overwatch.jpgA voicemail was received on ARGNet’s voicemail (which has now also surfaced on YouTube) from a gentleman who seems to be very disturbed by the recent acts of his company – a project called Osprey that is about to “step way over the line”. It appears to be a “sting operation” of some kind and being use to test “new tech”. Luckily, he manages to direct us to a Tradecraft journal web site before the voicemail is cut short as someone appears to arrive during his call…

Thus begins OVERWATCH, a new interactive fiction project by Djinn Productions, who are also the team behind the on-going project “Autumn Country”. According to David Valley (Djinn Productions’ contact for this project), OVERWATCH is still first and foremost a story. Although they will be adding more ARG-like elements than were in Autumn Country, it is not primarily a game – but participants who don’t enjoy or immerse themselves into the ARG element “will only ‘get’ about 50% of the story.” By the time it’s over, the PMs expect the story to be told over many types of media, and will be using puzzles and hidden paths to tell not only the story but to expand the character’s backgrounds and various subplots.

Currently, OVERWATCH is in the “Prelude” stage, laying the groundwork form the first story arc. The interactive elements will start to emerge during this first story arc, and hopefully motivate the players into finding out “how” the story is being told. Players can expect episodic updates every five to seven days throughout the Prelude stage, and moving to 10-14 days once the first story arc begins. This first phase is expected to run through August 2007.

For more information, check out the Unfiction thread. To hear the voicemail for yourself, steer your browser to YouTube.
While not a “traditional” ARG, new forms of games and storytelling are always exciting to watch and see what happens and how they unfold – and since this one has just started, it’s easy to get started and get involved!