Whenabouts turns “modern antiques” into a transmedia adventure for curious tweens
Floppy disks, VCRs, telegrams, crates, and even snail-mail become puzzle pieces in a new hybrid book / subscription / game experience.
Part book, part subscription, part game, part video series, Whenabouts unfolds over the course of half a year, delivered by way of 12 tangible mailings (yes, snail mail!) and 12 corresponding digital experiences.
Parents provide the key surprise to their kids: an unlabelled wooden crate and its mysterious contents, a care-worn journal filled with technical drawings, diary entries, symbology, maps, and an astonishing – but obviously incomplete – manuscript. Kids assume the role of a modern mystery hunter, assisting teenaged twins Marie-Anne and CJ Cartier in their accidental quest back through time. Along the way, the twins receive and unpuzzle a series of historical “date posts”, markers that arrive in the mail – each one conveying the communications methods of decades and centuries past: diskettes, VHS, records, telegrams, hand-written letters, and more.
Whenabouts sets out to create a journey of curiosity; a story that embraces and builds into its core the gift of anticipation, the puzzle of discovery, and a delightful interplay between physical mailings and digital experiences.
“Kids don’t get mail anymore,” says Warm Ventures co-founder Steve Hardy, “and that’s an experience many adults reflect fondly on; the random surprise and delayed gratification of receiving the next comic or catalog. It’s also an in-joke with parents that the obsolete objects and experiences in Whenabouts – floppies, 35mm slides, figuring out a VCR, and using a paper map – are familiar to them but puzzles to their kids – now found only through time travel!”
Whenabouts will be produced by the creators of Warms gift boxes and authored by comedian and sci-fi writer Jason Whiting. A variety of talented artists and suppliers will also collaborate for specific illustration, photography, video production, music, and game development.
“Whenabouts rediscovers the excitement of real mail and the joy of delayed gratification.”
Additional details, as well as the official Whenabouts trailer, can be be viewed at http://whenabouts.com. Pre-orders are being accepted until September 17th on Kickstarter: