An "online Treasure Hunt" is being produced by Wellspring Interactive, Ltd., and scheduled to launch in about a month, according to the TimeHunt "Head of Clues," Danny Kodicek. In a post over on ARGN, Kodicek pointed to the teaser site, and explained that the online game included more than 100 pages of "interactive and animated puzzles," with notable contributors such as Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

It appears that registration will be required to participate, but also that TimeHunt will feature some facility to communicate with other players, called "Hunters" by Kodicek, as well as a physical treasure for the winner: "a replica of the Machina Universalis envisioned by Poverus, a machine that purports to answer all the questions of the Universe."

Some are wondering how much interactivity there will be in TimeHunt. According to later posts by Kodicek, once the game launches, everything needed to solve the mystery will be available to the players. Kodicek indicated that the development team expects the winning hunter will meet with success in about one to five years after the game is launched, and warned that the sample puzzles are not necessarily indicative of the difficulty level that will be found within the game itself.

One of the distinctive marks of past ARGs has been the ability of the players to affect the game universe. Whether that will be possible in a game that is complete from the start will be something to watch. It will also be interesting to see how the developers respond to the natural tendency of the ARG community to fall upon a new game like a school of piranha, devouring everything in sight in seconds.

For now, we're going with the assumption that TimeHunt will be a web-based "armchair treasure hunt," an online version of the sort of mystery first popularized when Kit Williams published his book, Masquerade, which encouraged readers to pore over every image in the minutest detail in order to find all of the clues to solve the mystery of where the author had hidden an ornamental rabbit made out of gold. Even if TimeHunt doesn't turn out to be an ARG, we're sure you'll let us know if it's fun!