Sleep has happened after what was a truly humbling weekend.
The LARPtronics part of us has evolved in the last four years and we have worked on a lot of projects that are not LARP orientated over the last eighteen months. We decided about nine months ago to go to LARPcon this year and thought it would be a good idea to agree to Ian’s request to do something in the line of an escape room. Although we wanted to do something a bit different and wrote a Crucible Room instead.
It didn’t feel like enough time at all and at Christmas we ran the first test (not demo) of the room for the fine people of the Rising of Chaos system at their Christmas Banquet. I say that we ran it when in all seriousness we were still perfecting the props at the site some two hours after we were supposed to start. What had we done? What were we going to do?
Five people did the Christmas test and despite the fact that we considered it a failure they were wowed by what they saw. We had finished three props: The Ghost Box, The Nordigan and the EMF Reader, and off of the back of that they commissioned a whole new sequence of kit for a game they were running. We were learning a lot!
We went back to the drawing board and the scriptwriter threw away all of the old writing and that was a big thing. We realised how much we could actually achieve with the Ghost Box and the EMF, so he added new dimensions with another Cryptex and the design for a pillar.
The pillar was built and we picked up a few more members of staff including a photographer and media expert who created some short footage that the pillar would tell a screen to play if the room players were successful.
Some amazing people were involved in voicing the six ghosts of the ghost box, then there was editing and filming and we were completely blown away by what we were suddenly involved with and what we were achieving: To have completed three pieces of kit that were capable of governing a room without any other interaction; A Crucible room, a refless room basically was something of an accomplishment for us.
Then we tested it again. We asked Rising of Chaos again and they happily said yes. This time it went off really well. Sure some of the kit threw up some problems, it was a test, but it all behaved in the right way and after a bit of reassessment and repair the room was solvable and the only thing we really had to proxy was the internet.
So we had a working and exciting Room with some kit that we were happy with and a week to iron out any kinks as well as prep our table and get ready to talk to people. By Friday the three main team members were on around 350 hours of work and the rest weren’t far behind but we had a lot to show for our efforts.
Once we were set up and in, we really kicked off and despite the fact that our working product was mainly in the Crucible Room we generated a whole load of interest; especially with the final incarnation of the Rune Sword. “It’s LARP safe!!!” was one of most commonly spoken phrases of wonder that we heard.
It was a great weekend for us with some great memories: Someone physically trying to get out of the Crucible Room, not because they were unhappy or stressed but because they had just used the Knock Knock box for the first time and wanted to tell their friends. Or getting the chance to talk about really big projects with Curious Pastimes and Barbwire and Roses. It was a knock out weekend.
When we got home we realised how much of the weekend we had spent talking through completely plausible ideas that people have now been messaging us about and that we are actually going to get to build them.
We took eleven people to LARPcon. ELEVEN. Speaks a lot about how far we have come. We also ran two seminars regarding our kit and a Crucible Room all weekend. On top of that there was the stall, the selling and the demos, the plans, the endless toast and the fact that the Chinese Mafia stole Jay’s hair.
We have branched out and spent the last two years, more or less, working on projects that aren’t LARP related. There was definitely a lot of emotion behind coming back to the LARPing scene and the welcome we received was wonderful.
It was good to come home.