UPDATE: We've reached our initial target of £3000, but any more donations at this point will still help us improve the experience from the very beginning! Plus, don't forget you can still get discounted tickets and other awesome limited edition things!
What if someone took the team-based, live action gaming of the Crystal Maze and combined it with the immersive theatre elements of Secret Cinema, then just for good measure, added the charismatic star from TV adventure show Knightmare and packed them all into a single game that YOU could play?
The answer is Bewilder Box, Brighton's newest and most exciting live escape adventure.
Our project is to help create and launch Bewilder Box, a group activity based on the popular "escape game" concept. As a team of up to 6 people you must work together to complete a series of puzzles, clues and challenges within an allotted 60-minute time period whilst taking part in an entirely original, immersive story featuring Hugo Myatt, star of legendary 80's TV gameshow, Knightmare.
We came up with the concept shortly after playing our first escape room together in Budapest. As huge fans of interactive theatre events like Secret Cinema and Punch Drunk, we felt that whist the game was incredibly fun, we wanted it to be much more immersive, so you could really get lost in the thrill of the world being created around you; and so an idea was born.
The idea was to take the puzzle and live-gaming aspects of an escape room and add a theatrical element with a set, a narrative and characters that could be interacted with to make players feel like they were part of the story.
Bewilder Box's main character is the charismatic Dr Wilder, a part that was written specifically with Hugo in mind. Having worked with him on a previous project, we sent him the script. He read it, liked it and luckily for us he said yes.
We hope that players will get a serious kick out of seeing Hugo do what he does best: Entertain! (We know we did during filming!)
One self-funded year later and the puzzles and story are complete and a location has been secured. We are now seeking an additional £3,000 from Kickstarter backers to help build our interactive set, finish our video content, support our marketing campaign, and finally, open with a bang! We are currently planning to open in July 2016.
The core element of any escape room is the puzzles. We've worked incredibly hard to make each of our puzzles fun, interesting and original. Some can be solved without help, others require you to cooperate with your team mates. There’s tests for your brain, others for your eyes, your ears and even your nose. As a team, you’ll need to use them all to succeed. Each time you solve a puzzle you'll receive a clue or item that will help you progress.
Each item that players will encounter has been lovingly made from scratch using a combination of wood, metal, electronic circuitry and even smart materials such as colour changing inks. All have been designed with one thing in mind: to provide players with a totally unique experience with plenty of surprises!
Whilst completing the various tasks, players will be taking part in an interactive story that unfolds as they play. Written completely from scratch, The Bewilder Box story is a tongue-in-cheek, sci-fi mystery, taking lots of inspiration from our favourite 70's and 80's Sci-fi films and the best TV series ever (after Knightmare naturally), Red Dwarf!
For a little taster of what to expect...
Dr Wilder (Myatt) is an eccentric and charismatic scientist who is looking for suitable candidates to help rebuild and lead the human race in the event the world is struck by a major catastrophe such as an Alien invasion or Zombie apocalypse. In order to find the best of the best he creates the Bewilder Box assessment: the ultimate test of brain power, cooperation, leadership, logic and strategy. Weeks into testing however, the Dr mysteriously vanishes taking with him his potentially world saving research...
You and your team are new recruits, tasked with completing the Bewilder Box assessment and qualifying for inclusion in the program. Assisting you in this task will be the Doctor's son, Benjamin Jr, the brilliant Bewilder Box scientists and D.A.V.E. (the dim-witted Bewilder Box mainframe computer). Do you have what it takes to answer this unfathomable challenge with a hearty laugh and a self-assured thumbs up? Can you crack the codes, conquer the challenges and solve the brain-tickling puzzles before the time limit expires? More importantly will you uncover the secret of Dr Wilder Sr's mysterious disappearance? You'll have 60 minutes to find out.
(Note: D.A.V.E. is part of our first stretch goal update. We hope to have him in time for our grand opening, but that is dependent on us now hitting our extended goal of £4500. Whilst the Bewilder Box experience as a whole will not be changed, we guarantee that having D.A.V.E will make it all that more enjoyable!)
A few months back we were mulling around the topic of a hint system for the game (to provide players with assistance if they get stuck). We hit upon the novel idea that we could maybe integrate one of the characters from the Bewilder Box backstory into this system; specifically D.A.V.E, the friendly-but-dim-witted mainframe computer inspired by Red Dwarf's "Holly", 2001's "Hal 9000" and Alien's "Mother".
We figured if we could turn D.A.V.E. into a real thing that could actually be interacted with, then we could use him to deliver helpful hints to participants in the room (and crack terrible jokes at them). We set about investigating facial recognition and motion capture software to see if we could build a retro-looking computer face to map to our own faces. In other words, human Dave could become virtual D.A.V.E in real time during the game!
Through extensive research, we discovered it was entirely possible… though not necessarily as simple as we had initially hoped (and certainly not as as cheap!). We were fortunate enough to find an exceptionally talented modeller/animator, Mickey, who was able to deliver exactly what we needed, and as lengthy and arduous as the process turned out to be, D.A.V.E. was born in all his digital glory.
Combining the motion capture with a live vocal effects processor, the system works…theoretically; the main problem being that D.A.V.E requires some pretty mean processing power and some relatively decent video and audio equipment to make him work smoothly, meaning we don't actually have the hardware to build him into the room right now and instead we'd have to go with a more basic system (at least to begin with).
One of the most important things for us at the Bewilder Box is that the players feel totally immersed throughout the whole experience. We are working hard to achieve this; as soon as you are greeted by your host, the story will begin! You'll be spoken to in character and taken into the Bewilder Box Assessment Area where your enthralling journey will begin...
The assessment area itself will be a custom built sci-fi themed set littered with lights, sounds and special effects. The building of this set and making it as good as it can be is the main purpose of our Kickstarter campaign. We have already started prepping for our set after securing space at the absolute perfect location...
Bewilder Box is located less than an hour's train journey from London, in the seaside resort of Brighton, above one of its most popular venues, The Hobgoblin. Not only can you take on the Bewilder Box challenge, you can also kick back in an award winning beer garden, or sample some unbelievable burgers from the Sussex Food & Drink award's Street Food Vendor of the Year 2016, The Troll's Pantry!
We're very lucky to be working with some really talented people. Meet the team responsible for creating the Bewilder Box.
David Staffell (right): DS is a huge gaming and puzzle enthusiast-come-graphic designer. He's been running his own business in the cities of London, Brighton and Bristol, for over 10 years meaning this isn't his first rodeo!
David Middleton (left): DM's background is in sales and promotions, with a particular flair for the theatrical. He's put on (and occasionally appeared in) countless entertainment events in Brighton over the last 8 years.
Hugo Myatt: A man who needs no introduction, the legendary Hugo Myatt is a fantastic theatre, TV and voice actor not to mention all-round terrific guy. His most iconic role of course, is as Dungeon Master Treguard in the TV show Knightmare.
Tim Staffell: Tim is a super skilled prop and set designer for TV and film and has been given the unenviable task of taking the Daves' designs and forging them in the flesh. He's done an incredible job and without him Bewilder Box simply wouldn't exist!
Wild Stag Studio: Need a super sexy video? Look no further than Wild Stag Studio, the guys responsible for all of Bewilder Box's high quality video content. Adding their unique visual flare to the proceedings, we just can't recommend them enough!
The Wood Shed Sussex: The Wood Shed are professional woodworkers creating fantastic bespoke furniture, décor and structures using locally sourced, reclaimed materials. For us they'll be making our set and bringing the Bewilder Box assessment to life.
Billy Mather illustration: Brighton based illustrator Billy Mather, specialises in poster design, logos, graphics for web and murals…examples of which can be found all over the city. He'll be providing us with some rather awesome artwork in his own very distinctive style, which you can potentially own by backing our campaign.
David T M Vine: Completing the trilogy of Davids, Mr Vine is musician and composer by trade. We will be utilising his exceptional talents to soundtrack the Bewilder Box experience and inject a dose of aural drama and excitement.
Backing Bewilder Box gives you access to loads of wonderful knick-knacks; such as discounted bookings to the game, limited edition merchandise, and even personalised rewards from Hugo Myatt himself. Take a look at the list below for full details:
• Discounted Team Booking: Come and take on the Bewilder Box adventure at a special Kickstarter-reduced rate! For between 2 and 6 players.
• Badge: Snare yourself a cool and groovy Bewilder Box badge!
• Dr Wilder Mug: As the good Doctor would always say: Use your mind, save mankind….but also enjoy hot drinks.
• Limited edition Dr Wilder Artwork: A limited edition print of Dr Wilder drawn by the exceptionally talented Billy Mather at Billy Mather Illustration.
• Dr Wilder Goggles: What makes Dr Wilder look like such a badass? His goggles may not be exclusively responsible but they certainly help! Now you too can look like a science boss.
• Postcard Signed by Hugo: A limited edition Dr Wilder Postcard signed by the legend that is: Hugo Myatt.
• Become a character in the Bewilder Box experience!: Be immortalised as a historic Bewilder-character. You will be added to a picture of the Bewilder Box founders next to Dr Wilder. This will then be featured on our website and more importantly hung in our briefing area where it will be showcased as part of the interactive story. Obviously we'll send you a copy too!
• Personal video message from Hugo Myatt: Get a personal thank you video from Mr Myatt to you.
• Take over the Bewilder Box for an entire day. Get exclusive use of the venue and bring up to 30 people split into 5 teams and go head to head for the best completion time and total Bewilder Box bragging rights! Ideal for large parties, work mates and other such gatherings.
All of the funds from this campaign will be used to create our fantastically immersive set, remaining video content and finally launch Bewilder Box!
We want Bewilder Box to be the absolute best it can be; we want it to be THE #1 attraction for people visiting or living in Brighton, and your support and backing will help us achieve that goal.
If you like what you see, then please make a pledge. Not only will you be assisting us in turning our whimsical dreams into reality, you'll also become part of the foundation of what we know will be a truly amazing experience.
So check out our rewards, check out our website and please support Bewilder Box. Thanks!
Risks and challenges
Possible delivery delays on rewards - We will strive to have all rewards shipped to be delivered by the estimated delivery date, but as we all know, the postal service can be a little unreliable at times. Fear not though, if in the unlikelihood your package is lost in transit, we will be happy to replace the items.
Wear and tear - The very nature of puzzles being handled by many different pairs of hands means we anticipate things will get worn down and broken. As a result, we have backups to make sure that if this happens, we minimise the inconvenience to teams.
Dr Wilder's apocalyptic premonition - If what he says is true, and the world truly is ending, then we're running out of time to save humanity. The sooner we're funded, the better for all mankind!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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