Wondering if there are any ARGs running that you might want to heck out? Here are just a few that are currently running, from grassroots fiction to new promo campaigns, thanks to community members who’ve provided some basic details to help catch up:
duke9509 from Unfiction says:
Failtech is in its 2nd episode right now, but it all started with a tip about a Google ad asking for help and pointing to failtechnologies.com. (the episode 1 version can be seen at e1.failtechnologies.com)
From there, it seemed at first that we were dealing with an A.I. gone nutso (think GLaDOS, HAL, or InterdimensionalGames’ “Henry”), and that we were communicating with an employee trying to stop it all – that would be Genus Orein. He had us working through the security levels of their remnant website trying to help them reach “L10″ (level 10) in their facility at Antarctica so we could reboot- or otherwise work on the A.I. LAINSY (Logical Artificial Intelligence Networked SYstem).
We found that Genus is one of the higher-ups in the company, and he was at the facility along with Dan who became our contact. Dan’s on the Board Of Directors, and Genus runs a division. Soon we discovered that LAINSY’s screwed up security system was tampered with. Genus was trapped in a bomb containment unit due to incomplete lockdown protocols, but eventually managed to escape. The protocols were reset, and Episode 1 ended.
With episode 2 came the introduction to Scimitar. Later determined to be Alex Sword, the head of the BOD, he had been working with Genus and several others to reset LAINSY so that some special code could be run which would re-enable her to accept a blocked-off command. He was never more specific than that. Genus has apparently also been hearing voices, and Alex hinted that they were aliens. A couple of players ended up “splintering” from the group, fulfilling Dan’s request to reboot LAINSY. This powerdown caused a) biohazardous materials spilled during the facility lockdown to be released into more of the facility, and b) LAINSY’s security mainframe to flood.
Eventually, Alex put together a team of his own and went to Antarctica to find Dan and his crew safe and sound due to the warnings they’d received. Their two teams put on HAZMAT suits and went down through the contaminated facility to drain the water around LAINSY which was now boiling from the core meltdown caused by the accidental “unplugging” of some of her components. Fortunately, they were able to drain the water and salvage enough working hardware to initiate a crippled boot, and also to stabilize the core.
Sometime during these events, Genus began a strange blog at genusorein.blogspot.com which seems to show nothing but very cryptic drawings and hinting at some sort of coded language.
- Website: www.FailTechnologies.com Episode 1: E1.FailTechnologies.com
- Catch up and join the Unfiction discussion here (note, the events and discussion moves quickly!)
Jain from Unfiction says:
Last Saturday (July 23rd) the mysterious blog of William Jakobsen was discovered at GlassHeaven.org. Among other oddities, such as Will’s dog being stolen and replaced by an identical dog, the journal entries revealed a strange religious flyer found in Will’s attic. After decoding the mysterious writing and corresponding with an email address on the flyer we were given tasks to complete in order to earn the three pillars: Joy, Life, and Purity. Once these tasks were completed, the first of the new generation were born. Now we strive to learn more about each other, the Glass Heaven, and the Crystalline Lord. But it’s not all fun and games as an unknown ex-member of the church is interfering with messages from the Glass Heaven warning us of danger.
Will’s life is becoming more and more dangerous as well. Strange men in black capes bearing the prism-like logo of the church are delivering letters of warning to Will’s mailbox. His friend Lizzy is now a new generation member of the church. And he still hasn’t found his dog.
Paraphrased from the ‘story-so-far’ posted to its Steam community group:
A YouTube channel (foundonthetape) is found with a very unusual video, and four days later another video is posted.
4chan and Reddit are on it, and a code in the middle of one of the videos is solved. It’s a hex string that resolves to “tinyurl.com/BVU-800″ which leads to a downloadable Halflife: Episode 2 map.
This source map is a singular room (img) with a camera at a fixed location. The player is not a fixed entity and can wander about, knocking over objects etc. Moving into the door at the edge of the room leads to a picture and plays an EXTREMELY loud sound file (typically known as a “screamer”).
Due to the attempted actions of an unsuccessful gamejacker on Steam, another hex code was placed on the foundonthetape channel which resolves to “firstname.lastname@example.org email 10.7mb”. Sending an email to this address results in an automated reply of: “stuck im stuck im stuck im stuck im stuck http://www.megaupload.com/?d=3JLYPG9M”. This MegaUpload file is another HL:ep2 map, this time a relatively large tunnel maze with various scripting inside.
- Discussion at Unfiction here
- Join the Steam community group discussion here
- Check out the player wiki
- Join in the IRC chat channel #foundonthetape on irc.web.gamesurge.net
- Article from 1UP.com on its connection with Valve and Halflife
The Inside Experience
From Lysithea at Unfiction:
Christina Perasso, a self-described Jack-of-all-trades, has been kidnapped. The last thing she remembers is chatting with her Mom, Cathy Perasso. Three days later she woke up feeling like she’d been drugged. Trapped in a spacious single room bedsit with high ceilings, Christina’s only link to the outside is a laptop. The kidnapper is controlling just about everything including the power, water, food and internet connection. Grainy webcam snapshots posted to Christina’s Facebook Wall add veracity to the story. Examining these photos leads to a few in-game websites.
In Episode 2, some federal agents raid the physical location of Christina’s IP address. Instead of a girl they discover a plastic mannequin holding a router and a postcard. A short puzzle trail with more creepy poetry hidden in the source code is uncovered at 332811.com
The product placement of the Intel-powered Toshiba notebook in this game has been well done. The main character has excellent reason to become increasingly attached to the computer.
The Inside Experience is playing out on Facebook, youtube, twitter, phone and email. The PMs have three basic rules which boil down to TINAG: “have fun with the experience, but the characters don’t know that they are in a movie so please don’t tell them” Many players are hopeful that their Facebook posts will end up in the final movie. As a result, almost everyone is posting in character.
- Website: www.TheInsideExperience.com
- Join the discussion at Unfiction
- Skim the very active official Facebook page
- Brand Channel article coverage
- Reuters: Intel makes movies social with The Inside Experience