Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
And the room is now open! The first production of Adventures by Appointment LLC has gone through its trial runs, previews, beta tests or whatever you might like to call them and it has opened for business.
So what is it exactly?
I like the way Erik Hanberg put it.
"Tacoma's first puzzle/escape room is a new kind of theatrical experience in the South Sound. The puzzle room challenges participants to race the clock and break themselves out of a room by solving a series of elaborate puzzles that lead a group through a narrative involving eccentric billionaires, a spiritualist medium, and the most famous magician in the world."
And judging by the feedback we have been getting since it opened, we have succeeded in creating a very fun and exciting experience.
"One of the best experiences. I took my 13 year old son and he loved it as well. If you want to experience something completely different set an appointment now."
"Super fun experience! Easily the best Escape room I've done."
"I had so much fun, by the end my heart was racing as we tried to bet the clock.The puzzles were well thought thru definitely providing a challenge while remaining fun. "
Of course the reason it is an cool as it turned out to be has more to do with the sets, props and special effects. Blake York did an incredible job on creating the space that could function as a mediums parlor for tarot card reading and also keep unobtrusive the set lights, grid, false walls and other surprises. Jen York not only helped keep it on track as the director but found amazing talent to run tech and act as the medium, gamemaster, hintgiver and all around entertaining addition to the experience.
The show has three consistent running times and days. Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm and Sunday at 5:00pm. But we only need a commitment of 5 to 6 people who want to go through the room in order to coordinate a time and day of your choice.
We just ran one at 3:00pm on Sunday because the group could not make any other time. One of our mediums was on vacation and the other worked, so I had to run out and get a new fake mustache, borrow a turban from our Tacoma Little Theatre friends and step up to the cards.
Honestly the mediums we have Madam Dana and Lady Jade are practically one woman shows in their own right. I may have to dedicate the next post to them.
Posted by Andrew Fry at 11:39 AM
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
It is one thing to get excited about an idea and quite the other to go about implementing all the necessary details to make it a reality.
Behold the LLC! Adventures by Appointment LLC is the company that will be putting on the production of The Last Escape.
That meant registering the company with the state, registering the domain name (www.adventuresbyappointment.com) , filing for a state business license, filing for a city business license and opening a business bank account which also requires things like a EIN number and an operations plan.
That of course leaves the requirement of finding the right location. How about right in the middle of downtown Tacoma? Yes, we have an address. 410 A Street, Suite 410, Tacoma WA. Many thanks are due to Spaceworks Tacoma for their help in finding the property and arranging for the first six months at a low rate.
Posted by Andrew Fry at 3:20 PM
Saturday, February 13, 2016
As a rule of thumb, it is difficult to create a puzzle and escape room without a room. Not just a simple office space but somewhere that you can expand beyond four walls to create little surprises and heighten tension.
Location is always a consideration as well. Most businesses rely on foot traffic and those that have street front also benefit from the ongoing signage exposure to the public. But when you are serving six to ten people at a time and the adventure is by appointment then you have more flexibility as to your location. You also have more control over the tone you want to set.
The one requirement I made for myself was that this enterprise was to be in downtown Tacoma. Close to hotels and restaurants and people, but just off the street enough to be a bit mysterious.
I am no expert. Commercial space is not my forte. I needed help from someone or something. I am extremely excited to announce that I am a participant in the Spaceworks program.
We have identified a location that I think is perfect. I'll need to wait for approval but if it works out, I am going to give details about it here.
Posted by Andrew Fry at 11:44 AM
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Posted by Andrew Fry at 3:00 PM
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
When we are as connected as we are, (and when you are a media pig like I am) you are going to get constant notices of people passing. Glenn Frey and David Bowie as recent examples. I felt a little more nostalgic with Glenn Frey. When it is someone like Alan Rickman I feel sad because of the age that he passed and knowing his personal contributions are no longer available, though his achievements will have lasting effects. Leonard Nimoy was sad to me on a very nostalgic level. I also recognize he had a long and fulfilling life.
I met him once in my life and heard him speak twice. At one point as a youngster in the late 80's I was deeply fascinated with his work on artificial intelligence. He was a character. When AI fell into a bit of a slump, (and in order to be taken seriously you had to call the next steps Expert Systems), I am sure he was as prickly as could be. But at the same time I would have loved to hear his views on Deep Blue and Watson. I suppose I will have to look those up.
Here is a snippet from an article today in Scientific America:
""Why are you asking me this question?" Minsky growled. The concern that scientists will run out of things to do is "pitiful," he said. "There's plenty to do." We humans may well be approaching our limits as scientists, but we will soon create machines much smarter than us that can continue doing science.
But that would be machine science, not human science, I said.
"You're a racist, in other words," Minsky said, his great domed forehead purpling. I scanned his face for signs of irony, but found none. "I think the important thing for us is to grow," Minsky continued, "not to remain in our own present stupid state." We humans, he added, are just "dressed up chimpanzees." Our task is not to preserve present conditions but to evolve, and create beings smarter than us."
Posted by Andrew Fry at 9:51 AM
Saturday, January 23, 2016
|Some of the research being conducted for "The Last Escape"|
So I am working on that. Finding a venue, creating a proforma, developing marketing materials, organizing and recruiting a team, procuring funding and performing recursive reality checks are all the plates spinning right now in my off time from my day job. I am really enjoying myself.
Additionally, there is the creative element. The whole point of this was to produce something fun with theatrical elements. The balance here is going to be the practical flow of the puzzles that will be challenging, exciting and fun to do as a team, the story that needs to be told over the course of an hour that will have several endings based on how far the teams progress toward the escape, the characters who will inhabit the room from the gamemaster to the limited role playing that can be infused into the customers and how much historical accuracy can be integrated into what is a fictional situation.
I am working on that. This requires a bit of research and experimentation.
The good news is that I have the complete skeletal structure of the puzzle elements as they lead to locked boxes, strange riddles, brain teasers, hidden rooms and required tasks. When I write stories I often have it worked out completely in my head. Once I put it on paper I realize where I have holes to fill and characters to develop. It is never complete until the third or fourth rewrite (for me).
In this case I have the story down. However instead of rewriting it I need to run it. I need to know the realistic time it might take ten people working together to finish each challenge. It can't be too hard or to easy.
There are also several pieces that will need to be fabricated or procured. Then there is a set to build.
My next post will talk about the people who are helping me get this done.
Posted by Andrew Fry at 11:49 AM