There were so many game launches, puzzles, and events at ARGFest this year, it’s a wonder anyone had any time to attend any of the panels. What follows is a brief summary of some of the events that robbed this columnist of his much-needed beauty sleep.
The first game launch of the night was a subtle one. Upon arriving at the Cocktail Party at 7pm, Lewis Murphy handed me his business card. He even went through the trouble of writing my name on the card before handing it over. Upon closer inspection, there was a symbol on the back of the card. Sixteen other specially marked business cards were handed out over the next few hours. Thanks to some quick footwork by Mapmaker, the symbols were all collected and assembled to reveal the website for Alpha Agency.
Eight days before the start of ARGFest, a number of players received emails leading to a series of highly technical puzzles and a countdown page. When the countdown ran out, something happened at the cocktail party. The general buzz of conversation was replaced with the rantings of a mad man with a manila folder sticking out of his pants. The natural reaction, of course, was to steal the folder from the crazy man, which is just what EGo did. Inside the folder was a CD containing a video as well as a photo that led the partygoers away from alcohol and into the streets, where they eventually found the following letter marking the end of the scavenger hunt.
The Dark Knight
Luckily, the scavenger hunt ended with just enough time to make it to Loews theater to catch a screening of The Dark Knight, courtesy of ARGFest sponsor 42 Entertainment. Watching the film, I appreciated how aspects of the alternate reality game added to the movie viewing experience.
Mere days before this year’s ARGFest-o-Con, Aporia CME has launched the alternate reality game code-named “The Aporia Agathon Project” with the introduction of Mikey Surry, Private Eye. Over the past few months, the project team provided tidbits of clues regarding the game’s plot in dribs and drabs. With the addition of Surry’s website at SurryInvestigations.com, however, the slow trickle of information has increased to a steady stream of updates, and the hint of more to come.
Diego, his sister Isobella, and his friend Jan are three youths with a secret. The secret wouldn’t be a very good one if it was already known, but a password used by Isobella referencing chaneques, creatures of Mexican folklore, implies the secret is slightly supernatural.
Which brings us to the present. Last week, Isobella posted a video describing an encounter with Mikey Surry of Surry Investigations that left him rather incapacitated and walletless. He’s still recovering, but just learned that someone in Boston this weekend knows a thing or two about his experiences. Completely coincidentally, I’m sure, a large contingent of ARG fans will be in town.
The game’s pace is picking up fairly quickly, with daily updates, two additionalcharacters, a slew of blog entries, and some great acting. It’s safe to say that the game has finally launched, although the development team has rather gleefully refused to confirm or deny the launch when reached for comment.
I got a package in the mail today with a mask inside, and like any sane, rational individual, my first reaction to receiving a mysterious tribal mask in the mail was to attempt to put it on. Sadly, my id didn’t go on an uncontrollable rampage, and my skin is most decidedly not green. However, I did receive a few more clues about Aporia Cross-Media Entertainment’s upcoming alternate reality game, codenamed the Aporia Agathon project.
Shortly after Aporia CME launched a puzzle trail for LagTV, the show’s hosts released a video on YouTube asking for players to post YouTube videos about the Aporia Agathon Project. Along with a few others, I submitted a video. Yesterday, I received a rather large package in the mail containing a Philippine “dragon mask” and a letter from the puppetmasters. The letter noted that “[t]his game’s development began in mid to late July of 2007 with a large portion of the development time dedicated to creating a back story as a basis for our narrative. We are trying to take familiar elements of stories and create a unique approach for our audience to enjoy.” The letter finished with the poem We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
If you’re kicking yourself for not submitting a video, it’s not too late — according to ACME’s blog, there is still time to enter, and while you may not receive a mask, “the message of appreciation will remain the same.” If you’re interested in receiving an innocuous mailing around the time of the game’s launch, you can submit your contact information to Aporia’s submission form. So keep your eyes peeled for completely normal looking mail, submit a video with your guesses, and be on the lookout for easter eggs. S…er, that is, the Aporia Agathon Project, is coming this summer.
On today’s show at lagtv.com, the fine folks at ACME are launching an XBox-themed puzzle trail with a twist. In addition to a prize from lagtv for one lucky player, the puzzle trail will introduce a character or two from the Aporia Agathon Project, and provide a few hints of what’s to come in the game. LagTV offers live, interactive video gaming news, focusing on the X-Box console.
Aporia Cross-Media Entertainment has released the trailer for their new alternate reality game code-named “Aporia Agathon”, scheduled to run for a year, starting in the summer of 2008.
Aporia CME, formerly known as Naked Rabbit Studios, developed Ny Takma, a science fiction themed alternate reality game running from September to November of 2006. The team has not been idle in the intervening months, and promise a unique user interface that will, according to Jason Chrest, use “an existing medium that just has not yet been used within the ARG/CF genre.”
Through a tip posted at Despoiler, Jason elaborates that the game will pull from genres ranging “from world history, to sci-fi, to conspiracy, drama, and more.” The text of the message also includes a hidden message revealing a bit more about the mysterious interface under development.
The trailer, set to the soothing sound of Cecil Grant’s classic hit “I Wonder”, introduces the character “GC” as he composes a letter to his dearest love. A series of flashbacks depict his escape from an unknown pursuer by train.
Stay tuned to ARGNet for updates on this and other games.