Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Dateline Dec. 17, 2002: Noah Boddy Goes on Hiatus

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Noah Boddy has been placed on hold by the PMs until further notice. They claim that the game is being revamped thanks to additional resources provided by a new investor. The unexpected halt to the game puts NB in jeopardy of losing their audience. With the imminent start of [ Chasing the Wish] and numerous other games in the chute, the competition for attention from groups of players is intensifying.

Further, with the alleged tie-in to Push, Nevada, there seem to be legal questions regarding the status of the game vis-a-vis content and intellectual property rights.

The Full Story (per Noah Boddy PMs):

Greetings, players:As you will notice, we at Team Noah Boddy have just made several changes to this group and to the and site.

Here is exactly what has happened:

Yesterday, members of Team Noah Boddy had a meeting with our original sponsors as well as a new investor. The meeting has gone very well, and we now expect to be able to create a great deal more interactivity and a more productive environment for you, the players.

However, such changes cannot be made overnight. There will be programming and server changes as well as newly designed and more user-interactive sites when we are finished.

As such, we at Team Noah Boddy have no choice but to put this game on hiatus until we are finished. As many have noticed, this group has had several bumps in its attempt to create an enjoyable gaming experience and our new resources will allow us to solve many of these issues.

We apologize for the inconvenience this is going to cause, but after careful deliberation and discussion, it was decided that the best course of action was to freeze both plot and puzzles rather than attempt to continue moving forward while such major re-designs were underway.

For those of you who have enjoyed the game, we sincerely hope you will return and continue playing in the new year. The sites are planned to go live again in January.

For those of you who are upset with this decision, we understand, but as we said in the beginning, this game has been run by several people during their evenings, weekends, and free time. Our new resources will allow a greater time to be devoted to the game and we believe this is the best decision we as a team can make for all involved.

Thank you all for your involvement. You are the reason the meeting yesterday went so well.

Team Noah Boddy

Dateline: Dec. 15, 2002: TerraQuest: New CEO Interview and Game Updates

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Mind-Quest has been busy promoting and enhancing their innovative game, Terraquest. The game scope has expanded to include real world websites.

[ Mind-Quest] CEO, Keith Griffin was interviewed by Steve Peters at Unfiction about [ TerraQuest]. He covered a number of topics and gave a small behind-the-scenes peek at the concept behind the game.

TQ also seems to have refined their view on cooperative play. Initially, they actively discouraged such play, but the current statement appears more neutral.

TQ has also started offering a three-day free trial of the game to allow prospective players to experience the game and whet their appetites for the real thing.

Most excitedly, TQ has expanded the game scope to include related websites in the real world. When you are logged into LARS, the information managemer for TQ, and visit a related site, you will find additional characters and clues in the LARS console.

About the Game
TerraQuest will be divided into six game periods, each approximately one month in length. Each game period a new clue set will be released. The clue sets will incorporate a variety of media types (exhibits), which will provide the starting points and continuation of threads already in place. These threads will lead you down different paths. Some of these paths will lead to critical information, some will not become important until later game periods, and some will be nothing more than red-herrings. The game is pay-to-play with registration fees increasing until the final period. It is currently $25 to play.

Dateline Dec. 11, 2002: Sun and Moon mini-Puzzle. A fun way to spend an evening

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I found [intro.htm] this while scouring the Internet. Ok, by scouring, I meant stalking, er, checking out people who registered at deaddrop :)

It seems to be a mini-ARG. The premise - you get an email from someone on the day they commit suicide. It has a link to their blog. Sun and Moon, a game by David Brain, was an entry in the 2002 Interactive Fiction competition.

At the trailhead, there is a brief introduction by the PM:

This is something of an experiment for me and my apologies in advance to those players who have trouble with this story.

You will find a number of Java and Javascript applets scattered around the various pages, but only one very small Java applet is actually essential to complete the story (the Password applet.)

Note that you do not need to use extreme web-game techniques in order to get to the bottom of this story - you don’t need to examine the source-code for extra information, interrogate the whois database or set up Yahoo-discussion groups!

However, traditional text adventure game techniques might still come in handy…

Dateline Dec. 11, 2002: Alias Underground: New Mission

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Mission 4 of Alias Underground is now available. The mission is called Turkish Embassy: CIA Countermission.

From the mission summary, “Agent Vaughn must infiltrate the Turkish embassy and replace a document with a fake. Can he do it before Sydney arrives — and without setting off the alarm?”

Alias Underground will feature a total of 10 missions this season (including the SD-6 Agent Training Mission). All missions will be posted at ABC’s website. Check the Calendar for planned release dates.

You can download the new mission by signing in at (free registration required). Players are automatically entered into a sweepstakes with a Ford Focus and toys from Nokia as prizes.

Alias Underground is a game featuring characters from the hit ABC show Alias. It is created in the style of a Duke Nukem type game with less violence and a focus on specific tactical objectives for each mission. You can find the missions on [ ABC’s Alias Underground Site].

Dateline Dec. 10, 2002: Interview with Landau, Luckman, and Lake

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Ok, I want to know what LiqidCrack, X-Men, and the Library of Congress have in common! To that end, I managed to track down a representative claiming to be from Landau, Luckman, and Lake, Attorneys At Law and asked them a few questions:

WB: What can you tell me about the source of the messages?

LLL: Our founders had some interesting clients from when we were founded in the early 19th century. We’ve always held on to our status as one of the best law firms in the world by making sure jobs get done. For the messages recently recieved through a source, we can only say they’ve been with us for a long time and only now were we instructed to forward them.

WB: How long have you had them?

LLL: No Comment

WB: What do they mean?

LLL: We don’t know. Nor are we inclined to dig through them.

WB: Who told you to release them?

LLL: Our client’s instructions. The client remains anonymous.

WB: Is there anything you can tell me about your client?

LLL: He paid us well.

WB: Is there more information you are still holding?

LLL: That we cannot say. One of the founders brought the case with them

WB: How were the recipients selected?

LLL: Carefully. The person who brought us the case… they chose the list.

WB: What more will LLL be releasing soon?

LLL: We’re sorry we can’t release anymore information than that. And we must cut this short as we are going to be quite busy.

Busy indeed. And with that, I’m left with more questions than answers.

Dateline Dec. 9, 2002: Search4e: Unofficial Limerick Contest Winners

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

In lieu of a real game, we had an unofficial limerick contest over the weekend relating to search4e. All of the entries were fantastic! In fact, they were so good, I couldn’t pick just one, so I’m declaring a tie.

Dashcat had two that I really liked.

There once was a Knight from Pine Hill
Who one night was seeking a thrill
He fell in the pond
We thought he was gone
But he lives with Diane in Brazil

There was a reporter named D Bruno
Who one night with Jeremy…well you know
She flinged with the king
Of e-mail pandering
Now she has nowhere but up left to go

The other prizeworthy entry was from enaxor.

True Crime writer James Pitt.
Started a search for his neighbor, then quit.
Now James too has gone missing.
Wait! Is that Ed and James kissing?
Poor Passion will just have a fit!

Way to go, guys!

The winners will each receive a mug from

You can read all of the entries at [].

Dateline Dec. 5, 2002: New Game? Experience It!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

If it looks like an immersive game, if it feels like an immersive game, if it sounds like an immersive game — it must be an immersive game! Maybe.

We have all the elements, we have a trailhead, we even have a realworld element at some dive in Boise, Idaho (right??). The basic plot is an AWOL inventor, his creation, The Experience, and a bit of intrigue.

Granted the PM had an awkward start shilling the game at Unforums, but what the hey, when someone shows me the “right” way to launch an ARG, I’ll write an article!

The first few parts take a page from the Alias 2.0 playbook. It’s pure scavenger hunt. We are left with a, ahem, player conveniently near the pub to retrieve whatever from Maurice.

The game has a definite homegrown feel to it, but if it manages to transcend Boise, I think it will be fun to watch.

(Psst, hey Jeff! Call me, let’s do lunch!)

Trailhead: []

Dateline Dec. 4, 2002: Search4e. Some good news

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Necessitas from Collective Detective managed another scoop in the world of Search4e. This time, she bears some good news.

CD Exclusive #2:

The situation is as we expected, the Search4E project is in financial crisis. I have been assured that Search4E is not over, and they are as interested as ever in continuing the story they set out to tell. Updates will continue as they are able.
However, for the time being, Search4Ed has turned into Search4Money. They have learned that their present revenue model is not working, and they are trying to plan new revenue streams, and find new financing.Going forward:

They will be refunding subscription fees. This is not because the game is over, they insist that it is not. This is simply a good faith gesture. They will continue as a free game until they are able to realize a more stable revenue model. They are still working out the logistics of the refund.

They would like to organize an open chat with the players, and explain the situation. Collective Detective is helping to arrange this for them. Watch this space for updates.

The developers of Search4E are still as interested as ever in continuing the project. It is my opinion that, as they have been in the midst of this financial crisis, they lost sight of the eroding player support. In any case, they are still enthusiastic about the search, and hope the players will remain so, as well.

We are working hard to liaise with Second State on the player’s behalf, and will keep you all posted as updates come in.

(Quoted with permission)

The good news, refunds for all. Plus the PMs are trying to regroup and move forward. I’m sure the experience will be different than what the players have come to expect, but a changed game is better than no game.The players have already voiced their [ opinions] about where the focus should be. When asked, “What’s most important to you in a good immersive/arg type game?”:

  • 50% voted for the story
  • 32% requested character interaction
  • 17% valued the puzzles

The poll didn’t allow ranked votes, so everyone picked their top priority. Although prizes was listed as a choice, no one felt the prizes were the first priority.

What remains a mystery (other than Ed’s whereabouts) is what the PMs plan to do and when things are expected to turn around. Hopefully, the planned chat at will let the players air their issues and the PMs will respond appropriately in a timely fashion.

Dateline Dec. 3, 2002: Chasing the Wish Registration is Live

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

We’re one step closer to the chase! Registration is [ live] with options for a fully immersive game or the same game with limited immersion. The most immersive option is Full Contact which extends beyond the Internet. Players should be prepared to accept phone calls, packages, letters, instant messages, faxes, and more as part of the game and story. The CTW [ Privacy Policy] addresses privacy concerns. Your information remains within the game and contact will always be professional and at reasonable hours.

The other option is for Limited Contact. All that is required is your email address and contact is limited to email only. This option provides the most privacy but will limit access to portions of the game.

Chasing the Wish is scheduled to kick off in about a month and promises to be a bright light in independently developed immersive gaming. Pre-registered players got a taste of what’s in store for them over the holiday weekend in the pre-game mini-quest which launched and was solved on Nov. 30, 2002.

The game is the creation of Dave Szulborski, solo PuppetMaster for Change Agents: Out of Control, a successful Alternate Reality Game that ran earlier this year. The current venture will not be a solo effort, but the other PMs remain firmly behind the curtain at this time.

Dateline Dec. 3, 2002: Search4e Death Spiral

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Necessitas at Collective Detective got the inside scoop on Search4e. The bad news - their major funding source has pulled out. The good news - um, we’re still trying to find it.

Collective Detective Exclusive: (Republished with permission)

[Holly] spoke to Steve Masarsky today, he is no longer involved with search4e. In fact, he indicates that his role was just to loan money to the project. According to the Second State website, he is listed as a PM, so obviously this is not the case. Also, from all of our dealings with them, and from his introduction, we were led to believe that he was the lead man on the project. Something is quite amiss there. That notwithstanding, congrats to Steve. He will be pursuing personal interests including going back to school to study something in the Humanities field. Go Steve.Steve advised that he could provide me no information regarding the future of the project, as he has been somewhat out of the loop for some time now. He referred me to Waldemar “Korzen” Korzeniowsky, who according to Steve “still keeps an office” at Steve’s NY location. Korzen was unavailable for comment.

Next stop, the PR firm who was handling s4e. Seems that they are no longer handling the account, and have not been for over a month.

So in answer to the question of why you all are being contacted by the CTO on dotconnectors instead of a manager? We do not know. I will continue my fact finding mission tomorrow, and I promise you all that CD will get to the bottom of this.

Where does this leave the players? A late post by someone claiming to be the CTO for Second State was posted on the [ s4e message board] stating that there is information that needs to be communicated. His status is unconfirmed.Players who are also active on that board are up in arms about the lack of progress and attention given to the game in the last few weeks. Most of the in-game characters are AWOL and the most recent scheduled event seems to have been a no-show.Some of the more vocal players have called the question with the PuppetMasters resulting in an update of sorts. Jeremy, lead investigator for the game, send a message to all players that the player base needs to quadruple by Christmas. The message, however veiled, was clear. Not enough people have registered and the game is teetering on the edge. Given the recent withdrawal of Steve Massarsky, a partner in the venture, and his financial backing, the players have been asked to actively recruit new members to help fund the game. Needless to say, the reaction was not positive.

A number of the players posted their thoughts at Dashcat, one of the paying members posts, “I have to agree with Beth. I wouldn’t recommend this ’search’, in it’s present form, to anyone. Even if I were inclined to become a salesperson for your game I would need something to work with, such as a game.

Hmm, there’s a thought!