May 9th, 2017

The International Escape Room Conference
Breda, The Netherlands

Up The Game is the first real life gaming and escape room conference in the world. During its first successful edition in 2016 more than 500 creators from all over the world gathered in the Netherlands. We’re excited to announce we’re upping the game once again in 2017. This year we will offer an even more extensive program, with more in-depth talks and a better chance to meet, interact and learn from your fellow creators.

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Add to My Calendar 2016-05-09 9:00:00 2016-05-09 18:00:00 Europe/Amsterdam Up The Game 2017 Amsterdam, The Netherlands



The Art of Immersion

Punchdrunk is widely considered the most famous immersive theater production company in the world. When they started their work in 2000 in London their impact was immense and launched a wave of enthusiasm for experiences that actively engage their participants.

Punchdrunk Enrichment takes the company’s innovative practice into communities and schools, creating performances with and for children, young people and participants. Integral to the creation of this work is the same commitment to exemplary design and performance that defines Punchdrunk’s large-scale productions for adult audiences.

Key projects to date include installation-based schools projects, The Lost Lending Library and Under the Eiderdown, and Against Captain’s Orders, a family adventure created in partnership with the National Maritime Museum. An extensive professional development programme and on-site projects for primary schools were run alongside The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable.

Find out more about Punchdrunk Enrichment’s practice in ‘Doorways’ by Charlie Tims.

Chris Lattner & Malte Eiben

From simple magnet switch puzzles to fully automatized systems

Chris & Malte will give a tech workshop that will cover topics from how to design simple switch and magnet puzzles to fully computer controlled puzzle networks. The workshop will provide some step by step instructions how to build those puzzles, where to find the components, an introduction into raspberry PI’s and some tips where to find the right code for it on the internet.

After 28 years working as a professional DJ playing techno and house in clubs around the world, Chris opened THE ROOM on the 3rd of October 2014. Their games are some of the highest rated rooms in Berlin and their third, and to date most advance room THE LOST TREASURE opened to the public in November 2015. Their rooms are fully automatized and technologically very advanced and were designed together with his partner Malte Eiben.

Malte Eiben is a Sound Designer and Software Developer currently based in Berlin, Germany.  He commenced his work in the Sound and Video department of the “Theater an der Parkaue”, while working on various short film projects.  In 2011 Eiben commenced his studies at the Film University Babelsberg specialising in Sound and is currently completing his masters in Sound for Picture with a specialisation in Film Mixing. While studying he continued to work work on various music recording and film projects and has been the recipient of awards including the Grimmepreis,  the Documentary Film Prize of the Goetheinstitute, and the German Film Prize “Lola”.  Eiben has been working since 2014 on Game Engines as well as the implementation of Sound Design, Logic, and Control Systems for Live Games.

Fire Hazard

The City as Playground

If you have been to London in the last years and a group of young people run past you, yelling,  frantically looking around them, followed by security officers or tentacle monsters, it is very likely that you have witnessed a City Dash, organized by Fire Hazard. With plenty of different variations Fire Hazard keeps organizing hide & seek scavenger hunts with large groups of people. In this these games they combine elements from escape rooms and video games and use the benefits of having whole city parts as playground.

Scott Nicholson

Environmental Storytelling and Escape Room Design

Scott Nicholson is the Director of the Game Design and Development Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Since he started the famous Escape Room Enthusiasts Group on Facebook and conducted the first extensive Research about Escape Rooms he has become the leading expert in Escape Rooms & Life-Action Experiences. Besides his academic experience Scott has been the Host and producer of Board Games with Scott (2005), the first Web-based video series about board games and the designer of two published board games: Going, Going, GONE! (2013) and Tulipmania 1637 (1999).

Scott has conducted additional research and just written a great paper about Environmental Storytelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design. We are very excited to welcome him and hear more about his insights.

Nick Moran (Time Run)

Changing The Game: Crafting The Live Adventure

What are the tools of immersion? How do you suspend disbelief – and keep it suspended, from beginning to end?

Nick Moran is the Creative Director of Time Run. He is responsible for the game design for both of Time Run’s games: The Celestial Chain and The Lance Of Longinus, as well as defining the characters and world of Time Run. His specialty is the intersection between game design and narrative, having worked as a freelance narrative designer for nearly a decade.

Nataša Potočnik

How to incorporate local history into Escape Rooms

Looking for a unique and authentic scenario for your Escape Room? Instead of doing research into non-copyright protected pop-culture stories, how about diving into the local history of your the place?

Enigmarium has created Escape Rooms in various different cities which are fully incorporated into the local history. They aim to create a really catching story from the past and follow the historic facts during the game.

Enigmarium was the first to open a real life escape room in Ljubljana in September 2014 and five months later, they created the world’s first Escape Igloo® from real snow, which earned them the Snovalec 2015 Award for innovation in tourism.

Nataša Potočnik is the creative director and co-founder of Enigmarium and will tell us more about their designs and their approach to bring local history back to life.

What is the value of an Economic Interest Group for Escape Rooms?

In June 2016 Marko Maučec co-founded the Economic Interest Group: Association of Escape Room Activities of Slovenia. With their united appearance they have managed to make great steps forward by getting media attention, attracting more players, gaining the attention of Slovenian tourist organizations and eventually even lowering Escape Room’s VAT rate by changing their business categorization.

Come to Marko’s talk to learn more about the scene in Slovenia and how their Escape Rooms have started to organize themselves.

Mata Haggis & Harald Warmelink

What design choices can we make to enhance the team building experience of Escape rooms?

Escape rooms can reveal hidden sides of our players and test their teamwork. What design choices can we make to enhance this experience for them?

Students, teachers, and researchers from NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences have been collaborating with Tilburg University’s DAF Technology Lab to develop and test a mixed reality escape room aimed at team building and training. Harald Warmelink and Mata Haggis from NHTV will give the first public presentation of the results to the Up The Game conference.

Learn how escape rooms lead people have to exhibit leadership, communication, and management skills in ways that we can measure (you can use to promote your own spaces) and be the first to hear about the future directions of our research into escape room development.

Lisa & David Spira

The Perspective of the Player’s Experience

Created by an experience designer and a predictive data expert in 2014, RoomEscapeArtist.com publishes well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design and players tips.

Their mission is to share their love of letting strangers lock them inside giant puzzles, and to push the makers of those giant puzzles to create the best experiences they can.

Lisa is an onomastician who turned her lifelong obsession with names into a career as Director of Research and Product Development at Ethnic Technologies. Lisa holds a degree in linguistics from Syracuse University and works as a private baby name consultant.

David is a Product Strategist with Phase2 who strives for a deeper understanding how things work, and the ways people interact with their world. David holds degrees in communication and history from the University at Buffalo, and a masters in communication and information sciences from Rutgers.

Tomaž Kolar

Research on the visitors experience

In a session in which various researchers will present their findings. In his first study more than 1000 TripAdvisor reviews were analysed in order to explore what escape rooms so popular and top-rated tourist attraction in New York, Budapest and Ljubljana. Another study explored some key factors of group flow experiences. His findings provide important managerial implications that will be presented and discussed.

Tomaž Kolar is an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. His interests and research work are mainly focused on the consumer behavior and strategic marketing issues, examined within various service domains, such as leisure, tourism, play and sport. In particular, he is interested in experiential and managerial implications of contemporary phenomena, socio-cultural contexts and entrepreneurial practices. His bibliography encompasses numerous papers that were published in various marketing, tourism and management journals.

Practical Tips for Online Marketing

Mike is going to talk about pitfalls and opportunities when implementing the right marketing strategy and tactics for your escape room. You will learn very pragmatic tips which you can implement the day after Up The Game. From succesfull Facebook tactics to retention strategies to get people back to your location. He will use lots of examples and real life stories to make sure you will excel in escape room marketing.

Proud dad and founder of Online Marketing and Growth Hacking agency Online Boswachters. Active in online for more than 15 years and worked with hundreds of clients on improving online growth. Loves to experiment and likes to make use of his pseudo-attention deficit disorder as much as possible. He is also managing director of Escape Rooms Nederland. The biggest and most complete escape room platform of the Benelux which has almost 100.000 monthly visitors.

Game flow, organization and group dynamics: escape room as a team building tool

All of us are familiar with the excitement emerged after playing an escape room. But why? Which are the motivations, expectations and experiences of people during a game session?

Yari and his team tried to get a first answer by involving the department of Psychology of the University of Turin though an extensive study with the aim to support companies in the industry to spread real life gaming as an educative team building activity.

Yari Nardiello is an engineer with MBA who lived a couple of years in China. He left management roles to follow his passion to build immersive game experiences.

Yari together with Elisa Neri founded EN1GMA Entertainment with the mission to create and market real life experiences. EN1GMA runs La Casa degli Enigmi that was one of the first real life games in Italy and currently open in different cities.

Jasper Wille

Using Actors in Interactive Experiences

Jasper will elaborate on his method of training actors to become ‘Experience-Actors’, and how his actors are specifically trained to function within the confines of real-life games. Furthermore, he will explain what a trained ‘Experience-Actor’ is capable of bringing to your project in terms of interactivity, safety, narrative and game-design. Finally he will argue how creators of experiences can transform their way of thinking to include actors in their thought process to fully harness the potential that ‘Experience-Actors’ can add to the immersion of players and thus the success of your experience as a whole.

Jasper Wille has been training- and directing actors in- and outside the experiences of Real Life Gaming for over two years. He has been responsible for the casting, rehearsing and coordination of many live actors within the successful ‘Prison Escape: Rotterdam’ and their new production ‘Project Mayhem’. With his background in directing, writing and acting in classic theatre combined with his study in Interactive Performances and Games he developed a method of acting that has proven actors can be successfully trained and deployed as the main vessel of a narrative context, as well as an interactive game-element within your experience.

Philip Dasler

Only Game Control Thinks This is Funny: Puzzle Writing Lessons from the Puzzle Hunt Community

Escape rooms offer a level of interaction distinct from most other forms of entertainment. Rather than passively watching a character overcome obstacles, the players themselves must rise to the challenge. Well-crafted puzzles are central to player engagement, making good puzzle design integral to an escape room’s continued success.

The team at Locurio has a unique perspective that comes from our experience within the long-standing puzzle hunt community in the United States, known both for its puzzle complexity and for its highly-thematic yet grueling puzzle events. In this talk, Philip Dasler, Locurio co-founder and technology lead, will take you on a tour of this unique puzzling culture and what lessons can be learned from it. He’ll discuss how Locurio’s particular puzzle pedigree has helped (and hindered) their puzzle design process as they balance their games both for experienced puzzle aficionados and the casual player looking for a fun way to spend an hour with friends.

A boy wizard, a British super-spy and a renowned detective walk into a room: Intellectual property and escape rooms

A boy wizard, a British super-spy and a renowned detective walk into a room: Intellectual property and escape rooms.

Escape rooms often draw inspiration from existing media such as movies, literature or video games. However where do you draw the line between mere inspiration and outright copying? And do large corporate IP holders even care about escape rooms?

This session will cover the major types of intellectual property such as trademarks and copyright, and the implications for escape room owners.

Matt Lee is the lead game designer and co-founder of The Enigma Room in Sydney, Australia. In addition to the escape room Matt has also had almost a decade of experience working at IP Australia, the Australian government agency that administers registered intellectual property rights, where he runs workshops on various aspects of intellectual property protection and management. He has a Masters of Industrial Property from the University of Technology, Sydney, and has also previously worked in game journalism for local television show Good Game.

Set-Design, The Room Tells the Story

Set Design is particularly important if the room tells the story. Wilko will talk about how to design a theme based on a logline, from an idea to research and illustrations.


What do we see when we look at a set? How can we create objects that are priceless in reality or impossible to get. How to patinate? As small practical example how to patinate objects and how to imitate surfaces.

Wilko Drews is currently completing his Masters in Production Design at the Film University Babelsberg, and has specialised in Production Design and Set Design, as well as Exhibition and Theme-Design.  He has worked continuously with Steffen Heidenreich since commencing his Bachelor studies on various film projects, most recently on the RBB-Movie „Und ich so:äh“, which was awarded with a „Golden Lola“ in 2016.  In 2015 and 2016 Drews created the drafts, illustrations and construction plans for Production Designer Uli Hanisch for the film productions „Timm Thaler“(AT) and „Babylon Berlin“(AT)  Currently he is working on his third exhibition design for the Film Museum Potsdam.

We are the creators of new ways of thinking!

Designers, owners, creators, operators, game masters, enthusiasts and people interested in the escape room, treasure hunt, l.a.r.p. and other connected businesses are called to “up the game” to a whole new level and embrace the tremendous potential of developing minds through these formidable activities.

We use the games to share valuable knowledge in a fun way and expand inner wisdom. Through our work, we enrich the player’s’ experience (beyond fun & gamification) and remarkably improve their ways of communicating and relating to themselves, to others and to the world. We can consciously facilitate a life changing journey for self-development and self-actualization, and encourage players on this path. We are shaping positive perceptions and approaches by adding multiple complex layers of excitement and perspective for personal development and evolution.

Let’s add a new chapter to our already amazing stories, another color to our canvases and bring more overall value with our creations! We are shaping and changing ways of thinking.

Adrian is a life passionate human being. He’s an ex-corporate international manager, now entrepreneur in a multitude of companies that revolve around creating and facilitating great experiences through various unique concepts (always aimed towards the next level) and serving entrepreneurs to enter this great industry. He studied with top international minds human behavior and various personal development paths for the last decade, attending or organizing seminars and courses all over the world (reaching from ancient oriental traditional paths to latest scientific studies, being a certified trainer and coach). In everything, he is constantly searching for the silver lining of self-development and considers this industry one of the best ways to expand oneself. He is also very keen on creating strong teams via encouraging individuals to be themselves and challenge their best, while working together for a higher goal.

Sven Haeberlein

The next generation of Virtual Reality

Sven Haeberlein is one of the founder of exit-vr.de, a Berlin based Startup who are developing an Virtual Reality Life Adventure. This Live Adventure of a special kind allows you and your friends to share a 3D experience with extraordinary puzzles. You see, hear and move like you do in a Live Escape Room but go further behind the horizon of architecture capabilities.

Ken Ferguson

The Role of Blogs & Crawlers in the Escape Room Industry

Based in London, Ken escaped his first room back in 2013 and, after a short pause while the rest of the city caught up, has been playing ever since. He runs the London-focused review blog “The Logic Escapes Me” and the UK and Ireland news blog exitgames.co.uk, is a member of the UK Red Bull Mind Gamers Team and has played over 250 escape rooms in a variety of countries across Europe.

More speakers to be announced.


Get Connected

Meet hundreds of fellow innovators for the largest gathering of Escape Room Designers in the world!

Learn and Teach

Talks about the latest innovations in game & experience design and plenty of space to share your own experiences!

Get Immersed

Up The Game will take place at the most spectacular abandoned Prison of the Netherlands!

Play Games & Find Services

Enjoy curious experiences, play games and see what vendors of the industry have to offer!


As experience designer you know that special locations create special ideas. We are convinced that for Up The Game we found a special location that is perfect for the occasion. Constructed in 1886, the Prison Dome in Breda is a former panoptic prison and one of the most iconic monumental buildings of the country. It’s spacious central halls and numerous smaller spaces are excellent for large gatherings as well as more intimate encounters with your fellow creators.


Some tweets about the very first edition of Up The Game last year.


How can I get to the venue?

The map and Contact details are listed within the contact information. The event location is very close the the central station, it’s only a 10 minutes walk. After exiting the station on the front (Stationsplein) go left and go the first right onto the Meerten Verhoffstraat. Walk on until you go over the river and take the first left into the Sophiastraat. Follow this road until you reach the river again, UTG 2017 is on your right. You made it!

Is there an after party this year?

Yes! Last year we did not organize an official after party, but this we will host an after party in the center of Breda. The exact location will be announced soon. The price for the after party will be €5 and will include a free drink, an amazing time, friends for life and an optional hang-over the day after.

What payment types do you accept?

We offer payment by: iDeal (Dutch), Bank Contact (Belgium), GiroPay (German) Creditcard and PayPal.

Will there be a list of all the visitors on the website?

Yes! We will post an overview of the visitors, so you know who to meet!

I will arrive later on the day, is this a problem?

No, this is not a problem. We offer registration during the entire day.

Can I park my car at the event?

There is a parking garage next to the event location for visitors. The parking fee €2.10 per hour or €14 per day. The address of the parking garage is: Chasséveld, 4811 DH, Breda. We do offer limited parking spaces closer to the event location for exhibitors, speakers, suppliers and crew.

At what hotel can we stay during the event?

We recommend staying at the the Apollo Hotel in the centre of Breda. This hotel is conveniently located next to the trainstation and it’s a 10 minutes walk to the Up The Game venue. Please click on the following link to book a room with a special Up The Game discount: https://reservations.travelclick.com/97296?groupID=1770306

Can I store my personal belongings, jackets and luggage at the Event?

Yes, we offer lockers at the event upon entrance for personal belongings but also a wardrobe for jackets, backpacks, pink purses, luggage and exotic animals.

What are the closest airports?

Breda is conveniently located between 3 airport: Antwerp (BE), Rotterdam (NL) en Eindhoven (NL). There is also direct train connection from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. You can plan your journey by public transportation on the following website: 9292.nl/en


As a business owner in the escape room industry you want to focus on building experiences. You probably do not want to spent much time and energy in personnel administration. WePayPeople is an easy and affortable payrolling company that will take care of your payroll administration. No unpleasant surprises or hidden costs.



In 2015 Logic Locks & Real Life Gaming came together for a casual encounter. By then both teams had designed escape rooms as well as real life games and they realized that they shared the belief that those experience will heavily impact be the future of gaming. They enjoyed the exchange of ideas so much that it became clear that time was ripe to meet all the other designers out there and to come together to inspire each other and share ideas how to create the best possible experiences.




Nassausingel 26

4811 DG Breda

The Netherlands









If you have any questions about the event, please send us an email at info@upthegame.nl or fill out the form below.



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