A View From The Road: ARG, A Portal MMOG!

A View From The Road: ARG, A Portal MMOG!

What Portal fans don't realize is that last week, Valve actually tricked them all into playing an MMOG.

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Haha; quite an odd take on what transpired - I like it; very well written argument. I don't think I'd like to play a Portal MMOG however. I certainly enjoyed what little puzzle solving I attempted in the ARG though.

Yeah...I can see the cake jokes returning now...

However, its weird how ARG's can bring the best out of communities. It reminds me of the ilovebees campaign that happened and the sheer scope that envoloped.

Like an MMO Real life!

Ima blow your mind right now: the cake is the truth.

I don't know how valve will pull off taking the cake to a new level.

The cake may be a lie, but it is delicious. I don't want to know the truth now if the lie tastes this good.

While I understand the argument, it's not an MMO. It really needs to have more than just the bare bones, and more than just one puzzle: now that it's been decoded, and Portal 2 has been released, how many people are still looking at the ARG? If this was an MMO, it'd be in its death throes right now.

And I'm still apprehensive for Portal 2. I mean, the first was all right (but nothing incredibly spectacular), but I don't feel that it'll make for a great full-length game.

fun-with-a-gun:
I don't know how valve will pull off taking the cake to a new level.

Maybe by adding more rhubarb? Thankfully Valve said the cake won't be returning in Portal 2.

And I'm kind of saddened that this... MMOARG of sorts is over, as I had not gotten to take part in it.

What fun it was. There was one guy so dedicated to uncover the mystery, that he found coordinates that appeared to point to Valve's old studio in Kirkland. Right underneath a place called "Magnusson Park". He didn't find anything, but it sure was something.

While the ARG might follow the same basic concepts as Massively Multiplayer Online Games tend to, that doesn't really make it a fully fledged MMO, I think. If it is, it's a pretty poor one for all parties involved: it doesn't make money, noone gains any levels, and people don't even get loot! It was a lot of fun, but just because something's fun doesn't make it a game. I'd be calling this a massively multiplayer online... puzzle? I mean, unless you call driving to work through the traffing a PvP competitive massively multiplayer game, instead of calling it a pain in the ass or a fact of life... I can't exactly agree.

The Cake is a lie..... but the Pie a truth!

Fenixius:
While the ARG might follow the same basic concepts as Massively Multiplayer Online Games tend to, that doesn't really make it a fully fledged MMO, I think. If it is, it's a pretty poor one for all parties involved: it doesn't make money, noone gains any levels, and people don't even get loot!

Well, in most ARGs run by an evil corporation to promote a product, people do get loot, since there's usually a money prize in the end. And while it doesn't directly make money, it works as a marketing tool to indirectly increase sales of whatever it's promoting, and thus money. Gaining levels on the real life is tricky, but other than that, would you say that those ARGs are legitimate MMOGs?

Still doesn't touch ilovebees or the Year Zero ARG.

Also I couldn't imagine a more, not boring but generally uninteresting, topic.

I didn't play it. Not even Portal 2 can make me give enough of a shit to do that stuff.

Episode three is a lie!
*crys in a corner*

The Random One:
Well, in most ARGs run by an evil corporation to promote a product, people do get loot, since there's usually a money prize in the end. And while it doesn't directly make money, it works as a marketing tool to indirectly increase sales of whatever it's promoting, and thus money. Gaining levels on the real life is tricky, but other than that, would you say that those ARGs are legitimate MMOGs?

I think it has to do with perception, as well. We call them "Alternate Reality Games", but I never really think of them as games. They're mysteries. They're marketing. They're puzzles, maybe. But I don't think of them as a game. I can take it, or I can leave it. I don't have to sign up. I just do it. A game, I sit down to play. While I can't disagree that they do indeed share a lot of the same basic tenets with MMOG's, I just can't help but not even think of it as a "game". Probably just me, though.

I sometimes wonder if this sort of thing is what The Secret World is trying to aim for.

A "superconscious" is a better term- they are all working together, or at least working in large groups to achieve a common goal. Saying this would be like saying that Anonymous is an MMO.

When the ARG was starting I thought Valve where going to announce portal 2 as an MMO or even announce that the ARG was portal 2. luckily valve didn't take the cop-out option and are making an actual game.

The ARG is a lie! The Cake is the ONLY truth!

it's really simple... Valve's codename for Half Life Episode 3 must be "the cake" and if the cake is a lie......

Fenixius:
While the ARG might follow the same basic concepts as Massively Multiplayer Online Games tend to, that doesn't really make it a fully fledged MMO, I think. If it is, it's a pretty poor one for all parties involved: it doesn't make money, noone gains any levels, and people don't even get loot! It was a lot of fun, but just because something's fun doesn't make it a game. I'd be calling this a massively multiplayer online... puzzle? I mean, unless you call driving to work through the traffing a PvP competitive massively multiplayer game, instead of calling it a pain in the ass or a fact of life... I can't exactly agree.

I'd be more inclined to say that a well-executed ARG is more of an MMOG than most MMORPGs.

It brings a large number of people together to sort through the events, and the story itself is the driving element to succeed. Rather than ding, numbers go up, hooray.

The play's the thing, and all that.

It's what makes Marble Hornets so damn interesting as well. There's no tangible reward for piecing together plot elemtents, but the story (if you're into that kind of thing), keeps drawing people back and working together.

I want some cake now ._.

FROGGEman2:
A "superconscious" is a better term- they are all working together, or at least working in large groups to achieve a common goal. Saying this would be like saying that Anonymous is an MMO.

But Anonymous isn't working together to solve a challenge purposefully put forward to them by a third party. Therein lies the difference.

John Funk:
But Anonymous isn't working together to solve a challenge purposefully put forward to them by a third party. Therein lies the difference.

Scientology almost fits that bill extremely well. Only that L. Ron's purpose is open for interpretation.

and just imagine, all those people would have been working together, piecing data together...
just imagine they used those resources to do something USEFUL.

But no. Portal 2 is more important then solving one of the many mysteries of the world.

EDIT: also, stop spamming stuff about pies, cakes, lies and truths. we KNOW, we ALL played the game ><

John Funk:
Now all Valve has to do is make an actual MMOG set in the Half-Life world, and we'd be set. And it would probably still come out before Episode 3.

Yes! Just what the world needs: More interesting franchises turning into giant MMORPG clusterfucks! Hooray!

Apart from that, I agree that ARGs are essentially just a different kind of MMOG. They're not 'infinite' like traditional MMORPGs, but I think their finity (finiteness?) is their strength. There's a goal everyone's working towards, which is solving the puzzle. That goal isn't as clear-cut as it is in traditional MMORPGs, but that makes the hunt all the more exciting. The idea that ARGs are set in the 'real' world in stead of a clearly defined game like MMORPGs also adds to the excitement, since the possibilities become nearly endless. In fact, if there was one argument against ARGs being MMOGs, I'd say it's that there are no real rules to the game. While any MMOG has clearly defined rules that aren't allowed to be broken lest you get your account banned, and the player's progression is clearly mapped out from the beginning, ARGs simply give the player some leads and then leaves it up to them how to progress.

Hurr Durr Derp:
*snip* In fact, if there was one argument against ARGs being MMOGs, I'd say it's that there are no real rules to the game. While any MMOG has clearly defined rules that aren't allowed to be broken lest you get your account banned, and the player's progression is clearly mapped out from the beginning, ARGs simply give the player some leads and then leaves it up to them how to progress.

Though, in terms of being a game, I think in a way the core "gameplay" element of a quality ARG is that there aren't any rules. Anything goes, in effort to connect the dots. Which is why I think the Portal 2 ARG went over so well. People did everything they could think of to fill in the blanks.

JEBWrench:

Hurr Durr Derp:
*snip* In fact, if there was one argument against ARGs being MMOGs, I'd say it's that there are no real rules to the game. While any MMOG has clearly defined rules that aren't allowed to be broken lest you get your account banned, and the player's progression is clearly mapped out from the beginning, ARGs simply give the player some leads and then leaves it up to them how to progress.

Though, in terms of being a game, I think in a way the core "gameplay" element of a quality ARG is that there aren't any rules. Anything goes, in effort to connect the dots. Which is why I think the Portal 2 ARG went over so well. People did everything they could think of to fill in the blanks.

I certainly agree that it makes the whole deal more exciting, but I'd argue that something that has no rules isn't really a game.

ARTICLE:
John Funk fears that this announcement will result in a new wave of "the cake is a lie" jokes.

DTWolfwood:
I want some cake now ._.

seule:
it's really simple... Valve's codename for Half Life Episode 3 must be "the cake" and if the cake is a lie......

TsunamiWombat:
The ARG is a lie! The Cake is the ONLY truth!

DeAvatar:
Episode three is a lie!
*crys in a corner*

FattyMcGee:
The Cake is a lie..... but the Pie a truth!

Heart of Darkness:
The cake may be a lie, but it is delicious. I don't want to know the truth now if the lie tastes this good.

Sam G:
Ima blow your mind right now: the cake is the truth.

Seriously?!

Anyway, the most prominent ARG I've ever been in is during my badge-hunting duties - it's so fun to haul everyone in the group together and get them to help us work out how to get them. I always think it kind of ruins it when someone asks a staff member straight out.

Heart of Darkness:
The cake may be a lie, but it is delicious. I don't want to know the truth now if the lie tastes this good.

While I understand the argument, it's not an MMO. It really needs to have more than just the bare bones, and more than just one puzzle: now that it's been decoded, and Portal 2 has been released, how many people are still looking at the ARG? If this was an MMO, it'd be in its death throes right now.

And I'm still apprehensive for Portal 2. I mean, the first was all right (but nothing incredibly spectacular), but I don't feel that it'll make for a great full-length game.

I would like to know what you're definition of full-length game is. Did Portal not have a self-contained storyline and characters? Did it not have thrilling plot twists and an epic conclusion? Did it not involve more than an hour of time to complete? Then I don't see what makes in not qualify.

Though I did encounter the same post on RPS, and to that I will quote;

"What was missing?
All the filler that game devlelopers usually use to pad out games so that many people never finish them, that's what was missing!
I demand my filler! I actually got to the end of portal before I got bored of filler! It was disgraceful!"

PodX140:

Heart of Darkness:
The cake may be a lie, but it is delicious. I don't want to know the truth now if the lie tastes this good.

While I understand the argument, it's not an MMO. It really needs to have more than just the bare bones, and more than just one puzzle: now that it's been decoded, and Portal 2 has been released, how many people are still looking at the ARG? If this was an MMO, it'd be in its death throes right now.

And I'm still apprehensive for Portal 2. I mean, the first was all right (but nothing incredibly spectacular), but I don't feel that it'll make for a great full-length game.

I would like to know what you're definition of full-length game is. Did Portal not have a self-contained storyline and characters? Did it not have thrilling plot twists and an epic conclusion? Did it not involve more than an hour of time to complete? Then I don't see what makes in not qualify.

Though I did encounter the same post on RPS, and to that I will quote;

"What was missing?
All the filler that game devlelopers usually use to pad out games so that many people never finish them, that's what was missing!
I demand my filler! I actually got to the end of portal before I got bored of filler! It was disgraceful!"

I get the feeling you're overselling the game. There are only two characters, and only one undergoes significant characterization. Thrilling plot twists? Not really. GLaDOS's "betrayal" should have been obvious if you noticed the lack of scientists in the observation rooms--not to mention the fact that the tests get progressively dangerous. The conclusion was far from epic; it felt anticlimactic, probably due to the mechanics involved. Had the final battle been more than "place portal, hit with rocket," then yes, it could stand to be epic. But a standard three time repeat? Not epic enough.

As for the length, no it's not full length. To me, Portal's three hour length does not justify it's $20 price tag. $10 would have been more reasonable, but I bought it as part of The Orange Box, played it first, beat it, and then never touched it again, disappointed at the massive hyoe that the Portal fanbase drummed up for it. But I digress. To me, a full-length game is, at the minimum, ten hours--eight at the least, depending on the game.

And, truth be told, I was underwhelmed with Portal up until the escape from Chamber 17. Almost to the point of boredom. Had the entire game been more like the second half--with an actual POINT rather than "go here, avoid this, activate switch, repeat," I might've been inclined to change my opinion. As it stands, however, it doesn't.

Why do I seem to miss out on all the ARG's? Also, that's nice, but I doubt it tops the Year Zero ARG.

Calling it an MMOG is a bit of a stretch; that's like calling Orienteering an MMOG because you communicate through the internet and there is a persistent 'world' where you search for scavenger hunt items left by others. Actually, 'cooperative scavenger hunt' is a much more appropriate term; an MMOG generally refers to a program through which you create an avatar and interact with others in a number of predefined parameters, and I think that's the real hallmark of the definition of an MMOG. In an ARG, you are free to approach the problem in any way you wish. If we say that an ARG is an MMO, playing the stock market could technically be defined as an MMOG; there's a persistent world, tangible goals, interaction, cooperation, competition with others, all held together by a global communications network (largely the internet nowadays.)

... playing the stock market could technically be defined as an MMOG ...

Yup, and that explains a lot.

However, would that make gold farming (playing the market) a meta-mmo game? A mmog inside a mmog o.O

An actual MMOG set in the Half-Life universe would be great. Especially if it crossed over with other Valve games somehow.

All I have to say about a Valve MMOG is that there would be hidden messages everywhere and it would create more rumors than anything else ever.

 

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