Letter From The Puppet Master

Discussion in 'Announcement' started by Anashel, Sep 3, 2016.

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  1. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member


    Hi everyone! I would like to take the time to give an update on the current projects at Alice and Smith.

    It’s been a year since we launched The Black Watchmen and if you read the Almanac, you know that a lot has happened in the last 12 months. For me, it was by far the most exciting year as a puppet master and a game developer. We have launched a second (and soon a third) game, nearly doubled the size of our community and successfully kidnapped one of our players. It has been a thrill ride.

    As we look forward to the Fall months, there is a lot on the horizon. We are set to release the full version of Ahnayro at the end of September, expand NITE Team 4 and further broaden the universe of The Black Watchmen.

    Many of you are eager for the announcement of Season 3, and we don’t blame you! We are excited about the story we want to tell, however before we officially announce the launch date of a new season, we believe we need to improve the core quality of the game and define how we must evolve the ARG experience to the next level. Mother Russia was an opportunity to test all that we had learned over the past year:
    • The live event was a great experience for both us and the community. While there were many amazing moments (code book, recon, etc…), the one that stands out for me as a puppet master is the final live stream on Twitch. I see a lot of untapped potential in this, and I want us to explore it more.

    • Mother Russia allowed us to increase the level of role playing content within a mission set with the Msika Archive, an in-depth lore document. We want to test similar deeper lore artifacts and see how we can better balanced it with the puzzle and the ARG components.

    • Mother Russia had a lot of lore and content to explore, but was a little short on the number of puzzles. I think we could increase the amount of puzzles and their challenge without having any impact on the quality or the cost of the DLC.
    Therefore, we see three next steps for The Black Watchmen: A dedicated live event hub, a new DLC that you will vote on and a new hint mechanic.

    We have been attempting to centralize the live event experience in a core hub for a long time, and the response to the stream at the end of Operation SILVERSPEAR was so positive that we decided to create the Coordination & Operations Management (COM) Division. The COM Division website hub will be open during a live event and will be personalized (using your in-game agent login) for an optimal browser and mobile experience (aka field work).

    The hub will feature:
    • Twitch stream and live chat
    • Collective progression of the event so far
    • Rewards and achievement you have completed
    • Time and date in UTC (no more shit i missed it)
    • Agent participation, which could be organized by class, groups, territory or blood type
    • Deeper interaction with Dispatch through radar monitoring, interactive maps, strategic deployment, resources management, etc...
    • Links to Archive documents about the current event
    • Mobile support to submit field intel
    (!) PREVIEW: (VERY EARLY!) wireframe of the COM Division hub

    2. NEW DLC
    We are excited to test this hub in a new live event. We will send a survey to see where your interests lie for this next Special Operation DLC. You will also vote on the theme of the DLC and the mechanics you would like to see us explore. As with Mother Russia, this DLC will include:
    • 5 new missions (with Video Cutscenes)
    • Around 25 puzzles (+40% over Mother Russia)
    • A new live event
    • Cost of 5$
    • Target Launch Date - End of October, early November

    Finally, we want to provide a large quality of life improvement for the agents playing Season 1 and Season 2. For this, we will introduce the Surveillance and Information Management (SIM) Division. Accessible within the game, it will feature multiple hints broken down by puzzle. The SIM Division is actually relying on curated Intel from agents; integrating hints from the forums thread into the client. Agents who contributed to the hints will be credited. We encourage agents to continue contributing hint in the forums, SIM Division will review this intel and use it to expand our global help system.

    (!) PREVIEW: (VERY EARLY!) wireframe of the SIM Division

    -- AHNAYRO
    Ahnayro continues to evolve and grow. It has already helped us bring 976 new players to the community in Early Access alone but more impressive; 63% of Ahnayro players bought a copy of The Black Watchmen. By the end of the year, we hope to bring an additional 2000 players to the community.

    Table 2 is about to be launched and we plan for an official release at the end of September. A special quest line will also be unlockable only by Black Watchmen “Scientist” Class.

    (!) PREVIEW: Dream fragment from Table 2

    -- NITE Team 4
    We will need your help to determine the future of NITE Team 4. At the moment, we have the funds to deliver a project at the scale of Ahnayro, reaching out to a different audience (hacker experience) and helping us expand The Black Watchmen universe. But we have a larger vision for NITE Team 4. We believe it can span into a much bigger project, something along the lines of The Black Watchmen Season 1. Including advanced mechanics, narrative, voice actors, content and its own original soundtrack.

    (!) PREVIEW: NT4 Kickstarter Promo

    We decided to turn to Kickstarter to see if there is interest in a “Hacker Experience” game like NT4. If successful, this will also bring visibility and new players to the Black Watchmen universe. Like in Ahnayro, we also plan to have a NITE Team 4 special quest line unlockable only by Black Watchmen “Cybertech” Class. To be clear: the Kickstarter funding will simply define how far we can push NITE Team 4 in terms of mechanics and content.

    The Kickstarter for NITE Team 4 will go live in the next two weeks. With your support, we can make this game better!

    Now that Mother Russia madness is over, we are back and ready to work! Looking forward to
    your feedback on NITE Team 4, Ahnayro and The Black Watchmen

    - Anashel
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