EON-4 was the first sci-fi episodic website. The story, created by Rockne S. O'Bannon (Creator of Alien Nation, seaQuest DSV, and Farscape) was based around the mysterious Groom Lake or Area 51 site as the point of contact with an alien race. Three explorers from earth, U.S. Navy Captain David M. Crocker, Russian Alona Renee Kalinova, and John Eric Lange were allowed visitation (as EXPLRR TM I) with these aliens known as the Sentients, but were soon involved in a political intrigue on the alien world. Crocker dies on the trip to the Sentients contact point on Mars.
The website was considered as a kind of interface for visitors to interact with the drama unfolding before them. Each day, several images and a bit of the story were presented documenting the experience (in a sort of "static laden transmission") form. Often details would be kept obscure to heighten the sense of mystery. Imagery for EON-4 was created by compositing still photography over 3D rendered graphics and adding various effects.
The web episodic lasted for little over a year and despite having gained the sponsorship of Apple, Toyota and Visa (New York Times), it ended shortly after the bankruptcy of its production company American Cybercast, producers of the first web episodic, The Spot.
After the demise of AmCy, a number of Eon-4 fans set up another interactive episodic story, called Marsdawn.
- http://www.research.umbc.edu/~frizzell/Reports/eon4.html - Preliminary Investigation Of Claims Made On The EON-4 Web Site by Michael A. Frizzell
- http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue23/web.html - Eon-4 as Sci-Fi Site of the Week, Review by Alexander Kirtland
- http://chaseclub.com/preon.htm - Chase Masterson Fan Club, Eon-4 Press release about second crew.
- http://www.marsdawn.com/ - another interactive sci-fi web story, refuge for fans after the Eon-4 site folded.