A small ARG developed for Microsoft Italia.
This project was for our first big client, and we were not even born! Around 2007/2008 we looked at alternate reality games with lots of love: mixing physical and digital spaces always interested us, and ARGs were just the most spectacular (and expensive) way to do it. We had a yearning: be the first team designing ARGs here in Italy. We give a presentation at an Italian BarCamp and we talked about I Love Bees. And that interested Microsoft Italia.
Long story short, the project started off as a mini-ARG based on an interactive narrative: you could follow the story of an English detective (Artie Karma) and his sister (Matilda Karma) who wrote the investigation updates on her blog, on a daily basis. In order to help them figure out where is the famous robber Asso (i.e. Ace), players must have to collect clues around the web and to solve puzzles. The integration with the real world was granted by a MSN boot which contacted the players and gave them some information. The narrative plot was created and written by Maddalena Grattarola, who developed two great characters.
Fun fact: we decided to call the private investigative agency “Karma” because during one of our first brainstorming we saw a flyer of Lush (the cosmetic company with a very humorous copywriter indeed) we looked at this Karma soap and we thought it was a great name for it.