Hounds of Hammer (Concept)
Platform: Mixed: Phone, Online, Real World
Concepted: 2007 (Group Project)
Hounds of Hammer is an episodic promotional adventure game for mobile phones that incorporates ARG elements. Blurring the boundaries between the real world and the game world, the game is distributed for free in support of the re-launch of cult film studio Hammer Film Productions. It is intended to introduce the franchise to a new generation as well as appeal to the existing Hammer Horror fan base.
The game is divided up into ten chapters, which are downloaded and unlocked sequentially. In each of these chapters the player will find clues. When combined, the clues help the player to solve the final part of the game in which real Hammer related prizes can be won.
As part of a group project, I came up with the game's high concept, wrote part of the story, designed various puzzles and challenges, mocked up screenshots and edited the GDD and presentation. All four group members were awarded an A grade for this project.
The game starts after the player downloads it from these special Bluetooth-enabled posters.
The player takes on the role of a vampire slayer trying to solve the mystery of their missing mentor. Their quest involves a series of challenges and puzzles which unravel as the boundaries between the game and real world are broken down.
The tube system allows the player to
fast-travel between various locations.
An example of one of the in-game challenges is a lights out-style puzzle on a 4x3 grid of gargoyles.
The player can rotate each gargoyle by 180 degrees to turn its eyes red. The problem is that when a player rotates one gargoyle, all gargoyles directly adjacent to it are rotated too. Once all the eyes are lit a secret door leading to a hidden tunnel is revealed.
After completing a puzzle in the morgue, the player will find this card. Later in the game, a mobile phone can be found with a pending voicemail in it. This voicemail contains the first part of the number.
The player has to figure out that these numbers combine to make a real phone number, which they can call to hear a message containing further clues.
The online component of the game acts as a gateway to parts of the narrative, as well as providing a platform for players to discuss strategies.
The sense of community is strengthened further by providing puzzles that require player co-operation.
HoH comes to a climax during the endgame in which the player has to visit a secret location in the real world to collect their prize.