The Licorice Film team, creators of 2007’s popular MeiGeist game, has a finger on the launch button for their newest project, The Sky Remains, due to begin in April. In partnership with HP Labs, The Sky Remains combines interactive ARG elements with GPS technology and the thrill of geocaching and treasure hunting using mscape (short for “mediascape”), HP Labs’ experimental mobile gaming platform. A list of compatible hardware for mscape is provided on the mscaper site. The game’s FAQ section states that players do not need these devices to participate.
Players of MeiGeist may have spotted some familiar faces in the trailer for The Sky Remains. (ARGNet also has a brief cameo!) The main story arc centers around the “6th Dimension Detective Agency” – with the players taking on the role of the 6th Dimension Agents, of course! The game breaks away from the one-time ARG experience by introducing a “re-playable” narrative. It also offers players the option to follow some parts of the story as a single player. However, collaboration and cooperation among players will be necessary to “discover the deeper subplots,” according to the FAQ. The Sky Remains also invites user-generated content, and the game’s website will serve as a social networking site for players to create and publish their own case files and stories after the initial case file has been solved and closed.
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. While browsing my inbox from the last week or so, I’ve come across no less than four game tips, and in no particular order, here’s what we know:
Frank Sturgis, who has previously worked at Allied Resource Management Consolidation Inc. let us know about some shady business going on at the company, and requests help with “get[ting]into their servers” via the ARGNet voicemail. The first problem we see? Frank Sturgis apparently died in 1993. Players are already discussing things at the Unfiction forums.
Joshua at Triad Genomics dropped two separate emails into our laps — one stating “This is the beginning of the Ancient Word,” and the other giving us a string of numbers (18882015221, or 1-888-201-5221). The one-liner comes from the Popul Vuh, an with Mesoamerican/Mayan connections. Discussion has also started on the Unforums with the first post made only yesterday. The game is a promotion for Christopher Forrest’s novel The Genesis Code, according to the official web site.
A new “augmented reality game” (their description, not ours) has appeared which is connected to the popular MeiGeist ARG which concluded earlier this year. The game, called “Timehole” (according to creator Jon Williams) is a proof-of-concept stereotype that utilizes GPS technology, has a 30 minute gameplay duration, and will start within the next six weeks. You can join in on the discussion at this Unforums thread.
Finally, there is an ARG developing in The Netherlands called They Are Here. The game kicked off with an elaborate staged event in which white tents were set up in broad daylight, leaking steam, while people in biohazard suits moved about the scene (thanks to Lieke Voermans for an excellent recounting at her blog). A short discussion has begun at the Unfiction forums.
Let the summer ARGs begin!
Meigeist special! Host Jonathan Waite and panelists Marie Lamb, Jessica Price, and Sean Stacey are joined by Meigeist puppetmaster Hazel Grian and Meigeist player Karl Smith for an intensive post-game Q&A session. Read the show notes at the ARG Netcast web site. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes.
One week after the Greatest Show in ARG, panelists Nicko Demeter, Sean C. Stacey, Marie Lamb and Jessica Price join host Jonathan Waite for an hour long look at recent game developments and the fallout from ARGFest-o-Con 2007. Read the show notes (coming soon!) at the ARG Netcast web site. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through this link or via iTunes.