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Author Topic: Drop your ARG / unfiction recommendations!  (Read 804 times)
Bede
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« on: August 22, 2023 @905.98 »

I stayed up late last night binging some ARGs, and thought that I could post my recs and encourage others to do the same! They don't have to be horror, either. Just anything that fits the description of ARG and/or unfiction!

SOME QUICK DEFINITIONS (for those uninitiated):
ARG: an acronym for "alternate reality game". An alternate reality game is a form of interactive storytelling, in which real-world platforms are used (for example, Twitter or YouTube). The way that others interact with the alternate reality game (such as, replying to a Tweet with certain information) may alter the story.
Unfiction: this is an umbrella term under which ARGs fall. Unfiction describes stories which are presented as reality. It pretends to be real, even though it is fictional.

Some ARGs and unfiction projects that you may know include Local 58, The Mandela Catalogue, and The SCP Foundation.

Now, here are my personal recs and faves! Please comment with your own.

Diminish: This is easily one of my favorites due to the prose present within the game. It's also the only non-horror project that I'll be recommending, so keep that in mind! In this unfiction project, our YouTube letsplayer plays a game that was created for him. I won't say anything more, because of spoilers, but please know that there are heavy themes of grief and loss present. (Starting point...)

This House Has People In It: This project has a lot of content to go through (not just what it linked), and what it is 'about', really, is purposefully cryptic. Just start with the video, and go to the site in the description if you want to try and figure out more about what's happening. (Starting point...)

MyHouse.WAD: If it exists, it can run Doom. Including alternate reality games! My House is a custom Doom II map with a lot of lore. A lot of stuff this game pulls off shouldn't even be possible within Doom II's engines. It also has multiple endings! To play this game, you need to download this Doom launcher and the file labeled 'Doom II - Hell on Earth (v1.9)'. From then, you can check the (starting point).

Daisy Brown: This one is a bit on the older side (if you consider 2017 older) but I think the story of Daisy Brown is just masterfully done. Masterful grip on storytelling through unconventional means, masterful practical effects, just, so well-done. Also, the main character is a lesbian, if that's the deciding factor for you. Just don't forget to turn on the captions! This series has a pet death, and also heavy themes of abuse. (Starting point...)

Lacey's Flash Games: Following up the 'older' project with what is probably the 'newest' one! This series revolves around an old series of Flash Games, which, under certain circumstances, have very dark alternate paths. This series is clearly very personal to its creator, and I really admire it for that, and for its artistic direction. This series has everything. Trigger warning for everything. If you are triggered by any dark topics, just skip this one. (Starting point...)

Hey, Tojiko: Speaking of artistic direction, this project takes the cake for that. Hosted on the beloved Neocities, this is the web diary of a children's storybook author, who is able to communicate with now-sentient beings resembling the cast of his book series through tulpamancy. What could go wrong? This series contains the "death" of a petlike character. (Starting point...)

Komaedaisrotting: Haha, funny carrd of a teen on fandom Twitter! Surely, there is nothing else to be seen here, right? (This is just as much a rec as it is trying to find help. I've heard that this is a multi-platform ARG, but I got as far as the second carrd before I hit a dead end. Checked the source code and everything. Girl (gender neutral) help.) (Starting point...)

Remember to drop your recs in the comments! Also, please provide a link to the starting point, as well as content warnings.
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owlhari
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2023 @87.85 »

we love ARGs and unfiction so much! we have a whole page of recs on our website but we'll say our absolute favs here:

crow 64 is framed as a lost video game from the n64 era. the effects and editing are amazing and it tugs at our heartstrings in a way we can't describe. it has themes of death and mentions of suicide. also flashing and weird visual effects at some point, if we're remembering correctly. (starting point)

hi i'm mary mary is a wonderful webseries about a girl trapped in a house. warnings for flashing, distortion, and it's a horror series so there's scares and stuff. (full series playlist)

welcome home is super popular and for a good reason! the artistry behind everything is amazing. it tells the story of an archival team trying to restore a 70s puppet show. (intro with content warnings)
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2023 @582.81 »

So many of my favourites already mentioned! Crow 64, This House Has People In It, MyHouse.WAD, Lacey's Flash Games... Good recommendations overall! I really love ARG's and plan to talk about them at length on my site one day, but as for some not yet mentioned...

Everyman Hybrid: It's been a while since I watched this one, but it was the first ever ARG I got heavily invested in! It's one of the OG Slenderman ARG's like Marble Hornets, but I like this one a whole lot more than MB! Since it's been so long since I watched it I don't fully remember many of the trigger warnings to list, so just expect the usual ones! I remember it being fairly tame in content compared to ARG's nowadays... [youtube playlist] / [explained series]

Petscop: Much like Crow 64, I really love this one due to the medium in which it's being told. Maybe it's because I was fascinated by video game creepypasta as a kid, but I think there's just so much charm in haunted video games. It's also difficult to find someone who hasn't seen or heard of Petscop, but I think it's so beloved for many good reasons. Trigger warnings include child abuse, (child) death, kidnapping, and all other sorts of abuse. [first video here]
« Last Edit: August 23, 2023 @669.76 by awhe » Logged
Bede
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2023 @657.94 »

@owlhari Oh my gosh, I can't BELIEVE that I forgot to list Hi I'm Mary Mary!

And I've heard a lot of good things about Welcome Home, but I've been apprehensive about consuming it. I guess I couldn't help but feel... Bad? For the creator? From what I understood, this was just a little personal project of theirs that got really popular, and so it was treated like a corporation's project, with the fandomification of it and all. I couldn't imagine my personal OCs being launched into the limelight like that!!

But this comment made me seek it out a bit more, and I found a lot of comments from Clown about how the sudden popularity has made them able to do more than they ever thought he could with the project, with lots of collaborators! And that made me feel so, so much better about the whole thing. I can't wait until after college today! I'll finally get to dive in!!

@awhe Ahh I've been meaning to check out the old Slenderman ARGs!! Thank you for the reminder! And YES, Petscop is SO GOOD! I love the "fake letsplay" format of unfiction, so much effort goes into them~!!
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2023 @714.58 »

Bless this topic! I love these things, although I don't always participate in them. I especially enjoy watching youtube summaries of them. A few of my favorites, like Petscop and This House Has People In It, have already been listed, but I'm definitely checking out the ones I haven't seen!

One that hasn't been brought up is Kanye Quest. I don't know that the game is actually still available, though, so here's my favorite multi-part youtube series that investigates it:
Finding Yeezus

There's another game that's available on Steam called Who's Lila that I think falls into this type of category. It's not really an ARG, but it does have some ARG elements later on in the playthrough. I definitely think that if you're into ARGs in general it would be the sort of thing that you'd find interesting.
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2023 @718.30 »

One that hasn't been brought up is Kanye Quest. I don't know that the game is actually still available, though, so here's my favorite multi-part youtube series that investigates it:
Finding Yeezus
I completely forgot this one existed but I LOVED this one for how silly/cryptic it was! Thanks for reminding me :ozwomp:!!
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Bede
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2023 @792.73 »

@TheFrugalGamer OHHHH I'll definitely check that game out, tysm!!
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Finel
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2023 @793.81 »

Good topic! It’s kinda hard for me to think of something that wasn’t mentioned already, myhouse.wad (special favorite), crow 64, this house has people in it, and petscope are the most memorable to me.


So I’ll just recommend one
The sun vanished- Follows a guy who woke up one day to find out the sun has vanished. It is a Twitter account by the same name, In which he broadcasts his situation, trying to understand what is going on. There are other accounts as well that are people that tie into the story.
Through polls the audience could influence the story, helping the guy make decisions.
Since it’s on Twitter actually going through the thing is kinda annoying I am not gonna lie. There is a pinned post on the the sun vanished account that orders all the relevant tweets chronologically and separates them into chapters.
Recently they wrapped up an arc of the story but it is still going on, I recommend catching up using Inside A Mind recent video on it.


To be honest I watch a lot more of people talking about args then go through them myself, previously mentioned Inside A Mind and Night Mind come to my head. I probably heard about a lot of args that I only kinda remember because of that. There is also that one wonderful video about myhouse.wad which introduced the whole thing to me and I feel compelled to recommend.
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2023 @823.50 »

The 2 I'm currently keeping up with are:
  • Interloper, which follows the discovery and subsequent investigation of a bizarre set of hidden source engine commands. The plot is, at time of writing, starting to get a bit contrived, but the first part of it is excellent, and the general quality and execution of some parts
    very mild spoils for the parts
    segments in which the commands end up generating first-person mocapped source demos, all ending in death
    [close]
    cannot be understated. It's one of the best executions of the haunted gmod/source subgenre that has gotten popular recently, with its own narrative spin and higher production value. CW for some drowning stuff.
  • AndrewGaming67, an interesting take on the whole "haunted videogame" genre of unfiction. The series is very unique in that it focuses on the Let's Play that the strange things are happening in almost more than the strange things itself. This works to the advantage of the series, as at thdrew is a pretty entertaining commentator, especially when shit is hitting the fan. CW for memory loss i guess?

This House Has People In It
Oh, and that reminds me of This House's sibling, Unedited Footage of a Bear. CW for drug use and general violence.

Unfortunately, it seems AS couldn't be fucked to keep the lights on for either site, for longer than a few years, so you can't go out and complete either one yourself. This is especially a shame, as This House had 2+ of extra footage. The best substitute I can give are this archive of the This House footage, and this archive of the Unedited Footage website(seems to actually work!). For both, start at the videos. There's also the night mind videos for This House and Unedited Footage.

It really sucks that the actual sites are down! They were really cool at the time. Capitalism :/
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Yukari
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2023 @993.85 »

*rubs hands together* what a wonderful topic!

I'm always jumping on the opportunity to plug Ye VHS Tapes of Olde. It's an unfiction series of the "lost children's cartoon" variety. In-universe, the tapes are not official releases, but rather, somebody's personal DVR recordings. The uploaded episodes include the commercial breaks, which are the main reason I got into it! I'll post some of my favorites:
Spoiler


[close]
First upload is here - the video descriptions are v important to the lore.

---

I'm not sure if creepypasta stories fall under the unfiction category, but I'll post some of my faves anyway.
The Dionaea House - there are three other websites that tie into the plot, and you'll come across them organically by exploring that main website.
Bread &... - An entry in the SCP Foundation's "Parawatch Hub". This is a fake forum thread about a dating sim that was a commercial flop. The content warnings for this one give away the plot but I think it's important for me to post them
Spoiler
Infanticide, cannibalism
[close]
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2023 @22.36 »

some really good stuff posted here that i haven't seen before! i like heytojiko, andrewgaming67, and finding yeezus -- thanks for the recs y'all!!

some of the ones i was gonna post about have been posted about already in the thread (valle verde, petscop, interloper), but i do have a couple pieces of youtube digital unfiction that may pique your interest:
  • the june restoration archive: if you like flipnote hatena, i highly recommend checking this one out. it's an archive of old flipnotes from before the service shut down in 2013. something's off though. like. really off. i wouldn't trust that cat, if i were you... (CONTENT WARNING: unsettling imagery)
  • brandon works: the story of an old roblox player (think 2009 roblox, so basically nothing like the roblox of today) making a youtube channel about a friend he used to play roblox games with that recently went missing, and the places they made together. if you don't want to watch the entire channel here's a recap video you can watch!

i've been thinking about making a fanpage on my site about digital unfiction but i've been putting it off for like a month now  :ohdear: i really should consider finish writing it so i can actually begin coding it. we'll see, though!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2023 @54.14 by inbtwn » Logged

Bede
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2023 @109.48 »

@vvinrg WHAT?? The sites went down?? That was so much of the experience for both of them!! At least both of them were archived decently, with videos showing the experience, but still, people can't experience it and the discoveries for themselves anymore unless they know to check the archives... CAPITALISM.... I will have my revenge for your crimes against unique art someday!!!

@Yukari Oh FUCK yes. I've never heard of ANY of these, I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into them.

@inbtwn I'VE HEARD ABOUT THE JUNE RESTORATION ARCHIVE! I've been meaning to get around to that one, especially cuz of my interest in Flipnote!! Seems right up my ally!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2023 @112.35 by Bede » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2023 @118.89 »

Unfortunately, it seems AS couldn't be fucked to keep the lights on for either site, for longer than a few years, so you can't go out and complete either one yourself. This is especially a shame, as This House had 2+ of extra footage. The best substitute I can give are this archive of the This House footage, and this archive of the Unedited Footage website(seems to actually work!). For both, start at the videos. There's also the night mind videos for This House and Unedited Footage.

It really sucks that the actual sites are down! They were really cool at the time. Capitalism :/

GOOD NEWS: apparently both the THHPII and UFOAB websites are in Flashpoint! just download Flashpoint Infinity and search 'Unedited Footage of a Bear' and 'This House has People In It' in it for both websites, respectively. you will have to download them which is a fairly hefty size (for the House site at least) but it's better than not having them! (also the notes of the House site have some instructions on how to use it that you may want to pay attention to!). just figured i'd let yall know that web archivists have saved the day again :3
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2023 @373.26 »

Most of my favourite ARGs have already been noted! I'll try to list some more I could think of: :dive:

  • The Walten Files is a Five Nights At Freddy's (FNaF) inspired ARG and probably one of the best ones I've from the FNaF community thus far. The art style sticks so well with the general vibe and emotional expression is so strong at times. Certainly check it out if you like FNaF! It's a really good watch!
  • My house walk-though is a video of someone making a house tour. Need I say more?
  • Meat Sleep also has a collection of disturbing and wonder-educing videos. Each one has something to say, regardless of how obscure it is. [Epilepsy Warning!!!]
  • this place is not happy is a channel showcasing files from a Farm Department. I would say that it belongs into the more "cool" side of ARGs as its presentation is not as awkwardly chilling and creepy as most ARGs. Nonetheless, it achieves its job at being an ARG! It also has this website which leads to more lore material.
  • ... And there is this one ARG that I cannot recall how it was called. :ohdear: It basically introduced and analysed a variety of monsters (which all were produced from a certain plant) through informational tapes and it just was so cool to watch. If someone remembers the name of this, please remind me!

Also, does Ted The Caver count as an ARG? It's a story narrated through a website, falling under the unfiction category, but I rarely see it being called an ARG.
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2023 @616.77 »

  • ... And there is this one ARG that I cannot recall how it was called. :ohdear: It basically introduced and analysed a variety of monsters (which all were produced from a certain plant) through informational tapes and it just was so cool to watch. If someone remembers the name of this, please remind me!

GEMINI HOME ENTERTAINMENT?
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