The ASPMC

September 6, 2020, 6:28:34 PM

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puzzle-humor, ARG, multiplat, phase-based game

The American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures (the ASPMC) was founded over a century ago to encourage the protection of magical creatures and their habitats. In the intervening years, the organization has atrophied and become a shadow of its former self. Remnants of ASPMC have taken it upon themselves to digitize their efforts and provided a series of missions for new recruits to help out.

This one is firmly in ARG space in that solving puzzles directly unlocks the story. It does operate behind a paywall for the individual experiences, save for the website (passive documentation of fantastic beasts) and the Twitter account (laughable attempts at a magical non-profit entering the modern world).

It does acknowledge its existence on the Non-Magical About page and the individual Investigation pages that you order are slightly out of game by definition (e.g., Moodus Markings), but once you buy the experience, it's a self-contained world that crosses multiple platforms - Moodus ranged everywhere from PowerPoint presentations to Eventbrite listings. Every puzzle is kicked off with an introductory YouTube video, but YouTube is used as a delivery mechanism rather than a platform.

Two out of three of the initial batch of modules have already launched, with the third (a Boston-area location specific experience) still on the way.