Lurkers and active players alike were somewhat doubtful that the Lost Planet alternate reality game (AKA Nevec, the handy abbreviation for the Neovenus Construction trailhead web site) would last beyond the January 11th launch party — the game sites were noticeably dormant over the holidays, with virtually no updates or story movement.
However, thanks to a mini candy bar stash (noticed by astute player blue_j, who provided the picture for this article) at the launch party (see here for spoilers on access to that part of the site), Nevec players were given confirmation of new material in a new secret blog by the ARG’s main character Alfred Alan. Hiding in the 111 directory, he writes:
“Things have gone very wrong.”
Being a couch potato ARG-enthusiast (or mystery fan) has never been easier! All you need is an e-mail account and five bucks. And maybe someone to bring you refreshing drinks. And snacky things.
Long-time ARGnet readers will recall our coverage of Michael Betcherman’s and David Diamond’s E-mail Mystery, “The Daughters of Freya,” a time-release capsule of intrigue delivered right to one’s email inbox in a three week time period. A group of Unfiction members read through the story as a group at the Unforums, taking advantage of a special ARGNet rate offered by the folks at EmailMystery.com.
Writer and filmmaker Michael Betcherman is back with a new serial tale called “Suzanne.” Following in the footsteps of “Freya,” this mystery also spans three weeks, giving the reader the opportunity to eavesdrop on the characters through the e-mails they send to each other. Also like “Freya,” “Suzanne” has a special Preview mode where curious readers can have the first three e-mails sent for free. The series also brings back one of the most alluring aspects of the first series – supplemental material (such as photographs and newspaper articles) through which the reader can further immerse themselves in the story.
So, if you’re looking for the voyeuristic thrill of reading someone else’s e-mail, or perhaps you’d consider yourself a more casual/passive gamer, or maybe you’d just like a good mystery (with no skipping ahead!), “Suzanne” could be a great immersive alternative to the chaotic excitement of a full-fledged ARG or sweepstakes game. The subscription for the story is $4.99 in the US ($5.79 Cdn), and you have the option of paying at the website with a credit card, or by mailing a check or money order. You can also choose the start date for the story, with the option to play catch-up via the website with a special Reader’s login access. You can also purchase this as a gift to a friend.
Last night, players and Puppetmasters got together in an entertaining chat over at #lastcall. Put together by ARGN and UnFiction, the creative team at 42 Entertainment were invited to the IRC chat room where much of the hot gameplay action took place during the eight week run of the popular ARG. Many people showed up and a lot of interesting questions and answers flew about — and if you weren’t in attendance, we have the transcript of the chat available. (We have cleaned up and organized the transcript to make it easier to read and follow).
To read the log, click on the “Continue Reading” link below.
Recently, many players were alerted to a series of puzzles that were hidden in plain sight – puzzles that ultimately revealed a shiny new tool called Labyrinth. This tidy, no-nonsense program is maintained, designed, and implemented by the Karetao group.
Although the Labyrinth tool itself is straightforward and organizationally versatile, we thought we’d provide a couple of short tutorials for you. It seemed only natural to approach the Labyrinth launch puzzle itself, and use it as a means to display some of the basic features of the program.
Let’s get started, shall we?
We have a trailhead, found in a known puppetmaster’s personal website. The indication here, in a comment code, turns out to be a pointer to a sub-directory on the site named ‘thisisnotanarg.’ So, we’ll call it that!
We open the Labyrinth application, and use the project properties to set the name of our mini-puzzle: ‘This Is Not An ARG’.
Since this does not appear to be a story-based game, our plot elements aren’t going to be characters and locations; they’re going to be the individual pages we come across. Later on, it becomes apparent to us that the pages lead to one another, so for purposes of clarity with this tutorial, we’ll use the term ‘stage.’ We create a new element for the first stage.
The element is created and opened for us automatically.
But wait, there’s more!