Tag: myspace

Beyond the Rave: Humans vs Vampires

Beyond the Rave logoFilmmaker Lance Weiler, who recently promoted the VOD release of his film Head Trauma alongside an alternate reality game called Hope is Missing, was kind enough to talk with me about his current project, Beyond the Rave. For the first time in almost 30 years, Hammer Films is releasing a feature-length horror movie, and Lance and his company, Seize the Media, are producing a companion alternate reality game in conjunction with Hammer and MySpace.

The feature will be released in twenty installments on MySpace, with new episodes every Monday and Wednesday. The plot revolves around a British soldier trying to find his girlfriend who was taken by a group of vampiric, night-time ravers. According to Weiler, the game aspect is broken down into two paths, with hints and clues strewn across the videos and MySpace: “Find the Wraith,” based around the movie’s vampire-centric plot, and “Humans vs Vampires,” a combat-based system that allows players to hunt down weapons and trophies, and battle to increase their collection.

In stark contrast to “Hope is Missing,” where the gameplay led players through a variety of websites such as MySpace, XBox Live, Twitter, Stage 6, and Opera, “Beyond the Rave” is much more centralized. Lance claims this allows the developers to take advantage of the MySpace Developer’s Platform in order to receive finite information on gameplay that helps the team optimize the experience, and suggests we’ll be seeing a lot of innovative uses of the underlying API.

Bringing alternate reality games to social networking sites has exposed the genre to new audiences, with over three hundred players discussing the game so far on the MySpace forums and over 14,000 users listing the main page for the experience as a friend. Due to mature content, access to the videos and the game is restricted to anyone 18 or older.

Lance notes that bringing alternate reality games to social networks can also help bring people together. On their own, social networking sites let you set up a page, deal with your friends, and occasionally meet a new person randomly. “What’s cool about an ARG is the ability to work through things together, and to become friends.” Since Beyond the Rave has multiple levels of interactivity, players can choose the level of involvement that suits their interests, whether that involves leaning back and enjoying the first new movie from Hammer Films in decades, or progressing through the videos frame-by-frame to isolate subliminal clues leading to websites that can provide weapons helpful in battling for supremacy.

For those of you looking for prizes, you can answer twenty questions about the episodes on Faustino‘s profile for a chance to win “a truly vampiric top prize” or one of forty goody bags.

Click Here to visit the Beyond the Rave page on MySpace.
Click Here to check out the MySpace forums for the game.
Click Here to join the chat channel for Beyond the Rave.

Love Nevr Dies

lovenevrdies.jpg So I’m sitting at work when up pops an AIM chat window from itstarted1988. His greeting to me is this: “they speak you listen. Of the Psycaem. You can look forward to games. To your satisfaction, perhaps not… A man, a woman, a line drawn. Not a shepard. Not a shepard. 1988.” In basic ARGer fashion, I go with it, and thus begins the trailhead for “Love Nevr Dies“[sic], another hostage-arg, with a name coined from the dark, creepy artistic design found at MySpace to which players were initially directed.

Continue reading

EVA – The End of the World As We Know It?

eva_game.jpgIt started (as these things so often do) with a cryptic website: in this case, a MySpace belonging to a mysterious entity calling itself EVA and bearing a disturbing message:

I have returned. Awaken[sic] by disturbance. The sickness of humanity. You have grown undeserving. The preciouse[sic] life you take for granted. a test. To prove your worthiness. to prove your will to live. Ensure your safety. The prophecy. When it is to be. none will be safe. to stop it. Take the challenge

The “challenge” appears to be a seven-round test, with each round based on a different world mythology. The author of the test, Ovdasupal, is challenging us to save Janna, whom he claims is his songstress and soon to be the mother of his child. Ovdasupal is being helped by the Scions of Punishment, who in turn have enlisted the Deceiver, Jonathan, to help them translate certain texts that would help their cause. Working against the Scions and Ovdasupal is EVA. EVA claims he is helping humanity as the Scions wish to bring a punishing purification to the human race. Although EVA also wants to purify humanity, he claims to offer a kinder, gentler purification, and may even give humanity to live if we can prove ourselves.

Continue reading

The Devil Wears MySpace

devil-AB.jpgContinuing my streak of pre/reviewing games that seem to stall (Seriously, ARGods! What’s up?), I bring you “Angelo Beckett”, the game about a man who knows too little.

It started out as many grassroots games (sadly) tend to do, with a cryptic AIM conversation. A member of the Unfiction forums got a message, asking for help, from a man known only by his AIM handle, “Angelo Beckett”. However, in this case, the person in need of help was not being cryptic for drama’s sake as much as a total case of amnesia. The person woke up, in London, with a bag containing £20,000 and a note with: the email address from which the person was messaging, as well as the initials B.A.B., a phone number (currently determined to be a mobile phone number in the United Kingdom somewhere), and the ominous message, “Do anything. Get any help. You’ll need it.”

And with that, players were sucked into another GAIM… or was it?

One player called the phone number, and got the address for the MySpace page of Lucien, a nefarious puppetmaster with a love of things evil. (I mean, Bedazzled? OMGZORZ!!! Pure. Evil.) Anyway, Lucien was obviously the mastermind behind the sad state of Angelo Beckett’s condition, as he promised to give one piece of this amnesiac’s life back for every puzzle solved. Some puzzles were straightforward code, and others were riddles such as one requiring pictures taken of London landmarks with a teddy bear in the shot.

Also continuing the grand tradition of all too many grassroots efforts, the game hasn’t been updated in over two weeks, after having had generally daily updates, making most players (especially the one who had to lug a teddy bear to a famous London theatre-front, one would assume) quite irate and feeling certain that the game is crashing.

The premise, while not entirely original, was interesting, and had managed to gather a sizable following of players in its initial days. Here’s to hoping that this one continues, and comes up with a rather good (in-game) explanation of the disappearance.