Useful Splendor is a Toronto-based game studio run by me, Patrick Greatbatch. I write, design and produce narrative-focused games dealing with occult and mysterious themes across all types of media: real world, print and digital.
I created Useful Splendor in 2017 to be more open about my development process. Since 2011, I have worked in Alternate-Reality Games and transmedia – fields which are complex, exciting and bizarre. For as long as ARGs have been around, there have been fantastic resources and communities available to players, from UnFiction (RIP) to Game Detectives. However, I feel there is a lack of detailed discussion about the intricacies of creating these types of projects – and there is a great opportunity to foster the community of transmedia/alternate-reality game developers. I hope that in doing so, we can not only improve our craft, we can also encourage newcomers to build their first game and tell their stories.
In the past, I have been a Puppet Master for Alternate-Reality Games The Black Watchmen and Process, puzzle designer for Ahnayro and producer for the narrative scavenger hunt Willowbrook, among many other things. I also design historical and cultural scavenger hunts for Urban Capers in Toronto.
Currently, I’m writing for NITE Team 4, developing an unannounced personal project and just released Frequency, a speculative fiction mini-Alternate-Reality Game (in collaboration with Braydon Beaulieu and Jonathan Levstein).