May 9th, 2017
The International Escape Room Conference
Breda, The Netherlands
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.
Since joining Punchdrunk in 2011, Steph has worked in both a creative and producorial capacity. She has assisted in the creation of live and digital experiences, and has developed several new production concepts for the company. Steph currently manages the Punchdrunk Research & Development Programme, focusing on exploring and testing new theatrical concepts and forms.
Punchdrunk is widely considered the most influential 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 & 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.
Earlier in 2017, Red Bull hosted the Escape Room World Championships. Professor Scott Nicholson led a team of students to create the first design document for this event over the summer of 2016, and had to balance the needs of many stakeholders – those behind the Mind Gamers movie, the developers overseas who would build it, the TV people who needed to film it, the viewers at home, and the competitors. Join Dr. Nicholson as he talks through challenges and lessons learned from this multi-stakeholder design process.
Scott Nicholson is the Director of the Game Design and Development Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He started the famous Escape Room Enthusiasts Group on Facebook and conducted the first extensive Research about Escape Rooms and a great paper about Environmental Storytelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design. Scott has become the leading expert in Escape Rooms & Life-Action Experiences. Recently he published another paper about Environmental Storytelling and Consistency in Escape Room Design, which functions as a guideline for beginning designers and introduces a new model to categorize generations of escape rooms.
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. This immersive escape room experience in London is on the top of the lists of many veteran ER players. Nick 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.
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.
Besides his blogging and reviewing Ken Ferguson has been generous with his accumulated knowledge becoming a popular and dependable source of expert advice for starting and established escape room owners alike. There is no doubt he has impacted and shaped the UK escape room scene for the better by doing so and we are happy to have him at Up The Game to share his knowledge with an international audience.
Interested in how we can extend our Escape Room knowledge and skills as well as the values of learning through play and gamification “out of the room”?
After opening Ljubljana’s first escape room in 2014, Nataša and her team at Enigmarium® have created over 15 original games in the Alpe-Adria region, including the world’s first Escape Igloo®, escape games fully incorporated into local history, a walking tour “escape” adventure, a gamified exhibit at the Slovenian Alpine Museum and gamification of a genuine medieval castle in Svetvinčenat, Croatia.
Nataša Potočnik, creative director and co-founder of Enigmarium®, will tell us about the Slovenian-based company’s “thinking out of the room” approach to bring local history back to life – not just in escape rooms, but beyond – and about how they design unforgettable experiences. She opens the questions: Where else can this gaming approach take us? How can it enhance our lives, our businesses and our cities?
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.
Escape rooms can reveal hidden sides of the players and test their teamworking skills. 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 encourage people to exhibit leadership, communication, and management skills in ways that we can measure which you can use to promote your own experiences. Be the first to hear about the future directions of their research into developing team building skills in escape rooms.
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. REA has become a fixture in the US scene and has helped countless escape rooms and players get the best experiences they can.
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.
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.
Mike van Hoenselaar is going to talk about pitfalls and opportunities when implementing the right marketing strategy for your escape room. You will learn very pragmatic tips which you can implement the day after Up The Game. From successful 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.
A Proud dad and founder of Online Marketing and Growth Hacking agency Online Boswachters, Mike has been active in online marketing for more than 15 years. During this period he has worked with hundreds of clients on improving and growing their online presence. He 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.
All of us are familiar with the excitement after emerging from an escape room. But why? What 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 through an extensive study with the aim of supporting companies in the industry to use 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 run escape rooms in a number of cities there.
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 experience ‘Project Mayhem’. Using his background in directing, writing and acting in classic theater, 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.
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 and good puzzle design integral to an escape room’s continued success.
The team at Locurio has a unique perspective that comes from their 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 for both the experienced puzzle aficionados and the casual players looking for a fun way to spend an hour.
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 a story. Wilko will talk about how to design a themed room based on a logline, from an idea to research and illustrations. He will give you examples from his design work on the “THE ROOM” Escape Game “The Lost Treasure of Alexander von Humboldt”.
He will also talk about some do-it-yourself tips: 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? A small practical example how to imitate surfaces.
Wilko Drews is currently completing his Masters in Production Design at the Film University Babelsberg, and has specialized in Production Design and Set Design, as well as Exhibition- and Theme-Design. He has worked continuously with film director 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 the German film award „Goldene Lola“ in 2016. In 2015 and 2016 Drews created illustrations and construction plans for Production Designer Uli Hanisch for the feature film production „Timm Thaler“ and the upcoming sky-series „Babylon Berlin“.
Adrian Bacanu would like to call upon all the designers, owners, creators, operators, game masters, enthusiasts and people interested in escape rooms, treasure hunts, LARP and other real-life games at ‘Up The Game’ to explore the tremendous potential of developing minds through these formidable experiences. In his own words:
‘We use the games to share valuable knowledge in a fun way and expand our 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 passionate human being. He’s an ex-corporate international manager become 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 human behavior with top international minds and various personal development paths for the last decade, attending or organizing seminars and courses all over the world. This varied from ancient oriental traditional paths to the latest scientific studies becoming 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 while ex[anding their capabilities and working together towards a higher goal.
Sven Haeberlein is one of the founders of exit-vr.de, a Berlin based Startup who are developing a Virtual Reality Live Adventure. This unique Live Adventure allows you and your friends to share a 3D experience with extraordinary puzzles. You see, hear and move like you do in a traditional Escape Room but surpass the limits imposed by it’s real-life architecture.
Suddenly, many creators are looking for ways to bring the magic of escape games to the living room. Wasn’t the whole point to be locked up in an unfamiliar space?
Ruud Kool designed several escape rooms and other real-life games, in the Netherlands and abroad. Before that, he worked on many board- and card games. This year he’s releasing Puzzelpost: the file of an old missing-persons case, to be studied and solved at your own kitchen table.
He is not alone: the last year has seen numerous releases of ‘escape’ board games, escape-rooms-in-a-box, detective subscription boxes and mysterious packages. In his talk, Ruud addresses this new, vaguely defined market. Should escape room owners consider offering their own at-home mysteries? What are some interesting design restrictions, and what is lost in the translation? How do you go about pricing a product you can really only use once?
Ruud presents input he got from other creators, to discuss if this could be the next big thing.
Meet hundreds of fellow innovators for the largest gathering of Escape Room Designers in the world!
Talks about the latest innovations in game & experience design and plenty of space to share your own experiences!
Up The Game will take place at the most spectacular abandoned Prison of the Netherlands!
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.
We are proud to present our sponsor for Up The Game 2017!
WePayPeople is a Dutch company that offers payrolling solutions. More escape rooms are turning into real businesses and are faced with decisions regarding staffing, payrolling and administration. What kind of contract do you offer your staff? And how do you handle contracts when business is booming and when it’s more quiet? Looking into this takes a lot of time and effort, that you cannot spend on making your business grow.
WePayPeople offers an easy, economical and effective solution to arrange staffing challenges. As the legal employer of your staff, they enable you to pursue pure entrepeneurship. Communicating the hours of your staff is all that remains for you. Through an online platform and personal services both you and your staff are always up to date. Being one of the standing and certified professional employer organizations in the Netherlands, we are proud and happy to have WePayPeople on board.
Questions about staffing challenges? Or do you have a specific problem you would like their help with? Don’t hesitate to contact WePayPeople. Please have a look at their website for more information. And feel welcome to visit their booth at the Up The Game 2017 conference.
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!
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.
We offer payment by: iDeal (Dutch), Bank Contact (Belgium), GiroPay (German) Creditcard and PayPal.
Yes! We will post an overview of the visitors, so you know who to meet!
No, this is not a problem. We offer registration during the entire day.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
4811 DG Breda