New Video: Manda’s Brilliant & Bonkers Character Talk + Guest Star Errol

I love this talk so much. It was as hilarious as it was informative! And I can tell you with confidence, no one worked as hard on crafting their talk at RECON as Manda did. She put her heart, soul, and knowledge into this thing, and I am so thankful to her (and Errol).

Most escape room creators could learn a lot from this session.

Featured Talk Information

Characters in Escape Rooms

Details: Originally presented on Monday, August 24 at 14:15 (New York)

Speakers: Manda Whitney

Company: Room Escape Divas

Abstract: Manda always puts character at the center of her creations – in escape rooms, large-scale narrative-driven puzzle productions, and her own writing. In this talk, Manda provides you with key components of creating and representing a compelling character. Whether you’re starting from scratch or seeking to retrofit characters into existing games, Manda’s tips provide an effective and inexpensive way to lift the quality of any immersive experience.

Manda Whitney's headshot.

About RECON ’20

RECON ’20 was Room Escape Artist’s digital escape room convention featuring 15 pre-recorded talks, live Q&As, and over 30 exhibitors. We had over 900 attendees from 62 countries watching and participating live.

We’re releasing each of the 15 talks for free on our YouTube channel this fall. More than half the featured talk videos are already available there!

Please subscribe to the RECON Newsletter to receive updates on RECON ’21 – we are just getting started.

New Video – Going Full Circle to Explore The Video Game Roots of Escape Rooms

I loved producing all of the talks at RECON, but this one was by far the most fun for me. Talking about game design with the folks from Sweet Baby Inc was so much fun; we could have done it forever. I think the joy that we were all feeling shines through. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we loved making it.

Featured Talk Information

The Video Game Talk That You Want To Attend Even If You’re Not a Gamer

Details: Originally presented on Sunday, August 23 at 14:00 (New York)

Speakers: Kim Belair, Ari MacGillivray, David Bedard

Company: Sweet Baby Inc

Abstract: Escape rooms emerged as a real-life embodiment of video games. Here we examine the relationship between escape rooms and their most significant ancestor through an interview with the narrative designers from Sweet Baby Inc, a consultancy for some of the top video game studios. In this conversation with RECON’s David Spira, Kim, Ari, and David unpack the lessons that escape room creators can learn from video game design, and in turn, examine one thing that modern video games really should learn from escape rooms.

Kim, Ari, and David from Sweet Baby Inc.

About RECON ’20

RECON ’20 was Room Escape Artist’s digital escape room convention featuring 15 pre-recorded talks, live Q&As, and over 30 exhibitors. We had over 900 attendees from 62 countries watching and participating live.

We’re releasing each of the 15 talks for free on our YouTube channel this fall. More than half the featured talk videos are already available there!

Please subscribe to the RECON Newsletter to receive updates on RECON ’21 – we are just getting started.

Strange Bird Immersive’s RECON Video & New York Times Feature

“This show couldn’t happen in person. This is a new artistic frontier,” artistic director Haley E.R. Cooper told Alexis Soloski of The New York Times about Strange Bird Immersive’s newest immersive piece, The Strange Secret of Mr. Adrian Rook.

In Escape Rooms in an At-Home Era? Here’s the Key, Haley and other escape room industry veterans explain how they changed the nature of their products in 2020. They had to get creative to build worlds for the players and deliver immersive experiences.

Haley and Cameron Cooper’s RECON ’20 talk about creating immersive experiences was incredibly popular. Whether you’re creating experiences in person or online, there’s a lot of value in this session.

Featured Talk Information

Make It Immersive: Turning Walls into Worlds

Details: Originally presented on Sunday, August 23 at 11:00 (New York)

Speakers: Haley E. R. Cooper & J. Cameron Cooper

Company: Strange Bird Immersive

Abstract: Haley and Cameron explain how they craft immersive experiences with an eye for details instead of a massive budget. They give you a tour of their immersive toolbox, a collection of approaches and techniques that all creators can draw upon, at any level. They’ll take you through many of the details that are easily overlooked in room design and teach you how to pay attention to these in order to breathe life into an experience.

Haley Cooper on the left and Cameron Cooper on the right, both in costume as actors in Strange Bird Immersive's The Man from Beyond

About RECON ’20

RECON ’20 was Room Escape Artist’s digital escape room convention featuring 15 pre-recorded talks, live Q&As, and over 30 exhibitors. We had over 900 attendees from 62 countries watching and participating live.

We’re releasing each of the 15 talks for free on our YouTube channel this fall. More than half the featured talk videos are already available there!

Please subscribe to the RECON Newsletter to receive updates on RECON ’21 – we are just getting started.

Video Available: Leveling Up Your Escape Room Tech

So many people told me at RECON that they were eager to watch Jason Richard’s tech session over and over again. It’s loaded with fantastic information for the aspiring escape room technologist. During RECON, this talk inspired an impromptu 2-hour conversation in the escape room tech channel, so we are thrilled to share it once again with the community:

Don’t forget to check out this companion document compiled by Hivemind reviewer Brett Kuehner. It’s loaded with all of the tools and programs that Jason references.

Featured Talk Information

Make It Work: Leveling Up Your Escape Room Tech

Details: Originally presented on Sunday, August 23 at 16:00 (New York)

Speaker: Jason Richard

Company: Steal and Escape

Abstract: Jason Richard is a self-taught escape room technologist. With solid game design principles realized through technology, he has invigorated his games. In this talk, you enter Jason’s workshop for an introduction to tools and techniques that you can use in your escape room – everything from how to solder to working with raspberry pi and arduino. Coming away from this talk, you’ll have the direction you need to dive into escape room technology. He can’t make you an expert, but he can set you on your path.

Headshot for Jason Richard.

Continued Conversation

We invite you to join Thursday’s video watch party and conversation with Jason in the RECON Discord.

Details

Date: Thursday, October 29

Time: video watching begins at 7:00pm Eastern

Location: The RECON Discord

If you never registered for RECON, you can register here.

About RECON ’20

RECON ’20 was Room Escape Artist’s digital escape room convention featuring 15 pre-recorded talks, live Q&As, and over 30 exhibitors. We had over 900 attendees from 62 countries watching and participating live.

Each of the 15 talks will be made available for free on our YouTube channel this fall. We’ll release one each week.

Please subscribe to the RECON Newsletter to receive updates on RECON ’21 – we are just getting started.

New Video: Escape Room Blogger Bonanza

There are many wonderful escape room bloggers whom we follow. We’ve been lucky to play escape rooms with many of them in our travels over the years. It was a joy to gather some of these international folks together virtually to chat about what makes great real-life and online escape games. Here is that conversation:

Featured Talk Information

Blogger Bonanza: A Fast-Paced Blogger Panel

Details: Originally presented on Sunday, August 23 at 15:00 (New York)

Speakers:

Abstract: From the real-life games that we all love, and many of us miss, to the various adaptations that have emerged this year, escape room bloggers from five different countries share their observations and insights into what makes various types of escape rooms succeed or fail.

Continued Conversation

We invite you to join Sunday’s video watch party and conversation in the RECON Discord. Many of the panelists will be back to chat and we’re looking forward to joining them.

Details

Date: Sunday, October 25

Time: video watching begins at 2:00pm Eastern

Location: The RECON Discord

If you never registered for RECON, you can register here.

About RECON ’20

RECON ’20 was Room Escape Artist’s digital escape room convention featuring 15 pre-recorded talks, live Q&As, and over 30 exhibitors. We had over 900 attendees from 62 countries watching and participating live.

Each of the 15 talks will be made available for free on our YouTube channel this fall. We’ll release one each week.

Please subscribe to the RECON Newsletter to receive updates on RECON ’21 – we are just getting started.