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Armchair treasure hunting+adventure gaming?

posted by Cyrus7 on - last edited - Viewed by 165 users

I believe at least some of you heard about the so-called armchair tresure hunting, in which the players must uncover some clues in a book, a website or a video game in order to locate the hidden treasure. The first such hunt was started in 1979, with the release of "Masquerade" by Kit Williams (in which the readers were given the task to find a bejewelled golden hare), which has been followed by the video game "Hareraiser". Since then, there have been attempts to emulate its success, with "Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse", "The Clock Without a Face", "Conundrum – The Cadbury Creme Egg Mystery", "The Great Global Treasure Hunt on Google Earts . Such hunts are closely related to alternate reality games (ARG), which use the real world as a platform (one of the most known, "The Beast", was preceeding the release of Steven Spielberg's movie "Artificial Intelligence").
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You can read more here: http://schatgraven.webklik.nl/page/collectie
http://www.treasureclub.net/publichunts/

So, since it was previously used in video games... do you think this could be a good idea for adventure game developers, and what classic adventure games could have used it? What sort of prizes would you suggest. Like a golden Big Whoop ticket, an exclusive collectable pirate zombie toy, a Trantonite stone or King Graham's crown?

3 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I was one of those who bought "Masquerade" way back when, not because I thought I had a serious chance of finding the treasure when lots of die-hards were spending lots of time on it, but just for the fun of finding all the hidden things in the book, and wondering if they actually had meaning or were just coincidental patterns. Anyway, I didn't win, of course. :)

    The cost of the treasure for that one was covered by book sales, which would be difficult in the modern era, so unless some eccentric rich person is wanting to have some fun, I don't think we're going to have any expensive treasures. I think the closest thing we're going to get to now would be some sort of promotional puzzle, where a company promoting a game would come up with some online adventure that leads to something amusing.

    Telltale did something like that with the time cards in the Sam & Max Season 2 case files. You only got one time card per case file, so it required some cooperation with other players with case files to track down what you needed for the secret "treasure."

  • I like this sort of thing. I'm not especially good at them, but I like puzzles like that.

    In the same sort of idea, MIT has a yearly puzzle hunt, which is pretty long and difficult, but they put the puzzles up afterwards for others to solve at their leisure.

    2012 Hunt: http://web.mit.edu/puzzle/www/12/
    2011 Hunt: http://web.mit.edu/puzzle/www/11/puzzles/

  • @WarpSpeed said: I was one of those who bought "Masquerade" way back when, not because I thought I had a serious chance of finding the treasure when lots of die-hards were spending lots of time on it, but just for the fun of finding all the hidden things in the book, and wondering if they actually had meaning or were just coincidental patterns. Anyway, I didn't win, of course. :)

    The cost of the treasure for that one was covered by book sales, which would be difficult in the modern era, so unless some eccentric rich person is wanting to have some fun, I don't think we're going to have any expensive treasures. I think the closest thing we're going to get to now would be some sort of promotional puzzle, where a company promoting a game would come up with some online adventure that leads to something amusing.

    Telltale did something like that with the time cards in the Sam & Max Season 2 case files. You only got one time card per case file, so it required some cooperation with other players with case files to track down what you needed for the secret "treasure."



    Speaking about the cost, I believe that in this case, the game will be bought even by people who don't like adventure games in general :p

    I really appreciate what was done both by Telltale and Double Fine in their "Psycho Gold instant win" campaign, but in my opinion, this would be far more entertaining if the clues were hidden in the actual game - for example, in the form of Easter Eggs.

    P. S. I think the Toonstruck 2 guys, in particular, can use this tactic: seems like they're in need of some creative advertising campaigns.

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