Amid a swirl of dramatic fiction and religious speculation, Dan Brown’s hyper-popular novels (Da Vinci Code, et al) gain traction from the grit of some true facts and the strength of some real principles. The hero of the novels, Robert Langdon, expresses his faith in reason, in observation, in study, and in mental exercise.
Doubleday, Dan Brown’s publisher, approached us to create a game to promote the release of The Lost Symbol, the third Robert Langdon novel. The game was to be released for the iPhone, which was still very new and had relatively few games. They wanted an utterly simple game hat could be played immediately and won with only a little effort. It would be, in the words of a reviewer, the first appearance of “digital swag”.
Within these narrow constraints, we chose to model the best of Langdon – logic, observation, practice- and build a symbologist’s training device. It featured the heavy atmosphere and arcane glyphs dear to the readers of this series. It transformed the iPhone into mechanism of black lacquer and bronze. Brass shutters hid tiny lighted chambers which showcased mysterious symbols. It thrummed in your hand, evoking ancient resonances. In keeping with the creative brief, the gameplay was simple, but its execution maximized the virtues and flavors of Dan Brown’s world.