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Immersive storytelling in Historic/urban ambient

The Ark is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) based on a web app. It aims to create small communities of players living in the same city and encourage them to deepen their knowledge of the city’s history and morphology.

An ARG is a game that uses communication and network technologies, combined with elements in the real world, to create an immersive narrative experience in which players participate actively and in real time. The structure of The Ark is designed to be easily adapted to different social, spatial and temporal settings.


The main elements are the plot (the story is the backbone of the game), a web platform that supports the system, and a series of six puzzles on which the game is based. The first two components (story and platform) are designed to be used in each version of the game.

For the most demanding players a mobile application is available. This, in addition to the basic functionality, offers additional quests and puzzles, intended to broaden the gaming experience (through physical actions to be performed and specific places to visit), and the narrative experience (through new information on the story needed to succeed in these quests and puzzles).

The puzzles, on the other hand, are created ad hoc and localized for the city where the game is to be played (though guidelines for the design of appropriate puzzles facilitate and speed up the process of creating new games).
The game system offers different experiences for different types of player.

The game has a rich storytelling component, structured as a main plot divided into six parts, and placed inside a mythology designed to meet the expectations of those players who want an entertainment experience similar to a TV series.
The puzzles that are offered from week to week are the main part of the project, and they are designed to sustain the interest of the community who work together to solve them.

The project explored and defined the development of the narrative, the definition of the kind of puzzles, the visual appearance of the application and the video content.
This study sets the stage for the creation of the game, for its possible development, analyzing the economic feasibility of its realization.

This thesis report describes the design phases of the project, the creative process of the game’s design, the theory on which the game is based and its fundamental dynamics.


Below you can read the full italian report, with abstract in english.

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