You may have noticed from the banner at our main site that ARGNet is an Official Media Sponsor of Screenburn 2008. As part of SXSW Interactive‘s series of conferences taking place in Austin, Texas March 7 – March 11, ScreenBurn is bringing in an impressive cast of panelists. Notable speakers include Rachel Clarke (Behind the Buzz), Keith Clarkson (Xenophile Media), Dan Hon (Six to Start), Rebecca Newton (Mind Candy), and Kevin Slavin (area/code). Jane McGonigal (Avant Game) will be presenting the final SXSW Interactive Keynote on March 11th, the final day of the conference.
A few more familiar faces are bound to show up, as World Without Oil, the alternate reality game with a heart of gold, is a finalist for the SXSW Web Awards in the Activism category. The ‘serious game’ attracted a lot of attention for drawing upon the powers of collective intelligence to address peak oil concerns. Numerous ARGNet staffers past and present worked on this project (Dee Cook, Michelle Senderhauf, Marie Lamb, and Krystyn Wells), so our collective fingers are crossed for the team.
Mind Candy, who were at one time a major player in the ARG genre with Perplex City, is also nominated in the Games category for Moshi Monsters.
Earlier today it was revealed on the Perplex City game site that the expected June relaunch of the popular alternate reality game would “no longer be possible.” Season two was scheduled to be released this month, but the statement on the site makes reference to the quality of the experience, and how Mind Candy believes in holding off on releases until “they’re ready and… [they’re] entirely happy with them.”
The landscape of Mind Candy itself has also undergone major changes, as Story Team members Adrian Hon, Andrea Phillips, David Varela and Naomi Alderman, as well as COO Dan Hon, have all left the company within the last 48 hours. In blog posts, Dan Hon notes that he wants “to try something new,” while his brother Adrian remarks that “it’s time… to move on.” Phillips and Alderman echoed sentiments of celebration, sadness and thankfulness for the players of PXC, and Varela chose the Unfiction forums to sum up his thoughts on the turn of events.
Details are still emerging, so watch ARGNet for further details. The story will be part of the discussion on the upcoming 26th episode of the ARG Netcast as well.
Thanks to Brian Enigma at Netninja for the summary post and links.
Dan Hon was kind enough to send us an email letting us know that the transcript from the 2007 SWSX panel discussion “ARG! The Attack of the Alternate Reality Games” is pubished on his blog, Extenuating Circumstances. Alice Taylor, the Vice President of Digital Content at the BBC, was the moderator for the panel which included Hon (also the COO of Mind Candy), Brian Clark (Founder/CEO, GMD Studios/IndieWire), Evan Jones (Creative Director/Producer at Stitch Media) and Brooke Thompson (Giant Mice and ARGNet).
There is a lot of information to sift through, as the panel talks about everything from how ARG is still “emerging” to how budgets are created. Thanks, Dan.
Earlier this week, Mind Candy announced that the launch of Perplex City Stories will be delayed until June, pushing back its original April release by two months. The delay will allow the Mind Candy team to build a gaming engine that allows for what Director of Play/Executive Producer Adrian Hon describes as “single-player replayable ARGs, and massively multiplayer ARGs simultaneously” in addition to allowing for extensive pre-launch testing. The video trailer on the Perplex City Stories site indicates the plot will involve a brutal murder in a Perplex City bar.
Although Perplex City Stories will be delayed, the first wave of Perplex City Season Two cards became available from Firebox at the beginning of March, and We Love Puzzles, a related website with a variety of games and puzzles is currently live.
Adrian Hon is scheduled to be a panelist on Episode 19 of the ARG Netcast series. Discussion topics will include Perplex City Season Two, among other topical ARG news.
Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Unfiction forums (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and from Andy’s own website. Thanks to Andy for allowing us to reprint this fantastic story, in his own words. The photo for this article can be found on Andy’s Flick stream.
I’d like to say the reason I found the Cube was because I solved all the meta puzzles, cracked the number strings, and have all the answers. Alas, no. None of us did. As far as I’m aware, the reason all of us who were involved in the endgame found ourselves in Rockingham Forest is because cjr22 and Chippy nailed the amorphous blobs as being the Jurassic strata, which led by a series of inevitable steps to the Jurassic Way and the red kite centre on Forestry Commission land at Fineshade Wood.
There were more elegant ways of getting there that didn’t involve the Library of Babel, according to Kurt later, but we were at lunch when he told me and six people were talking at once (including Violet, loudly) so the details haven’t stuck. But I’ll do my best to talk about what we missed later. (TIAG – I mean, of course, the writers who scripted kurtnviolet.)
I’ve been thinking about why it was me that found the Cube and not one of the teams that came so close, and I’ve come up with a combination of four reasons. One is obviously luck: it didn’t take luck to find it, but it took luck not to be beaten to it and luck not to be chased away by the Forestry Commission, other players or inquisitive children. Two more reasons are archaeological training and some literal mindedness, of which more later. The fourth reason is lifestyle: I am self employed and am currently working Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I could afford both the time and the petrol to visit the woods from London on both Thursday and Friday, when others were stuck behind desks, or scraping together the money for a weekend visit with friends.
It’s already Episode 3 of the ARG Netcast series. Once again, this week offers the comedy stylings of unfiction’s Sean C. Stacey, the politically-charged folk songs of Giant Mice’s Brooke Thompson, and the gospel hip hop of M.C. Jonathan Waite of ARGNet. Subscribe to the ARGNet feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
Game News and Topics of Discussion
- No response from Mind Candy regarding Perplex City yet, but the Sentinel is back up and us Earthlings are being looked down upon. Oh, those Perplexians.
- AV wraps up, and the Puppetmaster comes out of hiding.
- konamouse of the unfiction forums helps out the Three Blind Mice as they try to make sense of the Puzzle of the Week, Sammeeeees’s “Free the Five”.
- Ny Takma introduces a new character. Trust him at your own risk.
- Ocular Effect — is it rising from a Near Death Experience?
- Cassie is Watching, Cathy’s Book, and Edoc Laundry chug-chug-chug along.
- Hallow’s End launches just in time for Halloween, but we need more information, and you need to send it to us. Yes, you.
- Studio Cypher will release another ARG soon, see descry.us for more details.