“Think of it as an alternate world Cold War era spy adventure, if that kind of thing included stuff like blood sacrifices packed with dark beings.”
– Andrea Phillips, Balance of Powers Kickstarter campaign video.
Before Adrian Hon and Naomi Alderman took to Kickstarter to fund the mobile app Zombies, Run, there was Balance of Powers. The Kickstarter campaign sought to reunite Hon and Alderman with former Perplex City collaborators Andrea Phillips and David Varela to tell an “alt-history Cold War-era spy adventure.” Finally, almost a year after meeting its funding goals, Balance of Powers is ready to see the light of day.
An update to the Balance of Powers Kickstarter page on August 1st alerted backers to the opening of the story’s website. On the first of August, a short but intriguing prologue gave a quick glimpse into the beginnings of the story and the mind of Major Sonja Slade. The August 1st update also included details on an upcoming live online event, which is scheduled to take place on August 25th at 7pm London time (4pm EST, 1pm PST). Details about the live online event and how to participate will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event.
A few days later, the first chapter posted, introducing character John Noon, the insurance clerk, while providing readers some insight into the shape and flavor of the world. The story weaves together the lives and adventures of an ex-spy who asks too many questions, an insurance clerk who is out of his depth, the daughter of a man accused of terrible deeds, and a major in the Prussian Army pursuing an investigation of the Bulgarian ambassador’s murder. In a city called Midway, the characters will come together – but for what purpose?
While the weekend represents quiet and solitude for many of you, alternate reality gaming does not stop for days of the week that begin with an S. We received a plethora of ARG tips, tidbits and updates through the past few days, and here are the highlights:
- Lance Weiler, a recent guest on the ARG Netcast series, has written about Hope is Missing, the ARG that was created to promote the DVD release of his film Head Trauma. His article at The Workbook Project is chock full of details and statistics about the campaign, and is an excellent read for people finding themselves on either side of the Puppetmaster curtain.
- This year marks the second time that the Trinity University’s Coates Library in San Antonio has run Blood on the Stacks, an alternate reality game that helps new students to get familiar with the school’s library. According to this entry at the SHU – Blogcause07 blog, “anecdotally the library and support staff reported feedback from students of feeling more familiar, less alien in the environment, the library was associated with fun and the staff were more approachable.” This appears to be yet another neat way that people are using ARGs to assist in a social environment.
- Thanks to a press release we received, we know how survivors of a zombie-apocalypse will find each other — Last Day’s Journal. This is a project that began in 2005 at the hands of Superfreako Productions, a two-brother team that had the idea for a television show dedicated to the concept of a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world.
Earlier today it was revealed on the Perplex City game site that the expected June relaunch of the popular alternate reality game would “no longer be possible.” Season two was scheduled to be released this month, but the statement on the site makes reference to the quality of the experience, and how Mind Candy believes in holding off on releases until “they’re ready and… [they’re] entirely happy with them.”
The landscape of Mind Candy itself has also undergone major changes, as Story Team members Adrian Hon, Andrea Phillips, David Varela and Naomi Alderman, as well as COO Dan Hon, have all left the company within the last 48 hours. In blog posts, Dan Hon notes that he wants “to try something new,” while his brother Adrian remarks that “it’s time… to move on.” Phillips and Alderman echoed sentiments of celebration, sadness and thankfulness for the players of PXC, and Varela chose the Unfiction forums to sum up his thoughts on the turn of events.
Details are still emerging, so watch ARGNet for further details. The story will be part of the discussion on the upcoming 26th episode of the ARG Netcast as well.
Thanks to Brian Enigma at Netninja for the summary post and links.