After a brief break, Studio Cypher has launched Episode 4 in their “multiplayer novel.” High Stakes is described as a “comedic love story of cards, kingsâ€¦ and accountants,” and the players have already been introduced to a podcast producer by the name of Vox Diaboli. In his latest broadcast he explains the merits of playing (and losing) the mayorship of a city in a game of cards. And if you listen carefully some new characters are making a power play to steal City Hall.
Again, following their (now) traditional pay-to-play system, StudioCyphers have split the game into the people that pay (also called Wakeful Agents) and those that do not and presumably won’t get to experience everything this episode has to offer.
If you are interested, head over to the StudioCyphers website to sign up. Itâ€™s definitely early in the game, and the plot’s not yet to thick for you to comfortably dive in. Now, where did I put my smoking jacket?
In Game Website
Back in November, we reported that Virtuquest, makers of City of Domes and other popular ARGs, had announced that they would be producing a public ARG. At the time, it was known only as Open ARG 6.5. We’re happy to report that the game has launched: Virtuquest’s Township Heights is open for business, inviting players into a Stepford-like world where the most upstanding citizens may also be the most dangerous.
At first glance, the city of Township Heights appears normal enough. They have a yearly festival with a parade, fireworks at night, and concerts in the park. They have a nice little Italian restaurant and a lounge where local bands play. Ah, suburbia! The town’s website proudly proclaims Township Heights “a model town,” one for “living and enjoying” in bold, majestic prose. Stately homes speckle the landscape, making Township Heights appear a modern utopia, but any scholar of Thomas More could tell you that the most utopian of locales is usually anything but.
Being a couch potato ARG-enthusiast (or mystery fan) has never been easier! All you need is an e-mail account and five bucks. And maybe someone to bring you refreshing drinks. And snacky things.
Long-time ARGnet readers will recall our coverage of Michael Betcherman’s and David Diamond’s E-mail Mystery, “The Daughters of Freya,” a time-release capsule of intrigue delivered right to one’s email inbox in a three week time period. A group of Unfiction members read through the story as a group at the Unforums, taking advantage of a special ARGNet rate offered by the folks at EmailMystery.com.
Writer and filmmaker Michael Betcherman is back with a new serial tale called “Suzanne.” Following in the footsteps of “Freya,” this mystery also spans three weeks, giving the reader the opportunity to eavesdrop on the characters through the e-mails they send to each other. Also like “Freya,” “Suzanne” has a special Preview mode where curious readers can have the first three e-mails sent for free. The series also brings back one of the most alluring aspects of the first series – supplemental material (such as photographs and newspaper articles) through which the reader can further immerse themselves in the story.
So, if you’re looking for the voyeuristic thrill of reading someone else’s e-mail, or perhaps you’d consider yourself a more casual/passive gamer, or maybe you’d just like a good mystery (with no skipping ahead!), “Suzanne” could be a great immersive alternative to the chaotic excitement of a full-fledged ARG or sweepstakes game. The subscription for the story is $4.99 in the US ($5.79 Cdn), and you have the option of paying at the website with a credit card, or by mailing a check or money order. You can also choose the start date for the story, with the option to play catch-up via the website with a special Reader’s login access. You can also purchase this as a gift to a friend.