This is super-good – not just on ARGs, which aren't necessarily flavour of the month, but on designing difficult puzzles for a large number of people to solve, and how not to be surprised by how fast groups are at solving things when they have the network. Gating the experience with slow tasks – MD5 brute-forcing, for instance, is one nice idea; I also really like Adam's points about making sure players know precisely what is in-universe and what isn't, so there's never a question of whether something is right or not; just like a good cryptic crossword.
"If we were managing a brand would we have been so brutal and focused with these things? Probably not. It would have been someone's job to think of these as valuable brand assets and argue for their preservation. For some reason, as soon as you describe something as a brand all this fake science marketing mysticism gets invoked and paralysing decisions get made." Russell on GOV.UK
Hello Lamppost ends up on the Creative Review blog.
Announcing “Hello, Lamp Post”
21 January 2013
News time! I’m very excited to announce that PAN Studio, in collaboration with myself and Gyorgyi Galik, have been awarded the Playable City Award from Watershed. Full details here.
Hello Lamp Post! invites you to tune in to the secret conversations of the city and communicate through lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and other street furniture. Part game, part story, anyone will be able to play by texting in a unique code found on the city’s familiar street objects.
…except, of course, there’s a little more going on than that (although not how you might expect it).
It’s a hugely exciting opportunity. I’m particularly keen to see how the initial idea we’ve started from will develop and be honed as we design it, and work with the materials we have – which include both SMS and Bristol itself.
And, of course: it’s worth saying how flattering to be selected from such an excellent shortlist, full of peers and friends.
I’ll save writing any more about the design for the future – and, I hope, in a space with PAN and Gyorgy, where we can share our own insights into the project. Muncaster is go, then. Onwards!
Playable City shortlist announced
14 December 2012
I spent a couple of days a few weeks ago working with PAN Studio on their proposal for Watershed’s Playable City project. I’m excited to announce that PAN (working with myself and Gyorgyi Galik) have been shortlisted for the competition, with their project Hello, Lamppost. You can find out more about the project here.
It’s an exciting shortlist – lots of friends, peers, and former colleagues on it – which really captures the breadth of thinking around play in the urban landscape right now. Final results are announced on 21st January; we’ll wait to see what happens next. Congratulations to everyone on the shortlist.