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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Hey, everybody. I'm pretty new here. Name's Dr. Worm. I posted this in the Guild of Writers forum a little while ago, and I was wondering what you guys would think about it. I'm just gonna copypasta this from the GoW forum. If you think this belongs in the Technical Discussion section, let me know. Okay, here it goes:

I've been thinking about how interesting storylines could be used in OSMO, and I thought of something recently. Why not use ARG plot devices?

For anyone who doesn't know what an ARG is (these are hard to describe, so bear with me):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game

An Alternate Reality Game is a form of interactive game that uses multiple media to create a sense that the game is real. For example, a game about an artificial intelligence stuck in the Internet could have the "AI" make telephone calls to certain players in the game and have phone conversations with them that advance the plot. These games usually revolve around solving mysteries, so Uru would be perfect for this.

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia article about one of the earliest successful ARGs:

Quote:
In 2001, in order to market the movie A.I.: Artificial Intelligence directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Stanley Kubrick's unfinished project but also a planned series of Microsoft computer games based on the film, Microsoft's Creative Director Jordan Weisman and another Microsoft game designer, Elan Lee, conceived of an elaborate murder mystery played out across hundreds of websites, email messages, faxes, fake ads, and voicemail messages. They hired Sean Stewart, an award-winning science fiction/fantasy author, to write the story. The game, dubbed "the Citizen Kane of online entertainment" by Internet Life,[9] was a runaway success[10] that involved over three million active participants [11] from all over the world during its run and would become the seminal example of the nascent ARG genre.


These games use websites, email messages, telephone numbers, phone conversations, actors on location in the real world, and (this is only for the big-budget professional ones) even ads on TV and in other places to create the illusion that the game is taking place in the real world.

Uru is already an ARG on some level. IC blogs abound. The DRC website looks like a legitimate corporate site at first glance. My question is: does anyone have interest in expanding on this and having part of the game take place "on the surface?" Would anyone be interested in, say, finding clues in a storyline in Uru that lead you to the personal blog of one of the story's characters, which in turn contains hidden clues to solve the mysteries of the story? I think it could potentially add to the intrigue in certain storylines. Any opinions?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:58 am 
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Sounds good to me. As you mentioned, Uru already has a history or ARGing, from the Preafter stuff to vid's webcam and audio messages when he 'disappeared' during MOUL.

I have to ask though: Are you a real doctor and/or a real worm?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:16 am 
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I'd love for this to be a way to take Uru forward. I was a player in ILoveBees, as well as partially in Last Call Poker, and loved every moment of the game.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:34 am 
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Tesseract:

I'm neither a real doctor nor am I a real worm. I do live like one. But have I mentioned that I like to play the drums? :wink:

Also, I'm sorry, but I don't know about much that happened in MOUL except for the broad strokes of the storyline. Could you explain who vid is and what Preafter is?


Anaerin:

An ILoveBeeser!! I've heard legends about that game. :D

I did the Cloverfield ARG, if you know anything about that. Tagruato, Slusho, T.I.D.O. WAVE, all that stuff. I really enjoyed it.

So, yeah, stuff like that. If explorers could merge their experiences in the cavern with their lives on the surface, it could make URU all the more immersive.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Dr. Worm wrote:
An ILoveBeeser!! I've heard legends about that game. :D

I've still got the whole "Radio Play" in my MP3 collection, and listening through can still bring a tear to the eye at some points.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:46 am 
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I'm vid. And even I can barely tell what happened with my webcam, someone else is better off trying to explain that. However, if you want a good recap of Preafter, or even most of the Uru story so far (From April 2002 to around halfway through MOUL...) check here:

http://forums.drcsite.org/viewtopic.php?t=2618

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:38 am 
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Uh wow......

Thanks for the link Vid would you believe I had forgotten about the DRC forums altogether? :oops:

Ah the memories. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:50 pm 
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From what I've read, a lot of people would really enjoy an ARG element.

I'm not so sure I would - I like my games restricted to an area of my choosing, but I think it would be a fantastic idea to try out. That symbol preafter thing was, as far as I can tell, popular.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:54 pm 
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From what I've read, there WAS an ARG marketing campaign way back in the early days of Prologue. Something to do with decoding real life billboards. I forget the details now. I think they were in New Mexico, but I could be misremembering.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:31 am 
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vidkid7 wrote:
I'm vid. And even I can barely tell what happened with my webcam, someone else is better off trying to explain that.

Maybe it's best to let the primary sources do the talking.
IC thread on the DRC forums
OOC thread on the MOUL forums
Uru Action News report on the initial incident
KI Toon inspired by same

sideshow118 wrote:
From what I've read, there WAS an ARG marketing campaign way back in the early days of Prologue. Something to do with decoding real life billboards. I forget the details now. I think they were in New Mexico, but I could be misremembering.

That was Preafter.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:30 pm 
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I've been trying to get an ARG type project off the ground in one form or another since 2004. Mine however does not involve the real life elements like phone calls and RL meetings with people portraying characters that you have in "pure" ARGs. That stuff doesn't interest me. Nor does the huge cryptography element that has dominated a lot of these games. But the idea of the entire web as delivery medium for a fictional world is sound, and I think an idea that will be huge someday, maybe soon. In any case, the pursuit of this goal is my great passion and I have devoted my life to achieving it. I have coined the term "Webscape" to differentiate my concept from traditional ARGs, which were initially developed as psychological experiments. I am also reluctant to call my concept a "game" as I think this is misleading and limiting. The webscape goes far beyond a game.

One of my great hopes for the Spindrix (the name of my webscape) project is that it could someday integrate with the D'ni and Uru worlds (with Cyan's permission of course). I also see it as eventually integrating with the work of other content creators as well. So obviously I'm into the ideas expressed by Dr. Worm, and have been for a long time. This could be the way to breathe the kind of life into Uru that it's never had.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Spindrix, check it out at Amazee, the community collaboration project site. There is not much stuff up there at the moment, but there's enough to hopefully show you what I'm trying to do. If any of you creative people are interested in joining the project, please do! I would love to have you and frankly, I can use all the help I can get!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:56 pm 
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http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7742

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:56 am 
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good morning , how are you, Dr.worm? i am fine


TMBG rule!!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Another element that comes to mind is how Doug Sharper's journal in the "Baron's Office" would update in real time, and include the names of "live" explorers... i.e., some of us. That was very cool indeed, and related to the DRC website in a way... but this was in-game.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:31 am 
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I guess the reason I posed this is because making new Ages takes a long time, and if the Ages we make have as much story behind them as possible, then unraveling the story will keep the Ages fresh, possibly even after the main puzzles have been solved.

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