Vancouver studio Zeros 2 Heroes Media Inc. has announced the imminent release of their alternate reality game featuring the use of augmented reality technology on mobile smartphones.
Animism: The Gods’ Lake alternate reality game will be unveiled Aug. 28 with a live action event at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. It introduces a unique digital media twist to the conventional broadcast of a TV show based on Aboriginal legends. The show’s pilot episode will be premiered online on Oct. 31, 2010 and broadcast on APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, on Jan. 1, 2011.
Alternate reality game (ARG) technology involves interactive narratives in which physical real-world objects and images are augmented with virtual computer-generated imagery. In this game, participants use a mobile smartphone to scan posters, thereby unlocking a series of clues to the Animism plot. Full instructions on how to play are available online.
The “Animism” story is a mixture of modern urban fantasy with traditional First Nations mythology. Centred in a contemporary city with modern characters, the situation starts to unravel when an unscrupulous property developer unwittingly devastates an ancient sacred site, unleashing powerful forces. The heroine must somehow restore balance to a city where giant mythical creatures skulk in back alleys, demons drift through corporate boardrooms and the Wild Hunt is about to start once more. More information on the story will become available online on August 28th.
“We’re excited not only to introduce new digital entertainment technology to Canada, but also to add to the fan experience by giving them an active role in the narrative,” said Matt Toner, President, Zeros 2 Heroes. “By extending the Animism story to live action, mobile, Internet and traditional broadcast media, we can reach more fans in all the ways they like to be entertained.”
The ARG and motion comic were created by a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal writers, artists, designers and programmers. Both are aimed primarily at fans 13-25 years old, both male and female. While based on First Nations’ legends, the use of contemporary urban settings is intended to appeal to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audiences.
“There is a wealth of untold stories and undiscovered characters with themes that are still relevant today,” Toner said. “We’re just updating the settings to something more contemporary and understandable for modern audiences.”
Funding for “Animism: The Gods’ Lake” has been provided by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and British Columbia Film.
Zeros 2 Heroes will unveil the new alternate reality game at a special Aug. 28 event at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. The event will feature actors playing roles from the Animism story. Participants will be the first to unearth the mysteries behind the motion comic plot at this live action event. By downloading a unique alternate reality mobile app, they can unlock a series of clues by scanning various Animism posters on-site with their mobile devices.
The showcase runs 4-5 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 28 in room No.103A at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will also be present throughout Fan Expo at booth No. 4007.