Much better than Small Town X
I generally use the term SCAM if I was dumb enough give someone money for no good reason. However, if you place a $ value on time spent on the game, it was a HUGE SCAM!
Well, I can't say I spent more than maybe 15-20 minutes a day on the game, so the time I wasted wasn't that much. After the first couple of days, I figured out that it wasn't meant to be brain surgery, so I didn't knock myself out over it.
Yeah I think if anyone had to spend more than 15-20 minutes per day, then they'd better not turn around a complain it was too easy!
It was a fun diversion that was short and sweet. It went on for days, not weeks and I'll play again if they come up with a sequel.
All in all, it was better than "Murder in Small Town X" (anyone watch THAT one) which went on for weeks and then the ending never did make any sense. (It was like they flipped a coin.) At least this one they didn't "cheat" --the ending was logical. I would like to see more suspects/motives or persons of interest included, but I suppose that would take more time and lengthen the contest. (Court TV should also know their fans are pretty sophisticated after watching all the true crime shows!)
Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:30 pm
Joined: 28 May 2007 Posts: 96 Location: Not there... maybe somewhere else.
I think the biggest problem with this game was the fact that it was designed by a successful marketing company. Applebee's will make out like bandits from it, and if it was designed strictly for advertising purposes, it succeeded.
If the folks from Deep Focus learn their lesson from this, then their next attempt at an ARG-type advertising project will be much better, and hopefully, they'll have enough sense to contract someone who has been a PM before, someone who knows what to do to keep the players challenged.
I won't say it wasn't fun. It was a nice little diversion for the length of time it took to watch the videos and "solve" the 3-minute puzzles. However, I would appreciate something a bit more challenging if they do this again.
Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:33 am
Re: Scam - Do The Math Just for kicks
A$$ume the following: Spent: 15 minutes x 9 days = 135 minutes / 60 = 2.25 hours x $5.15 = $11.59
You spent 15 minutes per day on the game.
There were 9 game days [8 days playing and 1 day for final answers]
Your time is worth the current Federal Minimum Wage Rate [$5.15/hour]
You win a coupon for a free meal at Applebee's [w/purchase of a meal of equal or greater value]
Average price of a meal at Applebees $11.59 [Not Including appetizer, drink or dessert]
Received: A coupon worth $11.59 [good only if there is an Applebee's nearby and you spend additional $$$]
Net Return: $11.59 - $11.59 [if you throw the coupon away] = $0.00
Hmmmmmmmm ... where could that $11.59 have been better spent???
Ahhhhhhhh ... spending 2.25 hours with the great people on the Unfiction Forum
Disclaimer: I am not a really a geek, but I have been accused of being a bean counter.
Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:22 am
As a retired investigator, my thoughts on this game are again that it was amatuerish at best.
There were so many scenarios that I believed were mislayed, only to find they were forgotten because they weren't clues at all, but errors.. lol
ie: Sonia in her first appearance on the news states " Andrew has been her mentor for "several" years. Upon looking at her profile with the company.. it stated she had been there for one year.... hmmm i thought.... must be a clue... hints at a separate relationship outside of work....later in game realized that there were so many like errors...it wasn't even a "red herring"...
Also, if you scutinized the footage frame by frame as is my training... you would see that the silhouette of the man passing off briefcase did not resemble Grant Tenbrook at all. They did voice over...lol...the man in the video was stockier, and had much less hair.( You can see light reflecting off his head on one of the freeze frames)
Obviously, some of us gave they WAY too much credit that they had "masterminded" a game for us.
Oh well, I believe that Deep Focus and any other affiliates will now get their "house in order" after this experience and the many problems they faced that the true gamers brought to their attention.
Thank again Moderators, I think you all did a terrific job!
Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:28 am
Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 13
I think maybe Applebees needs to hire new game folks...lolol
Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:33 am
Official uF Dietitian
Joined: 02 Dec 2002 Posts: 7570 Location: My own alternate reality
I think maybe Applebees needs to hire new game folks...lolol
No, not Applebees. This was CourtTV's game. Applebees was just one of the advertisers.
r u a Sammeeeee? I am Forever!
Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:47 am
Joined: 09 Jun 2007 Posts: 8
I have been involved with ARG's for a couple of years thru the ARGnet site but I have not joined any of the spoiler sites until the last year b/c I like to do the games without spoilers....I joined one site last year when I got involed with Wefriddles....so, essentially, i'm more of a lurker than anything else...With this game I checked this site each day AFTER I submitted my answer to SMH and greatly enjoyed reading all the great stuff here.....I bow to all your knowledge and abilities, here and aspire to learn as much as I can from this site!!!
Years ago I used to design Road Rallies for community groups....it is not as simple as creating a set of directions for people to follow....It looks easy but there is an incredible amount of detail that has to be covered to make it work and especially when you are trying to create something that won't bore the astute rallyer or be too complicated for the novice
The first mistake court TV made was to hire a marketing company to do the job of a game designer. The average person trying to do something like that is going to paint themselves into a corner b/c they have to create a game thru trial and error...Unfortunately for Deep Focus and Court TV their T&E was broadcast nationwide!
I wasn't too disappointed in the game b/c I didn't have very high expectations for the game to begin with. Anyone who expected this to be a truly challenging ARG was kidding themselves b/c the average person...the ones this game was marketed to....could not handle a ahallenging ARG and would have given up and walked away in the first 4 days...which would have defeated the marketing strategy OF the game.
Every once in awhile, during this game, I got caught up in looking deeper into the possibilities and got very frustratd because I realized I was chasing my tail....nothing was going to be THAT complicated and nothing was going to be that deep....Once I realized I was getting frustrated I stopped overthinking the game and went back to the obvious answer...and, invariably, that was the right answer for the day.
SMH was for the person who's saturday nite consists of a couple of beers and some "armchair forensics"...for those people this was probably a fun game. For the hard core gamer who got involved in following leads to things that even the game designers didn't think of...this was a waste of 8 days and alot of sleep loss looking for things that just weren't there.
So, for me, I spent about 15 minutes each day coming up with my answer and then got HOURS of enjoyment and knowledge from reading the posts on this site!!! you guys rule!!!!
Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:48 am
Joined: 09 Mar 2003 Posts: 510
Re: An Outrage! speech impediments, intact video, paper trails, and tv shows
saved by humans wrote:
If that is the case, why would Grant say that the paper trail would be a mile thick when it is right there?! I guess he had never heard of the internet, much less looked at it. I guess that is why he said "paper" trail!
He didn't say "paper trail" he said "paperwork" which I normally wouldn't even waste a post over, except for the fact that it was this statement that made me stick with the Cherry Street answer....so I thought I'd share it.
Grant stated his connection was "...buried in paper work a mile thick...." and it was--literally. The weblink to the Zendorel site was buried in the website of the Voice Daily News--it was buried in the paper. It was in the business section in an article about Grant joining the board. I took that little comment--which to me sounded dubbed in as an afterthought-- to heart. PAPER=Voice Daily News, and WORK=Business Section....giving me the Zendorel link and therefore the answer would lay within that site. It was then up to a speech therapist to figure out the rest....
It is entirely possible, if not probable, that this is a mere coincidence and my mind has read something that is not there. Regardless, it led at least one person to the correct answer.
It's been my experience with these games that sometimes you not only have to think outside of the box, you have to actually GET OUT of the box and take a look at the box itself. This box tried to be something it was not. It had potential though. There was a great rush of opportunity for complexity....it had the look, it had the feel of a treasure chest...but in the end, the answers were easy enough for a first grader to solve (and I am not exaggerating, just ask my 6 year old neighbor who got a computer screen shoved in her face when she asked me, "Whatya doing?"). In the end, the box was what it had been all along....lots of errors, hype and misdrection, but still a plain, simple, easy to answer box. So most of us went with the plain, simpleton answer.
I can think of several other hunts that went belly up half way through, and a few that never paid out what they advertised. So maybe this one wasn't so bad, just poorly executed.
I am disappointed that the cable network didn't do their homework. It's not like this conjunction hasn't been tried before. Push, Nevada should have been analyzed....SR, and some others. Unfortunately, a second go around may catch the average player, but most of the hard core ARG and ACTH folk are prolly gonna avoid it, especially if there is a good one in progress. One could always hope that maybe Court TV will spend the money on some research, a great PM--meaning professional puzzle designer, some decent graphics folk, and an HTML typist that can tell the difference between the author's notes and actual code to be placed on the webpage. Then again, there is always the danger of making the sequel TOO complex, as in shades of A Treasure's Trove. I don't think anyone has solved the sequel yet, have they?
Anyway, yeah, I am disappointed but it is not unexpected. See y'all around on the next journey...
"Hey, who stopped payment on my reality check?"
Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:05 pm
Joined: 04 Jun 2007 Posts: 4
For the most part I enjoyed the game. It was my first taste of ARG so I donít have anything to compare it to as far as quality is concerned. The problem I had was with the PM's. If you are going to spend loads of money to advertise and engineer a game of this magnitude then I would hope you would do sufficient research into ARG. This in itself could have eliminated a number of their problems. I think better planning would have made the game more enjoyable. They would probably rethink the ease of their puzzles also.
Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:29 pm
Joined: 04 Jun 2005 Posts: 54 Location: Roswell, GA
SMH Eval I thought it was a pretty good game, and as an intro to ARGs it was fantastic! It was played every day, so it kept your attention, rewarded you quickly, and was over in a week. The tasks had to be easy (and relatively quick) because they had to be done every day.
There were some problems, and I think the PMs didn't really anticipate the reaction they got, neither in the quantity of players nor in the intensity the players put forth.
Personally, I'm looking forward to their next game.
Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:12 pm
View of a Newbie Positive I got into SMH from seeing the ads for it on Court TV. I had no previous experience with ARG's. I enjoyed the game and got a lot of laughs from it. The things that frustrated experienced gamers didn't bother me, as they were way over my head. As an example, I had no idea what source code was. I have read up on it here and now have a better understanding of some of the less obvious sources of information on ARG's now. But I think that this game was intended for the masses, for people like me who had no idea what an ARG is. In that regard, I think it met its purpose. It has also had the effect of introducing many like me to a whole new area of gaming. And I am glad of that. I just registered here and tonight started playing Deus City.
I agree that the acting was not exactly Emmy material, but it got the information across, and was actually kind of funny sometimes. The fingerprint glitch was frustrating, but they did allow Robert Johnson as a correct answer. From the beginning, I knew the winners wouldn't get much, given the big promotion the game got. If you played for money, you were doomed to be disappointed, but if you played for the fun of it and weren't experienced enough with the genre to be disappointed, it was a good game. Not great, but good.
My thanks to the moderators and administrators who run this site, and to the veterans who tolerated the guests and newbies who wandered in here, and in ignorance of the rules and traditions of these boards, sometimes made pests of ourselves. I can understand the frustration; I used to play Monopoly on a ladder, and we veterans there hated the after-Christmas rush when people who had gotten the game as a gift came in with their redundant questions and complaints when they didn't understand how the system worked.
To stay on-topic, I think SMH was a fun introduction to the world of ARG's and I am glad that I found it, and through it, unFiction. I guess NYwizard put it best:
Let's just say this was the "Are You Smarter Than a 5th-Grader" version of a contest and not the "Jeopardy!" one.
Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:48 am
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