The grassroots alternate reality game 13 Crystal Skulls came to a successful conclusion earlier this week thanks to the successful destruction of thirteen compressed files by players and characters alike. CDs were burnt, shredded, cut up, and even chewed by a dog to prevent their Gathering.
After the events documented in ARGNet’s previous article, the Thirteen Crystal Skulls arranged for Ted Allen’s untimely demise. Players enlisted the aid of The Four Chosen to put a stop to the ancient skulls, and thanks to Tyi Harper’s hacking skills were able to physically destroy the skulls imprisoned in compressed files. Despite a lone skull escaping the confines of its zip file, disaster was averted.
Thirteen Crystal Skull’s puppetmaster Aaron Sampson, who goes by DJSampson on the Unfiction forums, shared a few words with us regarding his project. He related that one of his goals was to aid future grassroots puppetmasters “by showing it is possible to create a good story, run it at no cost, and run it by yourself. Although I don’t recommend running an ARG alone, unless you have countless hours to invest every day and no girlfriend to piss off. But I do recommend preparing an ARG you are creating for such a thing to happen.”
The Thirteen Crystal Skulls homepage contains a game summary including an archive of the puzzles and their solutions. Aaron will also be posting alternative endings in the near future. The page should prove to be a good resource for players and PMs alike as it clearly demonstrates examples of gameplay, puzzles, and free resources frequently encountered in the genre.
The PM chat is scheduled for April 15th at 7PM EST on IRC in #13skullspm at irc.chat-solutions.org (which you can reach through our Java chat applet).