. Login here with the email and password you registered with on our site.
I purchased the game, when will I get it?
Immediately. Upon purchase, you will immediately have access to your murder mystery game materials for downloading. No shipping is required.
Why is my credit card declined?
There are several reasons this might occur. (1) You have miskeyed your credit card number or the expiration date (2) You are using a card other than Master Card or Visa (3) Your bank has put a block on internet transaction. This is becoming more and more common as banks are getting more aggressive on internet fraud. Contact your bank to see if this is the case. (4) You do not have enough funds.
How long will the post-party site be available for guests to see pictures and memorabilia from the murder mystery party?
Your game materials including the Post-Party site will become available the day after your event and will stay live for 6 months after the purchase date. Commercial License games currently have no expiration.
How long should I plan for the
Most games run 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You can adjust the length of the game to fit your party by controlling the speed of the rounds.
What's the difference between your team building
kits and your regular games?
Team Building Games are designed to allow teams to work together to complete a task (solve a mystery, win an improv contest, etc...).? The host-party website allows hosts to create any number of teams and to assign the guests to those teams.? You can create team names, logos and your creations will be included in all of the game materials. These games are specifically designed for work group training and corporate events.
Team building games include all of the standard game materials plus:
- Facilitator's Instructions
- Team Assignments Tools
- Team Building Activities
- Table Tents
- Team Building Tips and Suggestions
- Questionnaires and Team Review Tools
Read more about the Team Building option.
How do I pay with PayPal?
Paying with PayPal should be pretty straight forward. Once you click the PayPal icon from our site you should be taken to a payment options screen on the PayPal site. This screen will allow for you to login to PayPal if you are already a PayPal account holder. If you are not, it should take you to a payment screen giving you the choice of using a Credit Card or signing up with PayPal.
If you are using a computer where someone else has created a PayPal account, PayPal may think you are returning user and be prompt you to log in with out an option for a direct Credit Card payment. In this case, you may need to clear paypal cookies from that machine.
Removing cookies varies slightly from browser to browser. In IE, you want to select Internet Options from the tools menu and then click Delete Cookies (This will delete all cookies). If you want to only delete PayPal Cookies click 'Settings' and then click 'View Files' button. From here you can delete any file that looks like: cookie:firstname.lastname@example.org. After you have done this you need to close all browser windows. Then open a browser, logon to our site, select the paypal icon from the materials page and then you will be prompted to sign up for a new account or just plug in a CC information.
If you are still experiencing problems, try from a different computer or contact PayPal at 1-888-221-1161
How do I customize the invitation?
It depends what invitations you want to customize. If you are using the email invites you can enter the details in the note that goes with the invite. You will be prompted for this when you select the invite recipients.
If you wish to customize the printed invitation beyond just changing the party details, you will need to do this in a word processor. The easiest way to do this is to copy the invite using the HTML version of the invitation. You can find a link to the HTML version on the lower right of the invite generation page. Once you open the invite in your browser "Select all" and then "Copy" from your browser's edit menu. Then go to your word processor and paste the contents.
What do I do with the clues related to characters I omit?
If you are omitting some of the non-required characters you will need to discard any clues that relate to those characters. Once you have printed the game kit, read through the clues and discard any clues that reference the characters who have omitted. Alternatively you can keep the clues in and simply let the guests know that characters is not present. (e.g. Professor Plum is not here because he is detained in police custody for questioning).
My guests don't all have email / internet access, can I still send invites to them?
Yes. You can use our print invitations feature from our site and deliver by hand or through the mail.
Can I change the character name?
You can change almost everything about our mysteries, including the character names. Character names are referenced through out the game materials. If you change a character you will need to change all references in all clues. This can be a lot of work. If you don't change all references, your guests will be very confused when reading their clues and game materials.
An alternative to changing the name in all of the clues is to modify the character description to justify the name. For example, if you need to cast a female into a male slot you could change the description to read: "Max Dumas - Maxine is the wealthy actress... Her friends call her Max."
Can I pay with a credit card over the phone?
In most cases, when you phone in a credit card order with an Internet retailer they will just process your credit card over the internet for you. Either way, your credit card information is transfer over an internet connection - a secured internet connection. However, when you phone in an order, your credit card information passes through the hands of a support person.
Providing credit card numbers over the phone is less secure than through a secured internet transaction. In fact, for security and liability reasons, host-party.com has no visibility of customer's credit card information. Instead, we have sourced payment processing to Authorize.net and Paypal, arguably the largest and most reputable payment providers on the web. If you are still concerned, you can mail your order to us and pay through a check.
What are your improv games and how are they different from your murder mysteries?
Our games take the most popular improvisation theater activities and adapt them for amateur use in personal parties while incorporating the host-party core features (e.g. email invites, pre-game site, etc). Playing a Host-Party.com improvisation game requires no special acting abilities, just a willingness to try something new, have fun and occasionally look slightly foolish, but don’t worry you won’t be alone!
My guests get an error message when they click the link sent to them in the invitation?
Some text-based email clients have a difficult time with long web links and will cut them in half at the line break. To resolve this issue, instruct the guest who is having a problem to copy the full web link and paste it directly into their browser address line.
Can I copy all or a portion of the game?
No. Our authors have worked hard to create interesting murder mysteries. Worldwide copyright laws and conventions protect all Host-Party.com printed material. No part of these materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written consent from Host-Party.com. The buyer is entitled to use these materials for one event only, unless you purchase multiple usage rights.
I try to download the material it gives me a "damaged file" message?
This can be caused from either a bad download or an old version of adobe. Please right click and save the file to your hard drive to ensure the download is completed successfully. If you still get this problem, you will need to get the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
If neither fixes it, you have another error on your computer and will need to download from another machine.
When do I a pass out clues?
(This question is for clue based mysteries only.) You can either pass out ALL of the clues at the beginning of the murder mystery party or just pass out the guest clues at the beginning of each round?
Some hosts prefer to create a "package" for each guest that contains all of their clues for the entire game. They instruct the guests at the beginning of the murder mystery game to only read the clues for the current round. The host will subtly instruct the guests when the round has ended and when a new round begins. Other hosts deliver the clues to their guests at the beginning of each round. This ensures that no guests peak at clues that come in later rounds.
How do I know when to start each round for the mystery?
(This question is for clue based mysteries only.)
Each round will take about 1/2 hour. This will vary from game to game and party to party. As the host you should get a general idea when everyone has shared their clues and it's time to proceed to the next round of your murder mystery.
Why am I getting overlapping text in the printkit?
This will happen from time to time on games where you have added custom characters with unusually long text descriptions or clues, or if you have not assigned guests to all required characters.
Why is the victim locked?
Characters that are designated as the victim, typically will be killed early in the party, or even before the event commences. Therefore, we don't advise assigning a guest to this role (unless they are extremely dull and sedentary). If you like you can unlock the character and assign a fictional character or a guest who can not attend (This feature is only available in the 2.0 version of our games).
Note: Sending messages online provides the fastest response because the messages are automatically directed to the right person. Most inquires are responded to within 4 hours.