Blackhollow Project

In early 1943, an American OSS agent only known as ‘The Operative’ is deployed to the Soviet Union to retrieve a potential asset, a woman who is codenamed ‘The Mathematician.’ However, finding her, and their struggle to return to London was simple compared to the issues created by a device built by the US War Department to ensure victory; a device that could return its user to early 1943 if the war was lost. But what if someone else used it first? At its core, Blackhollow Project is the intertwining story of three characters; ‘The Operative,’ ‘The Mathematician,’ and a mysterious character who comes to be known as ‘The Artist,’ and how the device would impact their own personal journey.

To tell this story, we created a side-effect of time travel. When a character used the device, a piece of information from their previous timeline, what we called a ‘fragment,’ would tear through reality and appear in the new timeline. This allowed us to purely focus on this very tangible element of the storytelling experience. We, along with a dozen volunteers, scouted locations in sixteen cities across five countries, and used a website to deliver bits of information to help players find the city and specific location that each fragment would be found.

While some contained collections of documents or other story artifacts, the majority of the story was told through three staple items found in each fragment: an audio log recorded by ‘The Operative,’ a journal entry from ‘The Mathematician,’ and an original piece of artwork created by ‘The Artist.’ This allowed us to tell the story of each character, and do it simultaneously through each fragment discovered.