New Trailer for “The Ice-Bound Concordance” Shows an Interactive Story Entwined with a Printed Book (Video)
A new trailer celebrates the impending launch of the winner of the 2014 IndieCade award for “Best Story/World Design,” The Ice-Bound Concordance. Driven by cutting-edge interactive narrative technology, the game needs the help of a physical printed book to complete the story: The Ice-Bound Compendium. This full-color 80-page art book drives the game forward as pages are recognized and modified with augmented reality.
Both book and game release January 21st, 2016, the game for iPad and Windows, the book on Amazon and at Indie Press Revolution.
When a digital simulation of a long-dead author is created to finally complete his unfinished masterpiece, the player must help this self-doubting A.I. explore a shifting literary labyrinth filled with doomed polar explorers and fragments of his former self, in pursuit of the perfect ending to his life’s work.
Created by award-winning game designer Aaron A. Reed (a three-time IndieCade finalist) and writer and interactive story researcher Jacob Garbe, the Ice-Bound Concordance game combines cutting-edge technology for combinatorial narrative with a nested, recursive story inspired by writers like Borges and books like Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves.
The game can only move forward when the player shows it pages from a printed book, The Ice-Bound Compendium. This 80-page art book (filled with story fragments, haunting images, and strange distorted transmissions) is used to communicate with the game’s central character, by choosing what pieces of his story to show him, and when.
Markerless tracking augmented reality (AR) lets the camera recognize what page of the book it’s seeing, and overlay more storytelling layers on top.
The game’s dynamic narrative system avoids branching paths, instead treating story narrative fragments as flexible “building blocks” that can be assembled and reconfigured. The player’s developing relationship with the digital author character affects how the algorithm chooses blocks for the continuing story, part of the designers’ ongoing university research into interactive narrative technology.
Both book and game will be released on January 21st, 2016. The Ice-Bound Concordance game will be a free download, available for Windows PCs with webcam and iPad 2+, while the physical Ice-Bound Compendium book will be available from Amazon and Indie Press Revolution, priced similarly to a graphic novel ($25 USD at launch). The first two chapters of the game can be played without pages from the book. Order both at www.ice-bound.com .
•Over 100,000 words of potential story and conversation content
•Co-created by the author of Blue Lacuna, named one of the Top 10 Interactive Fictions ever written (IFDB)
•60+ minute soundtrack by N.J. Apostol (Ether One)
•Hundreds of explorable variations for each story
•An experimental new genre of interactive storytelling (based on cutting-edge academic research!)
•Story pieces become customized to your preferred themes
•3-8 hours of gameplay per playthrough; play again to discover new story fragments
•First two stories are free; unlock the others with pages from the printed Ice-Bound Compendium
•A professionally printed art book, two years in the making
•Custom printed to work with the game’s augmented reality
•80 full-color pages, each with a secret overlay unlocked by the game
•7.5 x 9.25 softcover, layflat binding
•Control the game by choosing what pages to show the camera
•Only available until copies run out!