Tag: bungie (page 1 of 2)

Get Intimate with Intimation

intimation_vidcapIt wasn’t too long ago that discussion at the ARG Netcast included a look at The Way Their World Ended, a game that launched through a Twitter account on Christmas day of 2008. At the beginning, a few of the players that followed Intimation on Twitter were discouraged by the flood of cryptic updates to the account, but once the messages were decoded, the game began dropping references to the Halo universe.

In the past week, there have been more discoveries which lead at least one player to believe that this game’s narrative takes place, “after the events of ILB, since this AI knows about ‘the legendary Melissa.'” ILB, for those who may not know, is short for I Love Bees, the massively popular alternate reality game from 2004 which was a promotion for Halo 2. There have also been references to material discovered through the Iris ARG, which Bungie/Microsoft put together for the release of Halo 3.

So, is it an official tie-in to some sort of Halo product, or a fan creation? We’ve sent off an email to Bungie to see what they have to say, and we’ll update once we get a response. In the meantime, if you’ve been waiting for something to fill the void until Halo Wars hits store shelves, this may be just the thing.

In-game YouTube account
Unfiction Forum thread

Bungie’s “Superintendent” Returns, For Now

superintendant.jpg

In Late May of 2008, “The Superintendent” registered on the Bungie.net forums. The iconic figure was seen wielding his trusty plunger, informing forumgoers to “KEEP IT CLEAN” while giving a big thumbs up.

Numerous iterations of the “KEEP IT CLEAN” message resolved to indicate that something would happen on July 14, 2008 at 10:30AM, Microsoft’s E3 slot. While nothing happened at E3, a countdown ending on July 16, 2008 at 7:07:07AM turned up. When this countdown expired, Harold Ryan, the President of Bungie, posted a letter announcing that Microsoft altered the plans, but that they looked forward to sharing an exciting announcement “when the right time comes”.

The right time is apparently now, as the Superintendent has returned to the Bungie.net forums with a cryptic post. The post includes a transcript from a conversation between the Superintendent, an Urban Infrastructure A.I., and Prowler “Tokyo Rules”, a Comm. Duty Officer.

It’s too early to tell whether this is an alternate reality game or something else. Whatever it may be, the buzz surrounding the Superintendent has been building steadily despite frequent delays, as the icon has been sighted on top Bungie employees at numerous gaming events.

Image courtesy of Tech Artist

Click Here for a walkthrough of the story so far on the Bungie.net forums
Click Here for the discussion at Unfiction

History is Circling Back Upon Us, Like – Dun Dun DUN – A Halo!

halo3.jpgThe gears of the Universe spin further and further apart.
Ever greater grows the gulf between souls,
And distance gives false hope of safety
But for the grim tidings this messenger bears:

The enemy is almost upon us…

…slouching toward Bethlehem to be born, perhaps.

The lines above were taken from an email sent out as part of what appears to be an ARG (or at least a promotion that takes a few pages from the ARG playbook) designed to lead in to the launch of the third installment of the wildly popular Halo game series.

It all began on Monday, June 11th, when an entity calling itself Adjutant Reflex began posting cryptic messages on the Bungie forum. From there, the trail lead to an alien-awareness site called Society of the Ancients (SOTA), as well as one entitled “Transmission Log,” which contains a countdown slated to end this Thursday. SOTA members have since staged live protests in New York, Vancouver, San Francisco and London, wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a symbol that seems to figure significantly in the unfolding story. Elements in the game link directly to the Halo 3 site, so it appears that the campaign is not hewing as firmly to the “This Is Not A Game” aesthetic as its predecessor, 2004’s ilovebees, but there appears to be the beginning of a rich storyline that may illuminate some of the unanswered questions in the Halo mythology.

Halo fans have been speculating rampantly (pun intended, of course), and the launch of the game has also served as an informal reunion for a lot of beekeepers (participants in ilovebees). The identity of the company responsible for the game has been a hot topic of discussion, with 42 Entertainment — creators of ilovebees — among the most popular suspects.

However, in an exclusive statement to the panel on the ARG Netcast, 42 Entertainment’s Vice President of Experience Design, Elan Lee, announced that the campaign was not a 42 project, and Steve Peters of 42 also replied to an email sent yesterday with a similar statement. Bungie Studios, makers of the Halo series, has used ARG-like elements to promote their games before, beginning with 1999’s Cortana Letters, so it’s possible they are doing it in-house. Regardless of who the creators are, with live events, Forerunner poetry to interpret, mysterious locked servers on the Halo 3 site, and the mysterious Adjutant Reflex at large, it promises to be an exciting ride!

Join the discussion at the Unfiction forums, visit thebruce’s wiki to get caught up, or chat with other players in #halo on irc.chat-solutions.org.

Thanks to the denizens of #halo for their invaluable help in summarizing the action thus far.

Building Fences: Your Response

armies.gifIt’s been a long time since ARGN.com posted my article entitled Building Fences: An Editorial, the subject of which was the topic of adversarial play within Alternate Reality Games, in theory and in history. We invited you, the reader, to tell us what you thought about the subject, and we were nearly immediately inundated with responses, spanning the entire gamut of opinion. We read every letter, rant, and lesson. Here are some highlights from the responses we received:

“…The problem with past approaches to the player v. player tactic in ARGing is that it almost always has come across as either a minor, player induced (i.e. not meant by the PM to happen) event, or has been quickly toned down by PMs who did mean to do it in the first place. The outcry from the community is always rather dramatic when a PM attempts to purposely divide players.

What I think needs to happen is for a PM team to make a quality ARG that incorporates this tactic, and run with it – to not give in to the community’s cries, and to just go with what they planned. Nothing against the community – I count myself as a member of it in most aspects – but sometimes everyone gets worked up about small things, while forgetting the bigger picture.” – Dave


“Eisner comes down in favor of splitting the player base, arguing that this makes for a more powerful approach to mysteries (think open source), and richer plot developments (think restaurant menu). I would add that increasing the number of player parties, from one to many, could increase the amount of player creativity (i.e., more wikis, more fiction, etc).

As Web 2.0 storytelling emerges, this is precisely the sort of thing we’ll see.” – Infocult


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I Love Bees Two

ilb2.jpgRumors have been running rampant on various gaming forums of late concerning the emergence of ilovebees2.com, which popped up on our radar sometime last month. While speculation about what the site might be connected to is a hot topic at the UnFiction forums, we have information from a source that the campaign is not connected or related to 4orty 2wo Entertainment, the company behind the original I Love Bees game. As well, Bungie has offically denied any involvement with the web site (3rd paragraph of link). Current speculation points to a fan-based game related to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which ships on March 20th, as much of the content is related to the Elder Scrolls universe.

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Halo 2’s “I Love Bees” Alternate Reality Game

ilbreview.jpgThe story of I Love Bees proved to be slightly confusing at times, but the gist of it is this: Beekeeper Dana had a site which was attacked by some sort of virus; a countdown was placed on the site which spawned endless hours of speculation as to what the hell “System Peril Distributed Reflex” represented. Besides looking at the odd snippet of information through corrupted pictures and jarbled text, all the players could do was wait on tenterhooks until July 27th, on which “Network Throttling would erodeā€¦”

Sure enough, come noon July 27th, ilovebees.com is updated. Someone was mad at Dana and posted pictures of her all over the site; Dana freaked out and decided to flee the country.

The next major plot advancement came August 10th, when “the medium has metastasized”. A lot of information was posted on the site- the most important being GPS Coordinates. 220 were posted in total, all of which pointed to locations the length and breadth of the United States.

On August 17th, to the dismay of some, the coordinates changed- now there were 210 in total. However, there were now specific times telling people when to be at a particular coordinate- which proved to quell a lot of confusion. The importance of being at the “axons” was further emphasized when Dana added to the excitement by implying on her blog that we really should get to them! All players could do was kill time, and many found the night of August 23 to be a sleepless one.

So what happened when the axons (pre-determined payphones in large cities) went hot?

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