Project image
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$1,030
pledged of $501,000pledged of $501,000 goal
24
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 8 2012 2:17 PM UTC +00:00
$1,030
pledged of $501,000pledged of $501,000 goal
24
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 8 2012 2:17 PM UTC +00:00

About

Welcome to the New World Order 

THEY decide which candidates you can elect. What TV shows you watch. Who is The One Percent. What food you eat. What prescriptions you take for the diseases they create. 

They are The Alignment. 

But they can’t stop you from choosing the books you can read—yet—or the Kickstarter projects you can launch today, before it’s too late…. 

What is The Alignment? 

The Alignment is a double entendre, referring to both the factual, secret star alignments of key landmarks in Washington, D.C., and the fictional, centuries-old organization bent on establishing a New World Order from my Raising Atlantis series of New York Times bestselling novels featuring archaeologist Conrad Yeats and Vatican linguist Serena Serghetti.

The Alignment first appeared in the hit Web series Atlantis Mapping Project (2000-2003), which attracted an audience larger than many cable networks and was one of the first to leverage social media to become among the most widely shared experiences on the Web. My company @lantis Media Corp. soon began producing multiple No. 1 bestselling ebooks and audiobooks. But it has always remained independent in spirit and structure, like the heroes and heroines of great stories, resisting today’s rapid, Alignment-like consolidation of the world’s media and entertainment industries. 

Game Without Borders 

@lantis Media Corp. is partnering with legendary game designers behind the biggest mobile, social and console games to create The Alignment: Federal City, a new kind alternate reality game (ARG) inspired by my New York Times bestsellers that you download to your phone as a mobile app.  This mobile app, built upon next-generation mapping, geolocation-aware and social networking engines, then turns your phone into a point-and-click device in the real world.

Besides bursting beyond the “edges” of onscreen gameplay into the real world, The Alignment: Federal City is also a transmedia franchise. I’m going to write a brand new series of Conrad Yeats adventures in conjunction and as part of the game. The series will include a number of downloadable ebooks, virtual and collectible artifacts, and a 24/7 live audio stream of original programming called @lantis Radio. You will have free access to all of it. 

So your are funding both a next-generation mobile app and a new series of books, thus creating a new kind of transmedia franchise and alternate reality.

Can We Get More Specific?

The Alternate Reality Game Network has just published a story about Google's top-secret Niantic Project, which appears to be a game that, like The Alignment: Federal City, turns smartphones into alternate reality portals. While Google's game is not associated with our own, backers are encouraged to sample it to glean just a hint of the mystery and intrigue awaiting them in The Alignment: Federal City.

In The Alignment: Federal City, you will unlock the secret star alignments of Washington, D.C., and in success map 13 other world capitals from the past, present and future to unravel humanity’s oldest and greatest conspiracy. In the process, you will make and share real-world discoveries for the rest of us through your flags, comments, pictures and video, making your mark on the world and helping to shape our vision of reality. 

For example, since the publication of The Atlantis Prophecy four years ago, staff at the Library of Congress have used its revelations to discover a half-dozen additional and previously undocumented secret zodiacs hidden in the art and architecture of the Jefferson Building, all in plain but hidden view of the public since 1897. 

In plain sight?  Hmm...wonder where this zodiac compass points to....
In plain sight? Hmm...wonder where this zodiac compass points to....

Thousands of other, even earlier codes since the founding of the republic have been embedded into the key D.C. landmarks, waiting to be discovered by you. Even secret, unmarked doors and tunnels (which the feds assure me are NOT waiting to be discovered by you, even though they do want to encourage your exploration of America’s rich heritage and steer you to their souvenir shops). 

The same is true for other world capitals, all of them linked through time and space via The Alignment—the astronomical Rosetta Stone of all conspiracies. As the Masons like to say: “As above, so below.” 

What are they REALLY digging up under the U.S. Capitol?  ©2004 @lantis Media Corp.
What are they REALLY digging up under the U.S. Capitol? ©2004 @lantis Media Corp.

The game designers—the creative forces behind some of the biggest games you already play or soon will—are going to incorporate the ebooks, audiobooks and media streaming components into the ARG game as virtual artifacts. Meanwhile, various real-world landmarks, storefronts and geocaches will offer physical artifacts in the location-based form of freebies, collectibles, coupons, special offers and more that stand alone as their own rewards as well as assist you in the game. 

To deliver the alpha game for you along with all associated transmedia content will cost $500K, according to the game designers. That’s BIG MONEY and yet relatively little for a next-gen ARG game that in success is expected to engage 10 million eyeballs daily within the first year.  

The ETA is Spring 2014, although in many ways the alpha game starts here with Kickstarter and continues after the holidays with monthly documentary videos and private discussion boards between you and the game designers. We’ll also be rolling out some of the transmedia elements for you as early as this spring. 

The idea is to create a stream of interactive goodness between here and there, making the transparent process itself its own reward. 

Rewards

The wholly new ARG and transmedia experience is being offered for the flat backer contribution of $15.  That includes the mobile app and ebook previews of the new books.

Beyond the reward of the finished game, the ability to participate in the discovery and development of this unprecedented, history-making project makes it a priceless experience.  

All backers will receive one-time commemorative social badges per their respective reward tiers that recognize their elite "originals" status and unlock special "Club 13" privileges in the game forever.

We also have great premium rewards ranging from collectibles to original concept art and music. 

Finally, and this is huge: 50 backers of The Alignment: Federal City will be characters in the game itself.

Why Kickstarter? 

CLICK PICTURE TO WATCH Amanda Congdon's interview with me.
CLICK PICTURE TO WATCH Amanda Congdon's interview with me.

First, it’s about creative integrity. 

As someone who has helped put together, participate in or advise several billion-dollar film production and finance deals with the major Hollywood studios, I can confirm what you already know: Hollywood today is culturally downstream. While the studios and television networks want to control development of intellectual properties they purchase, and they certainly have the P&A budgets to advertise them, they now discover properties off the lot, beyond their own development executives, in the form of bestselling novels, comic books, games, even Twitter feeds. 

Creators can sell their rights and maybe even make big money, but there is very little to control from there. A studio sinking millions into, say, The Alignment movie or “big event” TV series has every right to call the shots on their capital-intensive investment. The best guarantee for uncompromised creative vision, I’ve found, is a dedicated fan base that the studio or network does not want to alienate. That usually (but clearly not always) keeps the project on the straight and narrow. 

See, it’s not the money that ultimately makes this happen. And it’s not even me. It’s YOU who makes it happen. Kickstarter is your canvas to begin painting the future of this transmedia franchise. 

Second, you are the market—not private equity. 

Too many creative projects are produced simply because the money is there from the studio or investors. Contact with the “marketplace”—meaning YOU—doesn’t happen until the big pub date, pilot airing or opening weekend. We’ve all seen the results and wondered, “What were they thinking?” By starting with you in Kickstarter, and developing the game with you via regular discussion reviews, we can create real value without wasting time and money on gameplay or features you don’t really care about. Magicians know this well: some illusions that require the most skills and sleight of hand elicit yawns, while other practically self-working tricks any eight-year-old could perform prompt awe and applause. We certainly don’t want to build stuff just because we can if other things deliver more fun for you. You are the beginning and end game. Not VCs, Hollywood studios, TV networks or game partners. You. 

Third, it’s about discovery. 

You get to discover The Alignment: Federal City here on Kickstarter, stumbling upon it the way I first discovered tunnels older than the republic just minutes after completing the broadcast above for NBC affiliates years ago on a particularly fateful night.

Now you can easily spread the idea of The Alignment: Federal City by sharing this page. You can even get and give away the white paper “cheat” by Conrad Yeats that originally inspired all this: Washingtonople: The Secret History of America’s Capital. It’s $2.99 on Amazon and free on my website.

And by funding The Alignment: Federal City game, you can go into deep discovery and share it with the world, creating a fan-driven, Marvel-like transmedia entity in the process that entertains, enlightens and empowers millions and hopefully makes the world a richer, more connected place. 

This project on Kickstarter is my way to organize forward thinkers, and to send a signal to my risk-averse partners in publishing, streaming, game, television and film. We can let them know loud and clear that this is a transmedia series of books, streaming, games and more that's going to get more than talked about—it’s going to get read, listened to, watched and played in real time and in the real news. Kickstarter amplifies the message, but you amplify the reality. 

Fan art from the U.K.
Fan art from the U.K.

Closing 

For anyone interested in the inner workings of the New World Order, either virtually or in the field, this project will be a landmark like those of The Alignment: Federal City in the new age of discovery. For people who just love great books, great stories and great games, this is an opportunity to help bring a unique and enduring experience for the ages to millions.

Risks and challenges

The major risks in a cutting-edge game like this are always technology, cost overruns and production delays.

On the tech front, we have mitigated as much as possible in advance by "prewiring" The Alignment: Federal City with the game designers and technology companies who have put up their hands and systems to say they will support the game in Kickstarter success. Indeed, they have already built games or game components similar to what they'll be doing with The Alignment: Federal City. There is no "on-the-job training" with this game. All the designers are world-class veterans.

Even so, as CEO of @lantis Media, I have had to ensure that we have several outstanding "engine" options should any one—or several—"fail" us. We are not wedded to any single engine, platform or technology. While we have eyes on a couple of engines yet to be disclosed to the public, if they are not ready we have back-ups, and back-ups to those back-ups. Nuances of the game will change, but the fundamentals of gameplay will not. My job as the ultimate consumer here is to deliver the alpha to our backers and together with them and our designers create something wholly new.

On the cost overrun front, the main reason the Kickstarter "ask" is for $501K is because $500K is what the game designers came up with as the "safe bet" with overrun margins baked into that figure. I would have loved to offer The Alignment: Federal City for $400K, as some other game studios have done and raised far more than that, but if $500K is what it takes to deliver, then that's what it takes. Do or die. The backers will get to play, and after refinement we take it to partners for the public beta who estimate an eyeball count that is simply to big to believed or promised in a Kickstarter campaign. So instead of eyeballs we stress hearts and minds. Our plan is to deliver a quality experience at a reasonable cost.

Delays are inevitable, and again we have baked those into the Kickstarter campaign, even at the risk of turning off backers who simply cannot delay gratification until May 2014. Could we possibly be out with the alpha by February 2014? Yes. By October 2013? Possible but not likely. We have worked up various windows and feel most comfortable with a May 2014 date. The caveat, of course, is natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy that can wipe out server farms, currency collapses and other minutia like the end of civilization. But here, too, like the Founding Fathers, we are planning in advance for margin.

There is also the unlikely "creative block" on the ebook side as I am the author of the new Conrad Yeats series of adventures under the banner of The Alignment: Federal City. But while unwritten, the stories have been blocked out, the research done. And the very nature of this project demands that I NOT write everything out first and try to squeeze the game into my storyworld. Rather, I will be working in tandem with the game design team and the backers to expand this transmedia world.

We're ALL part of the creative process here, with all its risks and with all its rewards.

E pluribus unum.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PLAYER PASSPORT OPTION: The alpha ARG game The Alignment: Federal City via exclusive mobile app in 2014; the new Conrad Yeats series of ebooks in May 2013; free and full access to @lantis Radio audio streaming site in May 2013; exclusive access to the private "developers discussion" community; and instant Christmas download next month of the $9.99 bestseller The War Cloud in choice of Kindle, Nook, iBooks or Google eBook formats for reading on your computer, tablet or phone.

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    DIGITAL VIP "ADVANCE SCREENING" OPTION: Advance access to the new Conrad Yeats series of ebooks months ahead of the game; free and full access to @lantis Radio audio streaming site months ahead of the game; and all previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BOOK ARTIFACT OPTION: Hardcover collector’s edition of the novel The Alignment: Federal City (will retail for $27.99 to public later), the great American conspiracy in print encompassing the new Conrad Yeats ebook series in a single print volume; and all previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DIGITAL OPUS OPTION: PDF version of The Alignment: Federal City Discovery Book, filled with full-color pages of original concept art, game script excerpts, photos, character bios, developer bios, conspiracy secrets and “easter egg” extras; AND the HD download to the game's title music score; and all previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DOMINIUM DEI HARDCOVER, ALIGNMENT "STAR MAP" POSTER, SNEAK PEAK GAME PLAY, and IN PERSON AUTOGRAPH SESSION AND MEETING AT COMIC-CON IN SAN DIEGO: Hardcover edition of DOMINIUM DEI epic novel with secret embedded codes; Special edition Alignment celestial-terrestrial “star map” from The Alignment: Federal City (suitable for framing) signed by Thomas Greanias and the game designe with special thanks in the game credits; SPECIAL INVITE to play the preview portion of the ARG game; IN PERSON AUTOGRAPH SESSION WITH THOMAS GREANIAS AND GAME DESIGNERS for attendees at Comic-Con San Deigo; and all previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE BIG ONE. Huge hardcover illustrated coffee table art edition of The Alignment: Federal City Discovery Book (filled with 100+ full color pages of concept art, original photos, developer bios, excerpts from the game’s script, deep dark secrets, and more!) signed by Thomas Greanias and the game designers, and all previous reward tiers (except the limited "300" option).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    GAME PORTRAIT. Mini portrait of YOU, painted by the game's artist, and all previous reward tiers (except the "300" option). Think of yourself drawn like the characters of the "Lord of the Rings" in the end credits of "Return of the King."

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE SMITHSONIAN OFFER. Larger original painting of art used in the final game, and all previous reward tiers (except the limited "300" option).

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    PERSONAL TOUR AND LUNCH: Preview the key landmarks from The Alignment: Federal with Thomas Greanias and special guests in D.C., or enjoy lunch together at an undisclosed location in Southern California with Thomas Greanias and special guests, and all previous tiers (except the limited "300" option). MORE REWARDS AWAIT but must remain undisclosed because they are priceless. (Note: We are looking at three primary windows of availability to accommodate winners—February, April and October 2013, and February and April 2014. Travel, hotel and other meals not included.)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    GREAT AMERICAN SPONSOR ROLE. Get a “walk-on” role as a character or sponsored cache (business, non-profit, government agency) in The Alignment: Federal City.

    This is how George Washington funded Pierre L'Enfant's master plan for D.C.— by selling lots in advance. And we can handle up to (but no more than) 50 "stars" in this game to represent the 50 states of the Union.

    We've had "walk-ons" before, for example, where a contest winner got her wish to be a “sexy vixen” in one of my novels.

    Who knows where or when YOU or your business will pop up in The Alignment: Federal City game?

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Funding period

- (33 days)