So, after hours of post-recording edits for Episode 11 of the ARG Netcast series, the audio quality for one side of the conversation is terrible at best. Don’t let that dissuade you from listening though, as this week’s roundtable is as entertaining as it is informative. Regular panelists Brooke Thompson, Jackie Kerr, Sean C. Stacey and Jonathan Waite are joined this week by Jessica Price, ARGNet writer and Unfiction forums moderator. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
- The Heroes 360 experience moves along, albeit very slowly. There is a lovely player wiki (yarr, there be spoilers) that has been created, so hopefully the game gains a bit more momentum, soon. Also, see this Blogspot page for more (spoilers ahoy!) information.
- Meigeist is getting love from afar. They also have a nifty player wiki which will get you caught up in less time than you can say “Save the cat, save the world.” Although, you’d sound silly saying that.
- Perplex City players are pretty darn close to finding that cube, we hear. Something about a rock, and a Jurassic… something. They also have some pretty cool plans for the reward money.
- Monster Hunter Club explains away some advertising, and characters show up at the Today show.
- Puzzle of the week: A grid puzzle needs reconstruction (and deconstruction) for Monster Hunter Club. See this thread at the Unfiction forums for more details.
- The VirtuQuest people send us a response to our questions about Township Heights. Jackie weighs in on the “mildly insulting” situation. Then the rest of the panel piles on.
- Check out this beautiful mock-up (totally unofficial, we understand) of the Neowin-Unfiction branded AMD chip. This will apparently be possible thanks to the winner of the meta puzzle of the Vanishing Point game. Neowin/Unfiction for the win! We also report on the now-postponed VP post-game chat with 42 Entertainment, so ignore that part when you get to it.
- Studio Cypher will be releasing the fourth chapter in their Multiplayer Novel soon, called High Stakes.
- Jessica talks about her experiences with Ravenchase, which you can also read about in her outstanding ARGNet article.
- Jane McGonical is going to be the first ever female keynote speaker at the Game Developer’s Conference in March. We couldn’t be happier for Jane and wish her the best!
- ARGFest is less than a month away.
- We let the cat out of the bag about ARGNet’s partnership with SXSW for the Screenburn festival. Details will be released in the coming weeks. Brooke will be speaking at the conference, for those who can make it.
Back in November, we reported that Virtuquest, makers of City of Domes and other popular ARGs, had announced that they would be producing a public ARG. At the time, it was known only as Open ARG 6.5. We’re happy to report that the game has launched: Virtuquest’s Township Heights is open for business, inviting players into a Stepford-like world where the most upstanding citizens may also be the most dangerous.
At first glance, the city of Township Heights appears normal enough. They have a yearly festival with a parade, fireworks at night, and concerts in the park. They have a nice little Italian restaurant and a lounge where local bands play. Ah, suburbia! The town’s website proudly proclaims Township Heights “a model town,” one for “living and enjoying” in bold, majestic prose. Stately homes speckle the landscape, making Township Heights appear a modern utopia, but any scholar of Thomas More could tell you that the most utopian of locales is usually anything but.
- VirtuQuest OpenARG 6.5 set to launch soon, available for the public.
- Free! Psychic Readings ended yesterday.
- EVA launches with allusions to the End of the World. A summary thread can be found here at the Unfiction forums.
- Avelon 2 is up and running — a sequel to Avelon from 2005.
- Correction from last week: Deus City ARG is not done by the Ares Station group. Ares Station group went on to create Studio Cyphers.
- Deus City is one week old, and already there is game play controversy involving factions and separate password-protected forums.
- The Human Pet is back under a new YouTube identity.
VirtuQuest has officially announced that they will be launching Open ARG 6.5 which will be playable to the general public. After a summertime hiatus, VirtuQuest is back in full force completing their newest ARG, as well as branching out into more traditional web development venues. While we don’t know when or how the newest game will start (ARG developers are always so secretive about these things), rest assured that we will alert you as soon as any new information is received. Players of previous VirtuQuest games will want to keep their eyes and ears open for any unusual communications, and while they are waiting, might want to check out the VirtuQuest Gallery where examples of previous games have been archived. If VirtuQuest’s Fall 2006 memo is any indication, there just might be a tie-in to one of their previous games.
According to the Virtuquest website, a winner has been announced in the Virtucube Multi-Layered Puzzle contest. Richard Patterson, who lives in the United Kingdom, is the winner of $500 cash prize. The contest ran for well over ten months, a formidable challenge for all those who took part. Congratulations, Richard, and we hope you lend your talents to helping us solve future ARG puzzles in years to come.
Last night, numerous ARG community members received unsolicited phonecalls (cue Mystery ARG Theatre theme music). The voice on the other end of the line said something like, “the City of Domes is now accepting citizens,” then hung up.
After much discussion in the #unfiction chatroom, players discovered www.cityofdomes.net, which, based on keywords in the source code, seems to be laying the groundwork for some sort of game based on the 70′s sci-fi film Logan’s Run. Players who emailed the site received an autoresponse with a small puzzle that led to an AIM screen name.