Tag Archives: game

Terminus – An interview with the Room Escape Divas!

The Room Escape Divas are getting ready for their next event.

An escape room.

On a moving train.

For three hours(!?!).

Thanks to Errol, Manda & Mike from the Room Escape Divas for discussing their newest adventure.
 
 
Q. Who is involved with this event and how did it get started?
Errol: There are three groups involved in this: the York Durham Heritage Railway [in Ontario, Canada], Panic Factory, and the Room Escape Divas. The railway approached Nick and Ray of Panic Factory about an escape room on a train.

They said yes.

A few weeks later, the divas did a room at Panic Factory. Afterwards, Ray casually mentioned the event they were doing.

Apparently, as soon as he said “train”, I took off my coat, sat down, and began to drill them with as many questions that I could think of.

At least, that’s the story they told me. And then I told them I was going to be involved with the project.
 
 
Q. What inspired Terminus?
Errol: I am a huge fan of adventure games, and one I particularly enjoyed was The Last Express (video game), set on the Orient Express in 1914.

The game had characters with their own agendas and would even change their plans in case the player intervened.

It was also one of the few real-time adventure games: if multiple events occurred at 4:00pm, the player could only see one of them at the time. And of course, it’s on a train.

To be honest, I create games I want to play myself. I want to feel like I’m involved in some nefarious plot and I want the environment to match that.

I’ve played a few adventure games on a train, and it’s always been one of my dreams to make an escape event on one!
 
 
Q. Are you playing as an Non-Player Character (NPC) on the night? If so – what’s your role?
Errol: Yes, I am playing a ‘train official’ for the night. We won’t have that many NPCs for this event, though.

Manda will be Train Announcer, so she will be on the intercom the whole night. And we do have on other actor, but then that goes into spoiler territory!
 
 
Q. How many cars are on the train? And how many people does each session take?
Errol: There are 144 people on this train and five cars!

They will be split up into two groups so each group will see three train cars at the most.
 
 
Q. Will teams get to wander in between train cars or will they need to visit each train car in a sequence?
Errol: For the most part, in sequence. The two main cars are the dining car and the bar car.

People will be in one or the other, but because of the tight fit walking down the cars, we don’t encourage a lot of wandering.
 
 
Q. The fourth session of Terminus is almost sold out! Are you planning a fifth session to be held?
Errol: Oh dear, no. *laugh*

As of writing, the fourth session is now sold out which is terribly exciting for us!

This is taking up the majority of my summer and is like putting on a theatre show, so as exciting as it is, I will also look forward to having one month where we can relax!

http://ydhr.ca/train/escape/
 
 

Rabbits Podcast – R U Playing?

A mysterious alternate reality game on a podcast?

Sign me up.
 
Rabbits is a new podcast series and its description goes –

“When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”
 
New episodes are released twice a month on Tuesdays.
https://www.rabbitspodcast.com/

If alternate reality games had a type of mascot – it would definitely be a rabbit. And its a nod to the way how these games start – usually found by chance, like when Alice first fell through a rabbit hole and into a story.

Check out GhostInTheMachine’s blog which has a in depth review of the first episode –
The ‘Rabbits’ Podcast Has Declared “Game On” & The Stakes Are On The Rise
 
 

// Other News
The next two weeks are going to be exciting with TWO(!) escape room conferences on with Transworld’s Room Escape Show kicking off tomorrow in Canada.
 
A/N: Getting back on schedule now, apologies there have’t been many blog posts over the last month.

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 🙂

 

Red Bull Escape Room World Finals – Budapest, February 2017 #redbullmindgamers

red_bull_mind_gamers

Imagine a future where escape games are a competitive e-sport. Thousands of people in huge arenas or in online chat rooms, watch on as teams battle against each other in escape game tournaments across the globe.

How did this idea start off?
At the 2015 MIT Game Jam, students were given a scenario – how to create a global escape room game. The ideas developed from the game jam were reviewed by a panel and a multi-level game was developed.

Red Bull Mind Gamers Website
As of this week, news of the Red Bull Mind Gamers, Mission: Unlock Enoch competition spread like wildfire. Qualification events to get into the competition are now open to 50+ cities across the globe. 44 events in Europe, 2 events in Asia, 9 events in the Middle East and 13 events across the US.

Sadly, there’s no local qualifier events in Australia or even Canada as ExExitGames has pointed out.

 

How to qualify for the competition –
There are currently two ways to get into the competition: local qualifier entry or wild card entry.

– Local Qualifier Entry
– Head to the Red Bull Mind Gamers website and choose the Local Qualifier option. You’ll need to play through the online game and if successful, you’ll then go to the local qualifier event.

At the local qualifier event, you and three friends compete to unlock a digital cube with a puzzle on it. The puzzle reacts in real time, allowing all team members to interact with the puzzle at once. Each top team at the local qualifier event will then gets tickets to the world finals.

– Wildcard Entry
– If your country isn’t hosting a local qualifier event, there’s another way to get into the competition.
Play the Red Bull WildCard game, which has ten rounds of puzzles. The top four online players will form the wildcard team and attend the escape room world finals. Get all the practice you can with the top four places currently occupied with times of 46 secs – 55 secs, after completing all ten puzzles.

Besides the qualifier games, there are additional games to play on the Red Bull Mind Gamers website covering six areas: Strategy, Visual, Creativity, Logic, Music and Memory.

Wildcard qualification closes on January 15th 2017.

 

Escape Room World Finals – Budapest
What awaits the lucky teams in the world finals being held in Budapest, Hungary next year?
“an ultimate mixed reality Escape Room Tournament” with the “… world’s best mind gamers to tackle the ultimate challenge: to unlock a quantum escape room.” – Red Bull Mind Gamers website.

What could a quantum escape room hold?
Herb – A time travel theme?
Chris – A quantum theme to tie into the Mind Gamers movie?
Essa – Or perhaps it refers to the multiplayer aspect of an escape room, with each team member contributing their equal share of knowledge and skills?

 

Update 26th Nov 2016:
The Escape Room World Finals will be held between Febuary 22nd and February 26th 2017.
And what does the winning team get? A 3 day trip to Boston, USA.

Let the mind games begin! (And may the escape room odds be ever in your favour).

Website: http://redbullmindgamers.com/

– Essa 🙂

Through The Repository: A Horror VR experience this September at Universal Studios Hollywood

universal_studios_repository

Since the 1700s, The Repository warehouse has been the storage hold for all types of bizarre relics. These relics are rumoured to contain the paranormal energy of horrific incidents that occurred close by, others say these objects are the cause of troubles.

At Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Hollywood, there’s a new add-on experience this year – The Repository. The creators have harnessed eight years of HHN feedback to develop this new horror experience that combines virtual reality technology and immersive theatre.

Teams of four players enter the warehouse, with each player being assigned a different role within the 30 minute game.

Players will need to interact with actors who are members of a secret society looking into paranormal activity and first meet the warehouse’s caretaker. A key needs to be found which will take the team through the Dark Portal and into a paranormal world which is viewable only when wearing virtual reality headsets. In this world, horrible creatures roam freely and fears will be tested as the team encounters small spaces and dizzying heights.

At this stage of the game, the team is split into two and can roam 18 x 18 foot stages which have undergone texture mapping – this means the game space players see on their headsets is smaller than the actual size of the room. There’s also a safety barrier to protect players and live scare actors who will interact with the team.

The technology that runs behind the scenes “[uses] wireless multiplayer technology from VRstudios’ VRcade division and Unity Technologies’ Unity 5 game engine.” – Source.

Throughout the experience the team will be briefed on their mission and are given props to help progress through the game eventually building up to the finale – “.. it’s a four-person, team-based puzzle that needs to be solved to stop the evil entities from taking over.” – Source.

Whatever happens to you on the journey .. is not reversible.

The Repository is available from September 29th to October 31st at Universal Studios Hollywood and costs $50 USD per person. A Halloween Horror Nights ticket is also required.

Website: Halloween Horror Nights

Behind-the-scenes information: DigitalTrends

 

Welcome to Nerve – a movie about a geo-location game, the Gravity Falls ARG and other escape room news

“Welcome to Nerve – a game like Truth or Dare, minus the Truth. Watchers pay to watch. Players play to win cash and glory. Are you a player or a watcher? Are you a watcher or a player?”

Nerve is a new movie about a fictional mobile game where people who are “watching” the game can issue dares. All the dares have a monetary bounty and a time limit to complete the dare by. Starring Emma Roberts as Vee and Dave Franco as Ian, the characters accept dares and then live stream the results to prove they did them.

The dares start off easy – kiss a stranger for five seconds, try on a dress in a shop – but over time the dares that Vee and Ian are given become more dangerous. Vee tries to call the police as she realises the game has become dangerous and her identity gets stolen by the “watchers”.

“This is a game. The only way out is to win.”

There’s already something similar to Nerve called YouDareTo, where strangers post tasks and put a monetary value on it. After someone accepts the task, they need to record themselves and post a video of it online.

GRAVITY FALLS ARG
The Gravity Falls fandom is in the middle of an alternate reality game (ARG) with clues found in Russia, Japan and across the US. The whole adventure is to find a stone statue of Bill Cipher located somewhere in the US.

There’s been no progress on the final clue, which is the lower half of this image with the trees and the statute. Also Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls may release a clue on his Twitter account on Monday. Join the Gravity Falls ARG discussion on Discord here and I’ll be writing a blog post about the entire ARG hunt once the statue is found. #cipherhunt

KOTAKU AUSTRALIA PUZZLE HUNT x ENIGMA ROOM
Lock Me If You Can mentioned on their blog there’s a current Australian puzzle hunt to promote the new Netflix series, Stranger Things which runs until August 4th with prizes involved!

ROOM ESCAPE DIVAS
The Room Escape Diva’s latest podcast takes them to the upcoming Transworld’s Room Escape Conference in Chicago from August 12th-14th and to chat with the organisers behind it.

– Essa 🙂

There’s a horror movie called Escape Room coming out in October (with Ghostface!)

escape_room_movie

There’s an escape room movie coming to a theater near you.

Earlier this year, Sony Pictures bought a movie pitch about an escape room and not much else was known about it.

Now more details have emerged – filming has wrapped up in May, further details around the plot have been released and a teaser trailer can be found on Youtube.

The plot involves Brice (played by Skeet Ulrich aka. Ghostface from Scream), who owns an escape room in Los Angeles. He’s not getting enough press about his escape room and goes looking for a prop to help his business stand out from the rest.

In an old shop, he asks for something “special” and is introduced to The Skull Box, which is described by the shopkeeper as one of the most cursed objects in the world.

Four friends are the next group to enter Brice’s escape room where they find The Skull Box sitting on a shelf and a paid actor chained to the wall. But something goes terribly wrong … and the friends have under an hour to solve the puzzles and get out of the room.

To help promote the film before its release, an escape room game for mobile devices will be launched during August.

The film’s final release date is still pending but there’s indications the film could be released around October/Halloween this year.

Will you watch the Escape Room movie?
(Also, this is our 200th post!)

Essa 🙂

Here’s a link to the Youtube trailer while it lasts –

Minds Wanted for Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor – a new escape room party game

derren-browns-ghost-train

Last year, Intervirals discussed Minds Wanted – a unique theme park attraction being created at Thorpe Park in the UK by Darren Brown and his team. Further details were just released, the island’s dark secret is actually a unique type of Ghost Train. People visiting the ride will enter an old warehouse and within is a Victorian train carriage that can seat up to sixty participants at a time.

The best part?

The carriage is suspended three metres above the ground.

The ride will last 13 minutes and affect all five senses with a combination of special features (illusion, live action, special effects) adding to the overall experience. Perception and reality will collide – where does it begin and end?

There’s also a feature Youtube trailer with Darren Brown explaining the theme park attraction in more detail. It could be assumed there’s going to be ghostly apparitions appearing within the carriage during the ride.

escape-the-room-mystery-at-the-stargazer's-manorImage Credit: ToyNews

Recently Escape Room In A Box – a Kickstarter project to produce a portable tabletop escape room game was discussed. Now there’s news of a similar game being produced. UK puzzle game manufacturer, Paul Lamond Games is launching a new party game this June.

It’s called Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor and the game is set to be playable for three to eight players at a time, with a game lasting 90 minutes in one sitting. Details are sparse at the moment with no mention if the game’s replayable and no price point available for the game yet.

Also another milestone was reached – 100,000 views on the Intervirals blog today!! Thank you for reading!

– Essa 🙂

BreakoutEDU Game Jam 2016 in partnership with the Brantford Games Network

breakoutedu

Can you spare a weekend in January to help create escape games that can be shared around the world?

Intervirals first came across BreakoutEDU in August last year, where the team behind it took the fun of an escape room game, standardized its components and placed them into a toolkit.

Then a room is set up with the equipment from the toolkit and the teacher introduces the back story of the game (eg. significant people in history) to the students. A limited amount of time is given to students who must “break out” by solving all the puzzles and learn along the way.

Brantford Games Network is partnering up with BreakoutEDU for a game jam to be hosted on the weekend of January 9th to 10th 2016. The main site will be based in Toronto, Canada but if you’re located elsewhere on the planet – here’s how to join in.

Why not set up and host your own local BreakoutEDU event with family, friends or colleagues?
First, register your team here.

Then all that’s needed is the toolkit which can be put together by simply going to the hardware store or scavenged together from items laying around the house. All you need is – a large box, a smaller box, a number of different locks, a black light, a invisible marker and a timer! If you prefer to have all these items already put together in a box and shipped directly to your front door, then a packaged toolkit can be bought from BreakoutEDU.

Spend the weekend developing an escape game and once done, upload the team’s creation to the BreakoutEDU’s website. This allows plenty of educators and teachers from anywhere in the world to download a suitable game and also allows their students to have a fun learning experience.

Or perhaps afterwards your team could download another escape game developed during the game jam and play through it!

BreakoutEDU Game Jam Weekend
Date: Saturday January 9th – Sunday January 10th 2016
Time: Starts 9am Saturday, finishes 5pm on the Sunday
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/194748730867035/

STEM Matters: How escape rooms are helping to shape the next generation of thinkers

breakout_edu

What are the top ten essential items that help develop an escape room experience?

James Sanders took a class of high school students to a local escape room in Edmonton, Canada and saw how immersed they became with the experience. Students worked together, conducted problem solving and most importantly had fun – but how to take this and bring it into a classroom? About five months ago, Sanders started to develop a modularized prototype by heading to the hardware store and Breakout Edu was created. He got toolboxes, different locks, blacklights, invisible markers and put them into wooden boxes. These boxes were then given to students who were asked to design any game they wanted to while utilising the tools given to them.

The first version of Sander’s prototype was created with the tools the students had nominated as the most essential. What were the top ten tools chosen?
1-4) Locks – key, number combination, letter combination
5) Blacklight (Author Note: a Flashlight should be considered too!)
6) Invisible marker
7) Timer
8) Hasp – a tool that allows a lock to be expanded into multiple locks
9) Big box – to hold items in
10) Small pencil box

At the moment Breakout Edu have prototype kits with these items and are selling them on their website to USA and Canadian customers. Or you can build your own escape room toolkit with the above list of ten items and register an application to become a beta tester to keep up to date with all the news. Plus if you register, you’ll be able to design/upload escape room games you’ve created with your own toolkit and have access to the growing list of escape room games that have been submitted by other users.

By developing a toolkit it turns any room into a game and helps students develop team work skills and also critical thinking skills – is the information relevant now? If so, is the information to be used now or later? When students become stuck at a particular point in a game they can ask for a hint from their teacher who sits back and watches the group work away at their current problem. Another idea raised in the Youtube video was to take away one minute of game time for every hint asked.

It’s really, really important to encourage current students to view the STEM field as an interesting field to pursue a career in and if we can turn an ordinary classroom into an experience where kids are more interested and more involved to learn more – it’s all for the better.

Breakout Edu: http://breakoutedu.com
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/breakoutedu/
– They also have Google Hangouts – check their Facebook page for details