About 4 months ago, we were contacted by CGI; they are among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world, operating in hundreds of locations across the globe. The video below shows you a sample of the end result but below we discuss our process to get from inception to delivery.
One of their business divisions in Finland had built an escape room which had been spotted by one of the management team on a visit a year earlier and since then, the UK Cyber Security team had been trying to replicate without really knowing where to turn.
The approached Boundless off the back of our experience working with some other large IT service companies, such as Thales, in the hope that we could take their initial ideas, build on them and bring them to life in the form of a highly immersive experience that would teach basic cyber security principles in an engaging and memorable way. Oh, and one last thing. – the whole experience had to be built inside a 40ft shipping container, be portable and run off battery power.
Never being ones to shy away from a new challenge we set off as we always do –
Our first step is always to find out as much as we could about our client’s objectives and their world. In this case, it meant delving into the world of cyber security and taking note of the key concepts and brainstorming how we can weave those themes into the game concept. This is the same process we go through if the games are purely for entertainment purposes for example, what features of a pirate ship could we make puzzles from?
At the end of this stage, we create a clear game flow chart which shows each puzzle stream and the interlinking nature of the puzzles, the props that would be involved and the electronic system that would be created.
Our workshop is kitted out with a suite of tools that we use to create our games – we have CNC machines, laser cutters, 3D printers, a spray room, woodworking space and an electronics space. All of these allow us to create the entirety of an escape game under one roof and have full control of the quality from start to finish.
The CGI Cyber Escape room had some tricky elements integrated into it that required some careful prototyping before finding the right solution. One particular example being a SMEG fridge mounted to a wall in the kitchen area of the office which, when activated, slides the entire wall back into the transition space void. Tricky, but the end result is a fantastic reveal mid game and provides one of those wow moments we look for.
The CGI Cyber Escape room is split into four rooms; room one – the office, room two – the transition and room three – the cyber lab and room four – the games masters’ room.
Over the last 5 years, electronics is an area that we’ve paid particular attention to developing and advancing our capabilities in, it’s now an area that sets us apart from other companies; Tom is now an all-round escape room electronics whizz kid.
CGI was our most complex game electronically to date. The system had to be able to run the whole experience as a one-hour game, but the client also wanted to be able to run the individual rooms and 30-minute experiences for young people or for when visiting conferences.
All of the puzzles in this escape game communicate wirelessly with each other for a couple of reasons; firstly, it reduces the amount of hard wiring required in a room. It also allows for easy updates and tweaking to the workings of the room once we get into the testing phases.
Training and handover:
Our team have years of experience in running escape games and other immersive experiences so when we complete a game we ensure we send an experienced games master to site to help train your team members up on the technical elements of the game but also the softer side of it – how to deliver a great pre game briefing, when to clue teams and how to deal with the unexpected.
Our detailed handover documents will give your staff peace of mind that they always have a comprehensive reference point when running games and of course, we’re always available on the phone to provide remote support.
The end result:
We’re incredibly proud of the CGI Cyber Escape game that we’ve been able to create in a 40ft shipping container. The client is over the moon with the final result and is looking forward to using it as a comprehensive training tool for clients and for their STEM outreach work across the UK so keep your eyes peeled for the striking container travelling across the UK.
If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help your brand achieve your goals through the medium of immersive entertainment then email our Chief Executive, Alastair Watson on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.