ARG: The swiss account

This was the first of about a half-dozen Alternate Reality puzzle Games (ARGs), that I made for my friends to play. It was made for my friend Nat as a birthday present, because she was quite fond of escape rooms.

These are the files I used to make and play the game. As the game was a living and breathing exercise, not everything survived but I feel these files give a good sense of the overall game play. The main thing missing from this is the dozen or so manga books that I hard coded the puzzles into (because they were part of the gift, obviously).

THE PREMISE: Nat’s friend Michelle had come into a sum of money and was promptly arrested. Michelle had to rely on Nat, via a fake Law Office of Kind, Hart & Company, to figure out the clues that would reveal who the real villain was.

THE MECHANISM: The clues were hard coded into manga books (because Nat loves manga) that were delivered to her by the Kind Hart & Co, played by other friends of hers. When she decoded clues, she unlocked other ARG world players and scenarios that would ultimately solve the mystery and save Michelle. There was a real-world deadline for the game to finish so Nat would feel compelled to pay attention. This meant that I also had to allow her to start the game at her own timing, so that she could be sure nothing would interfere with game play. Win or lose though, I had an end-game present for Nat.

THE SPOILER: Michelle had in fact been betrayed by one of the lawyers.

Start with the Swiss Account PDF and the OUTLINE.docx if you want to get a sense of the thinking behind the game.