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Inscryption dev is teasing his new game with cryptic video ARG

Daniel Mullins, maker of beloved indie games Inscryption, The Hex, and Pony Island, shares a cryptic teaser as Geoff Keighley joins the fun.

Inscryption dev teases new game with cryptic ARG - The GameFuna AdBot, a television set wearing a suit and hat. A white triangle with a shocked expression sits in the bottom corner of the image, which appears to be displayed on an old, scanline-filled television.

With Inscryption, Daniel Mullins Games secured its reputation as one of the most exciting developers around. While its previous indie games Pony Island and The Hex are both outstanding, sitting at 95% and 94% Steam ratings respectively, it was Inscryption that truly won over the hearts and minds of many, including myself, as 2021’s best game. Now, with a cryptic video and the help of The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, Daniel Mullins is teasing his new game in exactly the weird and wonderful way you’d expect.

Inscryption is one of those games you can’t easily explain. It’s a deck building roguelike, but it’s also so much more than that. Yet the beauty is in the mystery; to explain it is to lessen its impact. I can’t tell you why you’ll love it, but I can tell you that it’s well worth your time, and that it’s probably the best game of 2021. With a 97% ‘overwhelmingly positive’ Steam rating from nearly 100,000 reviews, a BAFTA win for Game Design, and a Game of the Year prize at GDC’s Game Developers Choice Awards, I’m not alone there either.

It’s safe to say that we’re all very curious what’s next to come from Daniel Mullins and his co-collaborators, then. Enter Geoff Keighley, host and executive producer of The Game Awards and always a fan of a cryptic tease or two. In a public post to X/Twitter on the evening of Saturday November 25, Keighley writes, “Hey @DMullinsGames link for you sent for that video is broken?” He includes a shortened YouTube link with the address “55X-xxXXx7X.”

Post from Geoff Keighley: "Hey @DMullinsGames link you sent for that video is broken? https://youtu.be/55X-xxXXx7X"

Suffice it to say, that link goes nowhere – or at least to a page on YouTube that reads, “This video isn’t available any more.” My best guess is that all those Xs are in fact different letters, and solving them might give us a big clue as to what’s coming next, with a reveal likely set for The Game Awards on Thursday December 7, given Keighley’s involvement. Things don’t stop there, however.

Over at the Daniel Mullins Games Discord, things are already getting very weird. A new ‘Admin Assistant’ joins the server, along with another account called ‘AdBot,’ and both are assigned the ‘Assistant 003’ role. The Admin Assistant’s ‘about me’ reads “Here to do a job” in glitched text, while AdBot’s reads “I’m always watching.”

Then, a video is posted to the Discord’s news channel. It’s an advert for a new product from a company called GameFuna, and it’s called AdBot. “Are you tired of seeing your data leaked on the internet? AdBot is your number one assistant to surf the internet,” the two-minute video explains. You can watch it for yourself below – and you definitely should, because it’s of course packed with all manner of bizarre glitches and hidden messages.

YouTube Thumbnail

At the time of writing, the Admin Assistant’s status on Discord has changed to glitched text reading the phrase “Develop. Sell. Profit.” AdBot’s, meanwhile, reads “Coordinates accepted: Transmission 1 in progress at time —– EST (repeating every four hours) in location —–.”

The AdBot account itself also now has its own chat channel, where it’s responding to user questions as people attempt to figure out the truth of what’s going on. Through an extensive shared document and much careful piecing together of information, the pieces are starting to slot into place. And, yes, they’re already hard at work testing every possible combination of that URL from Geoff Keighley.

It appears our Admin Assistant is someone called Craig, and according to glimpses of a secret document in the AdBot video they are part of the “System error detection and repair unit.” Other pieces of the document suggest Craig “was found in [a] corrupted file of Waste World,” and that “he was assigned the number 003 by the Administrator T. Irving.” You can see the full document below, reassembled by user ‘KaraTutiiro.’

GameFuna ARG - A compiled image of the secret, redacted document for an employee known as 'Craig' seen in glimpses throughout an advert for the 'GameFuna Adbot,' part of a new game teaser from Inscryption creator Daniel Mullins. Image collated by Discord user 'KaraTutiiro.'

I’ll leave our exploration there for now – it’s still very much underway, and if you’re interested in joining the hunt you can do so over at the Daniel Mullins Games Discord channel. For those of you who’d rather just wait and see what weird and wonderful new project comes of this, we’re sure more details will float up soon. Coming from a man whose first game was about hacking arcade cabinets to battle Satan, it’s fair to say anything is possible.

For those of you who’ve been intrigued by this and haven’t played Inscryption, there’s more good news. While there’s not much time left on the best Black Friday deals, you can buy Inscryption for 50% off until Tuesday November 28. Expect to pay just $9.99 / £8.39 for one of the most memorable games you can find on Steam.

In the meantime, have a look through more of the best indie games for plenty more amazing projects from independent creators. We’ve also got all the best upcoming games in 2023 and beyond, if you’re speculating what else we might see at The Game Awards.

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