Back in July of 2013, as Reactive Studios, we launched a Kickstarter for a new kind of interactive experience. We bet that we could create a completely immersive world that players could interact with using just their voice, and 469 backers did too.

And we delivered. Codename Cygnus put players in the shoes of a super spy, traveling the globe and getting into the best kind of trouble. They were invited to solve problems their own way, using their own approaches. We brought in top-tier voice talent to create an environment where every choice mattered, and it resonated with our players.

But Codename Cygnus was always supposed to just be the beginning. Like the spies of Codename Cyngus, we went into stealth mode, quietly working on our technology and finding that sweet spot of immersion and fun. Along the way, a boom in home interactivity occurred. The Internet of Things took over, and devices like the Amazon Echo emerged that let people speak naturally to get information and control their homes. We immediately saw the potential for our stories to be more interactive, more diverse, and more natural.

We re-branded as Earplay, and changed the way players interact with our stories. Instead of using keywords to say what we wanted to do, we started speaking naturally. Instead of using a limited vocabulary of character traits as speech commands, encountering those same words over and over, we can now support a wider vocabulary with more natural sets of words and phrases that are specific to the moment of choice. “BOLD” becomes “Cause a scene” and “SECRETIVE” becomes “Make an excuse.” When you start out the Prologue chapter playing cards with Krasnoff, you have the ability to say CALL or RAISE rather than FOCUSED or IMPULSIVE. And so we retooled Codename Cygnus to be the game we always wanted it to be.

That game is Codename Cygnus ReActivated, and we’re inviting you to play the Prologue chapter for free this Thursday, November 17th on iOS in anticipation of the full experience coming later this year on both iOS and Alexa-enabled devices.

If you’ve backed or  purchased Codename Cygnus, you won’t need to pay a thing when the full Codename Cygnus experience releases. That would make you a double agent, and we don’t want that.

Stay up to date with Earplay by signing up for our e-mail list, and come be a part of our community on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll let you know when our new stories are coming out. We can’t wait to have you join us on our adventures.