Introducing Chatfield Penitentiary


Frighten and Delight your customers

Chatfield Penitentiary is Escape VR's first high-throughput VR experience. Themed for the upcoming holiday season, Escape VR has created a 1-3 minute walking experience to be used alongside amusement and facility entertainment. The total system is highly portable and built to maximize revenue and promote social proof. Contact us for details on how you can integrate Chatfield Penitentiary into your business today!

Virtual Reality: The Future for Entrepreneurs

wandering VR

If you're a keen entrepreneur, chances are you've spent plenty of time thinking about virtual reality. Is it worth investing in? Is it here to stay? How much will it really change the way businesses communicate with their customers?

We believe that every entrepreneur should be using VR to attract customers, market themselves and drive innovation. Read on for three key insights into how VR could help your startup innovate, grow and succeed.

It Attracts Millennials

If you want to sell to millennials, staying on the cutting edge of technology is essential. A startup which utilizes the newest communication channels stands out a mile from those that don't. Research has shown that teens, tweens and millennials are the most interested in VR, particularly in a gaming context. So, if your startup has anything to do with gaming or entertainment, adopting VR is a great way to attract young consumers.

It's the Future

Remember when people thought apps were just a passing fad? Now almost every successful company has one, and it's the same with virtual reality. VR is not just a flash in the pan -- it's a whole new platform that every startup should be using. The total number of active VR users is forecast to reach 171 million by 2018, and if you're not using VR you're missing out on a valuable segment of the market.

VR is not just for gaming companies. Using VR as a marketing and communications tool opens up a world of opportunity for businesses in every sector. Many successful companies are getting creative with VR marketing. Game of Thrones created an interactive 'Climb the Wall' experience to launch their new season, The New York Times uses VR for digital storytelling and TOMS communicate their brand mission using VR.

There are so many possibilities around VR marketing that it's something you need to discuss with your startup advisor.

It's Improving All the Time

Not convinced that VR is worth investing in yet? It's understandable to be wary of a technology that still seems fairly niche, but all that's set to change. A new technology called 'inside-out tracking' is set to make VR much more affordable and accessible to consumers, with no need for external equipment or dedicated VR areas. The quality of VR experiences is also improving all the time, with YouTube's VR video quality update just one example.

While you might not see VR in every home, dedicated VR facilities will be popping up all over the place, offering unique experiences consumers can't get anywhere else. Developments in warehouse-scale VR will create truly interactive experiences, unlike anything consumers have seen before -- think multi-player zombie shooters, survival games and more.

Before long, everyone will be using VR -- make sure your business is ready. If you're not sure how to use VR in your business, we at Escape VR are happy to share our insights with you and show how you can keep on the cutting edge of innovation.

The wonderful process of inspecting, configurating, packing and shipping

The process of preparing the first units to go to our customers started a few weeks ago, when we underwent an extensive configuration and testing of our first units that were to be shipped. It was a pretty tedious experience, but one that is necessary to ensure the utmost quality with our products.

 Escape VR Vive Headset

Escape VR Vive Headset

 Escape VR Vive Box

Escape VR Vive Box

After we were done making sure everything was proper and working, it was time to package everything up. This was actually a challenge as these units require pretty big boxes and tons of padding. Our computing rigs were set up in a way where the interior looks extremely clean, but as a result there is a lot of empty space. We needed to add wrap to the inside of the cases to keep everything in place during shipping, as well as adding lots of padding to the exterior of the case.

 Boxes ready to be shipped

Boxes ready to be shipped

Ultimately everything worked out, and all the products were soon on their way!



Live Gameplay: First Impressions

After getting everything set up, we were finally able to test Geist Manor: Playtime in front of real consumers to see how they liked it. The reactions were great and we couldn't ask for more! But enough chit-chat, I compiled a short video of the first two consumers who got to experience the game.

Seems like they had a blast! Well.. if they weren't too scared =)

Hopefully we'll be able to get more great footage as we get more players in to try it out. Thanks to the participants for letting us film their great reactions!

Use VR in your Facilities

Virtual Reality is really grabbing hold of the public’s attention. While still in it’s infancy, VR offers limitless possibilities for both the user and for your business. Escape Games Canada has a vision to leverage space in your facility into a dynamic, playable experience for your customers using cutting edge virtual reality technology from our partners at Escape VR. To be clear, we are not suggesting integrating VR into your escape experiences, rather creating an all-new kind of attraction where customers can spend a few minutes exploring amazing and exotic locations in a virtual space without leaving the safety of your facility.

 Spectators watch a player experience VR at Escape Games Canada

Spectators watch a player experience VR at Escape Games Canada

Imagine introducing a ten-minute attraction that allows customers to engage with your product, boosts revenue and takes up no more than a mere ten-foot-square footprint. The game is called Geist Manor; a collaboration between the innovative game designers at Escape Games Canada and the trailblazing programmers at Escape VR; it is a partnership that celebrates both companies love for immersion, dynamic and engaging gameplay as well as games that adhere to the principles of game theory. Our mission was to create a single-player experience that replicates all of the thrills and excitement of a real life escape game. 

Escape VR is committed to blurring the lines between game and reality, making immersion their number one priority. Design takes precedence to allow for a complete and realistic experience. Escape VR brought their talent to the designers at Escape Games Canada to create a truly seamless experience. As programmer Simon Chu observed, “when people are solving a problem, it immerses them into VR even more” and the effect is undeniable. Testing has shown that customers are enraptured by the experience; they are rewarded by the challenges of solving an escape single headedly, while being drawn into the intensity of the realistic environment. 

Escape VR’s first game is Geist Manor, a haunt-themed escape that has programmed using the HTC Vive. It is one of the most sophisticated VR systems available and allows players to immerse themselves fully while providing customization to each person’s particular needs. Viewfinders and horizon points can be customized as can the band width of the helmet, ensuring everyone gets to fully escape into the program and block out reality. While it is being manufactured for home use, what Escape VR and Escape Games Canada are offering is a unique, proprietary product licensed for use in your public facility. Using this cutting edge technology, we are creating games that are easy to pick up and play and take no more than a few minutes each. This unique feature is an immediate drive in sales and call to action for your customers. No longer will they sit waiting for their game to become available, when they can engage in a unique escape experience. For more information or a quote, contact Escape VR or Escape Games Canada.

Our Debut!

After working vigorously and with help from our friends over at Escape Games Canada, we were able to make our debut on the red carpet (literally) at Chicago's Room Escape Conference.

We have been working on the demo version of Geist Manor: Playtime for about two months (that's a full two months including nights and weekends) so that we would have a nearly finished product in time for the conference.

At first we were a bit nervous, but before we knew it people were lining up in droves to check out what we think was a pretty unique product on the show floor. The response was overwhelming. Almost everyone was amazed, and for many it was either their first or best VR experience.

 People starting to sign up!

People starting to sign up!

Even though we were on the floor demoing for five to six hours straight, I was pretty much energized every time somebody had a great response to the game. Since the demo was horror based, it was actually quite the commotion whenever people were truly immersed and scared enough to shriek at the top of their lungs.

Despite all the work and thought we put into the game, there were still some kinks. Luckily the computer we brought to demo was also the development computer, so we were actually able to use people's feedback and play data to make changes in the game between days. The game was actually getting better as more people played them. This is one of the advantages that I do think we'll have in the long run. The way people interact with virtual reality is still something being researched and studied. For us to have complete control over the setup, machinery, and the data that comes with it, let's us completely optimize the entire experience for each one of our games.

So even though we were having tons of fun watching reactions, we were also working and answering loads of questions. I think for the next few conferences we attend, I'll be bringing some help so I can actually look at the other booths because they all seemed pretty interesting.