Tag: puppetmaster (page 1 of 3)

Puppetmasters wanted, Geppetto need not apply

job_opportunityOur roving reporters regularly scan the blogs and news sources that make up our digital world, and this morning, staffers Marie Lamb and Michael Andersen found two unique opportunities for aspiring game designers in Los Angeles and New York City. If you are someone who wishes to work in the exciting field of alternate reality game creation, these might be a stepping stone in the right direction!

First up, a craigslist ad from a company called Urban Interactive, who is advertising for an “Alternate Reality Game Writer for iPhone (NYC).” The ad talks about a new product called Urban Sleuth, which is described as, “a platform that allows anyone to create alternate reality games, ranging from simple treasure hunts to full-blown storytelling adventures that incorporate improv actors, local merchants, flash mobs, etc.” It also reveals that a new ARG will be launching in March called The Analog Resistance, and lists the cities of Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago as locales affected by the game. Specifically, they need help writing missions for events taking place in Manhattan, and the ad suggests that owning an iPhone or iPod Touch would be helpful.

The ad triggered a spark of a memory for me, and as I looked back in my cluttered inbox, I did find a game tip from last month that we weren’t able to follow up on which relates to this ad. The email, from Nick Tommarello, further describes The Analog Resistance this way: “It’s the ‘Amazing Race’ meets The Game (with Michael Douglas).” Sounds altogether cool and wonderful!

The second job opportunity isn’t a paying position, but an internship at Studio 33 in Los Angeles, according to this posting at internweb.com. There are quite a few positions available to those who wish to intern at the start-up, including Production Office Management, Web Series production, Alternate Reality Game production, Website Development and Maintenance, Sponsorship & Advertising and Marketing. The hours are flexible, and students may be able to use this for college credit. The start date is listed as “immediately” and the internship runs to the end of April, 2009.

So what are you waiting for — get out there and make a great game!

“I’m a WHATmaster?” The Lonelygirl15 Creators Appear at ARGfest-o-Con to Tell Us Why They Love Their Fans in Spite of Themselves

A week before a much publicized appearance at SXSW, Lonelygirl15 creators Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, and Glenn Rubenstein, the Puppetmaster for the official Lonelygirl15 ARG, OpAphid, appeared at ARGfest-o-Con to talk about the Lonelygirl15 phenomenon and their introduction to the alternate reality of fame, fans, and the internet community’s dogged pursuit of information.

The Creators (as they label their forum posts on the Lonelygirl15 website) never intended to get into ARGs at all. Miles said they just wanted to “tell an interesting story on YouTube.” There were no puzzles at first, just the mystery about whether Bree was real, and if not, who was behind it all. They didn’t count on the fan community’s voracious appetite for information–“Is this a game, and if so, what are we supposed to solve?” Since there weren’t really any clues in the story itself, the community focused on finding the people behind the story, trying to figure out who they were.

In Greg’s case, this meant a surprising amount of information about his personal life was dug up and posted online. The first thing found was the registered trademark Greg’s father had applied for as the team’s lawyer. Then within a few weeks, it was his father’s name, his mother’s name, his sister (who superficially has a lot in common with the character of Bree), and eventually even his wedding pictures became the stuff of internet posts. “It became frightening,” he admitted. “I’d wake up wondering what was going to be on the website next.” His wife, who was the person answering Bree’s email, was caught in an online trap and revealed to be an employee of Creative Artists Agency.

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Embrace Feedback… at Arm’s Length

feedback.gifBeing a Puppet Master is a hard, often thankless job. If you do things wrong, your players complain about the content you’ve put out. If you do things right, they tell you that there isn’t enough content. Dealing with the inevitable crises under this sort of scrutiny and feedback is draining.

When I worked on Ares Station, I woke from a nightmare about our players. They were huge, fuzzy spiders, chasing after me through endless hallways. Finally, I made it to a helicopter and jumped aboard, only to have the spiders jump up and pull it down. In desperation, I tossed a spherical puzzle to the ground. They converged on it, allowing me to escape. From then on, any player who complained or demanded content from us was labeled a ‘Puzzle Spider’.

In an odd way, my nightmare made things easier. When our players got into the story or said good things about what we were doing, I let it give me a boost of energy. When our players criticized, I pretended it came from Puzzle Spiders to make it easier to take. After all, Puzzle Spiders don’t mean things personally. They’re just voracious consumers of good puzzles and story. As a PM, you can take their interest as a compliment. After all, if your story wasn’t any good, they’d move on to something else.

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Orbital Colony Puppetmaster Chat

orbicon.jpgAs is tradition with the endgame of a successful Alternate Reality Game, the Puppetmasters of Orbital Colony have announced a post-game Puppetmaster chat to be held on Saturday, Jan. 28th. The chat will start at 7:00 pm EST (GMT -5) in the #inquiringminds channel on the Chat-Solutions IRC network. We have set up a linked chat page here at ARGN, located here, from which you can access the chat and, quite possibly, get a chance to ask your questions about the game and the experience.

From the announcement by bagsbee, one of the PMs: Since Orbital Colony started out as a training ARG, I would definitely encourage everyone to attend, even if you didn’t play the game, and especially if you are an aspiring PuppetMaster. Pretty much everyone on the team started out with little or no PM or BTS experience, and we learned a lot along the way. We would love to share our experiences with you, and answer any questions you might have.

We’ll see you all on the 28th — space elevators are optional.

ARGs in Now Playing Magazine

np3-cover.jpgRecently, our very own Steve Peters was part of an interview in Now Playing Magazine called “Meet the Puppetmasters”. Before you go off to your local convenience store in a mad panic, hoping to find the issue there on the magazine rack, check this out — Now Playing has decided to embed an ARG right in the magazine! Without saying too much, those of you who are lucky enough to get a copy of the magazine can look to the page where the article is found. From there, we’re told that there are a series of interactions that players can go through. Neat!

(There’s also a link on their website, and after trying 2267 ways 2 view the content, we had success. Maybe you can as well…)

Thanks to Now Playing Magazine for featuring ARGs in such an interesting article!

Book Release: Through The Rabbit Hole

rabbithole.jpgDave Szulborski — author, puppetmaster, puzzle creator, all-around nice guy — has recently released another book about Alternate Reality Gaming. Billed as a resource “for newcomers to learn about and get started in ARGs,” Through the Rabbit Hole: A Beginners Guide To Playing Alternate Reality Games is Szulborski’s second book about ARGs (his first, This Is Not A Game, came out earlier this year).

A press release suggests that the book is the “perfect introduction” for newcomers interested in the wild world of ARG. The book has it’s own website with additional information about the book, including a table of contents and some downloadable content. There is even a promotion in conjunction with Perplex City cards, as well as other promotions on the publisher’s website.

The book can be purchased at its website or through LuLu online sales. We hope to have a review of the book up very soon.

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