A guest post by Vanessa Oswald
I’m so excited. Why? Because of the news that flooded the internet over the last couple of days; news about a book (well, three books actually) which will be far more than just mere paper novels. Welcome to James Frey’s Endgame!
You’ve probably already heard about this new multilayered project before In case you haven’t, let me try to clear things up for you:
Endgame is a book trilogy, whose first installment was released a few days ago on Oct. 7th. The books tell a story of earth’s impending doom and 12 ancient tribes chosen to participate in a scavenger hunt across the planet: the Endgame. The task itself is simple: Find three keys hidden somewhere on earth. The obstacles though, are enormous. Only the descendants of the tribe that finds all keys during the game will survive. Essentially, your fellow players turn into your mortal enemies.
That’s all well and good, right? There’s more: The books themselves contain puzzles and clues, which will lead to a total of three real-life keys. Whoever finds a key, will receive $500,000 in solid gold. Quite an incentive to get up and out into the world, isn’t it?
But these books are only the tip of the fantasy iceberg. The planned content will consist of novellas, movies, blogs, vlogs and, most importantly, an augmented reality game for everybody all over the world. James Frey and co-author Nils Johnson-Shelton collaborated with Google’s Niantic Labs – the creators of the world’s most successful AR game ‘Ingress’ – to make this adventure possible for each and every one of us.
“I think the future of video games is not on a screen, it’s in the world”, says James Frey, “How do we turn the world into a video game, how do I make something, that allows a reader, a gamer, or a consumer to be engaged with our property everywhere they go”.
The massive project Frey inaugurated is only possible because of our modern way of living and coexistence with powerful mobile devices. The game is announced to run on both iOS and Android devices.
Endgame will be a location-based game, much like Ingress, making it possible for you to walk around a map created out of real-life Google Maps data. You can literally explore the whole world. Players will have to choose one of the twelve different ancient tribes and fight for them during the game. There will be approximately a million hotspots all over the world radiating weapons, power and protection. Once you’re close enough, you can access the hotspot and loot the special items it’s holding. The bigger the hotspot, the more power and players will be needed to access it. According to Frey and Niantic, you will also be able to attack other players if they are in a radius of 50 yards, giving you the possibility to interact closely with other participants.
The more hotspots you’re accessing and the more enemies you’re defeating, the more powerful you’ll get. An extra bonus will be the additional clues you’ll receive. These clues will help you solve the complicated puzzle in the books. The concept itself is absolutely fascinating and since Niantic Labs has acquired a huge amount of experience with Ingress, we can probably expect one hell of a game.
By the way, you don’t have to read the books to be able to play the game and the other way around. But let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?
The authors and masterminds of Niantic Labs created this vast universe, for all those who are hungry to not only read about their favorite adventure, but to participate in it as well. We all love to be heroes, after all. Real life and science fiction have never been so closely entwined.
I can’t wait to be a part of this epic project. I’ll see you out there. Make sure you’re ready!