About this project
Game type: Science Fiction / Rated M for Mature (Horror) - Alternate Reality Game
- Latest update: The Axe!
- Advanced Gameplay Article
- Comic Book Preview
- Greenlit on Steam
- Now 100% Funded! Thank you!
“Our games have always been about making people’s lives … fun! For some, it was a phone call at 4 a.m. and the sound of a five-year-old girl reading passages from the Book of Revelation, while for others it was overcoming the chaos found in a raid of 4,000 players,” - Andrea Doyon, Black Watchmen Puppet Master
The Black Watchmen are a paramilitary group that provides security services and specialized intervention to protect the public from dangerous phenomena beyond human understanding: ritualistic murder, occult secret societies, and the paranormal, to name but a few.
As a global organization, The Black Watchmen offer a wide range of skills and services in the strategic deployment of military resources for covert missions anywhere in the world, on behalf of any group, corporation or government that can afford them. A number of multinational corporations, wishing to avoid public scrutiny, prefer to turn to private organizations such as The Black Watchmen to provide discreet cover and to resolve problems and conflicts. Often as a last resort, these corporations will delegate tricky and volatile situations to The Black Watchmen or similar groups, when urgent intervention is required.
To maintain objectivity during interventions, you, as an agent, are never informed of the identity of the client. You are instructed on only the mission parameters and how to distinguish friend from foe, but sometimes even this line gets blurred… You will have to use all your skill and creativity to solve the mission you will be assigned, within a specified timeframe. Some puzzles can be solved alone, while others will require the help of the ARG community.
The success of The Black Watchmen has enabled them to not only accumulate substantial cash reserves, but also to open up opportunities and tools unlike anything you would find in the military or civilian sector.
The Black Watchmen walk among you in secret, the nature of their work requiring their anonymity and professionalism.
The Black Watchmen Comic Book!
Alternate Reality Game (ARG)
First, you need to rent the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. In it’s simplest form, that’s what we try to do: add more fun to your life!
Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) are a type of entertainment in which a virtual storyline blends into the real world. In a cross-media environment, players have to interact online and offline to accomplish objectives, leading to a far greater degree of immersion than traditional games and media.
By blurring the line between the digital world and reality, we can create experiences that traditional games cannot deliver. Since everyone is different, we let you control the level of immersion. Some will be scared enough by a simple strange text message, while others may want more intense immersion. From a five year-old girl calling you at four in the morning to read you a passage from the Apocalypse in Spanish, to having an unmarked white van parked in front of their house day and night, the level of sinister can be as fraught as you like!
Why is this game hyped 8+ on MMORPG.COM?“This is probably the coolest game idea I've ever seen. Actually, I'm lying. There is no "probably" about it.” - DaedaIus
First, The Black Watchmen will be a permanent ARG, as an MMO. Second, the strength of an ARG is the community that is built around it. People from around the world will have to collaborate to solve puzzles and accomplish various missions - some virtual, some real - in cities across the globe! If your next clue is hidden in Moscow, the community is your only chance of solving the puzzle without flying to Russia... or fly to Moscow to live the real-life experience - the only limitation to how you complete a mission is your imagination!
In fact, ARGs cannot really exist without a massive online network of players. One puzzle in the past involved 4,000 players simultaneously! Now that’s a raid!
How The Black Watchmen were createdThe Black Watchmen were created by Human Equation in 2011 to feature in an ARG we ran as a marketing component for the launch of Funcom's game The Secret World. Now, in 2014, with permission of Human Equation and Funcom, Alice & Smith have taken the concept a step further and created a dedicated game and IP for The Black Watchmen.
What kind of gameplay can you expect?
Since they are not tied to any promotional game, movie or product, the game storylines are able to evolve and be developed in whatever ways the players decide. In fact, 50% of the content is produced as a direct result of players and community actions. By simply playing the game, you directly impact the direction of its development.
Is that a sweet deal or what?!
Whether you are an experienced player or a novice, you can take part in this experience. You can tag along with a puzzle-solving group, you can join a squadron of soldiers deployed to secure a rupture site, you can be a lone sniper hunting his prey or a black hat hacker breaking virtual defenses. You can research the leads that have been uncovered, hunting for the breakthrough that can explain everything….or lead to even more questions. The possibilities are endless. But beware…for any action you take, consequences will follow.
Real-world immersive gaming experience
Trans-platform operation, using web, phones, IRC, Twitch, real locations, and more
Comic book edition based on players actions and mission highlights
Total transmedia experience with professional actors and game designers
International cooperative play to explore the story, solve puzzles, and complete missions
- User-generated story content/plots/scenarios/action
What do the different Agent levels represent?
We have created a safety system so that during character creation players will be able to choose the level of immersion they wish from a real-life point of view.
RED is the lowest level of immersion and will be limited to email or, if the player opts in, SMS.
ORANGE is a little more intense, with voicemail, local real-world references in your missions (a nearby church, park, or restaurant), live streams from your home town, or even live calls from the phone booth down your street.
YELLOW is the highest level conventionally available. It involves “any time of the day” call-generation with real actors, suspicious packages sent by mail, and other ways to immerse you fully in the game.You can also apply for LEVEL GREEN involvement. This requires a full medical exam and a signed waiver on your life should any harm come to you during the course of your mission. Yes, we are serious. If you are selected for Green Level, be warned: this is not for the fainthearted! But you better believe it - this is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GAME PLAY, INTERFACE, MISSION AND STORYLINE? VISIT THE BLACK WATCHMEN WEBSITE HERE
Who is behind this ARG?
For six years now, we have been developing various technologies to support and hold major ARGs. We ran Behind the Yellow Curtain, a six-year long grassroots event on the ARG site Unfiction, The Secret World’s most popular ARGs - Gate 33 and the End of Days - and also the first ever sanctioned Warhammer 40k ARG.
The TSW’s ARGs shattered prior records for total players involved (600,000) and simultaneous players in a single event (4,000).
In July 2014, Nathalie Lacoste secured the funding to create the startup Alice & Smith, insuring the next 2 years salary, rent and expense for running the company. This way, 100% of your Investment (aside from Kickstarter Commission) will go INTO THE GAME.Nathalie Lacoste is founder and president of Human Equation which won the award for “128th Fastest Growing Company” in 2013 and recently secured 2014’s “48th Fastest Growing Company” in Canada; she is also 2-time nominee for Canadian Business Woman of the Year.
To understand the emotions and unique experiences offered by an ARG, you need to either talk with someone who has lived through one or else experience it yourself. By pledging, you'll have the opportunity to be amazed by a totally unique and awesome experience. So join us now in The Black Watchmen Forums!
What makes players so excited about this game?
*** ALL PLEDGES GIVES YOU ACCESS TO THE GAME
For add-ons, click the Manage Your Pledge button to increase your pledge by the total amount you're adding. We will send you a survey at the end of the campaign, to know how you want your add-on money distributed.
New : Backers at $25 and above will have a set of 10 TBW stickers for free!
Some of the locations and actors you will encounter. More to be revealed!
The Situation Room exists not only in our reality and timeline, but also enables those who use it to access, view, and live alternate versions of reality. Manipulating the space-time continuum, the Situation Room can create effects way beyond human comprehension. This is where the majority of resources are funneled as The Black Watchmen consider this their most important research utility.
A young Research Assistant at the Rosenberg clinic, Vanessa Baup has lived for years with Dr. Rosenberg, whom she regards as a father. Her mother Anneliese Michel, a German woman believed to be possessed by demons, died many years ago during the course of a ten-month series of exorcisms.
A rupture site is the location of a breach in our universe due to temporal stresses of the multiverse, releasing levels of radiation lethal to humans. The only one who has proven capable of surviving the forces within a rupture has become known as the ‘Cyber-mage’ and is, like the ruptures themselves, a subject of great interest. Using new technology designed in partnership with the Cyber-mage, it is now possible for The Black Watchmen to investigate rupture sites, but so far little has been learned about their origins. Five rupture sites have been identified so far, with recently-discovered evidence of a sixth that appears never to have happened, at least in our current version of the universe.
Patient Alpha has a rare mutation of her BDNF gene that was triggered following an exposure to a rupture site. Patient Alpha is a being of immense power who exists slightly out of sync with our reality. She is rather vain, and neither good or evil, but she is helping The Black Watchmen to understand what these 'incidents' are.
Risks and challenges
We have been developing ARGs for the last six years and we know our community. We appreciate the dedication of each of these players and all their support. By introducing the concept of an ARG to a different audience, we are aware that we need to create many different levels of play to satisfy all of the diverse personalities that may want to participate.
Our game is driven by the actions of you, the player. You create history and take our missions to sometimes unexpected levels. Your actions affect the storyline every day. The larger the community grows, the more expansive and the more locally relevant the changes will become.
Our team will live this ARG day-by-day just like you. Your actions will direct their work and that is what motivates us more than anything, every single day.
We strive to surprise and make your life…fun!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We plan to launch the game in Q1 of 2015.
A season lasts three months.
The hub will be browser-based and, if we're greenlit, will interface with Steam.
TBW runs on a subscription model, and all of the Kickstarter reward tiers include the first year in the price. Depending on how many players we have, we hope to produce as many as 4 seasons within that period. New players who join after the Kickstarter campaign ends will have to pay between 30$ to 75$ per year. Final price will be based on how many player we have to support the model.
Yes, but after negative experiences, fees, and protracted delays related to their refund process in a prior (unsuccessful) crowdfunding campaign, it was decided that this time Paypal should only be accepted once the campaign has reached its $40k funding goal.
Classes are decided at a later stage, in the character creation process when the game begins. Since this is a ARG, characters are not created by choosing stats in a conventional interface, but rather through a mission helping you to discover your nature. Your agent's clearance level, on the other hand, represents the degree to which you'd like the game to interact with you. This can be changed at ANY time, based on your comfort level, or what your life and schedule allow.
After the kickstarter is completed, we will start developing the missions and the story. Then the player will be called into action in various way, depending on their pledge. An email, a phone call, a knock at the door - don’t worry, we will find you.
Please don't be intimidated by the ARG. We are a community that works on the missions together. You don't need to be able to summon knowledge about bishops who performed exorcisms or Neolithic structures, any knowledge and skills you bring to the table helps us all, whether it's cars, medieval weaponry, Russian literature, or classical music, the more the better.
Indeed, some countries will be more active than others, but – even in Zimbabwe – you will be able to get involved in the different game missions. We need players all over the world, since a rupture can occur anywhere.
As an agent, you will be invited to join the community in solving different puzzles, which may require your interaction directly in your region. We need agents on a global scale in order to perform and complete all the missions. And this is not random. When you join the game, you bring your part of the world into our ecosystem, enabling missions to occur in your vicinity. That might even mean a satanic ritual going on in the basement of your town church…
Support this project
- (45 days)