Puzzles

cgi shipping container escape game

CGI Cyber Escape Room

CGI Cyber Escape Room 2560 1920 Alastair watson

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 –

Design:

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.

Build:

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.

Electronics:

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 alastair@boundlessworkshop.co.uk.  We’d love to hear from you.

Escape game corporate team building

The Secrets of Escape Game Success

The Secrets of Escape Game Success 1842 1842 Alastair watson

Since around 2011 escape rooms have been taking off all over the world in various shapes, sizes and formats. Consisting of a series of puzzles, riddles and clues, escape games require teams to put their problem solving skills to the test and complete challenges in a set period of time in order to ‘escape’ the room.

The beauty of escape games is that they don’t have to be limited to stand alone venues; they can be created for various audiences in many different locations across a number of different sectors. From entertainment venues and museums to offices and conferences, variations of escape games are a fantastic way to engage, immerse and interact with audiences. But are there certain common characteristics that all good escape games require? From our experience in designing, building and managing escape rooms for a number of clients, here are our top 5 suggestions for success:

1. A compelling story

Unsurprisingly, an engaging story is the glue that holds the experience together. It should be something that the creator cares about, whether that’s based on a time in history, a location or a specific theme. Some escape rooms take their influence from the historic building they’re housed in or the city their based in. If it’s a visitor attraction, the story might have an educational element, and businesses have booked escape games for team building or for conferences, with stories that tie in with the services they offer. Whatever the tale, consistency is ke

2. An immersive setting

Speaking of consistency, the setting is also critical in building the ‘world’ of the game. The scenery has the role of immersing players into that world and ensuring that nothing pulls them out of the story. Teams of designers, builders, artists and scenic finishers all work together to create a final ‘set’ that makes the game memorable and immersive. Our lifelike creations have included an international space station, a submarine, an undercover spy agency, superhero headquarters, a scientist’s study, Edwardian servants’ quarters and a medieval jail to name but a few!

3. Interesting puzzles

Escape games are made up of a series of interactive challenges that teams of players complete by solving puzzles and clues. The challenges ultimately help them achieve their goal of escaping against the clock. The puzzles therefore have to be pitched at the right difficulty level and ideally be adaptable to suit players’ needs. They might also have an objective of their own; we’ve created an escape game in an attraction to educate visitors and we’ve also used them to engage employees and to encourage team work and problem solving within companies.

4. A clear game flow

In order for the game to run smoothly and so as not to confuse the players, the game should flow in a clear way. It should be obvious to the player how to move through the challenges and how well they’re doing at any point in time. The game doesn’t have to progress in a linear fashion, with one puzzle leading on from the other, but there has to be a clear goal and good communication with the players whether that be through the help of a timer or visual and audio updates.

5. An engaging Games Master

Behind every successful escape game, there’s an engaging and effective Games Master! They have the task of introducing the game to the players and looking after them throughout the challenge. Clear communication of the story and the goals of the game are important and a good Games Master will also keep a close eye on things, offering additional clues where requested and adapting the game to players’ needs. As they often have a role assigned to them in the story, many Games Masters are keen performers and easily get in to character! These are all traits that we look for when providing this role for clients.

To find out how we can help you create an unforgettable escape game that meets your objectives, please get in touch for a chat. We’d love to bring your story to life or help you invent one!

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