Co-Designer, Co-Writer, Sound Editor, Video Director, Website Designer
Dark Dealings was an alternate reality game (ARG) where players were tasked with helping to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a team of 10 people who were developing an ARG five years prior. Similar to a stage theater performance, ARGs are played, and sometimes performed, in real-time. For this project I developed the concept in tandem with a small team of students and acted as writer and designer during the semester in which we ran the game, as well as designing the website and editing the radio plays.
The main character, Richard "Dick" Engel, was a private detective who openly breaks the typical rules of an alternate reality game (ARG). This made him especially unpopular with our players, so much so that we killed him off prematurely. The writers of an alternate reality game (ARG) must remain fluid and ready to change the direction of the story at a moment's notice based on the desire of the players.
While much of the video and text content of Dark Dealings remains on the website, the interactive nature of the game has concluded. Similar to a stage theatre performance, ARGs are played, and sometimes performed, in real-time.
Website for the alternate reality game. Everything on the site was played as though in character, like acting or a murder mystery dinner. Players are in on the performance, but play along. The site includes forums for players to discuss the mysteries surrounding Dark Dealings, but they must pose questions as though the story is real.
Not directly shared with our players, but left easily available for them to find on the web, this video was meant to serve the dual purpose of lending credence to Richard Engel's story as a private investigator while also providing key insights into his character. While certainly not a flattering portrayal, the silliness of the video was intended.