Grand Tour

 
 

My first commercial game created during a 9 month sabbatical. I was responsible to create the game mechanic, games and puzzles for more 2700 ambitious players for a one-day event that took place in the area between Halle and Wittenberg. This cultural and historical landscape provides such diverse playgrounds as the Dessauer Bauhaus, the Wörlitzer Gartenreich, which represents a milestone of physical virtuality, and the Wittenberg Castle church door to which Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses. Within the 8 months production time, I designed cooperative game mechanisms with more than 170 location-specific challenges. The game was made for groups of players that were moving through that area by foot, bicycle, busses and train.


Particular interesting aspects of event games are the fixed deadline and the complex and unforeseeable relations between the event and its environment. Unlike most software projects, events cannot be moved in time, except for the most extraordinary circumstances. Then there is a myriad of ways things can go wrong despite impeccable planning and project management. Playing on public and private ground involves tedious legal, political and economic issues. During a live event, issues like traffic, weather and non-players may interfere with the mechanism, and the number of participants in an event like this makes a full rehearsal impossible.


I believe that every game presents unique challenges for the designer, and this is what makes designing games so exciting. During the project I was working with a large number of artists, designers and other creatives to create props, costumes, interactions, signs, printed material and a computer system to tally the results. The Grand Tour was a great success and laid the foundation for my game design practice.

Large scale outdoor event game / 8 large playgrounds within a 120 square kilometer area / 2700+ participants / 170+ fun & challenging location-specific tasks & puzzles /
Cooperative gameplay

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