When Fundi Technologies announced their foray into the world of Alternate Reality Gaming with Deus City, they promised something different. An immersive reality with economic, prestige, and karmic systems judging players’ decisions. Actually, they promised nothing of the sort — but they’ll probably deliver anyway. Now that the main site has relaunched (Jan. 15), we are finally able to explore the districts of Deus City in 2037. Expect numerous references to dytopian stories in this post-apocalyptic landscape.
Since ARGN’s last article on Deus City, players have received frequent communications from 30 years in the future as characters scrambled furiously for control over the mysterious Defense-Corp Incorporated. While Adam Brackin traveled North America following the trail of prophecy, Alex Wright and “Foo” gained access to the Time Communication interface, allowing players to register as “Temporal Agents”. Alex’s father became the first in-game fatality due to a plane crash, and the fate of Defense-Corp employee Phillip Moore is currently unknown, with our last interaction ending with gunfire.
Deus City, a new, promising ARG is scheduled to hit the internets in the spring of 2007, and ARGN has been fortunate enough to have learned a couple of things about the project.
Deus City is a student-run project from the guys and gals at University of Texas – Dallas, in cooperation with Fundi Technologies of Dallas. The plot will revolve around communication with a community, Deus City, located in the future. The gameplay is currently framed around puzzles and that unlike the current hit, Perplex City, the puzzles will primarily reside online. On the more ambitious side of the project, the game is planned to have features such as dynamic point structures based upon the players’ ability to solve the puzzles correctly with the fewest number of guesses. There are also hints to a “virtual future economy” structure that could also lead to some interesting gameplay. Also intriguing is the idea that the game will attempt to integrate morality into the gameplay structure, as to give at least two different paths a player can run through the game, with moral and ethical implications as a result of the decisions made in the game. Hand in hand with this idea, is a karmic statistic system that, while not fully disclosed at this time, is intriguing to say the least, and could be just one more element in the building of a groundbreaking Alternate Reality Game. To quote the head developer of the team working on Deus City, “We feel that contact with our future selves is imminent and that the world that awaits us will be much more than it seems at first contact.”