The Maester’s Path
Luxurious Animals has had the pleasure of cultivating an arresting web experience with Campfire for HBO’s exciting new series, Game of Thrones. The television series breathes life into the captivating fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, from author George R.R. Martin. The overarching goal of the site is to ignite passionate fans and spark the interest of a general audience. Step onto the Maester’s Path to complete immersive sensory challenges that unlock rewards while forging a chain of authority. Novices will need to solve puzzles scattered across online destinations and hidden within wider marketing materials, while also recruiting “novices” through their social media networks to become a maester. Once the puzzle has been solved, the user is rewarded with a link on the Maester’s chain, an exclusive, unreleased video clip from the upcoming series and a GetGlue badge.

Once on the path, five trees in an ethereal forest lead to several sensory experiences by a symbol carved into the bark. All the while, a tireless bone-chilling wind groans in the distance. Snow blankets the forest floor while snowflakes swirl in the scene, dependent on the visitors’ mouse movements. Blazing torches guide the prospective maesters to each challenge.

Prior to the launch of the Maester’s Path, Campfire organized an influencer outreach to build up advance buzz for the campaign. ExclusiveGame of Thrones scents, labeled with a name and cryptic symbol, were packed in vials and sent with aged scrolls, maps and artifacts in rustic handmade alchemy boxes to select bloggers. Scent recipes were included to create a site-specific, one-of-a-kind fragrance to represent the Seven Kingdoms in the Game of Thronesworld. Users find their way to the Maester’s Path website through bloggers’ posts, which incorporated clues to solve the puzzle by describing the unique aromas and runes of the scents. The first puzzle is a weathered and frozen wheel made up of spinning concentric circles adorned with an array of symbols on various segments. The user’s goal is to rotate these rings and line up the corresponding icons on each circle to identify the signature scent combinations of Westeros. Once correctly aligned, a one-minute video reward signals the completion of the task.

The Inn at Crossroads allows novices to step inside Westeros and eavesdrop on the small folk with a custom-developed spatial sound application. The audio was recorded at one of Luxurious Animals' sound studios using a binaural head to capture the actors' performances in 3D space. Once inside, the user can "move" around the space and listen to the schemes and rumors from the Seven Kingdoms. After the aspiring maester has gleaned the information of the nobles, a challenge awaits.

The second challenge is placed in a dim, damp cave. Attentive fans will have to use the secrets unveiled at the Inn to arrange the sigils of the major Houses of Westeros. With the correct configuration, the user will possess the sound link on the Maester's chain.

In the North of Westeros, a 700-foot Wall of solid ice stands to guard the Southern kingdoms from the dangers of the North. Users can journey to the top of the monumental Wall in the virtual environment. Once there, fans can overlook the Northern tundra for danger, stand guard to protect the kingdoms and send out messages by raven to friends.
Those brave enough can accept the third challenge, to "Take the Black" and stand guard watching for threats in the distance. To unlock the sight link, fans need a keen eye and a quick step to warn the guards by blowing a horn before time runs out.

iPhone and iPad users can download a GPS-enabled weather-driven storytelling app, Ice and Fire . The intention of the application is to get fans acquainted with the look and feel of Westeros as it relates to real-time temperature and weather. Worldwide locations can be added to view a variety of different conditions. The app is available for download here.

The fourth challenge consists of six double-sided pages from a weather journal placed on a maester’s desk. Each worn page is adorned with illustrations of the moon cycle and the weather conditions for a five-day period. Underneath a paragraph of undecipherable and a coat of arms from the various Houses needs translation in order to place the pages back in its proper arrangement.
The final puzzle focuses on the flavor profiles of the Seven Kingdoms. Fans are introduced to the tastes of Westeros through mobile food trucks that delivered food to key cities in the U.S, developed by world-renowned chef, Tom Colicchio. The food truck menus were posted to the ”Making Game of Thrones” blog and hold the key to the puzzle. Once on the Maester’s Path site, fans submit the answer to the challenge.

Not only do fans need to use their wit and savvy to complete all the challenges but the final task is to amass a small legion of followers to fully become a maester.

Role: Design Elements, Visual Compositing, Animation, 3D Rendering, Green Screen Compositing, Live Action Shoot, Binaural Audio Recording, Sound Design, Flash Development, iOS Development
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