While there's been plenty of buzz for No Man's Sky and Star Citizen of late, it's sometimes easy to miss all the changes happening within that other massive crowdfunded space epic, Elite: Dangerous (ED).
Not too long ago, the developers added bits and pieces from the Thargoids insectoid race into ED. So far it's largely been confined to odd spires and barnacles. But people are now finding something more enticing — crashed ships.
Players got a heads up during Gamescom that something would be happening from August 28. The date was part of a wider message:
We've found something. Something incredible. Something the whole galaxy will want to see. The truth.
The truth. We could show it to you, that wouldn't be much fun so instead we're going to play a little game.
To find us, look for a bounty hunter. To find more clues you'll need pre-logistics support in a system with one star, two belts, three rings, and enough radiation to turn you green.
The hunt begins on the 28th.
The notice was basically a flare for a server-wide manhunt, which Frontier Developments helped stoke with clues within in-game herald articles:
After everything was finally decoded and August 28 rolled around, the search begun in earnest. And so far, one of the biggest discoveries has been not just the odd bit of alien barnacles, but entire wreckages.
Here's some of the journey to find the alien wreckage.
And this video is a bit longer, but the robot-like narration is so funny that I just had to include it here.
The next question Elite pilots have: what will they be dealing with next? People on the ED forums and Reddit are still investigating whether certain constellations, sounds and other signs are an indicator of more mysteries to come.
It's kind of becoming the norm for developers now: keep your community engaged with a massive ARG for weeks as people try to untangle your web of hype. Sometimes it gets a bit much, and I wonder how many ARGs fans can go through before patience wears thin.
But the Elite community are lapping it up so far. And why not? Aliens are coming.