SlingShot’s Hounded Comes Home to Bristol

PRESS RELEASE:  2 nd December 2011 

For immediate release

As Bristol prepares for the Christmas party season, local game designers, SlingShot, are planning to unleash another seasonal tradition onto the city streets: the fox hunt.

Hounded will hit Bristol on Thursday 15 th and Friday 16 th December and tickets are now on sale. The game sees human foxes do battle with their arch enemy, the hunting hounds, whilst following a scent trail through the streets of Bristol’s old town.

The Bristol outing follows a sell-out run of Hounded in Henry VIII’s old hunting ground of Soho in London last month. It comes at the end of a hectic year for its creators, SlingShot, who in addition to organising igfest 3, have staged their smash hit zombie chase game, 2.8 Hours Later , in Bristol, Leeds and London, where it’s been played by over three and a half thousand players.

Like its zombie-based forerunner, Hounded sees groups of players relying on their speed and cunning to outrun and outwit a pack of determined foe.

Players are the foxes, complete with tails, who must follow scent trails laid out across the dense network of streets. By keeping their tails and texting in keywords found at the end of each trail, players amass points. But the pressure is on: huntsmen – complete with dogs – are lurking in the shadows intent on hunting down their quarry by tracking the scent sprayed on players’ shoes at the start of the game.

Whilst it’s first and foremost a thrilling game of chase, its creators say the game has a political angle, too. “It’s a celebration of the fox as an anti-authoritarian icon,” says SlingShot’s co-founder, Simon Evans. “The fox is a figure who lives on the edge, who rebels against the authority of the patriarchal society, represented here by the huntsman. It’s about the outwitting the establishment as much as anything else, which is a particularly relevant theme at the moment,” he says.

Hounded is a pervasive game, which combines the latest smartphone technology with the face-to-face engagement and fun of the traditional street game. SlingShot is partnering with BlueVia ( www.bluevia.com), whose HashBlue SMS platform allows the players to register, text in their answers and stay in contact with the game’s coordinators.

The game was first played earlier this year at the You Are GO! festival in Berlin, and it also featured as part of New York’s Come Out and Play summer series, proof of the international appeal of pervasive gaming. SlingShot’s own festival, igfest, which takes place in Bristol every year, is the world’s biggest such gaming event.

Hounded is taking place at 7pm on Thursday 15 th and Friday 16th November. Tickets are £13 and are available from the website http://slingshoteffect.co.uk/. Source Food Hall & cafe will be selling mulled wine and nibbles at the end of the game.

SlingShot directors, Simon Evans and Simon Johnson are available for interview. Please contact Emma Chappel on emma.chappel@slingshoteffect.co.uk or 07776 102 614

ENDS

Notes to editors

SlingShot is a Bristol-based games developer and consultancy. For further information about the games they offer go to their website: http://slingshoteffect.co.uk/

Igfest is an annual pervasive games festival taking place in Bristol http://igfest.org.

There are seven other such festivals in the world, which take place in New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh and Krems, but Bristol’s igfest is the largest.

BlueVia is the new global developer platform from Telefonica that helps developers take apps, web services, and ideas to market. BlueVia is built on four founding principles: Scale, Tools, Business Models, and Path to Market. BlueVia offers ground breaking, zero risk, business models for developers, along with ‘mix & match’ models to create multiple revenue streams. For more information, documentation and video tutorials, go to www.bluevia.com

2.8 Hours Later is a zombie-themed chase game that takes place at dusk over the three nights. The game has so far been played in Bristol, Leeds and London to sell-out crowds. Players have to successfully make it from the start to the end point via a number of clues hidden at secret locations whilst being chased by zombies. For more information and images, go to: http://2.8hourslater.com  


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