Sunday, October 07, 2007

ARG TINAG - on a Quest

Arg Tinag was born in 1333AD. It's now 1352 and he is visiting Hobart College fresh from training at a prestigious Academy...

ARG and TINAG are also acronyms for Alternate Reality Game and This Is Not A Game...

To construct this game I've created machinima in Neverwinter Nights to tell Arg's story - and leave clues for others to follow in his footsteps. The clues are distributed across machinima, a web site, Arg's MySpace (he has a 'portal' to 2007) and our physical campus.

Episode 1 (above) introduces players to Arg's Quest. In Episode 2 Arg gets vital information from Joe - our real-life security guard - and some penguins (which are a bit of a MySpace meme with our students this year). To progress in the game students have to talk to Joe and decipher a clue given by the penguins which leads them to Arg's MySpace portal. Only players who make friends with Arg get to see further clues.

Episode 3 brings the promise of gold - virtual and real - if players can solve the clues which involves them in finding the campus dog Louis - in real life...

What's next? I've no idea - the story now has a life of its own... :-)

Only a few students have discovered Arg Tinag to date... so I'll now sit back and see who else wants to play... A bit of an experiment in viral marketing as well... :-)

I've found this to be a fascinating mix of the virtual and real - and quite new for some students who had to be convinced that part of the quest involved them leaving their computers...



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