Centian misses playing games with humans…won’t you oblige? By playing with Centian, you could win a registration badge for the 2011 Interactive festival at SXSW. Run by the folks at Sweb Development, the points-based contest ends March 15, and the central hub for the game is the Centian Games Ning site. Centian Games incorporates multiple platforms, including Twitter, SMS, and GPS-based smartphone apps. Right now, contestants can compete by using the #centiangames hashtag when Twittering their check-ins on Gowalla and/or Foursquare. Another way to win the SXSW badge is to answer internet search trivia questions over an SMS subscription service. It remains to be seen what other challenges and fun human games Centian will devise in the lead-up to Sweb Development’s exhibit at the free and open-to-the-public ScreenBurn Arcade at SXSW from March 12-14 in Austin, Texas. But, there’s something undeniably ARG-ish about Centian.
The twitter account responded to my Gowalla check-ins, and we started a conversation about playing games, which moved from Twitter into e-mails (I’ve posted the e-mail correspondence over at Unfiction). There, I got the chance to learn more about Centian the non-human. Centian certainly has a distinct personality: chipper, bubbly, and fun-loving. It reminds me of Eddie, the Heart of Gold’s onboard computer in the Hitchhiker’s Guide, but less nauseating. The contest itself is an ancient game called Malkut, which means Royalty in the language of its people.
Wait… what? Centian has a people? At first I thought it was some kind of HAL-like electronic entity, just a superficial net-presence to run the contest. I was wrong. According to Centian’s e-mail responses, it is a “Krateran,” an extinct people that apparently had human interactions in the past. Now, Centian seems to be alone, the last of its kind. I wonder what happened, and why we humans have forgotten the Kraterans.
We are happy to announce that ARGNet is an official media sponsor of the 2007 ScreenBurn festival, taking place at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival this weekend in Austin, Texas. The ScreenBurn festival is an initiative dedicated to providing programming about the newest developments in the gaming community, and we are honored that the festival’s coordinators are recognizing alternate reality gaming as an important piece of the gaming landscape. The festival will run from March 9th through the 13th, and will feature panelists many ARG fans are already familiar with. Brian Clark from GMD Studios and Tony Walsh from secretlair.com will be there, as well as Evan Jones from Stitch Media and Dan Hon from Mind Candy Design. We are fortunate to have representation at the festival as well, as staff writer Brooke Thompson (representing giantmice.com) will be talking on the panel entitled, “ARG! The Attack of The Alternate Reality Games,” which will be moderated by Alice Taylor of the Wonderland blog.
For those looking for a more robust experience (you know, the kind that goes beyond the realm of ARG), you’ll be happy to know that, according to the ScreenBurn website, “panels cover topics such as blogging, business models, content creation, digital convergence, e-learning, entrepreneurism, open source, ubiquitous computing, web design, web hacks and web standards.” With such a depth of topics and panels, the festival should be one of the can’t-miss events of the year.
So, with all of those superstars in attendance, how do you get in on the festivities? Easy! You show up at the door of the Convention Center in Austin, and you pay your money to get in. For the sheer amount of panel discussion and events taking place this year, the $350 cost for the weekend is a bargain. So, if you want in on one of the greatest cutting-edge festivals of the year, get down to Austin and get in to SXSW Interactive. Oh, and if you see Brian, Evan, Dan, Tony or Brooke, say hi for us.
So, after hours of post-recording edits for Episode 11 of the ARG Netcast series, the audio quality for one side of the conversation is terrible at best. Don’t let that dissuade you from listening though, as this week’s roundtable is as entertaining as it is informative. Regular panelists Brooke Thompson, Jackie Kerr, Sean C. Stacey and Jonathan Waite are joined this week by Jessica Price, ARGNet writer and Unfiction forums moderator. Subscribe to the ARG Netcast feed through FeedBurner or via iTunes.
- The Heroes 360 experience moves along, albeit very slowly. There is a lovely player wiki (yarr, there be spoilers) that has been created, so hopefully the game gains a bit more momentum, soon. Also, see this Blogspot page for more (spoilers ahoy!) information.
- Meigeist is getting love from afar. They also have a nifty player wiki which will get you caught up in less time than you can say “Save the cat, save the world.” Although, you’d sound silly saying that.
- Perplex City players are pretty darn close to finding that cube, we hear. Something about a rock, and a Jurassic… something. They also have some pretty cool plans for the reward money.
- Monster Hunter Club explains away some advertising, and characters show up at the Today show.
- Puzzle of the week: A grid puzzle needs reconstruction (and deconstruction) for Monster Hunter Club. See this thread at the Unfiction forums for more details.
- The VirtuQuest people send us a response to our questions about Township Heights. Jackie weighs in on the “mildly insulting” situation. Then the rest of the panel piles on.
- Check out this beautiful mock-up (totally unofficial, we understand) of the Neowin-Unfiction branded AMD chip. This will apparently be possible thanks to the winner of the meta puzzle of the Vanishing Point game. Neowin/Unfiction for the win! We also report on the now-postponed VP post-game chat with 42 Entertainment, so ignore that part when you get to it.
- Studio Cypher will be releasing the fourth chapter in their Multiplayer Novel soon, called High Stakes.
- Jessica talks about her experiences with Ravenchase, which you can also read about in her outstanding ARGNet article.
- Jane McGonical is going to be the first ever female keynote speaker at the Game Developer’s Conference in March. We couldn’t be happier for Jane and wish her the best!
- ARGFest is less than a month away.
- We let the cat out of the bag about ARGNet’s partnership with SXSW for the Screenburn festival. Details will be released in the coming weeks. Brooke will be speaking at the conference, for those who can make it.