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19
Sep'09

A payphone rings in New Mombasa… do you answer it? Do you?

   Posted by: thebruce

Master Chief: Bobble HeadPerhaps this article would be better entitled: Why I love Halo: An Epic Analysis.

I’m not a Halo fanatic…relatively speaking. I’m not shy about being an enormous fan of the Halo franchise, but I don’t own a Master Chief costume, nor have I ever worn one. I don’t know every little intricate detail of the Halo universe. I can’t ramble off stats, ID numbers, the name and rank of every known character. I don’t play the video game most of the day, every day, and it’s a fat chance I’d “pwn” anyone in multiplayer these days if I did. At all. I’m what you might consider a discoverer, or a story enthusiast.

Halo: Combat EvolvedI was an early adopter of the original Xbox back in 2001, due solely to previews of Halo: Combat Evolved. At that point, I was a gamer. My friends at first were annoyed with my constant raving about Halo, yet many eventually caved and began playing as well – and soon, much more than me. My game-playing fanaticism and multiplayer skill slowly faded as I was drawn further into the mystery, the story world that had been created by Bungie Studios.

I would not hesitate in the slightest to refer to the Halo franchise as “Epic”.

Quite often I compare the potential scope of this universe to that of Star Trek or Star Wars. To me, for a story to be epic, it must have potential to become a ‘part of the whole’, a story told within what feels to be a much, much larger untold story. For an epic to be successful in my opinion, it needs to employ a certain formula. It needs first to be told from the perspective of an individual, or providing only a very small portion of the larger picture, and still make a personal connection with the audience. If done right, this story alone would capture its audience.

Consider recent entertainment franchises like Terminator, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or even the Chronicles of Riddick. Each begins by telling a self-contained story from a single perspective, while leaving many questions unanswered in the end. Sarah Connor has to survive against a deadly killing machine from the future. Neo strives desperately to discover and understand what the Matrix is. The little hobbits in peaceful Hobbiton have their worlds turned upside by an unknown, evil force. Harry potter learns about a strange, magical, hidden world. The convict Riddick uses his extreme skills to survive and escape a deadly planet. Each of these tease at a larger universe with untold stories, but begin with an engaging tale of discovery or exploration of something unknown.

Enter Master Chief, Spartan John-117.

Master Chief gazesPresuming one knows nothing of the previous, indirectly related Marathon titles – with Halo, we begin from the Chief’s perspective, opening up not only in the middle of a war we know nothing about, but making that first, eerie discovery of a foe that threatens much more than we could imagine (I will never forget watching for the first time the cinematic cutscene in which the Chief discovers the Flood). Already, the premise is clear that this isn’t just a self-contained video game story, but actually only a very small window into a universe filled with history and a future, conflict, and characters that truly feel as if they have backstories and full lives.

( Continue to the next page )

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Categories: ARGs General, Books, Movies, Video games

6
Feb'09

Smorgasboard of News and Updates!

   Posted by: thebruce

In an attempt to cover quite a number of running projects and games, here are a few launches, news items, and announcements to pore over.

Serious Games

Akoha – Come play it forward!
Self-labeled as a “social reality game”, Akoha is physical card-based game with ‘act-of-kindness’ missions to carry out on or with friends. You can get cards by buying decks, or by being given a card by someone who just completed a task. The visual explanation explains how players registered at akoha.com can see each card’s history of good deeds (including video blogs, testimonies, etc), who’s done what, when and where, and players can also earn karma points for carrying out these tasks. With enough karma you can begin creating other missions for people to carry out. Akoha is currently in a beta testing phase, but it’s a “big, bold and crazy kind of idea”, and it’s Canadian!

Ruby’s Bequest
Ruby’s Bequest is a new game from Institute for the Future telling the story of the (fictional) town Deepwell and its residents, and providing “a unique immersive experience in which thousands of people will help forecast the future of caring in the United States.”. Sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy and AARP, the game will play similarly to World Without Oil, where 7 years will pass between the month starting from launch, March 9th to the April 10th conclusion. Find out more information and join in at RubysBequest.org

Movies/TV

Terminator: Connor Chronicles or Salvation?
A website has recently appeared on the radar: SkynetResearch.com. Little to nothing is known about it besides what’s currently visible. More weight seems to be placed on this being related to Terminator: Salvation, slated for May 22 release, as the site is owned by Warner Bros, according to the Privacy Policy linked in its footer. What do you think?

Who’s Watching the Watchmen?
Much has been revealed since TheNewFrontiersman.net was discovered and its contents opened. The New Frontiersman, reporting on ‘hero’-related news in a very mid-20th century manner, also has a twitter account you can follow, a Youtube channel to watch, a Flickr account to view, and a newsfeed to read. Content galore! A true alternate reality – Nixon on Mt. Rushmore?
Watchmen is slated for release March 6.

Video Games

FEAR 2 Level III Testing
FEAR 2′s viral campaign recently executed a live event in New York City, with the Armacham Mobile FEAR Lab experience. Silver case recipient J.C Hutchins was on the scene to record the report the entire experience. Read about and watch his test and experience at JCHutchins.net. Visit Armacham.com (don’t be afraid!) and see what upcoming dates are listed on the calendar… FEAR 2: Project Origin is slated for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, February 10th.

Singularity’s Mir-12
Russian spies, conspiracies, sci-fi, gorgeous women, it’s all here: visit MIR-12.com to find out what happened to Natasha Norvikov, and follow the ongoing investigations. If you can read Russian, you’ll have a much easier time! Raven software is releasing their first person shooter Singularity on Xbox360, PS3, and PC soon.

Halo Mysteries Return:
Mbaraki.2552
– Reported yesterday here at Wikibruce, new mysterious content has appeared in Bungie’s weekly updates in the Halo 3: ODST sections. The latest insert: “IDENT PROC 13262.0 MBARAKI.2552″ appeared in Jan 30th’s news.
* B.Net group Compound Intelligence discussion (membership req’d)
The Way Their World Ended – a twitter account named intimation, believed to be run by a form of AI, made contact with some people earlier this year. A dream-style puzzle was solved leading to the website thewaytheirworldended.com with weekly updates. Explicit references have been made to Halo, and past ARGs Iris, and I Love Bees. Speculation is mixed as to whether this is official or a grassroots ARG.
* Unfiction discussion

More Mirror’s Edge?
Hot on the heals of EA’s release of Mirror’s Edge, a new mystery has arisen hinting at an upcoming Mirror’s Edge 2 (confirmed to eventually become a trilogy). Pirandello/Kruger teases a red door… which soon after led to Newstream Energy. The investigation is ongoing!

Grassroots / other

Are you 23?
Disney’s launched a countdown of their own, located at Disney.com/23, for March 10, 2009. What’s so special about the number 23? (Besides Jim Carrey’s movie of the same name) Speculation, as it pertains to Disney, makes note of points such as Disney’s founding in 1923, or Steve Jobs’ purchase of Pixar in 1986 (23 years ago). The leading speculation which seems to be gaining ground is that it’s related to the March launch of Disney’s “Club 23″ (or D-23?) program. A revealing post on a Disney site has since been removed, but you can read the message here.

Ice Shock – Descendant
M.G.Harris was fairly open and public about an upcoming ARG for her book “Ice Shock“, which I reported on via ARGN.com back in November. She has now revealed the name: The Descendant, in a recent blog post. You can watch a 60-second trailer for the upcoming ARG at TheMGHarris.com fan site. Harris has slated its launch for March this year.

Yellow Curtain returns!
The Yellowcurtain wiki was recently updated with the news: “ATTENTION: Countdown for Yellow Curtain Episode 3 is ON!” While Episode 3 was apparently scheduled for launch January 15th, it may have been pushed a few weeks. Visit Yellowcurtain.com, watch anashel’s channel, or join the Facebook group for updates.

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Categories: ARGs General, Books, Grassroots, Movies, Video games, Viral General

5
Feb'09

Rumours of Activity in Mombasa

   Posted by: thebruce

Halo LogoSuspicious content in two of Bungie’s recent news updates have started the rumour mill turning once again.

January 24 Update
First line in the section titled “Halo 3: ODST”:

IDENT PROC 13217.0 MBARAKI.2552

January 31 Update
Again, in the section titled “Halo 3: ODST”:

IDENT PROC 13262.0 MBARAKI.2552

What’s going down in Mbaraki, and what do 13217.0 and 13262.0 represent?

These updates are much in line with Bungie’s style. Other instances similar to this occurred surrounding ‘The Superintendent’ (a series of posts by a mysterious username on B.Net, and Weekly Update news inserts by the AI seen in the full ODST trailer) and ‘The Smuggler’ (Weekly Update news inserts before the release of the Halo 3 map Cold Storage)

With both Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST being released in 2009 (March and 3rd Quarter respectively in North America), expect a lot of mystery and commotion to build in the ARGish/viral rumour-mill.

  • Visit the Bungie/Halo 3/viral wiki at halo.wikibruce.com
  • Join in ARG specific community discussion at args.bungie.org
  • Members of the Bungie.net group Compound Intelligence can join the discussion here.

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Categories: ARGs General, Video games

25
Nov'08

Every Tardy Tag Tells a Tale

   Posted by: thebruce

Wikibruce COG 700660-FC906-ELBetter late than never, as they say. Wikibruce received a Gears of War 2 COG tag yesterday – it must have quite the tale to tell, having traversed all those hills and valleys, miles and miles of weathered terrain, woretorn battlelands…

Alas, while The Last Day campaign has essentially come to a close with all locked tabs having been unlocked, all hidden COG tags around the world either found or labeled MIA, and the Gears of War 2 video game past release – this COG still has one gift to give: a unique CSID.

  • 700660-FC906-EL

This presents the DoorLogo 2 icon which, unsurprisingly, is not one of the remaining undocumented bonus downloadables.

The Last Day campaign had community members and fans runnin al around the world looking for high quality COG tags with unique codes that would either unlock a special ‘tab’ on the promotion website or pop up one of a number of special downloadable assets, from avatars, to sound clips, and wallpapers.

People on the hunt for the tags, either from GPS coordinates posted online, or through local game retailers who ran their promotional contests and giveaways, (or by mail) after receiving their COG tags would effectively provethe slogan – Every tag tells a tale. They’d share their expedition, their adventure, their trials and struggles as they pursued the ever-coveted Gears of War COG.

Its value was different to everyone; some wanted money and would sell them on eBay to the highest bidder (one sold for nearly $500USD); some wanted fame, reputation, bragging rights; some simply love the game so much, it’s a priceless commodity to add to their collection.  Whatever the reason, people around the world flew out in droves, and created tales of their own.

 

Every tag tells a tale.
See you on Xbox Live!

For an overview of the 1000 COG campaign run by AKQA, see “Gearing Up”.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Video games, Viral General

9
Oct'08

Gearing up

   Posted by: thebruce

(note: this article’s contents are updated regularly as new findings are reported)
Last Update: (Nov 25, 9:40amET)

AKQA is at it again. This time, They’ve created an online viral for Gears Of War 2 – following a similar experience as Halo 3′s Believe campaign, their GOW promo site flies through a disaster zone, providing glimpses into the story, characters, and dramatic events from the GOW universe – in the form of videos, images, and audio clips.

They’ve also incorporate the community viral trick in that various members of the gaming and blogging community (from individual forum members to Wired) have received packages in the mail – large, heavy, COG gears – each labeled with a unique code to enter on the viral site.

Once entered, a special ‘easter egg’ asset is unlocked, and certain ‘stops’ in the fly-through become unlocked. As expected, Gears communities are abuzz with these findings.

I’ve gone searching for the CSID codes myself, and have them listed them below, with the sources as best I can determine (I will try to keep the list updated!). Go check out the viral site at gearsofwar.xbox.com/lastday and try the codes!

BONUS POPUP CONTENT CSIDs:

AVATAR 1
  088342-YFTVD-EL = Trina @ GamingAngels
AVATAR 2
AVATAR 3
AVATAR 4
  995241-QMEFA-EL = Rajio?
  973744-5ZCGK-EL = Rajio
AVATAR 5
  617461-ZMTDP-EL = Andy @ BreakingTheGame
AVATAR 6
  129514-OH1IK-EL = Frank Caron @ ArsTechnica
  519404-VQ180-AO = DeaconBlade @ Unscripted360
  514892-SCJHD-AO = Cyberflame @ EpicGames
AVATAR 7
  984883-3ZGKW-AO = Parris @ TalkingAboutGames
  732502-XP7XT-EL = Nate Ahearn @ IGN
AVATAR 8
AVATAR 9
  807081-DJ2T2-EL = Dustin Burg @ Xbox360Fanboy
AVATAR 10
  359406-33W0C-AO = Mastaglach820 @ EpicGames
AVATAR 11
  059349-VPC2K-AO = Goverland @ EpicGames
AVATAR 12
  900629-EHE0S-AO = ThrillsKilla @ TheXboxDomain
  193383-LKR92-EL = ?
AVATAR 13
  529369-BLXIL-EL = DesignJockey @ GamertagRadio
  463060-V9N93-PM = Hilary @ IGN
AVATAR 14
  913018-ZSFBM-EL = MDK @ GearheadsOfWar
  362010-LGXR9-WI = Deadpixels
COLE AVATAR
  356404-CB1RH-JP = Isakazo @ Blamefm
ASCII 1
ASCII 2
  895575-B851V-EL = Wired
  078567-J7RGW-AO = Godfree @ GamertagRadio
  115190-6VE5T-AO = FragMaster B @ LagXBL
  216410-HHUIN-EL = Drea Avellan/Pinksage @ Beetstro.com
  484014-RSCQO-AO = "Club 108" on Xbox Live
  524398-NGV5V-AO = Peench @ PregameLobby
  329279-DN5XS-AO = Nick @ Co-Optimus
  125135-KETX3-AO = P0werup
  198605-FTCGK-AO = Hooligunn
  032507-E7QTM-AO = simburgur
  155067-4SVR1-AO = MechaNecro
DERRICK 1
  427363-BTA2N-AO = SergeantMajorFury
DERRICK 2
  524701-IZWEI-AO = Aceattorney @ Teamxbox
DERRICK 3
  836452-IO6AR-GJ = ModernDevil
LASTDAY 1
  750497-ELJW7-JP = _Linx (russian)
LASTDAY 2
  581647-M5BYO-EL = DjDaTZ @ 360sync.com
LASTDAY 3
  309952-HL6CK-AO = Fourzerotwo
  000473-IEIM1-EL = Docta Splatta
  085177-MJ3V5-PB = Collectible within GOW2 (Act 1.2 and 2.4)
  838186-22A03-SF = Collectible within GOW2 (Act 2.6)
  911706-DZUHO-JN = Collectible within GOW2 (Act 5.2)
LASTDAY 4
  914237-8LCVH-AO = GUI J @ Gamerspub
  134513-2BRL6-AO = XanthViper @ JoystickWidow
  535128-INQXP-EL = AOWWaterborn @ 2old2play
  069268-N1BJW-AO = 360 Prophecy ep. 39
DOORLOGO 1
DOORLOGO 2
  467253-JJFQA-TE = Team Bay Area
  275720-GGWOU-7K = SoupNazzi @ 2old2play
  389041-9Y07E-1X = Porkfry
  700660-FC906-EL = thebruce @ Wikibruce
COMIC WILDSTORM
  465928-U425T-IR = within Gears of War 2 comic
Errors:
  212238-VXNUP-AO = DirtyDiva @ GamerscoreBlog (code invalid?)
Other video game CSIDs:
  59 550 60GK8C6-9A = Collectible within GOW2 (Act 1.5)
  444526-MI2K9-3B = Collectible within GOW2 (Act 5.4)

Reports with no codes:
  Jonas Allen @ DailyGame (photos w/censored csid)
  GamerDNA
  Collette @ Destructoid (passed to ThunderHeartXI)

sixokay has also been posting images of the received COG Gears on flickr (click here)

UPDATE: It appears that GPS coordinates are now showing up throughout the interface. A number have been found and listed in the official Gears of War forum (listed below). Reports are that real-world COG gears need to be found at these locations to unlock special content on the promo site.

UPDATE: xlRagnarlx reports at epicgames that he and Guy The Ace found and unlocked the COG tag located in Budapest. His CSID unlocked the first ‘tab’ on the promo site. Tabs 2, 3, and 12 were previously unlocked by other people, but xlRagnarlx is the first to report on his findings.

TAB #1 – “Broadcast Dish” UNLOCKED by L (xl Ragnar lx and Guy The Ace)
- FOUND: 39.4441, -119.7045 (Reno, NV) – [GearinUpAllDayyy, mouleman23]
- FOUND: 47.4261, 19.0000 (Budapest) – [L]
- FOUND: 34.1365, -118.3520 (Universal Studios, CA, Citywalk) – [?]
TAB #2 – “Arcade Cabinet” UNLOCKED by P3t3rM4rwood
TAB #3 – “Wheelchair” UNLOCKED by Fyroegef
TAB #4 – “Phone” UNLOCKED by ChiefWiggum
- FOUND? 37.7879, -122.4070 (Union Square, SanFran.) – [?]
- FOUND: 47.6521, -122.3065 (Seattle, WA) – [ChiefWiggum]
- FOUND: 41.2533, -95.9295 (Omaha, NB) – [Atom1cllama, dongcopter]
- FOUND: N51.5178, -0.0949 (London, UK) – [Gee of War]
TAB #5 – “King Raven” UNLOCKED by SAFI
- FOUND: 37.6242, -122.4081 (San Bruno) – [GearsGirl]
- FOUND? 47.5605, 19.0597 (Budapest) – [xl Ragnar lx]
TAB #6 – “” UNLOCKED by EnforcerX19
TAB #7 – “Body” UNLOCKED by Bushmaster
- FOUND: 37.838248, -122.262351 (Berkeley, CA) – [Bushmaster]
TAB #8 – “Fueling Station” UNLOCKED by Avatrix
- FOUND: 42.3461, -71.0978 (Fenway Park, Boston) – [Avatrix]
- FOUND: 34.1302, -118.3489 (Hollywood) – [?]
TAB #9 – “” UNLOCKED by TheFord
- FOUND: 39.9559, -75.1468 (Philadelphia, St.George’s) – [TheFord]
- MISSING: 40.729568, -73.996506 (NYC, Washington Square)
TAB #10 – “” UNLOCKED by KalieApple
- FOUND: 39.9559, -75.1897 (Philadelphia, Drexel University) – [Katie]
- MISSING: 51.5167, -0.0732 (London, UK)
TAB #11 – “Stop N Go Diner” UNLOCKED by IANATASS
- FOUND: 37.7778, -122.3888 (San Francisco) – [Exo, IANATASS]
TAB #12 – “Mural” UNLOCKED by Roberto
- FOUND: 39.7564, -5.0092 (outside Madrid) – [Roberto]
TAB #13 – “Leaflets” – UNLOCKED by DarkestJamesG
- FOUND: 51.4617, -0.9368 (Reading, UK) – [DarkestJamesG]
TAB #14 – “Time Capsule” UNLOCKED by TBEpicForum
- MISSING: 42.311033, -83.069233 (Windsor/Detroit, ON)
TAB #15 – “” UNLOCKED by NikNak
TAB #16 – “Lancer” UNLOCKED by MrsParks
TAB #17 – “Posters” UNLOCKED by Daniel
TAB #18 – “” UNLOCKED by NikNak
- FOUND: 43.2930, 5.3632 (Marseille, France)
TAB #19 – “Letters” UNLOCKED by Harold
- FOUND: 40.758816, -73.984573 (NYC, Times Square) – [luiek20]
TAB #20 – “Journal” – UNLOCKED by Valarmorghulis3
TAB #21- “Heart Monitor” UNLOCKED by RedEvilDragon
- FOUND: 43.6956, -79.3959 (Toronto, ON) – [Red Evil Dragon]
TAB #22 – “” UNLOCKED by DramaticLemurs
- FOUND: 51.4105, -0.3018 (London, Eden and Fairfield)
TAB #23 – “Derrick” UNLOCKED by TaxiSquad27
- FOUND: 40.764748, -73.973114 (NYC, Central Park) – [TaxiSquad27]
TAB #24 – “” UNLOCKED by LintMachine
TAB #25 – “Ammo Case” UNLOCKED by Exo
- FOUND: 47.6532, -122.3060 (Seattle, WA) -[NataSS]
TAB #26 – “” UNLOCKED by Boogle

UNKNOWN TAB

- MISSING: 39.949503, -75.146784 (Philadelphia, near Liberty Bell/Chestnut/4th)
- MISSING: 47.650917, -122.347333 (Seattle, WA, Hwy 99 bridge, troll)
- FOUND: 39.949274, -75.171698 (Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Sq.) – [IAmTimO]
- FOUND: 39.96521, -75.179327 (Philadelphia, Francisville) – [Docta Splatta]
- FOUND: 40.735394, -73.990776 (NYC, Union Square) – [ChrisA9]
- FOUND: 42.352776, -71.074634 (Boston, MA) – [avatrix]
- FOUND: 42.358432, -71.091585 (Boston, MA) – [avatrix]
- FOUND: 37.240657, -121.969351 (Los Gatos, CA) – [Aphostile]
- FOUND: 34.1369, -118.1231 (Pasadena, CA) – [?]

LOCATED BONUS CONTENT COGS
- FOUND: 40.758560, -73.976730 (NYC, St. Patrick’s) – [ModernDevil]
- FOUND: 33.0352, -96.6613 (Plano, TX) – [SoupNazzi]
- FOUND: 42.361267, -71.057596 (Boston, MA) – [AOWWaterborn]
- FOUND: 37.826807, -122.4228 (Alcatraz) – [Team Bay Area]
- FOUND: Mailed to PlatformNation.com – [Steve519]

CSIDs for COG tags that unlock tabs in the promo sie:

UNLOCKABLE CONTENT CSIDs:

677002-T427V-WK = Budapest - xl Ragnar lx, Guy The Ace
196580-VKB1B-0J = London, UK - Gee of War
778786-TQOQR-OF = Omaha, NB - Atom1cllama, dongcopter
329307-KZD3O-PQ = Fenway Park, Boston - Avatrix
577694-LZR6S-ID = San Francisco - Exo (+IANATASS)
734948-2HSO7-IB = Berkley, CA - BushMaster
692337-K1TWD-5Q = Seattle, WA - Exo, NataSS
611701-Z80W3-NG = Toronto, ON - Red Evil Dragon
389857-LRH2J-40 = (PlatformNation.com, Seattle, WA) - Steve519
756321-AHTEF-9Z = (EpicGames GOW2 Forum Community)
988985-R65YY-SQ = New York City, NY - TaxiSquad27
890856-9IQBY-MI = (Reading, UK) - DarkestJamesG
(unreported) = Seattle, WA - ChiefWiggum
(unreported) = Boston, MA (MIT) - Avatrix
(unreported) = Boston, MA (Commonwealth) - Avatrix

* Errors:
(invalid code?) = Reno, NV - GearinUpAllDayyy, mouleman23
(invalid code?) = San Bruno, CA - GearsGirl
(invalid code?) = Los Gatos, CA - Aphostile
?5?C??-GCY25-6U = E For All - Doomstick (invalid ID)

UPDATE: More COG tags have been showing up in other countries through their local gaming sites. The effect of their CSIDs on the promo isn’t yet confirmed, but are likely bonus content.

SOME INTERNATIONAL COG TAGs:

HUNGARY - reference
47°29'58.55"N 19° 2'45.74"E
46°05'56.26"N 18°13'11.96"E
46°15'17.44"N 20° 9'57.71"E
46°54'01.98"N 19°40'26.65"E

SPAIN
VALENCIA - reference (John Lol - pic)
BARCELONA - reference (Xavi Robles - pic)
ZARAGOZA - reference (Aimé Villa - pic)
ALICANTE - reference 

UPDATE: Here are some additional game-related links for the sake of completion.

Enjoy!

Tags: , ,

Categories: Video games, Viral General

25
Sep'08

Keep it clean: more Bungie teasing

   Posted by: thebruce

Sept 25, 2008 – Another countdown hit zero. This one located on Bungie.net, with the target time at 7:07am Pacific. What happened at zero?

A mysterious Bungie.net user named IIIIlll or otherwise known as “The Superintendent” posted two news article recently, including segments of audio log transcripts from ONI (UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence).  Of course, the community analyzed the logs to no end.  But this latest update had everyone refreshing bungie.net’s homepage seconds before the counter hit zero.

The Superintendent has a history of cryptic, vague posts at Bungie.net’s forums. Recently, Bungie had planned to unveil an annoucement, but Microsoft, being their publisher, pulled the plug on their plans just before it was to happen at E3. That didn’t set too well.  So this countdown was eagerly anticipated, to say the least.

On hitting zero, a news article was posted including links to a teaser trailer for what is believed to be a new Bungie game.  Not a very ARGish result in itself, but the trailer does contain many, many, many scenes and frames with text and numbers for people to document and analyze.  Speculation and theories are already running rampant about the time period and the visual content of the trailer. Suffice to say, The Superintendent AI has the starring role in the trailer.

The trailers can be downloaded here:

Quicktime Small
Quicktime Medium
Quicktime Large
Windows Media Player Small
Windows Media Player Medium
Windows Media Player Large

I also managed to export a full frame-by-frame compilation from the high definition trailer, and uploaded the significant frames with visual/transcribable content to flickr, available here

Of significant note are a few frames bearing resemblance to some teaser images posted to bungie.net over the past months of the Superintendent.  Mainly, one phrase has been kicking up a dust storm.  Reported at ComputerAndVideoGames.com, the phrase “Maddie, where are you?” appears to be possibly be connected to the (very real) search for a (very real) missing girl.  A post by Shishka, a Bungie.net “overlord”, indicates it’s “an unfortunate coincidence, but a coincidence nonetheless“, confirmed by Sketchfactor of Bungie.  The phrase was connected to a bebo.com profile with a title of the same phrase, raising awareness for Maddie.
Quite a coincidence it is!

Current speculation is that the trailer is taking place between Halo 2 and Halo 3, from the perspective of New Mombasa as the Covenant Prophet Regret opens his slipstream portal in its skies (recall in the game, the Covenant ship exited slipspace bringing with it tatters of New Mombasa buildings and general destruction – her we get to see how that immediately left the city).  It appears that the Superintendent is an Urban AI located at New Mombasa – perhaps much like a Halo Wall-E!

A date also appears in mangled text in later frames – 01/06/09 – which may refer to January 6, or June 1, 2009.  There’s also a set of numbers that resembles a 1-800 number that appears, but it resolves to a real bank and may likely also just be a coincidence.

Who, or what, is “Vergil”?
And what’s special about “Level 9″?

With so much content, much of it random and undoubtedly insignificant, there’s probably going to be a lot more coincidental connections reported while the trailer is ripped to shreads by the community.  That said, if you still haven’t watched the trailer, GO NOW

So this is in all likelihood not another ARG promotion, but for any Halo fan, there’s certainly more Haloverse campaign goodness on its way…  PREPARE TO DROP

Tags: , ,

Categories: ARGs General, Video games, Viral General

10
Jun'08

No more Holomystery

   Posted by: thebruce

The veil’s been lifted – the creators of the Holomove company, technology and, well, drama have been discovered. Speculation of its connections ranged from Microsoft’s Surface, to Fox’s upcoming TV series Fringe, to a very, very high quality grassroots ARG. But the following news was discovered posted on Microsoft’s MSDN Tech-ed blog:

Holomove
In collaboration with Visual Studio, Microsoft has created the ultimate challenge that tells the story of Nathan Bozeman who gets the chance to change the world, but at an extraordinary price. Since the immersive game began in May 2008, it has captivated players around the world. Find out what’s happened so far and join the adventure—there’s still time to get involved.

Watch the experimental technology being developed at Holomove.

To join in, catch up on the trailhead at Unfiction.
Or check out all the current websites and media.

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Categories: ARGs General, Puppetmasters