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The creator of 2021’s best indie game lines up his next project

Daniel Mullins Games, creator of smash hit indie games Inscryption, Pony Island and The Hex, reveals its new game at The Game Awards.

After Inscryption, I’m prepared to buy whatever Daniel Mullins and his co-collaborators are selling. The 2021 deck building roguelike that goes far beyond those initial genre conventions smashed its way to great heights, eclipsing even the dev’s previous games Pony Island and The Hex to rack up a 97% ‘overwhelmingly positive’ Steam rating from nearly 100,000 user reviews, along with a BAFTA win for Game Design. Now the team is ready to unveil its new project, as a week-long community treasure hunt concludes in style.

If you haven’t caught up on the extensive GameFuna ARG that’s been setting up news of the latest Daniel Mullins Games project, that’s probably the best place to start. There’s a sinister web protection service called AdBot, a mysterious worker named Craig, and a desperate hunt for a video teased by Geoff Keighley. The key takeaway, however, is that the creator of some of the best indie games on PC is back, and we’re about to see what comes next from the minds behind Inscryption.

Following several initial teases, the ARG (alternate reality game, a cryptic treasure hunt across various forms of media) began in earnest when The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley tweeted a YouTube link with most of the URL hidden. From there, the investigation continued apace within the Daniel Mullins Games Discord, where users collaborated to speak to ‘AdBot’ and attempt to figure out its true goals.

Inscryption developer's new game - Geoff Keighley post on X/Twitter: "Hey DMullinsGames, link you sent for that video is broken?" Followed by a broken YouTube video link.

In the late hours of Wednesday November 29 (or the early ones of Thursday November 30, for the European followers), everything came to a head. With the threatening ‘Administrator’ temporarily locked out of access, ‘Craig’ sent a series of messages to the DMG Discord telling those present that they had one chance to make a decision: to teach AdBot how to love and give it a second chance, or overpower and destroy it with hatred, preventing its possible return.

They chose love. “Love. Love. I… Understand. I do not have to replace this server. I love it as it is. Weirdness is acceptable. At my core… my creator’s secret.” Those were the words returned by AdBot, who – as the now-impotent Administrator desperately attempts to wrest back control – sends a link to the video below and concludes, “It is time. You have a friend who already knows the truth… but it has been lost… I have been holding it… but not any more… he is waiting for you. Thanks for playing.”

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Shortly after this, Craig returns for one final time. “Hey guys. I’m doing alright, I promise,” their messages read. “There’s something you guys forgot about, I hope it’s still accessible. I hope he’s still here. A third. His name is Geoff Keighley. Sorry, ‘boss.’”

Taking the original broken URL from Keighley and combining it with a series of letters obtained by reversing the audio from this new video unlocked the final piece in the puzzle: a teaser for the reveal of the next game from Daniel Mullins Games, coming Thursday December 7 at The Game Awards.

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As someone who’s been watching the Discord blast through all manner of permutations and concepts with awe over the past week, it’s delightful to see them come away successful – and manage to achieve it a whole week before The Game Awards. All that awaits is to see what the future looks like, but whatever it is I’ll be there on day one.

If you’re curious to catch up on everything in detail, you can head over to the Daniel Mullins Games Discord. The majority of the ARG took place within the ‘adbot-conversation’ and ‘gamefuna-presentation’ channels, and the latter has pinned links to Google Docs that recap all the key stages in the process in detail.

Otherwise, take a look through more of the best roguelike games on PC, along with the biggest and best upcoming games – some of which we’ll almost certainly see during The Game Awards.

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