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Destiny ARG begins: 'Distributed, synchronous effort required'

Jordan Mallory

A Bungie release wouldn't really be the same without an alternate reality game to get pattern-obsessed conspiracy nerds/internet detectives (read: us) all worked up and obsessive, and thus Destiny's own ARG has officially sprung into life. Destiny, in case you're just joining the party, is Bungie's new original IP of which we know very little, beyond the fact that some leaked concept art places the game on a ruined future-Earth orbited by a massive, spherical alien ship.

Perhaps more obvious in its implementation than some of Bungie's previous ARG efforts, the new jam requires the user to "begin by aligning the day's pattern to the light," which is to say, arrange a pattern of eight diamonds into the correct configuration, thus granting access to the site in full.

Once inside, the user is presented with some delightfully cryptic information: A small section of a larger geometric pattern/glyph on the left, an abstract matrix of dots on the right, and at the bottom of the page, a message. "Your node will remain active for 5 minutes, but may be reactivated as necessary. Distributed, synchronous effort required."

Depending on the number of active users viewing the site at any given time, the image on the left will either be more or less obscured/legible. Likewise, the dot matrix on the right will be populated with more or fewer dots, based on current traffic. Once a sufficient number of users are online, a screenshot the dot matrix can be analyzed for information in Photoshop or similar. Yesterday's matrix, for instance, revealed a file extension that, once placed onto the end of the site's URL, rewarded studious sleuths with a large image and passage.

Games such as this typically evolve as time goes on, so the complexity of the puzzles and the amount of technical skill required to solve them is likely to increase on a daily basis. There's also no indication of what happens after the seventh day, but we're eager to help find out. And, by "help," we mean "read forum threads and get excited when smart people solve things for us."

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