As if the ARG world just can’t get enough of Alice in Wonderland lingo (rabbit holes, curtains, puppet masters), a teaser was made public on June 1st for an upcoming project from Eric Harshbarger of Perplex City fame, called Alice Is Lost. Eric first made it known at Perplexorum that he had opened the website www.aliceislost.com.
Eric released news of the project hot on the heels of the abrupt and unexpected end of Perplex City, knowing that the countless dedicated fans and followers of PXC would be pining for puzzles and mysteries to solve. Eric makes it clear, however, that this is not PXC II: “This is a side project of mine. While I am still at Mind Candy as a Puzzle Designer, this is not a Mind Candy affiliated project.” He expects to launch “the search,” which he’s been working on for nearly a year, to begin this fall.
Fans have already jumped in excitedly, and even created a Facebook group to rally people and keep everyone updated. The group attracted Eric, who decided to come out from behind the curtain and share a bit about his project in the group’s discussion. He described it as having “some ARG elements to it; there will be a story to some extent, but mainly it will be about PUZZLES. Lots of puzzles.” There will be puzzle cards, he says, but they will not be physical. Instead, they’ll be distributed via the website, and only ‘registered’ users will be able to submit solutions and gain points. That raises another significant point: the registration fee. He continues, “There will be a registration fee, yes; but it will be a one-time thing (not a subscription), and it will be pretty small (not more than the cost of a typical boardgame probably.” He estimates the fee will be around $25USD, but is open to suggestions. Registration will most likely also include additional privileges for the player.
“The best way I can think to describe this,” Eric states, “is a massive ‘Puzzle Party‘ like I’ve hosted in the past, but it will be available to everyone on the web.” He also expects the project to run for over a year, although he doubts it will extend as long as two years. That’s nearly a potential twenty-four months filled to the brim with puzzles galore, but the main mystery ultimately will still be How do I find Alice?
So mark Fall 2007 on your calendar. Also, keep an eye on the unfiction thread, or the perplexorum topic, or even the facebook group. But, most importantly, visit aliceislost.com and sign up to receive updates.