Escaparium – The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts [Review]

Barry Hotter: The Fellowship of the Wands

Location:  Montreal, Canada

Date Played: April 7, 2019

Team size: 3-7; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $34.99 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts was the first in a two-game (maybe more in the future) wizarding series created by Escaparium. We grabbed our wands and set off on a quest to stop evil… and it was delightful.

Escaparium told their own story with the help of many common tropes and a dollop of instantly recognizable pop culture references, giving us players the kind of Harry Potter/ Tolkien-esque adventure that so many of us crave.

In-game: A statue of a wizard holding a crystal ball carved into a stone wall.

The sets were gorgeous. The magic was fun. The effects and puzzles were generally strong.

Some of it was a bit bumpy. It was clear to us that Escaparium was exploring structures for escape room storytelling that became a bit onerous. The wands, while fun, were a bit finicky.

Nevertheless, we were thrilled to have played The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts and even happier after playing its sequel, The Wizard Four and the Rise of Lord Thulsa. If you’re near Montreal, we highly recommend playing both, in order.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Aspiring wizards
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The set was beautiful
  • There was an amazing scene transition; it was incredible how much went into it
  • Some great effects
  • A number of strong puzzles
  • Wands are fun

Story

We were fresh out of magic school and we had been summoned to meet with the high wizard. By the time we’d arrived in his hall, however, he and his family were gone, abducted by an evil sorcerer. It was up to us to save them.

In-game: Animated paintings hanging from a stone wall.

Setting

In The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts, Escaparium let us loose in a wizarding school and it looked the part.

We explored a great hall as well as the dormitories. Each had depth, texture, and quite a bit to take in. There were points where I basically stopped playing and just enjoyed the environment.

In-game: a shelf full of scrolls.

Gameplay

Escaparium’s The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts was a standard escape room where players had wands to use as tools. It had a moderate level of difficulty

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: 8 magic wands hanging from the top of a doorway.

Analysis

➕ We entered The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts with wands in hand. This added an interesting game mechanic. But also… wands!

➖ As nifty as the wands were, their triggers could be finicky, which was frustrating. Still, we liked the wand mechanic and were disappointed when they fell out of relevance in the late-game. This felt like a missed opportunity.

➕ The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts was loaded with nods to various wizarding worlds. Fans will enjoy the magical artifacts and references in this escape room.

The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts captured the aesthetics of a number of iconic wizarding locales. Each scene looked outstanding. While Escaparium’s sets were always detailed, they went the extra mile here, crafting a scene purely so that we could enjoy our perspective.

➖ Some of the props in The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts had seen better days.

➖ Play stopped occasionally for long audio interludes. We didn’t find that these added enough depth to the story to warrant the stoppage in play. (We’re guessing that Escaparium would agree, given that they didn’t use this structure in this game’s sequel.)

➕ The middle act had solid puzzles that necessitated a variety of skills sets and magical ability. These flowed well.

➖ We encountered a few puzzles with ambiguous cluing.

➕ Magical artifacts surprised and delighted us as we played. These weren’t by the book.

➖ In a magical escape room, anything was possible. Anything might open from any action. Escaparium needed to better direct players to triggered opens. We couldn’t always tell what we’d affected.

➖The culminating scene felt less triumphant than it should have. The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts lacked its own Mount Doom. (Again, this wasn’t something that this game’s sequel suffered from.)

The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts was a delightful space to play in for an hour.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • You need to be comfortable with stairs to play this game.
  • This game is entirely bilingual (French and English).

Book your hour with Escaparium’s The Wizard Four and the Book of Black Arts, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escaparium comped our tickets for this game.

St. Louis Escape – Cellar Escape [Review]

High-end murder basement

Location:  St. Louis, MO

Date Played: March 21, 2019

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints:  [B] Mechanical Release

REA Reaction

Cellar Escape was comfortably our group’s favorite game at St. Louis Escape.

While its gameplay was a little more search-centric than we typically go for, the game’s runbook was onerous, and the story was underdeveloped… the set design was top-notch and the game played fairly cleanly.

If you’re visiting St. Louis Escape and you’re comfortable with a horror experience, Cellar Escape is our recommendation. If you’d like something a little less intense, we suggest attempting Haunted Hotel (review coming soon) instead.

In-game: A dead man sitting at a desk with a typewriter in betwen two jail cells.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players interested in moderate horror
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Great set design
  • Intense moments

Story

We were trapped in a serial killer’s lair and had to find a out way out before he returned.

In-game: An electrical box labeled "Danger Live Wires."

Setting

Cellar Escape was St. Louis Escape’s take on a murder basement. From a set design standpoint, it delivered everything that you’d want out of a murder basement. It was dark, grim, gritty, intimidating, and bloody.

As with all of St. Louis Escape’s sets, it was thoroughly designed from floor to ceiling.

In-game: A meat-grinder oozing large amounts of ground, bloody flesh.

Gameplay

St. Louis Escape’s Cellar Escape was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty and a split-team beginning.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: A red we need a clue sign sitting beside a laminated and spiral-bound book labeled "CELLAR ESCAPE." All surrounded by a beautiful set.

Analysis

Cellar Escape looked murder basement-y. It was dark and foreboding, but also detailed and thoughtfully designed.

➕ The split beginning worked well to encourage teamwork early on and didn’t overstay its welcome.

➕ We especially enjoyed the puzzles that felt authentic to the scenario. The escape room was at its best when we were deriving solutions that seemed plausible for escaping a killer’s lair.

In-game: A dead man sitting at a desk.

Cellar Escape relied heavily on a runbook. This was frustrating to use and detracted from our experience in the gamespace. Furthermore, it seemed to not be quite up to date with the current gameplay of the escape room. We encountered runbook ghost puzzles.

➕ St. Louis Escape seems to have a penchant for breaker boxes in their escape room design; it worked well in this room.

➖ Some of the tech in Cellar Escape had especially tight tolerances. If our hands were just slightly off they wouldn’t trigger, even though we’d correctly solved the puzzle. This put gameplay on ice for a little longer than it should have.

➖ Unclued trick locks are problematic in escape rooms. If you don’t know how to solve them, you will burn far too much of your game clock trying. If you basically know how to open all of the common trick locks on the market like David does… then they’re kind of boring. Either way, they’re suboptimal.

In-game: The cobweb covered ceiling of the Cellar Escape.

➕ Cellar Escape ground to a good jump-scare.

➖ Cellar Escape could fit a lot of people. St. Louis Escape will sell up to 12 tickets to it. The gameplay, however, had choke points. If you play with a large team, there would be a lot of down time for individual players.

Cellar Escape was a search-heavy escape room. In some instances, this worked well with the theme. In other instances, we found this tedious. Your mileage will vary.

Tips For Visiting

  • You can park for free on the street directly in front of the building or on the side of the building.
  • There are stairs up to the escape room lobby and the escape rooms.
  • Beware that St. Louis Escape has a habit for putting 4-digit solutions into 5-digit locks.

Book your hour with St. Louis Escape’s Cellar Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: St. Louis Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Escape STL – Investigation of a Miss Treedeath [Review]

I can feel it coming in the mail tonight.

Location:  St. Louis, MO

Date Played: March 22, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $23.95 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Our group had a really good time in Investigation of a Miss Treedeath. We laughed. We puzzled. We made fun of our friend who did something really silly and broke the game requiring intervention from the gamemaster… and since then we’ve been spamming him with ridiculous postcards because we’re great friends and jerks in equal amounts.

In-game: The door to the room opening revealing a hallway for an apartment building.

Our antics aside, Escape STL produced a really good traditional escape room that came with a humorous twist. It didn’t look all that impressive from the photos because it was staged in an accurate yet mundane manner… which was emblematic of Investigation of a Miss Treedeath’s biggest issue: It needed to steer into its wackiness.

This could be a fantastic and memorable game if Escape STL leaned into the funnier side of the story that they produced. This game could… and probably should… be dark comedy with puzzles from beginning to end.

From a puzzle and game design standpoint, this was one of the stronger escape rooms that we played during our trip to St Louis. If that’s the kind of escape room play that you’re seeking, then give this one a shot.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Tongue-in-cheek design
  • Solid puzzles
  • A humorous story

Story

We were rogue detectives investigating Miss Amanda Treedeath under suspicion of murder. We had to break into her apartment and see if we could dredge up some evidence of her suspected crimes.

In-game: an apartment building mailbox.

Setting

Investigation of a Miss Treedeath was an apartment escape game. We began in the apartment building’s hallway and then progressed into a rather convincing apartment dwelling.

It wasn’t an exciting environment by any stretch of the imagination, but it felt like what it was striving to be.

In-game: The hallway for an apartment building.

Gameplay

Escape STL’s Investigation of a Miss Treedeath was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

In-game: an advertisement offering a reward for a lost puppy.

Analysis

➕ Investigation of a Miss Treedeath put a humorous spin on a traditional escape room setup. Escape STL teed up the experience well with the tone in the lobby and the in-character gamemaster.

➕ By solving the puzzles, we developed a deeper sense of the character in whose apartment we spent our 60 minutes. This added depth to the game.

➕ The gameplay worked well. The puzzles solved cleanly.

➕/➖ Escape STL’s staging made the set feel especially… apartment-y. It was a convincing set, but there was nothing special, exciting, or enticing about having an adventure in… an apartment.

➕/➖ We enjoyed the playful tone of Investigation of a Miss Treedeath. Escape STL could lean into this more, especially in the staging, to up the intrigue of the apartment staging.

➖ There was opportunity for Escape STL to surprise players more dramatically than they did.

➕/➖ Escape STL gave each team a score. After we escaped within the allotted 60 minutes, they asked us investigative questions to determine our score. While we liked the tiered goals, we would have preferred the investigation questions be incorporated into the gameplay. Reporting our answers back made these solves feel tacked onto the experience.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Escape STL’s Investigation of a Miss Treedeath, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape STL provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Escape STL’s Investigation of a Miss Treedeath [Guest Reaction]

A guest post by Nick Moran, formerly of Time Run in London, England.

It’s March. I’m in St. Louis, ostensibly for a conference. (It’s Transworld’s Halloween and Attraction’s Show – have you been? If not, you should. It’s crazy. If you like skeletons and pumpkins, then Transworld is your bag: your giant, several hundred thousand square-foot bag).

In-game: an advertisement offering a reward for a lost puppy.

But, in actuality, I’m just a passenger on the Lisa and David train, which is pulling into countless escape game stops on a whistle stop tour of the area. It’s fun. It’s as if they know how to organize… trips… *cough* Have you booked your place in their New Orleans escape room tour?

The purple, gold, and blue Escape Immerse Explore New Orleans Logo

After a frantic few hours of playing, we pulled into Escape STL. They’re a little ways out from St. Louis, in a place called Maplewood. The area seems nice, from my limited exposure to it. They’re located near a Bottleworks and, according to Google Maps, something called the Salt Room, which I guess is pretty good news for condiment fans worldwide.

Right, the venue: the lobby is nice and clean, a plush basement in an office complex. We were early so loitered outside the entrance, peering into the office of the company opposite: a business that looked almost disturbingly and performatively normal. Seriously, take a look if you go. It’s weird. Soon, our snooping ended; we were seated around a long table, signing the usual forms and waiting, our anticipation growing.

In-game: The door to the room opening revealing a hallway for an apartment building.

On the wall there was a sign detailing how Escape STL’s games worked: a five-variable scoring system, which spits out a single figure as the team’s score. A clever idea. Our paperwork completed, a young lad in a great hat began our briefing, in character, of course.

We were investigating the apartment of a suspicious woman with an even more suspicious name: a Miss Treedeath. Murder was afoot. Perhaps even likely. Our objectives were manifold: primary, secondary, and tertiary. I respected the lad, the hat, and the objective structure. It made sense. We were primed.

Now, the name. It’s obviously a pun. You got that; I got that, but there’s a lot in what a name does. A name can set the tone of your experience and can give a hint of how you will and should play. (Did you know Lisa likes names?) And what does a name like a Miss Treedeath say to you? Well, to us it said… cheeky. Not frivolous and not stupid, but definitely mischievous.  And let’s be honest, after an afternoon of hectic stops around the St. Louis area, we were already in high spirits and the flamboyant intro had readied us further. We were prepared to play.

Games, at their best, are sandboxes that give space for players to be the most playful versions of themselves. On this particular metric, Investigation of a Miss Treedeath is an unqualified success. As we moved through the noir-tinged mystery, every little detail heightened our mood. The walls were littered with pictures of dead trees. The victims of the perpetrator were executed for imperceptible comic slights. The game had its tongue so firmly in its cheek that it was practically pushing bone.

In-game: an apartment building mailbox.

By the middle of our game we were on the verge of some sort of hysterical breakdown. When one of our teammates posted some postcards in a fit of pique, I thought I would explode. It was clearly a massive error, but still, the game laughed with us, not at us, despite our manifold failings.

By the time we won, Investigation of a Miss Treedeath was already a treasured escape room memory. It was a game that leaned in, hard, that was determined to ensure that players came out grinning. Certainly, it was the highlight of my trip to St. Louis and gets my firm stamp of approval.

Is Investigation of a Miss Treedeath the best game in world history? No.

Is it a really lively experience, one that gets all the fundamentals right and so much more? Definitely. If you’re in the area, check it out. I would. I mean, I did.

Book your hour with Escape STL’s Investigation of a Miss Treedeath, and tell them that Nick Moran sent you, on behalf of Room Escape Artist.

Airmail Adventures – The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn [Review]

Letters from the League of Treasure Hunters

Location:  at home

Date Played: February 19, 2019

Team size: we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $51

Publisher: Airmail Adventures

REA Reaction

We played a late beta of Airmail Adventures’ first game, The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn months before its Kickstarter launch. (So, yes, it’s on Kickstarter, but there actually is a game. It exists.)

Airmail Adventures did a beautiful job of building their 6-episode, kid-focused, tabletop puzzle game around the player. They created a fictional world. Each subsequent package added to the feeling that the player was impacting the game’s world.

A letter, sheet music, a map, and compass.

The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn was a more challenging game than we were anticipating given its intended audience. It was absolutely solvable. While the puzzles varied in difficulty, I suspect that most of the kids who complete it will feel like they earned their victory.

The puzzles felt incredibly uneven. Some were great; some left something to be desired. Additionally, we persistently felt bogged down by the volume of reading. There was a lot to take in and the font choice didn’t make it easier on the eyes.

Additionally, we can’t really comment on the quality of the hint system as it wasn’t completed when we played. Our guess is that if Airmail Adventures built a quality hint system it would mitigate some of the more frustrating puzzles.

All in all, this was an interesting game for late elementary school and early middle school aged-kids who like to read, puzzle, and think for fun.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Children and families
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • A child-friendly play-at-home puzzle adventure
  • A feeling of impact: solving puzzles created the illusion of changing the game world
  • Some brilliant puzzles

Story

We had been recruited to help the virtuous League of Treasure Hunters discover lost relics and share them with the world.

As members of the League, we were privy to information about their expeditions and able to help from afar by deciphering the clues, riddles, and ciphers to identify the location of the treasure… and suss out villains who would attempt to steal and sell the treasure.

An introductory letter.

Setup

Divided into 6 different mailings, The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn was a serialized puzzle game made of mostly paper-based components: letters, maps, journals, and the like.

Each mailing was part of a sequential story and built on what came before it.

A leather bound journal and a letter.

Gameplay

Airmail Adventures’ The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn was a play-at-home escape game designed for children, with a high level of difficulty for the intended audience.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, puzzling, and deducing.

Analysis

The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn placed the child player as a character in the game. The design was subtle, but brilliantly executed. We could see how children playing detectives would feel as if they had a role in deducing this mystery and affecting the game world.

➕ Airmail Adventures crafted beautiful letters and other mostly paper-based items for this play-at-home adventure. We could tell that a lot of love and care went into the design and creation of the props. The materials felt good to hold, sift through, ponder over, and fiddle with.

➖ We inadvertently destroyed some of the game materials… with an object sent to us as part of the game. It was the very thing that made the object interesting that we used to wipe out some of the game’s content.

➕ The different items that carried the gameplay made sense in the world. They served different purposes, narratively and puzzle-y. This structure of items worked well.

➖ There was a lot of reading in The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn. We felt bogged down by this. At times, choice of font added to our frustration. Mostly, however, it was an issue of volume.

➕ We enjoyed many of the puzzles in The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn. Although some felt repetitive to us as adults, we can see how children would build mastery through play and gain satisfaction out of solving new puzzles with the same mechanics. This design worked for the intended audience.

The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn required substantial deciphering. Airmail Adventures should provide definitive cipher keys as at least one of the ciphers used has common variants.

➕/➖ The puzzles varied enormously in cluing. They weren’t necessarily challenging, but at times they required significant logic leaps. In our favorite puzzle in the game, for example, the tolerances needed to be tighter to properly orient the player. This was quite a bummer because the puzzle was brilliant.

❓ We played a copy that wasn’t fully ready for testing. We were unable to assess the hint system and we cannot comment on how it will work in its final state. At the time we played, Airmail Adventures had an unfinished website that was difficult to use.

Tips For Player

  • Space Requirements: a small table
  • Gear Requirements: pencil, paper, and an internet-connected device
  • The purchaser will receive all the game components and will be responsible for distributing them to the people playing the game.

Back Airmail Adventures’ The Lost Journal of Flintlock Flynn on Kickstarter and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Airmail Adventures provided a sample for review.

Kickstarting The Nest 2.0 – An Interview

When we visited Scout Expedition Company’s The Nest in June of 2017, during its first run in Los Angeles, we were so moved that it left us truly speechless for hours after the experience.

We were so impressed with how the puzzles served as gates for telling a story that we started to think differently about what escape rooms could be. The Nest wasn’t an escape room, but it used elements of escape room-style gameplay to deliver an emotional, personal, and impactful story.

As Scout Expedition Company closes in on the final days of their Kickstarter to relaunch the show, we caught up with Creative Directors Jarrett Lantz and Jeff Leinenveber to learn more about version 2.0.

A man with a flashlight searching a storage space filled with cardboard boxes.

REA: The Nest is coming back!?

Yes, we’re taking everything we learned from the 2017 production and remounting the ultimate version of the show – kind of like a director’s cut. We’re really excited to be bringing it back!

How would you explain The Nest for someone who hasn’t experienced it?

In the story of The Nest, a woman named Josie recently passed away, leaving behind a storage unit filled with decades of her belongings. Audience members are equipped with a flashlight and explore Josie’s storage unit, searching through objects and listening to audio tapes to piece together her story.

We’re huge fans of immersive theater, narrative video games like Gone Home, Firewatch, or What Remains of Edith Finch, and escape rooms. The Nest mashes up certain elements from each. In its functionality, the show has a fairly similar framework to an escape room – experience a physical environment for a set period of time – with a little less focus on puzzles and a little bit more on story.

A view of an old freight elevator shaft with dramatic shadows being cast against the walls.

Tell us a bit about the new location. How does that change the piece?

The remount takes place in a beautiful, 1920s-era former storage building in Los Angeles. It really is the perfect location! Audience members will ride a freight elevator to one of the upper floors, where the show takes place.

Luckily, we have a bigger space to work with than before, so we’ll be able to create a few more distinct parts of the storage room while keeping the same rich, intimate environments that made the show so special.

What else will be different this time around?

A lot!

We did 250 shows of the original version of The Nest, so now we can take those learnings to create the ultimate version from scratch. Since we’re in a larger space, the layout is completely different. Some of the scenic design is going in a slightly more abstract direction.

We’re also making each puzzle more of an interaction where we’re walking in the footsteps of Josie. Although the general story is fairly similar, we’re rewriting the entire thing to flow better

A man with a flashlight off in the distance down a long hall of storage units.

Who is The Nest for?

Originally, we’d targeted fans of immersive theater, but as the show went on, it was clear it resonated with a more general audience.

We had tons of enthusiasts of immersive theater and escape rooms, but also people who’d never done anything immersive before.

Visitors included lots of video game developers, parents with their adult children, and people on dates.

It seems that The Nest was really enjoyed by a broad spectrum of audience members.

How should escape room players, in particular, approach The Nest to get the most out of the experience?

Even though it shares some of the same elements as escape rooms, The Nest is something different.

There’s no countdown clock. Everyone gets to the end. The puzzles aren’t the most challenging. Instead, they are small interactions that place you into the shoes of Josie.

Our best advice is to approach The Nest like you’re about to experience a story. Feel free to slow down and enjoy it.

Closeup of a man with a flashlight searching a hallway of storage units.

Why did you decide on Kickstarter as your platform for launching this?

The Nest really is a labor of love. We want to focus on executing the best creative vision rather than making a huge profit. As you can probably guess, this isn’t the best pitch for investors!

So, we decided to self-fund a big chunk of the show, with the remainder coming through Kickstarter. This will really help us to create the ultimate version, because we’re accountable to you, the audience, instead of to investors.

When will the remounted The Nest run? And for how long?

Our initial run will start in late summer for three months, but if ticket sales are healthy, we do have the option to extend. We’ll send extension announcements to those subscribed to our mailing list.

What made this the right time to bring back The Nest?

So much of immersive theater relies on finding the right space for your ideas. It was always our intention to bring back The Nest farther in the future, but we could not take this show just anywhere. Then the right opportunity presented itself… and here we are!

REA Conclusion

As we think back to our visit to The Nest, we have to agree with Jarrett and Jeff. The intimacy of the space and the way Josie’s story spilled out of it… that really captivated us.

We’re excited Scout Expedition Company has found the right next space for The Nest.

Jarrett and Jeff did an amazing job with the first iteration. We hope that this iteration will run long enough for us to see where they’re taking it.

Back The Nest on Kickstarter and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you. There’s less than a week left to do so!

Up the Game 2019: Innovation in Immersive Gaming Panel

We’re looking forward to seeing/ meeting everyone at Up the Game. We will be on stage one week from today talking about innovation.

We’ve assembled a panel of creative, articulate folks who are doing interesting and cutting-edge work in immersive gaming.

Innovation is the near future of immersive games. What’s coming next?

Up The Game Logo - A keyhole in an arrow pointing upwards.

Details

  • Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 16:00
  • Address: Hemkade 14-16 (Hembrugterrein) 1506 PR Amsterdam – Znstd
  • Venue: Stage 3

Panelists

  • Gijs Geers, CEO & Creative Director, Dark Park, Deflt & Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
  • Nicholas Moran, Creative Director/ Game Designer, Time Run, London, UK
  • Andrew Preble, Creator, Escape My Room, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Raymond Reints, Co-Founder and Production Manager, Gloeidraad, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Cyril Voiron, Executive Producer for Ubisoft Escape Games, Ubisoft Blue Byte, Cologne, Germany

Why Attend?

We’ll challenge these panelists to think about the impact of their work on their own businesses and the industry as a whole. Together with the panelists, we’ll consider what all creators can take away from their victories and their defeats.

Don’t have tickets to Up the Game? Use our discount code: UTG19REABLOG

Our Custom Morse Code Doormat

Back in February we bought our first house… which was a bit of an adventure… and continues to be one. Some chaos notwithstanding, our new house and neighborhood are lovely.

We wanted people to understand our values before entering… so we designed a doormat to convey the message.

Doormat

I commissioned Etsy store DamnGoodDoormats to produce this:

Morse code welcome mat reads, -.- -. --- -.-. -.-, -.- -. --- -.-. -.-.

I’m feeling pretty good about it.

I also asked DamnGoodDoormats to put the Morse Code Mat up on their store so that anyone can buy one.

We don’t get anything for the sale of these doormats… because Etsy’s affiliate program is garbage. We just wanted to share this with our readers.

New York City: Everything Immersive Meetup on May 20

We hope to see you at the next New York City Everything Immersive Meetup, co-hosted by Room Escape Artist and our friends at No Proscenium.

Two smiley face stick figures carrying the final two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into place.

Details

Who Attends?

This event is for those interested in, passionate about, or working within immersive arts & entertainment in New York City. We’re calling all creators, storytellers, directors, engineers, artists, designers, writers, performers, event planners, producers, and more.

Lovers of immersive entertainment are certainly welcome as well.

What Happens?

Wonderful conversations. This is a chance to give and get recommendations for escape rooms, shows, LARPs, games, VR, AR, and other fun experience in New York City. This is a chance to find collaborators, consultants, and beta-testers.

We encourage you to bring your work. At our February meetup, we had a tabletop game in beta. If your project is compact, or can be made compact, please feel free to bring it with you.

Reminder

We appreciate Shades of Green and their hospitality. Please support them by purchasing food and drinks… and sharing checks to make it easier on their servers. Please make use of Venmo or PayPal… or hand each other cash.