Tag: implosion

Anatomy of an Implosion

Editor’s Note: The original byline for this article had to be changed, as have some details in this article. Please see this article for an explanation.

If you’ve been playing indie ARGs for more than a couple days you’ve probably experienced a game that started off with a bang but ended with a whimper and a quiet death rattle. Most of us take a few moments to grieve the loss of the imploded game but quickly get over it and start looking for the start of another game. As someone who is drawn to the idea of creating my own games, I dwell over the loss of a game a little longer and crave a eulogy that helps me understand why the game didn’t reach it’s full potential. One of the biggest challenges in analyzing a failed game is that the creators of failed games rarely come forward afterward to share the behind-the-scenes missteps so that the rest of us can learn from their mistakes. So, with that said, I’d like to share why I stopped playing a recently staged game Tyler Greek (also named PHH Interception) and invite the creators of the game (and anyone else in the community who’s interested) to join the discussion.

Tyler Greek was the story’s protagonist who led a group of paramilitary soldiers in an alternate timeline where the TR Corporation unleashed an army of “super soldiers” on the world and destroyed most of the major US cities. Tyler, along with his tech support guy Jacob, were trying to provide humanitarian supplies for survivors and planning a counter-offensive against the TR Corporation minions.

The story was introduced and played out primarily on Twitter, YouTube, and through instant messenger chat clients like Skype and MSN Messenger. There was an attempt to deliver story elements on a TR Corporation website and on Tyler’s MySpace page along with some leaked documents which filled in some of the backstory, but those delivery mechanisms went stale soon after they were discovered.

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Another Contest… Ends Prematurely

anothercontest.jpgIt’s always disappointing to see an Alternate Reality Game pull up roots and disappear before its intended endgame. So far we have seen a handful casualties in 2006, and we are adding Another Contest Worth Entering to that list. Rumblings of an implosion came late last week, when UnFiction community member Chewy shared an email he received from the ACWE Puppetmaster team. While the email originally states that the team would be taking a two week hiatus to re-evaluate the situation, the latest word is that the game is, indeed, over.

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Search4e Calls Off Search?

Search4e has seeminly joined the list of failed Alternate Reality Games, as an email was sent out this morning to players seemingly cancelling the game. The email states, in part, “It is with deep regret that True Crime Books announces that it is ending all formal ties with the Ed Sobian case….This decision was not taken lightly.” Continuing with their attempts at making player communications look to be a part of the search4e world, it seems the producers are announcing the cancellation of the search for Ed Sobian.

The troubled game was suspended for a while at the end of 2002, while new sponsorship/financing was sought. Once it restarted, the producers seemed unable to regain momentum, and compounded their problems by making decisions that further limited their player base. We are still awaiting final confirmation of the death of search4e, at which time it will be added to the list of ARG meltdowns.

Push NV Spinoff ARG “NoahBoddy” Cancelled Mid-Game

Another ARG bites the dust. According to a wordy announcement on noahboddy.com, “…the current Noahboddy.com game must be brought to a definitive close.” This cancellation was attributed to lack
of sponsorship and funding.

There is still plenty of action out there for Alternate Reality Gamers, however. Current live games include:Chasing the Wish, Time Hunt and the JMX Experience, with L3 and Ark II possibilities in develpment.