Studio Cyphers returns with the release of the latest chapter of their multi-player novel (MPN), “The Cyphers”. This chapter, entitled Descry, starts with The Cyphers diving into the mystical world of rituals and spirits while following the experiments of a curious professor — experiments that might have gone a bit too far in the investigation of the paranormal.
What remains true from previous episodes is the overwhelming feeling of “spookiness” and the This-Is-Odd factor that players experience when they first encounter an in-game site or clue. Also, the puppetmasters again seem committed to realism by emailing players individually (instead of canned responses from an auto-reply program) and by conducting IRC chats where the professor and his helpers interact in real-time with the players.
In past episodes/chapters, Studio Cyphers has worked with a subscription model where ‘Wakeful Agents’ (those who pay to play) get information more rapidly, or receive additional clues for game play. For Descry, it is not yet clear what premium content the ‘Wakeful Agents’ are getting. Perhaps a more prominent or clearly defined set of benefits for the subscribing members would draw more players to participate in the paid version of the episodes.
A change of note is that this episode seems a more focused on establishing cooperative play between the players. This is evident by the number of players that currently use IRC and the Unfiction forums to discuss and solve the latest clues, which happened less frequently in previous installments.