In this case, ARG= alternate reality game.
Pretty much, it's a game that is a string of very difficult puzzles, that link to each other.
Bob, a player, is issued with a string of numbers. After a while, Bob notices that they are phone numbers, and then an extra number. He looks them up, and the extra number corresponds to a letter number in the people's names.
The letters make up a two phrases, which is from two different books. He finds the page, and line number, and this in turn makes up a street intersenction (ie 52nd and 3rd; and a time, such as 10:24am). There, he recieves a package which is more numbers, and so on.
My idea is; let's make a literary version of one. We collaborate on chapters. Each chapter relating to a code or a piece of data, and so on. But there's also an overarching story. Anyone up for a challenge?
Sounds like a lot of work. I'm a writer. I don't like work.
I'd actually be kinda up for that.
Well, my idea is, we choose a location. A building, a place. This is important.
Then, we select tweleve writers from the workshop, or they volanteer.
12 writers, 12 stories. Each story has a clue. For instance: if it's a church; the archetecture, a story about what sub-religion it is for, a story centering on a landmark near it,,,but that's too obvious.
You get the gist, right?
sounds like it would be fun! :)
I just need to actually sign up for the workshops now :/
Yeah, this sounds pretty interesting and fun.
Well, we gotta make decisions. I can't play for around 2months cuz I have finals, but over summer I'm sure we can do this.
Awesome. I'm up for it.
So what's it gonna be about?
Since most of us live in Kentucky (SERIOUSLY, WE HAVE LIKE TEN MEMBERS FROM THERE)
we should choose a location from there. HAY KENTUCKY-PEOPLES! Get in here and decide.
Then we build around it.
This is the Green Building in Loiusville. The wiki article is here.
Our stories shall centre around it. All in favour, say aye!
Aye :) I've never heard of it - but nothing a bit of research wont change ;)
This sounds like a lot of fun -- I'm so up for this.
Whoops, I mean 'aye!'
Awesome. I don't think Danny or Jakota can help us with this, since they're busy with their stuff. so we need to recruit!
Dorian and Jamesey, are you two any good at puzzle-making?
We need something REALLY FUCKING DIFFICULT.
A string of letters that correspond to numbers which make up Frank Gehry's (his company built it) date of birth. February 28, 1929
Which is hidden in a poem which features in a story. That's a good one. 2 28 19-29
And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
Those are bible quotes. Just, subtly, subtly reference those numbers in a way you see fit, for the ARG.
I can't wait for this -- I think a collaborative story would be tons of fun. How many people do you think we need?
twelve writers and codemakers, plus two admins.
It won't be a collaborative story. It would be a short story antholog.
Oh, okay. That sounds cool too.
Dorian, I put you in charge of cryptography: write me something hard,
Jamesey, you're in charge of recriutment.
yikes! Ok! :) how many and when by! Give me a deadline and I'll have it done!
Okay, by....the end of May we need tweleve contributors.
In charge of cryptography how? Like what exactly do I come up with?
I mean, you are the one to make the puzzles. Of course, everyone else will screen them, but it's up to you to think of someting subtle but solveable. And make a chain. of them
Alrighty -- I'll get crackin'
Dude, that building sucks. And Lousiville smells... odd. Not bad exactly, just... different. Sort of like water, but not really? That's not dissing the town, but I've been there and it's hard as all get out to discribe the feel/area. You ever notice that fiction that cares about setting doesn't take place there? The John Ringo books, the film Elizabethtown, the series Justified, and the only exception I can think of is some Zombie movie, and it was pretty generic.
The Lexington Public Libary (Central Library location) is a way cooler building. The rotunda has a gravity calandar which is really neat when they have it working. Lots of repairs that last few years. Plus it is attached to a apartment building, and a police station, so it looks super odd. At least in this city.
wow. that looks sexy.
Okay change of plan. LPL is our new building.
Dwayne, welcome to the team.
Are you a codewriter or a writerwriter for this project?
On second thought, perhaps I shouldn't be the main codewriter.... to be perfectly honest, it's kind of hard for me to come up with anything good. I will happily help Jamesey recruit more people though, or do whatever else you want
I'd love to be involved.
Personally, I love Louisville much more than Lexington -- Lexington feels drab and homogenous to me, but there's culture and variation in Louisville. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was born in Louisville, but I lived in New Albany until I was five.) Following in that vein, New Albany is so close to Louisville that we could easily incorporate NA into the story.
I'm definitely interested, but I'm still not sure how this works. This is my understanding:
Twelve people (plus two head honchos) write short stories involving a puzzle that eventually leads back to the LPL building.
But... what? I don't get it. Are the readers supposed to find the LPL, or are we going to have more that involves the LPL? Like, would the first story point the reader to the LPL, where they would find the code to break story two, which would point them to a place where they'd break the code to story three?
You need a code that can be broke into how many bits? Also in general, yes more of a story structure would be helpful.
I'm honestly not sure that I really grasp the concept. If it's a general, go-on-an-adventure ARG, that sounds do-able. Twelve stories based on twelve clues that eventually lead to the LPL -- that's something we could possibly complete. An overarching story, that could be worked in.
In my mind, it looks like this:
Story A includes clues to a real-life event (a concert, a parade, a building, a school) where they find the tools to decipher Story B.
Story B leads the reader to yet another location, where they find the clues to break Story C.
Story C leads to D, which leads to E to F to G to H to I to J to K to L.
Is that right?
@Dwayne From what I've understood, I think he wants a code that breaks into twelve, but don't place your trust in me.
@Courtney - Where are you now? Not like your street address, like which state.
@Type - I need a out line to do this to work. Something like this to do a code.
Chapter 1 clue 1
Chapter 2 clue 2
chapter 3 clue 3
I'm confused too. It's not one big collaborative story, but all the codes are supposed to be connected to each other somehow?
@Courtney, yeah, that's the idea.
@Dwayne. Yes. Now get me some good goddamn clues.
@Typewriter - Give me some context and a clear out line of how many codes that lead to what and I can do the clues in a few hours. How many, what do they lead too?
12 codes, all leading to our building. SUBTLETY IS THE KEY HERE. You've got to be obscure. Drop hints.
So, one clue about the architect. Another about the year it was built it, etc. Remember, this is supposed to be complicated. The audience is clever here, so you're allowed to be incredibly deep. Ie: one story about the town the architect was born in, with references to a string of numbers that make up his birthdate, etc.
@Dwayne Indianapolis, Indiana. I travel through Kentucky and Tennessee a lot -- I've got plenty of family in both states, so I'm well-versed in the areas.
@Type Shouldn't each story lead to a clue in the city if we want to make it a real ARG? It would be insanely difficult and probably a little frustrating for anyone that isn't in the area, though, so your idea would probably be best. We would want to make the point of the game clear, though -- not just publish a bunch of stories and then reveal at a later time that they lead to it.
It could be a character-driven set of stories, all involving one person (not the main character of each story, though -- friends, family, coworkers, etc could have features) and his "quest" to find this place. Why is the LPL significant for him? That could be the over-arching story.
A few ideas:
-If we want to go dark, he could be the product of rape and looking for the building in which his mom was assaulted.
-His father disputes the land, says it belongs to him, and the boy wants to find out as much as he can about the land to find out if it really belongs in the family.
-It's where the kid spent his childhood, but the memories are hazy because they were so early that he isn't sure where it was.
There are a lot of cool directions in which we can take this. But, like I said -- we could promote it as a puzzle, obviously, and make that clear. "A man/woman/kid looks for the place in which this significant event happened and finds that nearly everything in his life is pointing him there. But why?" (Less campy, but you get it.)
So each of the stories feature the same characters and the same plot?
No. Each story features each person's own characters and plot, but they contain a clue.
Okay, I can do this code two ways. A) the codes sucks, but gives people alot more room for their story. But you will ALL HATE THE CODE. B) The code will be brilliant, and you have to write a story about someone who has a way to break code. They'll have to be a pretty good at research and very smart to do it themself, or have access to someone to do it for them.
Hey I have a really good idea for how we can promote this. We do a contest for the code, like $50 USD to the first person to break it.
1995 guy sets up code (not the architect, he just hide the code in the library)
April - Clues come to lit leading people began to search for the code.
May - The day the code can be broken.
I know what the ending should be. Next door to the LPL is a vacant lot, they tore down a building that included a really popular hat shop. Can't have horse race's without ladies in hats. We'll have the treasure be a large amount of money hidden in the wall of the hat shop. In the end no one found the money, it was just taken away with the refuse.
So does our table of contents look like this?
Chapter 3 clue 3
Chapter 4 clue 4
Chapter 5 clue 5
Chapter 6 clue 6
Chapter 7 clue 7
Chapter 8 clue 8
Chapter 9 clue 9
Chapter 10 clue 10
Chapter 11 clue 11
Chapter 12 clue 12
Chapter 13 Climax all 12 meet up
Well, the point of an ARG is that people aren't supposed to know that there is a code. There's our problem.
I don't know if that's true in every case, though. Like the Nine Inch Nails one -- people caught on pretty quickly. The thing is, there haven't been any (that I know of) that were literature based. Are people going to somehow figure it out if we don't at least hint that there's something about this that needs further exploration?
Well, here's an idea. Stories are labelled in a nonsequential way, with letters, in bold
Story One: Beef
Story Two: Hexane
Story Three: Gomorrah
Story Four: Croque Monsieur
Story Five: Peristalsis
Story Six: Lambda
Story Seven: There
And the bold letters spell out a URL. The page would be all designery and such, with emphasis on codes: A morse crib sheet, "IT'S A CODE" written in pigpen, etc.
Okay, I'm a bit confused here... I thought I knew what a ARG was but explain it to me because it really sounds like I'm missing something.
Alternate reality Game An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses transmedia to deliver a story that may be altered by participants' ideas or actions.
The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants' responses. Subsequently, it is shaped by characters that are actively controlled by the game's designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and collaborate as a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.
Yeah, that's what I thought... anyway I'll finish the code, and put it out there. I'll try to keep it easy enough to be broken.