AC Digital Networked Narratives 2020

There's more than one way to tell a story.

Author: Beelzebub's_Corner

The Colosseum: Pregame Information

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Podcast

The Colosseum Twine Game

https://m18.itch.io/the-colosseum

ARG PDF

Authors note

For my project I have created a demo for the pre-game course my ARG, The Colosseum, would take. While this is not an exact representation of the real ARG and how it would be produced, this demo should show the direction with which the ARG would take and the ideas that would be incorporated within it. Much of the game relies on time and connection with the players. It would be a large production that would require many people to work as both behind the scenes and acting members of each group. As such this demo can only be a small scale example of the grand idea presented within this ARG. Above is the demo podcast, youtube videos, and twine game that would be expanded on and extended if this ARG were to actually take place. Along with the always adapting PDF for the mechanics of the game that is only up to this current status of demo mode. Think of this as like a sampler, if you like it you can buy into the larger idea.

The Colosseum Arg design doc Check list

Published / by Beelzebub's_Corner

To Do list:

  1. Prepare a tentative document that explains the (Completed by May 1st)
    • premise
    • characters
    • puzzles
    • story plot
    • itinerary
  2. Design the pregame elements to showcase as final project (Completed by May 10th)
    • A podcast
    • A short intro for The Colosseum twine game
    • Two Snap chat accounts
    • A youtube video with the snapchat codes separated out
  3. Write Authors Statment (Completed by May 11th)

Below is a PDF for the current stage of completion that The ARG document is at. There are a few things that are missing like the scripts and the puzzle index but because of the desire to make the game seem like it is happening in real time, puzzles will be decided closer to the games actual launch. This should not be an issue with the Pre-game already decided upon.

The Colosseum: An ARG (What do ya think?)

Published / by Beelzebub's_Corner

Main Idea

  • We use a simplistic twine game like The Colosseum to run a secret ARG. The ARG will be centered around the idea of a secret organization and the people rebelling against it.
  • The endings within the Colosseum will be released in a specific order and provide different pieces of the puzzle. For example, if you were to aquire the Honorable Soldier ending, you would be provided a link to a unlisted youtube video. This video would seem blank except for key points where the video will flash a word. These words will link together to provide a clue for the next puzzle until you reach the puzzle piece.
  • Each character will have a separate puzzle that provides coordinates for the player (so that the player cannot jump ahead without the full coordinates. Should a player try a incorrect amount of coordinates a set number of times they will be removed from the ARG)
  • The main thing that I want to instill in the players is that they are not on each others side. So I want there to be two teams. Each team is trying to reach the end goal against the other but no one knows for sure whos on which team. Once you have been given your designation (rebel or agent) that information will be removed and you cannot reaccess it.
  • There will of course be a test run before we let the public play to make sure everything is in order and that no one can jump ahead of the game master.

Platforms used within game:

  • Twine
    • The game creation platform
    • potentially more than one game?
      • Im not sure on this yet but it would be interesting to have two other games, one for each team that provides hints and help for the puzzles.
  • Ichi.io
    • Where the game(s?) will be uploaded
  • Twitter, facebook
    • To create hype
    • add secret information within comments and secret accounts for puzzles
    • to communicate
    • Get Puzzle Pieces
  • Snapchat
    • To give the players their designations
    • the place for players to deposit things that they have learned and possibly get clues?
    • This one would be time sensitive but we could add clues into the story setting on SnapChat
  • YouTube
    • Videos with clues hidden within
      • Like a song cover
      • A anime review
      • Hidden within comments of other peoples videos
    • Get puzzle pieces
  • Instagram
    • Get clues
    • Get Puzzle pieces
    • More timesensitive content
  • Wiki
    • Hidden clues
    • Puzzle pieces
  • WordPress
    • Articles and information for the groups.
    • Also this will be where the conflicting ideas come into play.
  • Google maps
    • A special map for the end routes will be provided when you give the coordinates to the snap chat account
  • Amazon
    • Hidden clues within comments.

Design Document: The Colosseum

Published / by Beelzebub's_Corner
  • Log Line
    • The Colosseum takes the players through a day within Ancient Rome. As they play through their chosen lives they encounter moral dilemmas that will affect their overall ending.
  • Key Corrodinating Document
    • My document is a four square of each ending you could achieve. I use it to decide how the paths will work. This also allows for a more flowy look at the design rather than a constrictive outline.
    • It also allows me to make the connections as I write which you can see a little bit of on the solder square.
  • Time Table
    • Writing complete by the 2th of May
    • Coding done by the 4th of May
    • Claymation done by the 10th of May
    • Turned in and complete with Authors note by the 11th of May

This is my Key document.

Digital Network Narrative

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Junipers Troubles Part 1: Hal

Junipers Troubles was inspired by my toy dinosaur. I was sitting in bed, reading online and started thinking about how entertaining it would be if my toy dinosaur had a soap opera running through their head. With this, Junipers Troubles became a workable idea. The story follows the charismatic but unimpressed female Juniper as she tries to escape a marriage she does not want. Her fiance, Hal, is a jerk and no one seems to care about her opinions on marriage. Juniper has no qualms with killing and even ends up using her knowledge of botany to remove the detestable match. The idea could be expanded into a series of short mini soap operas from the mind of my dear dinosaur and would likely be amusing with real art but sadly i am incapable of creating art as such I had to use outside anime people. Anyways I hope you enjoy the strange story of Juniper and her hatred for marriage.

Hazbin Hotel Analysis

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Hazbin Hotel is an animated web series that contains musical numbers, dark humor and adult themes. Created by Vivienne “Vivziepop” Medrano and uploaded to Youtube along with a companion series known as Helluva boss. The series follows the misadventures of Satans daughter as she tries to change hell from a backstabbing wasteland to a happy go lucky place where all the sinners work towards going to heaven. With the overpopulation of hell and the yearly genocide of its residents, Charlie (the daughter of satan) creates the Hazbin Hotel to rehabilitate sinners. Charlie along with her girlfriend Vaggie take in Angel dust, a well known porn star and drug addict that has no interest in being rehabilitated. As well as an enthusiastic backer, the malicious radio demon Aliastar, who instills himself into the hotel to cure his boredom and watch the sinners fail. With only one episode currently available and an incomplete comic book on the website, many fans have already begun to make up theories for where the story goes next.

The Audience of Hazbin Hotel would likely range between 14 – 40. With the dark themes and creative characters, Hazbin Hotel would seem to be of a specific taste but the show has many qualitites that reach a wide audience. The plotline of the characters keeps viewers curious and interested, the short films and companion series allows for new information to be gathered and the large fan support provides a fun community. Along with the lovable character design and catchy songs, it would be hard to dislike once you’ve seen it.

Hazbin Hotel, from what little we have, seems to be a roaring success. From fan art to fan fiction, Hazbin already has a large and prominent fan following. Which is good because the show is not affiliated with a producer and instead leans on the funds of fans to create new content. This allows the creator to have no outside influence by a higher up but puts the series on a long waiting period. Vivziepop is constantly adding new ideas and content on her Twitter to show the fans that she’s still working towards new episodes. The most recent additions was a short film called Holidaze and a music video from Helluva Boss called Oh Millie.

Hazbin Hotel checks many boxes on the Alexander scale with Serial Structure, Personal Presence, and Social Framework. The most outspoken however would be the Social Framework. Not only is the series funded by fans who buy merchandise and contribute through the patreon but with the long waiting period and constant updates from the author, in tweets and short films within the universe of Hazbin, a lot of the story plot known is made up by the fans. Vivziepop has stated that a lot of the wiki for Hazbin is inaccurate and made up, she continues to hold out on information, promising that the story plot has been laid out already and that viewers will learn with time. Hazbin Hotel provides a new and refreshing series for viewers and allows us to see an exciting new world.

Hazbin Hotel Analysis

Published / by Beelzebub's_Corner

Hazbin Hotel is an animated web series that contains musical numbers, dark humor and adult themes. Created by Vivienne “Vivziepop” Medrano and uploaded to Youtube along with a companion series known as Helluva boss. The series follows the misadventures of Satans daughter as she tries to change hell from a backstabbing wasteland to a happy go lucky place where all the sinners work towards going to heaven. With the overpopulation of hell and the yearly genocide of its residents, Charlie (the daughter of satan) creates the Hazbin Hotel to rehabilitate sinners. Charlie along with her girlfriend Vaggie take in Angel dust, a well known porn star and drug addict that has no interest in being rehabilitated. As well as an enthusiastic backer, the malicious radio demon Aliastar, who instills himself into the hotel to cure his boredom and watch the sinners fail. With only one episode currently available and an incomplete comic book on the website, many fans have already begun to make up theories for where the story goes next.

The Audience of Hazbin Hotel would likely range between 14 – 40. With the dark themes and creative characters, Hazbin Hotel would seem to be of a specific taste but the show has many qualitites that reach a wide audience. The plotline of the characters keeps viewers curious and interested, the short films and companion series allows for new information to be gathered and the large fan support provides a fun community. Along with the lovable character design and catchy songs, it would be hard to dislike once you’ve seen it.

Hazbin Hotel, from what little we have, seems to be a roaring success. From fan art to fan fiction, Hazbin already has a large and prominent fan following. Which is good because the show is not affiliated with a producer and instead leans on the funds of fans to create new content. This allows the creator to have no outside influence by a higher up but puts the series on a long waiting period. Vivziepop is constantly adding new ideas and content on her Twitter to show the fans that she’s still working towards new episodes. The most recent additions was a short film called Holidaze and a music video from Helluva Boss called Oh Millie.

Hazbin Hotel checks many boxes on the Alexander scale with Serial Structure, Personal Presence, and Social Framework. The most outspoken however would be the Social Framework. Not only is the series funded by fans who buy merchandise and contribute through the patreon but with the long waiting period and constant updates from the author, in tweets and short films within the universe of Hazbin, a lot of the story plot known is made up by the fans. Vivziepop has stated that a lot of the wiki for Hazbin is inaccurate and made up, she continues to hold out on information, promising that the story plot has been laid out already and that viewers will learn with time. Hazbin Hotel provides a new and refreshing series for viewers and allows us to see an exciting new world.

One Chance Analysis

Published / by Beelzebub's_Corner

One Chance is a browser game designed by Dean Moynihan. The game focuses on John Pilgrim, a scientist that is working on a cure for cancer. Join and his team find the cure but it does its job a little too well. It not only destroys the cancer cells but all other living cells. John has one week to find a cure or die with his family.

The main themes in One Chance are death, family, guilt, suicide, dark humor and apocolypse. Through the actions of John’s crew, the world is dying and you have to decide if your going to try and fix it in the six days you have left. You can choose to not and let the world and yourself die or try and fix your own mistakes but can you do it in time?

One Chance allows players to experience an apocalypse with only one play through. The game is designed to only provide one ending unless you delete all of your search history. With multiple endings and a pinch of dark humor, One Chance lets players see through John’s eyes the destruction one well meaning action can cause. From his wife commiting suicide to the ending option of dying with your daughter or living alone for rest of your days, One Chance offers hard choices that many people wouldn’t know how to make.

One Chance caters to a large audience likely between the ages of 20 – 40. With a high concentration on work and family, this age group will better connect to the mature themes that One Chance provides. The connection between child and parent plays a paramount role in this game as John continues to decide between his family and his desire to fix his mistakes. Once his wife commits suicide, John’s daughter follows along until the virus kills her.

One Chance allows for the player to experience a game that only allows for one play through. Meaning, unlike a book where there is only one ending, you make the choices and then you have to live with them. In most games, we have become desensitized to the thought of dying because you can just respawn at a save point and continue on or restart and make different choices. One Chance doesn’t allow that (unless you cheat), once you choose to make something happen that’s your choice and many gamers aren’t use to that. It’s what makes the game a success. Offering an experience that you only really get in IRL but through a perspective that’s not your own. It forces you to think carefully about your choices and where you want John and his daughter to end up.

The theme that best connects with One Chance is platform affordances. Without One Chance being online, we wouldn’t have the mechanic that keeps people from easily replaying the game. If the game allowed for more than one play through it would lose its unique ability to provide the player with an outside perspective about life. With the many trials and tribulations that John Pilgrim goes through in the last six days of the world, viewers access the feelings and connection that One Chance provides.

Animal Crossing Analysis

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Animal Crossing is a simulation game series published by Nintendo. Players enter the animal crossing world as a human while all other creatures seem to be anthropomorphic animals. The game provides an open-ended game play with normal tasks like fishing and paying debts. Along with connecting to the outside chronology to allow the game to pass time normally. With multiple characters and fun design projects, Animal crossing provides a social simulation within a fun and delightful environment.

The game has a large fanbase with many side stories created by players. For example, in the most recent game released, Jacksepticeye has decide that his island is hell and that Tom Nook, one of the residents in charge of the island, is Satan. Along with his well known desire to kick off Shari a monkey that lives on the island. In the latest episode, Toss Boy, Jacksepticeyes player, tries to ruin Sharis birthday. Though it does not appear that Jack has figured out how to kick Shari off, it is only a matter of time before he does. Jack also likes to pretend that he has outside conversations with characters and that they are all on board with removing Shari. Using the bulliton board, Jack likes to write notes and then label them as other characters upon the island. Jack has also had his editor and girlfriend visit his island, showing off his bell and tortoise.

The audience for Animal Crossing is likely between 10-50. With wholesome game play that keeps all ages entertained, Animal Crossing enjoys a large fanbase. Along with the nintendo devices, Animal Crossing also has a phone app version, though not as thorough as the game console version, it still provides the Animal Crossing feel.

With the opportunities that Animal Crossing imbues within its game play a couple themes from Alexander would be Platform Affordances and Multiple Proscenia.

With the platform that Animal Crossing is designed for, the game provides a unique set of options that Xbox or online couldn’t keep up with. First through the connection of environments all over the world and the change in time along the internal clock settings, players get a homie vibe from the space their characters live in. Then you have the mobility of the game, whether on switch or smartphone, the game travels with you and can be opened whenever your ready to play (though the phone is limited to internet connection). Finally, the game allows you to play with other people without being in the same room. This has been a great way for people to meet up during the Quarantine, giving people a chance to play together without the need to be near each other.

Animal crossing provides a unique experience for all those that play it. The game is a success because it teaches responsibility and diligence. Requiring people to pay debts, work, collect materials and organize to collect achievements. Though the game has no real conflict or driving force, it provides a cool down experience that helps take the edge off. Plus, it has some amazingly cute characters. Getting to acquire and connect with each adorable animal lightens the soul just a smidge.

You Left Me Analysis

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In this analysis, we will be discussing the visual novel “You Left Me” created by Angela He. This game goes over sensitive topics like suicide, depression and amnesia. As the creator says “A dark/funny/surreal game about loneliness and loss. Comes with chat-speaking cyclopic cat and moon that tells dad jokes.” The game follows the story of a girl that has forgotten In this analysis, we will be discussing the video game “You Left Me” created by Angela He. This game goes over sensitive topics like suicide, depression, and amnesia. As the creator says “A dark/funny/surreal game about loneliness and loss. Comes with chat-speaking cyclopic cat and moon that tells dad jokes.” The game follows the story of a girl that has forgotten something important. As you go through the game you make choices on whether you live or die, find out the truth or give in to the evil outside your walls. 

The game is available on Mac, Windows and Linux. Offering five endings and surrealist art, this game seems tailored towards a large demographic of pThe game is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Offering five endings and surrealist art, this game seems tailored towards a large demographic of people, likely between the ages of 16-36. The contents of the game are more mature and hit on hard subjects that many people avoid. As you travel within the game you watch as she goes through trials within herself and the world around her. From a boss that seems to be getting a little to close for comfort to the blurry memory of the love of her life dying and leaving her behind, you choose what she endures. This game isn’t happy and it doesn’t particularly end in a way that gives the audience a sense of joy or fulfillment. Instead, depending on the ending you will either feel relief, despair or sorry for the character. This is why this game isn’t for young people or those that shy away from pain and loss.

Many creators like Jacksepticeye and Markiplier played this game, Jacksepticeye saying that “this game is important” and Markiplier using his philosophy that no matter how bad things got he would never choose death. Both YouTubers thought this game was important because it opens communication for those that need help with these types of thoughts. With the world as it is today, it can sometimes be difficult to come forward when you’re having a hard time with life and all its trials. Games and media like this allow for a commentary to be opened and show others that these feelings are real and should be addressed accordingly. Whether it is suicidal thoughts or an inability to cope with the loss of a loved one, this game provides an outlet for these emotions and a way to see for yourself where you stand.

Using the format of a virtual novel and allowing people to make their own choices, this game reaches farther than a book or movie could. By allowing people to make choices, even if there are limited options, you allow people to feel connected to the character. Almost like being reflected against the choices you make rather than allowing a creator to make them for you. Having the ability to choose if she lives or dies and when or where gives the audience a connection they wouldn’t have on other platforms. Alexander talks about the idea of a personal presence within a media text. “You Left Me” allows the audience to not only follow and make decisions about the main character but to empathize with the situation she’s in. Losing someone can hurt and sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning when you’re not getting up for them (yes I’m using the Frozen 2 philosophy.) Media helps you through those issues by allowing you to find an outlet for the pain and this game can also help you find a sense of closure.