What happened at the Ontario Escape Room Unconference 2017 #eru17

Over the last two days, the Ontario Escape Room Unconference for 2017 was held in Canada.

To see some of the awesome presentations from the Unconference, check out Errol’s presentation on puzzle design and Manda’s presentation about storyline/plot in escape rooms, here. There’s also a Google Document with some notes from the event by Professor Scott Nicholson too.

So here are some of the best Tweets that cover what happened during the two day event:

– Essa 🙂

The #SmartRooms – Dyson challenges British public to Internet of Things escape game

dyson_the_smart_room

After posting a cryptic video on their Youtube video, Dyson invited the general public to solve a puzzle they had set.

British teams who could solve the puzzle will compete this weekend in The Smart Rooms, an escape game that moves between different rooms of a house and is filled with internet connected appliances. Even better, is the challenge will be streamed on Twitch and teams can ask users in the Twitch chat room for help.

When players enter The Smart Room – it’s dark with illuminating wall strips that outline furniture in a room. After the room’s challenge has been solved, the walls change to resemble another room in a house for the next puzzle. Rooms to be included in the game include a kid’s bedroom, a kitchen and a living room.

The event will run from 10am – 8pm (London GMT) this Saturday and Sunday. As of posting, the Twitch stream is on a lunch break and another four teams will play this Saturday afternoon. Will you help or hinder the players? 😀

www.twitch.tv/smartrooms

 

Updates: Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil and Attack on Titan escape games/rooms

The people behind SCRAP and Umbrella Corporation must be working overtime as there’s been plenty of new developments and discoveries this week.

defenders_of_triforce

Legend of Zelda – Canada
Nintendo Canada revealed on Tuesday their Legend of Zelda escape game, called Defenders of the Triforce will have an extended tour. After visiting select US cities, the Legend of Zelda escape game will then visit Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in Canada.

Dates and locations for the Canadian leg of the tour have not yet been released by SCRAP.

http://scrapzelda.com/

Note: This event isn’t an escape room – it’s a live puzzle event, where teams of people sit in a large room and solve puzzles at a table. A team member will have to get up and visit the correct area to have the team’s answers checked.

Engadget has a spoiler-filled write up of their recent experience playing the Legend of Zelda event in Los Angeles, which you can read here.

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trials_of_bahamut

Final Fantasy XXIV (14) – US Tour
Then on Wednesday, SCRAP announced plans to bring their Final Fantasy XXIV escape game to the United States after it’s run in Japan.

Trial of Bahamut will see teams of six players have a time limit of sixty minutes to save the world from the dragon, Bahamut. Can your Warriors of Light party save the land of Eorzea once more?

The website says coming Summer 2017 – so keep an eye on the website as the earliest start date could be sometime in June. Eight US cities will be visited during the tour: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, Orlando, Chicago and New York.

http://realescapegame.com/ffxiv/

Similarly, this event isn’t an escape room – it’s another live puzzle event that SCRAP is producing which sees teams sit at tables and work through puzzles.

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castle_under_siege

Attack on Titan Escape Room – Los Angeles
Last week saw the opening of a permanent Attack on Titan escape room by SCRAP in Little Tokyo, LA.  Real Escape Game: Castle Under Siege follows a similar story line to their previous Attack on Titan events that were only available for a limited run (a few weeks maximum).

Up to 10 players can take up the challenge of joining the Survey Corps and defending the city from the attacking Titans. Plus the escape room is “replayable”, which allows players to come back and experience a different set of puzzles.

http://realescapegame.com/aotla

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resident_evil_biohazard

Resident Evil Escape Rooms – Germany & The Netherlands

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard/The Experience Game

The Resident Evil escape room is going on a US tour and additionally making its way into more countries – with it being available in Germany as of Spring 2017 (which is now!). Capcom Europe have tapped TeamEscape, to bring the Resident Evil experience to Hamburg and Cologne, with additional cities in Germany still to be advised.

Resident Evil: Movie
Universal Pictures Netherlands have worked together with Zombie Escape Netherlands to change one of their rooms into a Resident Evil: The Final Chapter escape room, as part of the upcoming Resident Evil movie release. The experience ends February 20th and for more information see their website.

As VRNerd advises, you should probably bring a towel to wipe away the fear sweat after any Resident Evil experience.

-Essa 🙂

Resident Evil Escape Room: LA, UK – now 2017 Nationwide USA Tour

resident_evil_nationwide_usa
The Resident Evil franchise is continuing their 20th anniversary celebrations this year, after its escape room had a successful run in Los Angeles, followed by another stint in London two weeks ago. More exciting news has emerged, with the Resident Evil 7: Escape Experience going on a tour of six US cities in the coming weeks.

– San Francisco, Los Angeles: February 8th – March 5th 2017
– Portland, Oregon: February 8th – March 5th 2017
– Boston, Massachusetts: February 22nd – March 19th 2017
– New York, New York City: February 22nd – March 19th 2017
– Austin, Texas: March 8th – April 2nd 2017
– Chicago, Illinois: March 8th – April 2nd 2017

Tickets are $35 USD per person, except for San Francisco and New York where tickets are $40 USD per person instead.

https://www.eventbrite.com/o/capcom-iam8bit-11982654513

The Immersive London blog has a write up of their recent experience of the Resident Evil escape room when it visited London’s East End. Plenty of spoilers ahead – read it on their blog here.

 

// Other Escape Room News
Jerudong Park Diamond Heist Mystery – Brunei
The largest escape room event in Brunei” took place from December 16th – 24th 2016. More than 800 people took part in an investigation to discover the thief who stole a diamond from Jerudong Park. Escape room company, Escape Square Gadong collaborated with other businesses for the event.

 

Escape Rooms used for leadership and recruitment at Wayfair, an online home interior business
The company have created their own version called Escape the Room and use it to train staff –
“Wayfair originally used it as a team building and problem solving activity on leadership ‘away days’. However, given how much fun it was and the changing nature of the skills and the people they are looking for they decided to introduce it as part of their customer service recruitment process.”
CustomerThink

– Essa 🙂

 

 

Rules of the Game, the third and final book of the End Game franchise

rules_of_the_game

It seems like the creators of End Game have changed the rules around for the third book.

For a quick catch up, the End Game novels follows twelve players descended from ancient blood lines who need to find three special keys to save the world. Inside the novels, there’s puzzles which
lead to an online treasure hunt.

Interested in what happened before? Here’s our summary of Book 1: The Calling and also the
Book 2: Sky Key puzzle hunt.

In book two, Sky Key – players needed to discover the starting point of the game. A few pages in, an image of a notepad with a scrambled website address had to be decoded.

No hints were given to decode the image either – creating a stumbling block for all players.

Now with the release of the new End Game novel, Rules of the Game – the first image inside shows clearly where to start:

https://starchamber.keplerfuturistics.comrule_of_the_game_novel

From there, turn the wheel to register and start work on the first puzzle – which appears to accept a code word or phrase.

Here’s what else you might want to know:

When did it start?
January 9th 2017

What are the prizes?
The Grand Prize is $250, 000 USD in cash to be given to the first person to solve all the puzzles in the third novel, Rules of the Game.

In addition, the first twelve people to solve all puzzles will get an End Game book set – featuring all the books and novellas signed by the author.

When does the competition end?
Whichever comes first: July 10th, 2017 or when all puzzles have been solved and a winner of the Grand Prize is declared.

Did anyone win the $100,000 USD Sky Key prize (from Book 2)?
No – if the prize from book two, Sky Key was won by a player there would be press and media about it.

Help! Are there any hints?
Keep an eye on this page, to see if a Hints section is made available after a while. When checking the same section of the website for Sky Key, there’s a Hint section available – indicating which puzzles are relevant to each online stage of the puzzle hunt.

– Essa 🙂

 

 

Captain America’s Escape Room Prank in a Boston Comic Book Store

“Escape Rooms are these immersive games where you and your buddies have to solve puzzles and complete a mission before time runs out.”

With the help of Trapology in Boston, Chris Evans aka. Captain America and Omaze recently took over a comic book store and turned it into a Captain America escape room!

Also the Omaze competition where you could win the chance to play an escape room with Chris Evans closes February 2nd! The winner and three friends will get flown out to Boston, USA as well.

Enter here: omaze.com/Chris

+ Keep an eye out for a special link in the above Youtube video which will give you more entries for the Omaze competition!

– Essa 🙂

 

Celebrating Final Fantasy XIV’s 30th Anniversary – Escape Game in Japan

final_fantasy_escape_game

A diverse group of heroes trying to defeat evil is at the heart of each Final Fantasy video game.

The video game series is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year and brand manager, Shinji Hashimoto revealed there will be a Final Fantasy XIV (14) escape game.

“Escape from the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut” will be available to the public from February 10th 2017 and is another SCRAP partnership. Furthermore the escape game will visit five cities in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka and will have a time limit of 60 minutes.

The story follows the Great Sorcerer Ruizova and the Light Warriors who defeated the evil Bahamut and saved the land, Eorsea from destruction five years ago. Now Bahamut is returning from the underground and there’s 60 minutes before the resurgence is complete – will you be able to stop Bahamut with your friends?

Furthermore, the escape game is suitable for newcomers and long time fans of the Final Fantasy series. SCRAP have also hinted they want to bring the Final Fantasy escape game to the United States.

 

Ticket Prices
General Advanced Tickets: 3,600 yen
Group Advanced Tickets: 21,000 yen
On the Day Ticket: 4,100 yen

Escape from the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut
FF XIV Escape Room – Event information and tickets
http://realdgame.jp/zepp5_ffxiv/

Official Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Website
http://www.finalfantasy.jp/30th/

 

kato_yoshida

(L to R: Yoshida, FF XIV Producer and Kato, founder of SCRAP. Credit to FF XIV Website)

+ Bonus – SCRAP x Final Fantasy Interview
On the event website there’s an interview between SCRAP founder, Takao Kato and Naoki Yoshida, the producer of Final Fantasy XIV – who both tested the Final Fantasy XIV escape room.

The best parts of the interview are below –

Do you have any difficult problems when you make games where there are groups of people?
Kato:
In the early days, there were not many formal rules when creating a real escape game. In the past, a team was exploring a venue and pulled out an unknown iron plate from the back of the venue and said, “This is sure to be part of the mystery!”. Even later when [we] asked the venue’s manager, they said “I do not remember placing such a plate”. (Laughs).

It’s not easy to always control what happens at the venue, so gradually the rules have changed so the [escape game] mystery can be solved without touching anything inside the venue. Then demand comes [from customers] I want to interact with more things in the game.

Yoshida: I sometimes think the idea is not to know the ceiling [any idea is possible in a game].

 

Q. How would you like players to enjoy the Final Fantasy XIV Escape Room?
Kato: I hope that you can project your expectations on to game characters and play with them. So, I would like you to experience something like being a character entering the world of Final Fantasy.

Because small potatoes are hidden in many places, if you look for them too much you can’t solve a mystery. [Laughs]. A/N: small potatoes = red herrings

The full interview can be found here in Japanese.

 

– Essa 🙂
(~ Late blog post as visiting extended family at the moment ~ )

Plus thanks to Room Escape Artist for letting us know about this escape game in the first place!

 

Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise and Red Bull Escape Room World Championship Update

fan2sea_cruise

– Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise
Imagine an escape room taking over an entire cruise ship.

The upcoming Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise will have an escape room that is playable across the entire cruise ship. It’s onboard another Royal Caribbean cruise ship, this time – Brilliance of the Seas, with the cruise departing from Tampa, Florida in late January.

“Fan2Sea Comic Con Cruise attendees will experience one of The Great Escape Room’s On The Run events, involving multiple puzzle-solving skills that will tax even the most experienced gamer. Clues and puzzles will be hidden all over the ship, and can be solved in any order. … By incorporating the game into the entire ship, we’ll be taking the escape room to another level” – Fan2Sea.

 

redbull_mind_gamers

– Red Bull Escape Room World Championships
The final round of the Red Bull competition has been moved back to March 25th – originally the event was going to be held in late February 2017. Check out the finals on Red Bull TV, just remember to download the relevant app!

Apple iOS – Red Bull TV
Android – Red Bull TV

Which team will win the championship!?!

-Essa 🙂

 

Nintendo x SCRAP: Legend of Zelda Escape Game – Defenders of the Triforce comes to USA

defenders_of_the_triforce

Defend the Darkness: Find the Master Sword.

Your adventure begins now.

The upcoming Legend of Zelda escape game involves golden triangles which grant wishes (also known as the Triforce). The Triforce was hidden away until the evil king, Ganondorf stole the artifact for himself and now a darkness is spreading throughout the land known as Hyrule.

 

Players will be known as Defenders of the Triforce and must find the Master Sword to save the kingdom alongside Princess Zelda. But you don’t need to be a huge Zelda fan to enjoy SCRAP’s newest escape game.

The escape game will have teams of six working towards solving the Triforce mystery under a tight deadline. The event description sounds familiar to traditional SCRAP events – a large space where multiple teams can participate in the event and each team has an assigned table to work at – see their FAQ response below.

 

“No, this is NOT a traditional escape room (i.e. locked inside a room). It is a fully hosted, story-based escape event designed for puzzle fans and fans of the Zelda franchise. There will be multiple teams in the event space all participating at the same time, and each team will have their own table to work at when not exploring.” – scrapzelda.com

Defenders of the Triforce will visit eight US cities starting on January 31st, visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego before moving to Phoenix, Arizona. Ticket information for Seattle, Houston, Chicago and New York will be released in late January 2017.

 

Legend of Zelda 2017 Tour Dates
San Francisco: January 31st – February 5th
Los Angeles: February 10th – March 12th
San Diego: February 23th – February 25th
Phoenix: February 15th – February 17th

Info released on Jan 24th 2017 for these US states –
Seattle: TBA
Houston: TBA
Chicago: TBA
New York: TBA

http://scrapzelda.com/

 

 

US President Obama and family play escape room on Hawaii holiday

breakout_waikiki

Even the US president has played an escape room!

On Christmas Eve, Obama with his family and close friends decided to play a escape room while on holidays. The first family are enjoying their Christmas break in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii and decided to book in some time at Breakout Waikiki.

Buzzfeed mentions the group played Mission Manoa, at Breakout Waikiki’s facility – where participants take on the role of secret agents and deal with actors in the escape room who are acting as terrorists.

The room is described by employees as having a high level of difficulty and was the same room that players of the US Women’s National Soccer team played earlier this year (and they escaped with one minute left).

Meanwhile the most valued player of Obama’s team was Malia Obama who helped the team progress through the room and contributed to the team’s win – getting out of the escape room with 12 seconds left on the clock.

 

escape_the_rubicon

// Other Escape Room News
– Escape the Rubicon, is now appearing on a third Royal Caribbean Cruise ship called Harmony of the Seas. The escape room has multiple puzzles to solve at one time and the recommended group size to play is six people. If there are only five people, the gamemaster will kindly step in to play.

Read up on Escape the Rubicon here or keep an eye out for the same escape room onboard Anthem of the Seas (first cruise ship) and Ovation of the Seas (second cruise ship).

– Essa 🙂