Wrap your noggin around this: A transmedia web wide investigation video game project from telecommunications giant Orange and transmedia specialists Lexis Numerique.
Announced late last week, Alt-Minds is aiming to be a video game that crosses many a boundary of your typical social game: The title will be an episodic, paranormal thriller focused on taking players through a journey across Europe as they try to solve a bizarre spree of mysterious kidnappings.
Where this game will differ is that Alt-Minds will offer up a multitude of choices in how to conduct these investigations, ranging from casual game play on web browsers and smartphones, to solving riddles through social networks.
More importantly, cross media interaction is central to the design, as it is only through these player encounters that the story can progress, with key gamers having the potential to earn a spot in the unfolding mythology of the game.
Orange have dabbled quite heavily in the past with transmedia projects, including Detective Avenue
which featured over 20,000 French players, and more recently the extremely popular FanFan 2
which boasted 3 million Facebook interactions. Head of Games and Transmedia at Orange Jean-Francois Rodriguez is a strong believer in transmedia, believing that titles like Alt-Minds give the company "an opportunity to show that the tools we offer artists can be used to bring something new and very exciting to the public."
As for Lexis Numerique, they take this transmedia business quite seriously. Remember In Memoriam? It was a rather disturbing video game they released back in 2004 that lands you the role of investigating a journalist’s disappearance. The game was ambitious for its time, with many web based puzzles to solve and even featured player written emails to in game characters handled by real people.
Lexis Numerique see transmedia projects as online experiences that "break down the walls between fiction and reality by offering spectators/players an unprecedented level of immersion in the story."
Orange has taken a rather novel approach through its support of these Transmedia games, showcasing its networking technology in a format that encourages active consumer participation. More importantly, these games are not mere Advergames, but rather intelligent and unique artifacts that place Orange in a rather different light from its competitors.
However it turns out, the project and its 'web wide investigation' tagline is an exciting one. It debuts in Autumn 2012, and will be available in English, French, German and Spanish. Check out the sneak peek below.
ALT-MINDS - Teaser 1 (english version) by Alt-Minds
Douglas Stewart is a staff writer at iQU. When he is not writing, he devours books, plays an excessive amount of games, and is working on his upcoming fiction novel that (naturally) involves intersections between technology, gaming and society. Follow Douglas @TheGearCog