Archive for June, 2010

Dateline Jan. 17, 2002: The TerraQuest Requiem. We Didn’t Even Have To Change The Lyrics

Friday, June 4th, 2010

57 days after it finally launched, TerraQuest is no more.

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

Queen - Another One Bites The Dust

At approximately 3:00 P.M. today, TerraQuest was officially canceled due to lack of registration. Employees of [ Mind Quest], the company responsible for the game, were unavailable for comment.

The game was to feature over $400,000 in prize money to be awarded over approximately a six month period. Each of the six play periods would have a single $25,000 winner while a final winner of the overall game was to be awarded $250,000.

Refunds are expected for all registered players for both initial registration fees and express clues. The first play period prize is being awarded to Roland Spencer of San Diego. Congratulations!

The complete [” press release]:

January 16, 2003
To the Players of TerraQuest

We want to thank you for your enthusiasm in playing TerraQuest. While the comments from those of you who are players have been wonderful, there is simply not enough participation in the experience to keep this version of TerraQuest going. As a result, we will discontinue TerraQuest immediately.

By discontinuing TerraQuest now, we can take the compelling storyline and combine the user and editorial feedback to modify the structural part of the game. We thank you for your support of TerraQuest and we look forward to providing you with more entertainment options in the very near future.

Since its inception, MindQuest Entertainment has prided itself on its integrity and providing exceptional entertainment value to you, our customers. As a result, all registration fees and express clue charges will be refunded in full to each player and the winner of the first Game Period (Roland Spencer of San Diego, California) has received the $25,000 prize. Thanks again for your participation in TerraQuest.

Most Sincerely,
Keith Griffin
MindQuest Entertainment, LLC

Terraquest is the latest in a string of high profile, prematurely terminated immersive campaigns, including Search4e and the much publicized Push, Nevada.

Dateline Jan. 15, 2003: A Busy Day in the World of ARG

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Wow! Three games / games-to-be update on the same day. When it rains it pours. Check out the latest facts, spec and rumors.

It’s like the grand convergence, but not. It’s like the A.I. game, but not. It’s a conspiracy — or not. Wait, it’s the world of Alternate Reality Gaming.

Our list of games and hopefuls is woefully short and the level recent activity has been minimal, if not outright disappointing. So I was naturally amazed and delighted to find out that there is activity in three different campaigns!

First out of the block, we learn that TerraQuest brought a [ new website] live. The law firm of Knight, Bishop, and Castle handles estate planning and probate.

The next find was an updated flash at []. SHC, a Push, Nevada fan site by the PM for [], a highly anticipated game expected to start at any time. Spacebass of Unfiction, noticed the change while the updates were in progress and captured three different flash files that came and went in rapid succession.

The final game (I assume it is or will be a game) is the cryptic L3. A new link appeared on [] taking players to the website for [ New River University]. The NRU site looks pretty extensive, has a ton of symbology, faculty, and content. Guesses about it were all over the map in chat. The relationship between NRU and L3 seems to be that Stephen Lake was a guest speaker at NRU. On a side note, I was informed that the rot decrypter at flywheel has been down for a few weeks, so I took a breather and programmed one in mIRCscript. If you are in Chat and see Bill logged in you can run it by typing

!rot x string where x is 0-25 and string is the text you want decoded.

Dateline Jan. 13, 2003: Chasing The Wish: 1/12/2003 Update

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Chasing the Wish PuppetMaster released an email update with the latest status on the launch. With over 350 registered players from all over the world, they are making adjustments and a launch is still a few short weeks away.

The entire update follows:

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.” Albert EinsteinHello from []!

As the launch of Chasing The Wish grows closer, we’d like to give you one last update on the game before the curtain of anonymity falls firmly into place. This should be our last “out of game” message and there are a few things we need to address before we disappear.

First, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the truly overwhelming support Chasing The Wish has already received. At last count, we had well over 350 registered players for the game including dozens and dozens internationally, with groups of players in the UK, Canada, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Croatia(!), and Hong Kong. And more are still registering every day as the word spreads and momentum builds. We’ve also had over 4 dozen players volunteer to help out in one way or another with the “Behind The Scenes” effort. Since we won’t be communicating directly with the players once the game goes “live”, this will be our last chance until after the game to thank each and every one of you for your support of this “grassroots” game. We’re also grateful for the financial support we’ve been receiving, from both merchandise sales and direct donations. We are doing our best to make this an experience you won’t soon forget and your support in any form will definitely help. So please take this as a very sincere “Thank You”.

We’re receiving e-mails every day asking about the start of the game. As you can tell from this e-mail, it hasn’t started yet and the launch is still weeks away. We’re doing our best to meet our estimated timeframe but, quite honestly, things may slip by just a bit. Before you groan too loudly in disappointment, please understand two things: (1) the numbers we are dealing with are much greater than anticipated and are forcing some adjustments to things already complete, and (2) we are committed to having the game “ready to go” when launch occurs. Because Chasing The Wish is basically an interactive novel that unfolds in real time, it is essential not to have any “downtime” periods like many of the other current games are experiencing. We can promise you that such interruptions will not occur with Chasing The Wish. We can also assure you that if such a delay in starting is necessary, it will indeed be short. It truly won’t be long now.

There will also be at least one more major update to the site before the game begins as we make adjustments to put it more into “stealth” mode. Keep your eyes open as there will be some interesting new things there soon.

In closing, we’d like to suggest a few things that will help make your experience with Chasing The Wish as enjoyable as possible. One important thing is patience - both now in the pre-game and once the game begins. Remember, this is a story taking place in real time so things will take time to occur. Next is research - question and research everything. There are multiple levels of meaning to many elements of the game; understanding them all will give you the best chance of working your way through the game. Finally, be part of a community. There are several communitites/groups already set up to help each other play the game with message boards, guides, and trails in place and ready to go. You can find them from the Links page on the CTW website and if anyone knows of any others, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list. One of the great things about this type of adventure is interacting with the other players and helping and encouraging each other through the puzzles and plot twists. And, as a little word of advice, there will be spots in CTW where you absolutely need someone else’s help.

OK, enough for now. We have much to do. Have faith that every day brings us closer to opening up the door to this strange new world we are creating called Chasing The Wish.

The Chasing The Wish Development team