Since our inception, we’ve been cooking up our very own character driven interactive narrative solution. Our first VR experience is in development, making use of the third generation of this solution, which we call the iDGi-1 Interactive Storytelling System (or simply “ISS” internally).
Here is Gregory discussing the iDGi and Consortium mandate from a few years ago, recorded at the start of the successful Fig Campaign for Consortium: The Tower - relevant now more than ever:
Our solution allows for a practically infinite variety of highly authored and always varied character driven stories that are partially derived and advanced from the choices, actions and even inactions of players. And it is possible to do it all with only a handful of team members!
Both of our “flat-screen” Consortium games, our interactive novel Whispers From The Rift, and our upcoming VR experience all represent us making use of our own evolving solutions. To be clear, these are all works made firmly within the limits of our complete independence and the incompatibility of our processes and goals with more conventional corporate production systems. This is one of the reasons we’ve had to rely on crowdfunding as much as we have to exist.
This basically means that while we’ve always moved with a distinct purpose and specific goals in mind, we’ve also moved rather slowly. If a well funded project were to harness our third-generation solution of the ISS, achieving the almost unimaginable is now within reach. With the right resources, using UE4 paired with our iDGi-1 ISS, it would be relatively straightforward to create a custom living and breathing synthetic universe, populated by believable virtual humans that evolve and grow over time according to individual player choices and actions - all powered by an interactive screenplay derived narrative.
Our commitment to the continual creation and maintenance of an intricate and very deep lore for our IP revolves around nothing less than our desire to help make the world just a little bit brighter.
The world on the other side of iDGi-1 is an attainable, inspirational near-future world. It is one where we have solved a great many things - we have millions thriving in orbital, Lunar and even Martian colonies. There is even a colony ship on its way to Europa. Humans on Earth have begun to learn how to live in harmony with nature again, rather than allowing greed to ruin the basis of our existence on this planet.
We want nothing less than to encourage optimism in younger generations and to demonstrate what might be possible if and when humanity collectively decides to get its act together and learns how to start living sustainably with nature.
The human race is on a fast track collision course with Mother Nature herself. We, the human species, are pushing the Earth's habitability to extreme limits. We must get ourselves under control. We and our economic systems must learn to respect the glory and majesty of Mother Nature while treating our precious home planet with the respect that it demands.
The Consortium organization within the iDGi-1 realm itself represents a utopian ideal. The Consortium mandate is simple and straightforward: Protect the Earth's environment and maintain global peace at all costs. Imagine if the UN had the resources and power at its disposal to enact the drastic changes and protections required for us to bring balance back to the natural world. This is the Consortium.
To play a Consortium game is to immerse oneself in the possible. We invite you to sit back and relax into our games' genuinely attainable future while imagining the possibilities and real-world implications.
Gregory founded iDGi in 2006 and by himself built the initial prototype of Zenlil (the plane seen above) and her crew as a Half-Life 2 mod. He’s produced all iDGi games in addition to often taking on Game/Level/Balance design work, general content creation, scripting, HR, PR, QA, IT, web dev, biz dev, marketing, etc. “Keeper of the vision” when necessary, but not always.
Fully committed to writing about himself in the third person, Gregory has never been as excited about a project as he is about the current iDGi VR project. (Yes, even more than The Tower. Yes, that’s possible). He’s even crazy enough to believe that it could help save the world.
Gregory met and fell in love with his future wife Aline in 2008, who has contributed in innumerable ways throughout the years to the games themselves (even starring in the only live action performance in all of iDGi to date), to the marketing and to the business in general. They had a daughter, Aveline, in 2011 who has become a great source of inspiration for both of us. All three of us look forward to exploring, hiking and picnicking on day trips every weekend.
Ryan’s iDGi origin story is as epic as the narratives in our games themselves. His origins lie in the once flourishing mod communities of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, where he founded and developed the popular Obsidian Conflict and Missing Information mods. Ryan joined iDGi in mid-2011 and pretty much single handedly coded CONSORTIUM (2014) over the course of the following 3 years. He was the principal engineer of V1 of the iDGi-1 Interactive Storytelling System, the A.I, the Inventory system, and all of the gameplay systems of our first title. He was also the only coder for all of Phase One of The Tower’s production.
Over the years, our good man Sheffer has firmly established himself as a fundamental part of the very existence of iDGi, as he has studiously presided over the advancement of all our technology and engineering endeavors and solutions from the get-go. Ryan is now masterminding V3 of our iDGi-1 Interactive Storytelling tech - designed explicitly with VR in mind (but will also be used for finishing The Tower's choreography).
Steve discovered his passion for writing long before he was lulled onboard iDGi by his brother Gregory in 2008 to help envision a new kind of first-person interactive storytelling. Nevertheless, the first Consortium game represents Steve’s first professional writing endeavor, and he managed to effectively write the entire interactive screenplay himself.
In addition to penning The Tower’s screenplay, Steve has for the past couple years now been heads down on completing his first true novel - the deeply intricate and byzantine interactive novel, Whispers From The Rift.
In 2010 Gregory met a ‘Financial Storyteller.’ IDGI was all about storytelling but needed help with numbers. Since then, Stewart has been a stalwart iDGi presence throughout the years since that time, studiously safeguarding the books, taxes, payrolls, budgets and all sorts of fun stuff like that, often involving spreadsheet magic of some kind or another. He is a trusted guardian and confidant of iDGi and our intellectual property.
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iDGi is, of course, not just the above people.
Those listed above are literally the iDGi owners and operators. Fact is, iDGi is really a collective of sorts, consisting of dozens of folks that have contributed over the years to realize the visions of our projects. iDGi is also the hundreds of people on our growing Discord community. One could certainly extend the definition of iDGi to include all of our backers, investors (Fig , KS) and Patrons who have financially assisted our projects throughout the years and have literally enabled us to exist. We love you all.
We love our wonderful and diverse cast of voice actors. They are iDGi. We love all our writers, musicians, composers, illustrators, concept artists and sound effect artist collaborators. They are all iDGi, too. If you want to see a more complete list of people, the official credits for Consortium (2014) is a good start. Consortium: The Tower’s (Early Access Alpha) in-game credits are also very extensive and will be updated as that project progresses. The in-game credits for Whispers From The Rift are also comprehensive and still being updated.
Everybody who has played a significant role in iDGi has experienced near-total creative authority over big sections of our productions. The most effective members of iDGi have been those who did not "work for us" but instead "collaborated with us". Many will regularly knock things out of the park, while others struggle at times but work hard with us to learn, grow, and sometimes persevere. We believe that always learning and growing is a core part of the creative experience. Making an iDGi game can be very fun and exploratory, but it also requires a lot of consistent hard work towards a common goal and vision.
Throughout all the years, we've learned and grown with each other, with trust and mutual respect being key to longevity and making the biggest possible creative impact.
iDGi's first 3D production, Consortium (2014), entered production in 2011, with daily video conference "scrum" meetings being mandatory. Half of our core team was in a different country for the entire production, and while we learned a lot through some early failures and false starts, we did make it work in the end.
Many dev teams, post-Covid-19, are beginning to experiment with some form of remote working from home virtual dev teams - did you know that we've been doing that since 2011? While we have sometimes gotten together in dev caves to work closely on certain things, our development philosophy is a very straightforward one that allows for a ton of flexibility for individual developers.
It is all about the project. It is all about what people commit to the project or what they don't commit. We always take things day by day and are very nimble - we may change direction instantly if it leads to a better result. No ideas are bad ideas. Everybody always has a voice that will be listened to, and every single day everyone is invited to speak up with concerns and share ideas.
We have always staffed up team members to suit individual projects best, and don’t maintain a large staff. Our model is quite similar to how Hollywood productions work - each production has its own budget, schedule, timeframe, etc, and team configurations are designed to suit each project individually. With our independence comes frugality and we’ve had no choice but to be very particular about who we choose to work with for our various projects.
As for right now, circa late 2020...well, we are going to require a Dialog Writer in the near future. If you, dear reader, love writing dialog, have some experience writing dialog, live anywhere on Earth, like our games and perhaps like what you’ve read above, please consider reaching out via email with your credentials. We’re officially on the lookout...