Knee Deep is a "swamp noir" murder mystery by Prologue Games set in modern-day Florida, in a rundown tourist trap town called Cypress Knee. It's presented as a stage play inside a computer game. Players take on the roles of three main protagonists - a young blogger, a private investigator, and a down-on-his-luck print newspaper reporter - following up on the apparent suicide of a Hollywood has-been at Chief Roadside's Wonderland.
Noir character tropes associated with Knee Deep:
- Anti-Hero: The three main protagonists of Knee Deep - Romana Teague, K.C. Gaddis, and Jack Bellet - all tend to fall into this trope, not quite fitting in with their respective careers and tending to be self-interested without much regard for the greater good.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: Eula Dean, town planner for Cypress Knee, isn't afraid to violate a few laws to bring an economic boom to Cypress Knee.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Donovan Miller and, to a certain extent, Church of Us representative Gordon Cordray represent corporate entities with dubious agendas.
- Corrupt Hick: Remy Dixon, a redneck jack-of-all-trades at Chief Roadside's Wonderland, sells drugs and engages in other illegal activities.
- Corrupt Politician: Gary Buckingham, chairman of the Cypress Knee town council, is up to his ears in illegal land schemes meant to fatten the town coffers at the expense of the environment.
- The Cynic: Jack Bellet and K.C. Gaddis take turns with this trope.
- Deadpan Snarker: Romana Teague's got the edge on snarky dialogue in Knee Deep.
- Femme Fatale: Tina Gray, ex-girlfriend-in-mourning of Hollywood star Tag Kern, tends toward this trope.
- Hardboiled Detective: K.C. Gaddis fits this mold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jack Bellet has a tendency to be a belligerent jackass, but he's definitely got a soft spot for his son and a sensitivity for the value of print journalism.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Jefferson Dean Gallant, former mayor of Cypress Knee who turned swamp hermit after a gator named Merle ate his infant son and drove his wife to leave him, is now railing against the big Golden Cypress development - but often finding deaf ears.
- Mysterious Woman: Dani Gibbons, a worker in the town planning office, promises useful information to reporter Jack Bellet in Act 2.
- Private Detective: Each of the protagonists, especially toward the end of Act 2, settle into this mode.
Noir setting tropes found in Knee Deep:
- Abandoned Warehouse: The Church of Us basement in downtown Cypress Knee in Act 2 fits this bill.
- Sunshine Noir: The action in Act 1 all takes place in the neon wreckage of a forgotten tourist trap called Chief Roadside's Wonderland. In Act 2, the story transitions to a quaint little Florida downtown with a dark secret.
Theatrical tropes found in Knee Deep:
- Audience Monologue: From time to time, the main characters break the fourth wall for monologues. Sometimes, these are personal musings. At other times, it's safe to assume they're making comments to interrogators.
- Crowd Song: In Act 2's opening scene, and in a few other spots, we see examples of this.
- Greek Chorus: Toward the end of Act 1 and in several points in later acts, we see secondary and tertiary characters commenting on the actions of the main characters.
- Only So Many Equity Members: The same character models are used for the performances of Rutledge and Doyle Silloway, twin brothers in Cypress Knee.
- Small Start Big Finish: Act 1 gets off to a rather humble start with the apparent suicide of a Hollywood has-been. But the scope grows and the stakes get higher as the story moves along.