On January 1, 2010, Interdimensional Games Inc. (iDGi) issued a press release announcing their discovery of a means of exporting the human consciousness into another dimension by using a satellite, ‘iDGi-1’, orbiting the moon. By accessing the company’s homepage at InterDimensionalGames.com and waiting for a solar eclipse, visitors can take a peek at the future through the computer of Worldview Industries Employee #1195. This alternate reality game sets the stage for the release of iDGi’s new video game codenamed Project B6 by showcasing the game’s universe.
From the start, Interdimensional Games attempts to replicate the look and feel of PC and console gaming through the web browser. Players are greeted with a title screen promising to “[advance] the art form of interactive story-telling through the creation of emotionally compelling, immersive first-person experiences” before displaying the iDGi logo. After the title screen, players are taken to an interactive space map, where they can watch an impending solar eclipse set to sweeping orchestral music. At the moment of eclipse, the game begins in earnest as players must input a series of symbols in order to unlock the interdimensional interface.
After completing the first puzzle, a cutscene leads the player to an antiquated desktop presumably belonging to Worldview Industries Employee #1195. The player is greeted as the “Seeker,” and gains access to Employee #1195’s online diary, a series of audio files, and a game of Hangman. The files reveal a future where countries have replaced their militia with Automated Artificial Intelligence Border Defense Weaponry Systems, shrugged off their dependence on oil, banned Scientology, and cured diabetes.
Peppered throughout the computer files are sketches that provide additional insight and commentary into this potential future. The Interdimensional Games website is also riddled with strange symbols. By treating a series of links on the Project B6 homepage tying the symbols to English words and phrases as a rudimentary glossary, players can delve even further into the game’s mythos.
So far, gameplay gravitates exclusively around the websites InterDimensionalGames.com and ProjectB6.com. However, these two websites are packed with content, using state checking to create personalized experiences for each player. iDGi’s p.r. rep, William Dunbar, explains that “[o]nce we really start to get going and the experience gets deeper, players will begin to notice that they will be receiving clues and events that their friends may not be receiving and vice versa…the general idea here is that players can discuss their experiences with others to learn more.”
Right now, the barrier to entry remains fairly light, allowing players to catch up with the story in less than an hour. However, it remains to be seen whether iDGi has implemented a mechanism into the design to allow new players to catch up as the story grows more complex. The strongest part of the Interdimensional Games experience is currently its soundtrack. The often haunting music complements the solid visuals to draw players deeper into the game.
iDGi was incorporated in September 2006 with the goal of pushing the boundaries of interactive single player entertainment. They describe Project B6 as an “episodic, narrative driven first-person action / adventure.” The company is maintaining a production blog during the course of the alternate reality game.