Tag: United Kingdom

Torchwood Needs You

Torchwood%20ARG.jpgFrom the BBC comes word of an online game that will run concurrently with the new season of its sci-fi drama, Torchwood. If the name Torchwood doesn’t mean anything to you, you might have heard of the series it was spun off of, a little show called Doctor Who.

In the guise of being recruited as Freelance Operatives working for the mysterious Torchwood Institute, players will be given weekly “missions” which they must complete to prove they are worthy to join the Torchwood team. A genetics professor who claimed to be hunted by aliens has gone missing. The Torchwood team passes this minor case on to its new recruits. Do they have what it takes to figure out what’s going on?

The game story was especially written by show writer Phil Ford, and will be revealed slowly, with new details weekly leading up to a final climax. Game content includes video “minisodes” featuring cast members Eve Myles, Gareth David Lloyd and Naoko Mori. Appearances by other cast members and special guests have been hinted at. The game story is separate from the series, but will intertwine with what is happening on screen. “The game is what happens in Torchwood between each episode. You’ll see and hear characters referring to events that have just happened in the show,” says Senior Producer Mat Fidell. “The only difference from the TV show is that it’s up to you to move the story forward. You must solve the clues, find out what’s going on and report back to the team. You’ll need to use all the skills and talents you have – and Torchwood will provide you with some tools to help you along the way.” The Torchwood website has been redesigned for season two, and incorporates the online game component with an interface very similar to the computer set-up the characters use in the show.

Although registration is not required to play, players who sign up to take part at the show’s website will be emailed as each mission is launched (one per week) and will be able to track their progress from week to week. Recruitment starts January 16th, along with the U.K. premiere of Torchwood Season Two.

Tell Captain Jack we’re on our way!


Update: As noted in the comments, the game (and, sadly, much of the website) is restricted to U.K. use only. Our contact at the Beeb apologizes, but this is due to the public funding of the BBC. We hope our U.K. readers will report in and let us know what they think of the game!

Come Out And Play…In London!

toplogo.gif For all those UK residents who wished they could have attended New York’s Come Out And Play Festival, now is your chance to have your own weekend of public gaming fun.

Sponsored by a mysterious benefactor named Gideon Reeling (see here if you want a peek behind the curtain), the Hide and Seek festival promises both new games, such as the London Poetry game, and soon-to-be classics such as Cruel 2 B Kind. There’s even a game done in conjunction with the folks from SFZero and a seminar discussion on why pervasive games are “the new punk rock.” (Full schedule here.)

Alex Fleetwood, one of the festival’s organizers, describes the New York festival as one of the inspirations for the event:

“I attended the Come Out and Play festival in New York and came back inspired. I love ARGs but I’m very attracted to the more user-friendly aspects of pervasive games – you can pick them up for an afternoon and really get something out of them. I wanted to run a game that got people talking to strangers as that was my favourite element of the games at COAP. I’m also hopeful that the open-source translation that the players and the people of London collectively create will be a beautiful thing in itself.”

As for the mysterious Mr. Reeling, Alex can’t tell us much:

“Little is known about Mr Reeling. He describes himself as an adventure capitalist and only communicates via email. We have asked that he tell us more about himself and that he attend the festival in person; watch this space for more news…”

The festival runs Friday through Sunday evening, and all games will begin at the Delegates Centre, BFI South Bank Centre. Readers, if you’re able to attend, please send us your thoughts afterwards!