The First Permanent Alternate Reality Game

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Season 1 Trailer
Welcome to the Agency

Press

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, The Black Watchmen is an excellent introduction to alternate reality games, successfully merging an engaging fictional world with real-world activities and challenging puzzles that are best solved collaboratively with other players. 90/100 - Adventure Gamers
The puzzles are clever, the storyline is engaging, and the eerie background music and creepy videos help set the stage for sinister happenings. 5/5 - Gameinformer
You touch down at your destination, gather your things, and board a shuttle to the nearest train station—only to be arrested by “military personnel” and escorted away cuffed to a mysterious metal briefcase. But you’re a member of the notorious paramilitary group The Black Watchmen… these kind of things are to be expected. - Kill Screen
It gains a fantastic sense of a world, a real mystery to sink into, a web of secrets on the web, a sense of being part of something bigger. - Positive – Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Fact sheet

About the game

In the first ever Permanent Alternate Reality Game, you join the ranks of The Black Watchmen, a paramilitary group dedicated to protecting the public from dangerous phenomena beyond human understanding: ritualistic murder, occult secret societies, and the paranormal, to name but a few.

As a global organization, The Black Watchmen offer a wide range of skills and services for covert missions anywhere in the world, on behalf of any group, corporation or government that can afford them. Often called in as a last resort, The Black Watchmen pride themselves on their discretion, strength and efficiency.

To maintain objectivity in the field, you, as an agent, are never informed of the identity of the client. You are given only mission parameters and told how to distinguish friend from foe, but the lines are often blurred…

Gameplay

A traditional video game has clear parameters — it is played on a screen, within a virtual world, and it exists solely within that space. A PARG (Permanent Alternate Reality Game), like The Black Watchmen, uses the real world as its game world, blurring the lines between fiction and reality, turning everyday interactions into game mechanics.

During active seasons, the game is played on dedicated websites, social media, phone calls, text messages, and in real-world locations. We have created an interface that acts as a mission hub, while offering players various means to communicate with one another and advance the narrative of the game.

The Black Watchmen storyline is an evolving, user-influenced experience. The game releases new content on a two-week release schedule during an active season, allowing player actions to directly impact the game. By simply playing the game, players have a visible impact on the direction of the game’s development.

Features

  • TRADECRAFT

    Different missions rely on different skill sets - crack ancient codes, investigate bizarre occurrences, hack through the virtual defenses of your enemies or research an occult group to uncover hidden connections.

  • TRANSMEDIA GAMEPLAY

    Beyond the client itself, the game is played using websites, newspaper ads, phone calls, text messages and interactions with NPCs. Using a colour coded player immersion system, you decide just how much in-game interaction you receive.

  • GLOBAL NETWORK

    Embedded on media outlets around the world and on various real websites, Black Watchmen missions are truly global in scope.

  • FIELD WORK

    You always need to be ready during an active season, a live mission could start at any time: a flashing TV screen, a bizarre phone call, or a radio jingle could signal the start of a massive, international collaboration of agents--all rushing to solve the same problem, before it's too late.

  • A FAMILIAR REALITY

    The narrative of Black Watchmen intertwines with historical facts and current events, constantly asking the player to question whether or not something in the game (a website, a company, or even a person) is “real”.

Live Events

A flashing TV screen, a bizarre phone call, or a radio jingle could signal the start of a massive, international collaboration of agents — all rushing to solve the same problem before it's too late. To date, there have been 19 live events in cities around the world, with players taking recon photos, recovering dead drops, intercepting coded television broadcasts and performing magic rituals.

Once during an active season, the community elects a Green Level Agent, who is transported to a city for a 24-hour fully-immersive secret mission. Working with the community via Twitter, IRC and Periscope, they must solve location-specific puzzles, chase down suspects and even attempt to escape kidnapping.

Falconreach
Silentthunder
Darkavalon
Montreal Covert Ops
Prestige
Montreal Covert Ops
Blindangel
Path of the United Glory

History

Our team has been building ARGs since 2007. We ran Behind the Yellow Curtain, a six-year-long grassroots event on the ARG site Unfiction. We produced the first-ever officially sanctioned Warhammer 40,000 ARG. We also created Gate 33 and the End of Days — The The Secret World’s most popular ARG, from which The Black Watchmen were born. In 2014, Alice & Smith took the concept a step further and created a dedicated game and IP for The Black Watchmen. Since then, the game has raised over $45,000 on Kickstarter, has released two seasons on Steam, has two major DLCs available on Steam and is currently being played in over 75 countries.

The Black Watchmen Extended Universe

Ahnayro - Explore the twisted and troubling world of Ahnayro, where your dreams are haunted by mysterious figures. From the creators of The Black Watchmen and the team behind The Secret World Alternate Reality Games comes Ahnayro, a narrative-driven immersive puzzle game which draws you into the dream world and surrounds you within an ethereal reality.

Official Website

NITE Team 4 - Bring out your inner hacker and join The Black Watchmen's cyberwarfare unit, NITE Team 4. Take part in a hacking simulation experience that will show you the darkest corners of Computer Network Operations.

Official Website

Screenshots

Mission Briefing
Mission
Puzzle
Campaign Overview
Campaign Selection
Classes
Clearance Levels
Ranks
Achievements
Puzzle Pieces
Agent Map
Situation Room

Credits

  • Nathalie Lacoste

    Director

  • Andrea Doyon

    Puppet Master

  • Kaitlin Tremblay

    Narrative Producer

  • Fred Forgues

    Game Design, Graphic Design, Lead Developer

  • Vincent Chevalier

    Developer

  • Steven Patterson

    Puppet Master

  • Patrick Greatbatch

    Puppet Master

  • Chiling Chiu

    Writing & Content Creation

  • Riley Gowan

    Writing & Content Creation

  • Betina Badea

    Writing & Content Creation

About us

Alice & Smith is an entertainment company based in Montreal, our passion is creating emotions. With its 7 years of experience in the design and production of transmedia campaigns and 15 years of experience in digital marketing, Alice & Smith’s team believes in the power of emotion and in constantly creating new technological ways to reach people.

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