jeregenest: (Default)
There appears, as far as I can tell, two approaches towards ARGs out there (if you know of other variants, please let me know!): catering to a standalone player, or catering to a hive-mind community. Now its safe to say that the community element is part of the definition of an ARG, and definitely the part that interests me, I would be looking at this as a large experiment in social engineering around game playing. But I don’t like the hive mindedness of so many of the ARGs I’ve seen. I also don’t like that separation between player and event, there seems to be lacking the fictional character lens that often benefits LARPs and table-tops (yes I know some in the Scandinavian scene would argue about that lens and I think there may be a viable discussion to it).

Writing a game for a smaller group, one that has pre-selected itself and has that fictional lens should really help in expectation management, which strikes me as a crucial element (the Lost ARG is a good example of one that seems to have fallen on their face here).

Also, the smaller number makes it easier to love your players (something that’s top on the list of my returning to roleplaying, lets say I had some issues last year). It’s easy to get drawn into a combative relationship with the players, and players often tend toward an adversarial relationship with the development team. I want to avoid the seduction of setting challenges and tangle plot with the sole intent of stumping the players, and I think a smaller more personal player basis would avoid that.

By having the players have fictional identities it serves to allow more content to be generated from them. For example grabbing a player and shooting a scene and then posting it to drive a plot point based on activities. Also allows some constrained writing aspects to come through.

This also allows a nice potential narrowing of some of the concerns of geography and time in ARGs. More about that latter.

A major difference in this than the ARGs I’ve been following is that it will require some player recruitment, which means writing almost two overlapping games. One for the recruited layers with the fictional lens and one for more casual players.
jeregenest: (Default)
Still ruminating about a micro-Indie ARG.

Some thoughts )
jeregenest: (Default)
Over on [livejournal.com profile] fang_langford there is a discussion about forms of roleplaying. I just tossed out alternate reality games, which many of you know has been something I've been interested in for a while.

It occurs to me that we have the technical skill and the artistic skill to pull one of these off just in the Boston area, let alone in the wider friends network. Anyone interested?

One of the things that would interest me is moving beyond just a pure puzzle/computer (encryption and hacking skills) and trying some of other paths (though using those as well).
jeregenest: (Default)
Infocult is doing a good job covering the new Lost ARG. I find Lost dull beyond belief but the concept of Alternate Reality Games fascinating. Unfortunately my dislike of Lost seems to overwhelm my curiousity here, but I am enjoying reading someone else blog about doing it. I can't wait till technology makes it more feasible to run one of these on the cheap. VOIP almost makes it doable.

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