In 2012, a browser game called Frog Fractions grabbed the attention of the internet — and if you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon, you may want to take the time to play through it here. Two years later, its developer Jim Crawford ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of sequel, and raised $72,107.
However, the Frog Fractions 2 Kickstarter was a crowdfunding campaign unlike most others. In this case, backers were told up front that there would be no communication as to when and how the game would launch. Instead, it would be released publicly and for free, and players would be obliged to seek it out.
Most fans assumed that Crawford and his development studio Twinbeard would run some kind of alternate reality game (ARG) to lead them to Frog Fractions 2. However, given the mysterious quality of the first installment, it was difficult to predict exactly how the game’s existence would be revealed to the world.
It seems that we’ve finally received our answer. Over the past eighteen months, various signs (often called sigils by the community surrounding the ARG) have been found in a series of otherwise unrelated indie games. These strange symbols have been discovered in titles including Crypt of the Necrodancer, QWOP, Kingdom of Loathing, and the free-play mode that was recently added to Firewatch.
As more and more sigils were discovered, it emerged that they could be combined to create a kind of map. Later, this would be used to solve for the meaning of a jumble of letters that was found thanks to a journal in the PC version of Firewatch, according to an exhaustive report by Waypoint.
The result was a username and password that could be used to log in to a website linked with Frog Fractions 2. Once logged into the site, visitors could access the closest thing to confirmation that this intricate ARG was indeed pointing toward a sequel to the bizarre browser game — a series of videos where two men review different kinds of pre-packaged soup.
This would seem to be something of an anticlimax, given the scale of the hunt, but one of the soup tasters is none other than Jim Crawford himself. Could Frog Fractions 2 be unveiled via YouTube soup reviews? The jury is still out, but it certainly seems like the game could materialize sooner rather than later.