Security Fail-safe or Freedom Suppressor?

We’ve had a pretty major development come up over the past few days that I thought I’d share with you all. This is one of those game changer decisions we’ve made as a team, something that could potentially open the floodgates to a whole new world of possibilities on the other side of the Rift.

What am I talking about? Well… a few months back (has it been that long?!) we discovered something like a failsafe planted within the iDGi-1 upgrade software given to us by the King. Embedded within the code was a mechanism capable of killing the connection with the other side should Bishop Six’s M.U.V.I. be deactivated for any reason.

In other words: No M.U.V.I. = No Rift = “Game Over.”

For those of you who do not know, the M.U.V.I. (Medical Utility Visual Implant) is what you might call the Bishop’s brain center for all things Consortium. It’s what feeds vital user information back to the rest of a Bishop’s team, powers their C.M.C. and allows it to process emotion, and even generates what we see as the Bishop’s heads up display. The flip side, or what Malcolm Thomas and the Guardian Church believe, is that the M.U.V.I. is also a highly advanced version of what they call a Motor Chip (an implant capable of remotely handing over full motor control to the King), but this theory is admittedly only speculation at this time. The Motor Chip may very well only be a myth.

We have come to realize that when Bishop Six’s M.U.V.I. is deactivated this can only mean one thing: he has been cut off from the Consortium. All equipment, including hardpoint devices, containment unit, weapons, armour and C.M.C. would cease to function, and he would be left to fend for himself.

Back when we first discovered this failsafe we understood that it was probably a good idea. We hated the idea of a stable Rift being disconnected simply because of a decision made by a user (the idea of a “Game Over scenario” without death has always been something we’ve tried to avoid), but in this case it sort of made sense. If a user (or “player”) was to push the Bishop into doing something terrible enough that the Consortium felt the need to kick them out… well then it was probably best that we stop that user from continuing. In other words we felt that by preventing our world from experiencing the Tower Prophecy stream as if playing Call of Duty was probably a good idea.

Things have changed.

Knowing what we now know, perhaps a user may very well have *other* reasons for being removed (or potentially quitting) the Consortium. What if a user discovered something terrible about the King, or about the Consortium while within the Tower Prophecy stream? Are you supposed to just play along and remain a Consortium puppet regardless of the information laid out before you?

If you read my last post to this blog you’ll remember my reservations with regard to wholeheartedly believing everything the King has been feeding us. We need to enter into the Tower Prophecy stream with an open mind, and individually discover our own answers. The answers one user may experience could be quite different from another, and so we should allow both sides to fully explore their options and to forge their own rabbit hole.

The King isn’t going to like this, but the above is why we have decided to remove this failsafe program entirely. If Bishop Six’s M.U.V.I. is disconnected for any reason, the stream will continue and the Rift will remain active. What this means, or what happens next is still unknown, but we are convinced that this is the right choice. Allies exist on both sides of the coin and we want only to allow for the exploration of all possibilities.

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Huge interview with Gregory on OnlySP

A great interview with Gregory just went live today…

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Contemplating the Flip Side

Before I start, I’d like to suggest anyone reading this take a look at my Twitter account: where I’ll be actively posting updates on development as we move closer to realizing the Tower Prophecy stream.

It’s been a pretty wild ride these past few months. The iDGi-1 team has been cranking full force since we discovered the latest information packet from the other side, and I’ve got to say that it feels pretty good to once again see things moving forward. Until that packet was picked up by iDGi-1 we were beginning to lose hope that we would ever find a way to fix the situation we found ourselves in at the end of the Consortium stream. The Bishop had been left for dead as he spiralled out of control toward the Churchill Tower, our connection being ripped from him and pulled back into what we’ve come to call quantum limbo – that space between our world and theirs which, quite frankly, should not exist – and there was absolutely no way to do anything about it.

But then along came the King to save the day. *Yay!* It’s not the first time he’s done so, either, as I could not even count the number of times throughout the pre-Consortium stream (what we call our “Alternate Reality Game”) where he stepped up to help move us forward. Sometimes Malcolm Thomas, the King’s so-called nemesis and spokesperson for the Guardian Church, would even come along in the eleventh hour to ensure a continuation of the stream. In the end it seemed that both sides, all sides, consistently wanted to ensure that we continued our forays into their world.

The question is: Why?

Throughout Consortium we were led to believe that the King and the Consortium were a force of good in their world, and that whoever (or whatever) is fighting against them (the source behind Kiril Angelov and possibly even the traitor) are not to be trusted, have bad information, and are in fact the “bad guys.” If these so-called bad guys are in any way connected to those we encountered throughout the pre-Consortium stream, then it’s safe to say that their driving force is to obtain our help in shutting down the King once and for all.

This then means that both sides require our help to defeat the other. But who can we trust?

I think it’s important to now consider the bubble we found ourselves contained within throughout the Consortium stream. We were within one of their airships, completely cut off from the outside world, and were therefore subject to exactly what THEY – or more specifically the King – wanted us to see. Unlike with the pre-Consortium stream, the other factions were largely prevented from contacting us, save for a few hidden pieces of information within the Information Console. Even the Information Console itself ran directly through the King and so there’s no telling how many of those articles were fabricated or otherwise compromised in order to fit his point of view. At the same time, who can tell how many of the Consortium officers we met were “in on it,” or even fully aware of who we truly are? Maybe they were all really good actors playing out a variable script constructed by the King?

Who is to say that we were not being played like a well tuned violin throughout the entire Consortium stream? The King certainly had enough time to construct such a ruse, considering he technically met us at the moment of his activation some sixteen years prior. Let’s not forget that he was also the one who gave us the coordinates necessary to make the Consortium stream a reality, and is once more the one giving us the coordinates necessary for the Tower Prophecy stream.

Hell, maybe Angelov was right all along! Maybe we can’t trust anyone from their world except, bizarrely enough, him? He was, after all, the only person we met completely outside of Consortium influence. He warned us that there were at least several moles aboard Zenlil, not only the one who turned out to be the traitor/murderer that some of us were able to identify and confront, and even went so far as to tell some of us that he discovered the Consortium were in fact the ones who hired him through back channels! He outright said that he cannot confirm the existence of anyone outside of the Consortium having contacted him.

Perhaps this was all nonsense and/or subterfuge, but then again… perhaps not.

Now, let’s take a look at the traitor. I don’t want to “spoil” anything for those of you who have not yet discovered their identity, but the fact is the traitor was sort of… well… insane. I can’t possibly imagine a more obviously brainwashed individual. Who knows how much of their ramblings were true, or any more than another page of the great interdimensional script written just for us. This may be taking it a step too far, but what if – bear with me now – what if the traitor had absolutely no connection to the enemies of the King? Whether those enemies be the Guardian Church, Strommon Industries, or some other as-yet unnamed entity? What if the traitor was merely another one of the King’s actors, playing along to make his enemies seem completely out of their minds? Bonkers? Crazytown?

Let’s say then that all of the above is true. Let’s say that the Consortium King played us, and that we fell into his trap. We now believe that the Consortium is this fantastical peacekeeping force. We fell for their crew and started to actually care about them. And most of all, we blindly jumped from Zenlil toward the Churchill Tower, a mission more fraught with question marks than anything else, with the intention of doing whatever the Consortium King and his Knight 15 deem to be “right.” What if the King’s true intentions are actually the opposite of what it seems? What if he needs us to fight his enemies in order to succeed with his end game? What if that end game is actually what Malcolm Thomas has been telling us all along? What if he ultimately wants to enslave the human race using Motor Control Chips (a remote control implant device Malcolm claimed was developed by Worldview Industries, and that once implanted into the human brain gives over full control of that brain to the King)…?

Now that’s a whole lot of what ifs, but wouldn’t it explain a few things? Wouldn’t this explain why Malcolm Thomas has been equally keen on ensuring our return to their world? And why the traitor and/or anyone else did not simply cut the Bishop’s throat in his sleep? Or why didn’t they just kill him before we even took control of his consciousness? I’m sure they had plenty of opportunity, and if the King is to be believed plenty of motive.

Instead, isn’t it possible that they want us alive because, perhaps, we are their last best chance to actually kill the King before his grand plan of global domination comes into fruition?

Or… maybe I’m just being paranoid. Maybe this is all just a side effect of my thinking far too long and hard about this, and the Consortium are in fact all they seem to be. I guess my primary point with this ranty post is that as we move closer to developing the Tower Prophecy stream, and more things come to light, we all need to be on our guard and never stop being the Seekers we were intended to be. The Seekers of truth, and of understanding. We plan on bypassing the King’s control this time around and will be giving you unprecedented power over the stream, allowing you to truly forge your own path. We need to never give up, never surrender (hey, a Galaxy Quest reference!) and never lose sight of the fact that we, each and every one of us and NOT the King, are the deciders of fate for an entire world full of people.

But hey… no pressure!  😉

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CONSORTIUM: The Tower Prophecy – Gameplay Teaser Trailer

We are in the process of releasing the following info to the world:

In anticipation of a follow-up crowdfunding campaign to the critically acclaimed Consortium, Interdimensional Games (iDGi) has released a teaser trailer for Consortium: The Tower Prophecy. Expanding the current IP, The Tower Prophecy is a new first-person science fiction interactive narrative RPG created using the Unreal 4 Engine and set within the confines of a massive tower looming over Central London.

The Tower Prophecy is both a direct sequel to last year’s fourth wall breaking Consortium, and also a stand-alone game in its own right. “It’s not well known yet, but I’m proud to say that even one year after its release, Consortium remains a highly unique first-person interactive narrative,” Gregory MacMartin, CEO of iDGi said. “No two players can have the exact same experience. The iDGi-1 Interactive Narrative Technology allows for a unique combination of scripted narrative and player agency. By harnessing and building upon existing technology, mechanics and content developed for Consortium, The Tower Prophecy will push the boundaries of seamlessly blending narrative and player freedom even further, and will offer a more polished and well-rounded experience.”

In The Tower Prophecy players will explore the futuristic Churchill Tower in the heart of Central London, where they will be able to seamlessly fight, explore, sneak or talk their way through the entire experience, or any combination thereof. The Churchill Tower and its inhabitants are all being designed as part of a seamless open-world, sand-box game environment, and the game’s narrative will shape itself to player decisions and actions in ways never before seen.

iDGi is preparing a crowdfunding campaign for launch later this year to help raise the production budget for the effort. “We are asking anyone who likes what they see in this reveal trailer and are interested to learn more about our game to please consider subscribing to our mailing list in order to keep up to date on progress and details as we move forward.”

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The Tower Prophecy preview at PCGamesN

Jeremy Peel at PCGamesN recently interviewed Gregory and then wrote this article based on their conversation. Includes a new piece of concept art for the game!

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