This story is about how an escape room in the box “Attack of hackers” was created for the entertainment market in Canada. In it I’ll tell a little about escape rooms in the boxes in general, as well as the story and features of my riddle in the box, which uses unique electronic gadgets, augmented and virtual reality.
Portable escape rooms in the box are not a new idea. It appeared almost simultaneously with escape rooms, if not earlier.
Riddles in the box can be made for any audience and for almost any event:
- Puzzles for a wedding;
- Puzzles for corporate party;
- Puzzles for birthday;
- Puzzles for hen party / bachelor party;
- Puzzles for initiation into a club;
- Puzzles for gamification of adverts, etc.
Puzzles in the box are made for audiences of all ages. Usually anyone from 6 years can play them.
For the smallest players, such games are easy educational riddles that can be integrated into the preschool education program (for example, the game for learning teaching).
For older children, puzzles can be used not only as entertainment, but also as a way of learning and developing teamwork skills.
Now some schools already use game mechanics to improve the quality of learning.
But most often, the riddles in the box are used to have a good time with friends.
There are two directions for puzzles in boxes:
1) Puzzle in a box for business;
2) Puzzle set for playing at home.
Puzzle in a box for business
These riddles are created for those who want to perform escape games on a commercial basis. They are distinguished by thoughtfulness and great equipment. These games are ordered by small business owners and those who want to start their first business. Prices for the creation of such escape rooms range from $ 1,200 to $ 9,000. The cost depends on the number of unique props and software that is supplied by the game developer.
The game, which will be discussed below, belongs to this category.
Puzzle set for playing at home
These are small sets of items (often only printing) worth up to $ 200, which are designed for playing games at home with a small company.
“The attack of hackers on Canada” and how I came up with it.
I started working on the idea of a portable quest after receiving a request from the client from Canadian Montreal. The customer asked to create a portable game in a box with certain conditions:
- One person could control it;
- The game was supposed to be compact and not to take up much space in a car;
- Props should have small size and easy to install.
We considered several topics for the escape game:
Alien ship arrivals (based on Neil Stevenson’s book “Anatheus”)
Secret Order of the Alchemists (based on the film “Sherlock Holmes” by Guy Ritchie)
Hacker attack on the country (based on the film “Die Hard 4.0”)
Among all the ideas, we stopped at the plot about the attack of hackers. A similar story takes place in the film “Die Hard 4.0”, directed by Len Wiseman with Bruce Willis in the main role.
In the story (caution, spoilers!), a group of cyber-terrorists are attacking government servers:
- Gas supply;
- Transport control;
- Energy Management;
- TV and communications.
The purpose of these attacks is to make people panic, to divert the attention of police and FBI agents to get their main impact on the financial system in order to carry out the largest robbery in the world history. Hackers decided to steal all the money of the country, erasing the financial data on all accounts of all bank customers.
This is a very difficult, but interesting topic for such entertainment as a riddle in a box, because it is important to keep a balance between the interestingness of the game and the stylistic authenticity.
By authenticity in this case, I mean beautiful computer hacking that we see in the movies.
Real computer hacking is a very boring and looks no more interesting than a typical accountant’s CV. You can see this by watching the series “mr. Robot.”
The game plot is focused on the FBI group (cybercrime department).
Players (FBI agents) are tasked with preventing hacker attacks, unblocking damaged servers and finding criminals.
The players have evidence that they get in a series of first searches.
These clues will allow players to find information on how to stop hackers and track down their accomplices.
The players have a contact with the SWAT group, which can go to any address given by the players and search it (the players communicate with the SWAT commander via chat. The role of SWAT leader is played by the game master). Through searches, players get additional evidence that allows players to move in their investigation.
For this game, I created several unique electronic devices that simulate computer systems hacking.
For example, Monitor hack Tool “hacks” the password for the site through the monitor. To do this, the player brings the device to the monitor and it simulates the work of the decoder, at the end showing the password.
Also, I use unusual physical effects for the riddle with a radiation memory cell. After examining it with the help of a radiation scanner, players see a hint which helps to get the encrypted code.
For the game in the box “Hackers Attack” I created a burglary control panel. This is a device with which players can “physically” cancel a hacker attack by getting access cards.
The control panel is connected to a monitor on which players see the remaining time of the game (if time runs out, players lose), the overall status of the hacker attack (if it reaches the end, players lose), as well as which servers the players must “save”.
After receiving an access card (there are 5 cards, players get each one to solve a chain of riddles) the player applies it to the panel, presses a button and the animation of the attack cancellation is played on the monitor.
Players get extra time (+5 minutes) for saving each server. This allows you to keep the dynamics of the game always at the peak, because the players feel constant lack of time.
I used cases that I bought in a specialized electronic store and to decorate them made stickers (in Inkscape program).
In this game, in addition to the unique props, which is described above, the usual things are also used:
safes, drawers with locks
laptop, smartphones, telephones
I do not list them, because they have not been modified.
Everything is either a repository of something or a way to decipher the answer, which will help to open this repository.
To preserve the balance of the game between complex static puzzles and simple dynamic interactive riddles are added to the game, for example, virtual reality
I use Homido glasses + smartphone (with special software) to create immersive virtual reality.
In addition, the game has a puzzle that uses AR technology. Players manipulate objects in reality and see 3D cubes on a smartphone.
On the cubes there is information that helps players solve the riddle (for this, players must arrange the cubes correctly).
Despite the IT focus of the game, its passage does not require special knowledge and skills.
All puzzles are easy and medium difficulty level. Answers can be found using simple logic and careful examination of hints.
If players are at a deadlock in their search for an answer, they can ask for help from the game master.
The game in the box “Hackers Attack” is very suitable for corporate events, as well as team building games that can be played right in the office.
The game requires minimal preparation:
- A large table for 5–6 people (players);
- A small table for the master of the game;
- Access to an outlet
The whole escape game is placed in several cardboard boxes (in which things are usually transported).
Summarizing this, I want to say that it turned out to be an excellent product, which is devoid of the drawbacks of the classic escape rooms:
- Necessity to rent a room;
- Construction risks;
- Location selection errors;
- Large investments at the start;
- Exhaustiveness of the audience.
If you want more interesting stories about creating quest games, welcome to my site:
For booking the game “Attack of hackers” you can open this link: https://www.lanajeux.com
Escape game is located in Montreal Canada.
Thank you for your attention, have a great day!