In Reality was an ARG in three parts and a sequel/successor to my previous ARG, Mystery of the Emblem. Described by players as “amazing” and “almost competent”, it was… kind of a mess. This page used to describe it as overambitious, but when I look over it now (November 2021) it feels like I pretty much achieved what I intended, I just wasn’t actually telling a particularly interesting story. Still, it was an interesting experiment and gave me a lot to think about for future projects. I miss this style of ARGs…
As before, it’s all documented on the Game Detectives wiki.
The first part was a trail of ten puzzles set by a woman named Sophie who was researching the Window. You can still have a go at it, starting from this reddit post – it might be a fun way to improve your puzzle-solving skills (LEVELS and ae27ff are also good for this).
The second part appeared to be an entirely separate ARG called Watching You. It was run by four members of a weird organisation, and offered puzzles to train and recruit people for the organisation, which was later revealed to be the dastardly AWBO! The website is still up here, and I think there are a few puzzles that haven’t been solved if you want to give them ago. We tried rebooting it in December 2016, but it failed to get any interest as the Game Detectives admins decided to run an entirely separate puzzle advent calendar, and theirs had actual prizes and better puzzles.
The third and final part brought together the first two parts and MotE (with some references to other ARGs), telling the story of Yukimura, the in-universe puppetmaster of MotE, and their roommate Chloe, future daughter of Sophie from the first part. It was pretty overcomplicated and there were only a few people who actually stuck around to play it, but I learnt a lot about what makes a good ARG and what doesn’t from running it. The main site for this one is now archived here, although bear in mind that you’ll have to change the URL manually to use any links within the site.
Several people helped out a lot with this ARG:
biscuitboy1211 Team Look in the Bushes puzzle development (Watching You)
KingFail Team Look in the Bushes puzzle development (Watching You)
gayfarang hosting (Electronic Freedom Society)
Sengabz location support
MrsButterfly puzzle concept
Thank you a lot also to everyone who took part in any part of the ARG (Mystery of the Emblem, Part 1, Watching You, and Part 3), and to the rest of the Game Detectives staff for being so great!
Teragon Group, Order of the Crimson Temple and Electronic Freedom Society created by gayfarang and used with permission. I don’t know why I did this and I apologise. Read about the Teragon ARG, it was neat.