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Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:38 am
by T-Squared
Note: ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game. In short, it's a story that starts with an event in real-life meant to look real, then continues the story into the fictional world of a game or movie. (i.e. 2010's Portal 2 ARG BBS. It was a BBS made by Valve meant to look like a real dial-up access point into GlaDOS, the computerized antagonist of both games. Or even the "Flynn Lives!" ARG for Tron: Legacy.)

I was thinking of making an ARG that could progress into URU, involving (ostensibly) Dr. Watson's computer, a Compaq Portable III (which is actually my own, BTW.):

I haven't gotten any ideas on how to put more depth into the story, but I think this is a start:

An explorer who explored the cavern when it was open has, by serendipity, bought on eBay, a Compaq Portable III computer once owned by Dr. Watson. It was unused by the previous buyer, since they bought it by accident and had no use for it. The computer contains a full log, notes, communiques, and even lo-res photos from 1988 (in the story, the year that Dr. Watson received the computer from an archaeology group he was working with.) to the DRC's closure in 2008. The ARG will start from an interest-hook in the uploaded (whether it be a personal log, a suspiciously-corrupted file, or other items meant to pull the player into the game.) and then continue on into the game.

Originally, this idea was going to be a simple April Fools Joke on the DRC forums saying that I had found Dr. Watson's laptop (The laptop ain't going to happen), but I like the fact that we can plug our own stuff into URU now, since it gives me a more legitimate outlet. I might still post the DRC topic if/when the ARG is finished, but I need YOUR help to do it. That is, if anyone is interested.

For now, the work I have done to de-fictionalize URU for this is a currently-incomplete personal log, and an edited Windows 3.1 title screen (with accurate time-period logo.) (Editing the startup screen is easier than you think!):

Now, some of you might say that the idea doesn't work. "Why would he use an old computer like that rather than a laptop?" Well, the issue is reliability. DOS, Win 3.1, and some older hardware are still used today rather than newer OSes and hardware, because they were built like tanks! XD In this case, a cavern is no place for a newer system that can fail just from the air it's in!

Anyways, reply to this topic if you're interested. I need some ideas, people! :mrgreen:

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:46 am
by T-Squared
Hey, I just had an idea. What if we bring Tomahna into the story? In URU, Tomahna has not been found. Maybe the story could involve a set of coordinates.

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:32 pm
by Mac_Fife
I don't want to be a "wet blanket" here, but you might be running foul of RAWA's "Third Rule of Writing" (see Guidelines for Official Story/Age Creation): In saying (claiming) that this was Dr Watson's computer, you're revealing "new information" about a Cyan driven character. Dr Watson could potentially come along at some point in the future and say "Actually, I only ever used Apple Macs", leaving your story line a bit stranded.

On the other hand, if the computer was apparently the property of some previously unknown, junior member of the DRC who had collected material, some of which might possibly have come from Dr Watson, then you pretty well avoid the risk of being officially contradicted.

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:35 am
by T-Squared
I've taken the idea into consideration these last two-and-a half years, and since Uru seems to be starting up again, I want to try what you suggest, Mac_Fife.

I used to have a cheap 1995 Sager laptop with full-color Super VGA video and Sound Blaster audio capability, and I got the idea of turning it into Dr. Watson's laptop, but it broke down in 2010.

I tried again with a 1989 Zenith Supersport 386SX laptop, but it was too slow, and didn't have the capabilities I needed.

Last year, I finally found a believable-looking laptop with the same capabilities as the Sager, and more. (It's an NEC Versa 4050C laptop, with a Pentium processor)

I was thinking of the same AR Story (Alternate-Reality Story) to popularize the opening of fan-made content, except with what you suggested.

The story is that someone found a laptop with its respective docking base being sold on eBay. The person found it only because no one else took an interest in it, despite its history with the DRC. It belonged to a ResEng named "Alan J. Taylor", and was apparently given the operating system (Windows 95) in 2000. In the laptop were maps, pictures, correspondence between the members of the DRC, and the locations of books that they had not released to the public (the fan content IRL).

I also had an idea of a small orientation video, and I got bored and made a rough logo intro for that idea.

However, I'm tired and my brain is fried, so I'll upload them to Dropbox and post a link to the videos and ideas tomorrow.

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:47 pm
by JWPlatt
Could you also update the Deviantart links in your first post?

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:55 pm
by T-Squared
I left deviantART because of personal disagreements about how the website administration was running things there, so you won't find the idea I originally had there anymore.

Instead, you'll find them in this Dropbox link: ... K8dMta?lst

The original computer was supposed to be a Compaq Portable III lugger computer, but it didn't make sense for a member of the DRC to be dragging it through the miles and miles of tunnels from the surface all the way to D'ni.

Re: Dr. Watson's Computer: An ARG in Progress

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:41 pm
by Mac_Fife
I used the power of Global Mod to re-host (and re-size) what I think were the original images and updated the OP to point to those. 8-)