Netninja.com released the ARG Tools iPhone app this week—a well thought-out collection of tools, resources, and links for alternate reality gamers of all levels. Included in this free app are helpful interactive tools for solving substitution ciphers, base64 encoding, Vignère ciphers, and much more. The homegrown app also features cheat sheets for other reference materials, such as English word frequencies.
While this might seem intimidating, newcomers to ARGs can really benefit from the informative panels explaining many of the interactive tools. Puppetmasters may find many of the utilities, such as the countdown timer decoder, useful for creating and running ARGs.
According to developer Brian Enigma’s blog, ARG Tools is “a bit of a niche utility, aimed mainly toward puzzle solvers and ARG players, specifically with an eye toward live events”—the native iPhone app can be run offline once installed, except for the Google search bar and pre-built links leading to key ARG community and news resources.
Download ARG Tools in the iTunes Store. No iPhone? Check out netninja.com for some great low-fi gaming resources, like a one-page wiki markup language cheat sheet and an Emergency ARG Pocket Reference. Some of these tools are printouts that fit in your pocket. (You have those, right?)
SilkTricky, a Portland-based digital agency, will preview Bank Run: Someone Has to Pay, their soon-to-be-released interactive movie and iPhone game app, on Tuesday, February 16, at The Living Room Theaters in Portland, OR at 7:00 pm and 8:15 pm. In the completely live-action Bank Run experience, you control the choices and actions of Evan Sharpe, a collared-shirt office cog who stumbles into a deadly conspiracy. Ski-masked guys will come at you with unnecessary force–are you sharp enough to evade death? Hot babes may try to influence you–do you trust them? Will you and Evan make it out alive?
Bank Run will be presented in two parts. The first part is a choose-your-own-adventure video experience, which will be available for free online. The iPhone app continues the plot and features additional games–such as a third-person shooter–that, when beaten, unlock further scenes. The iPhone games can be played in infinite arcade mode, available to replay without going through the narrative experience.
Bank Run is inspired by the popularity of SilkTricky’s 2008 interactive zombie movie, The Outbreak. Puppeting the protagonist James, The Outbreak progresses in short chapters, and the transitions from scene to scene require viewers to make choices. With a horrifying line of zombies amassing in the yard outside, I had to make some hard choices. In the process, I learned something about myself: I am really ill-prepared for the coming zombocalypse.
Bank Run goes way beyond The Outbreak by introducing the iPhone app to the overall narrative experience. With the game/movie release coming very soon, we’ll soon see how the two components come together. But, the interactivity already inscribed in The Outbreak seems a pretty good preview of what’s to come.
Bank Run previews at The Living Room Theaters (341 SW 10th Ave., Portland, OR) will include Q&As with the Director and Producer of the project. Space is limited, so RSVP through Bank Run‘s Facebook Fan Page, or via e-mail to [email protected].
Hey, we like to think that we’re pretty tech-savvy individuals here at ARGNet, with at least one of us owning one of those sorta-new-fangled iPod Touch device thingies. Well, on a whim this weekend, I decided to adapt a WordPress plugin called iWPhone into our Movable Type installation, which you can see at iphone.argn.com. Heck, that interface might be the preferred view for people who don’t use Apple devices!
We are going to be moving things over to WordPress in 2008, but are having CSS issues, so it’s still a work in progress. Rest assured, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the site, both visually and with functionality. If you fine, fine readers ever some across a problem with the site, shoot us a message and let us know about it.
Caution: possible spoilers about Perplex City are revealed in this netcast.
It’s our first netcast of 2007, and I’m happy to be joined by regular panel guests Brooke Thompson, Jackie Kerr and Marie Lamb, with special panel guest rose. In our ninth netcast, we talk about games, games and more games. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
- Vanishing Point is live and full of wonderful prizes and challenging puzzles. And, no, we don’t all think it’s an ARG… even if 42 Entertainment is behind it.
- Puzzle of the week: The META puzzle from Vanishing Point. Read more about it at the Unforums.
- Township Heights, the new VirtuQuest alternate reality game, launches with a pay-to-play model and a few T-shirts.
- Meigeist (the ARG formerly known as Geist) goes live and people are already buzzing about the quality of the game this far. Oh, and there are cute, cuddly cats involved. You can get behind-the-scenes information here if you can’t wait for us to publish an ARGNet article about the game.
- NeoVenus Construction (AKA Nevec) looked to be stalled before candy bars and a new blog opened the game back up with a resurgence. See Krystyn Wells’ ARGNet article for more information.
- The Sector Seven/Transformers ARG viral campaign stalls. Fanboys and fangirls around the world really want this to be more than what it currently is.
- Perplex City has life, as the players feel that they are close to finding that darn cube. It’s not an easy path, however.
- Second Life Future Salon panel discussion on ARGs took place on the 27th of November, we hope to have access to the audio from that discussion soon.
- The Human Pet reinvents itself with more videos and a shiny new website, complete with community-forming forums.
- Deus City is on a bit of a hiatus, claiming that the recent storms in the U.S. have thrown an icy wrench into their plans. Yeah, sure — nice excuse. No, really, we like it.
- Marie talks about Doom Skull, which we were ready to pass off as just another game… until she really sold us on it.
- Preview for next week — Bristelgoodman.. On first glance, it looks rather creepy. We’ll know more by next week.