Escape from the Tokushima! Ideum conceptualizes a new, spooky form of immersive experience

Visitors are the characters in Ideum’s story-driven, scaled-up spin on the popular escape room format.

Escape from the <em>Tokushima</em>! Ideum conceptualizes a new, spooky form of immersive experience
An exterior camera view of the deep-space mining craft, the USMA Tokushima.

by Joe Donovan, Senior Exhibit Designer October 31st, 2020

For what is undeniably a most unconventional Halloween season, we, the nerds of Ideum's Creative Services department, decided it was a suitable time to conceive of an immersive experience that would be similarly unconventional, a blue-sky, just-for-fun idea that applies our love for technology's ability to tell a story in thoroughly unorthodox ways.

As we do with all our work, we started with a story—but this time, the visitors and guests would themselves be the characters, driving the narrative with their problem-solving abilities, cooperation, wits, and, ultimately, their ability to keep cool under pressure. Visitors would be put into a physical environment designed to feel entirely real, and would be presented with a simple overall objective: escape with their lives.

Our concept eventually evolved into a grand conglomeration of various forms of immersive experiences that we all love here at Ideum: from participatory museum exhibits, escape rooms, theme park dark rides, haunted houses, role-playing games, all the way to flight simulators. Visitors would engage with technology that is entirely diegetic to the fictional world in which their adventure takes place: a futuristic space station on the verge of collapse. They must actively participate in actions they have seen time and time again in sci-fi films... but here, they must actually perform those actions themselves: restarting critical systems, observing instrumentation, re-establishing control, hacking into the ship’s computers, and ultimately escaping a looming threat.

This format also provides advantages in a post-COVID experience industry: limited throughput, where groups of 6 arrange their experience through a reservation system, and a controlled environment that can be sanitized between player groups during game reset. Even though this concept remains purely blue-sky, we are excited at the innovative thrills and chills such a format offers. So without further adieu, Ideum presents... Escape from the Tokushima!

PDF Link: Ideum_Escape-from-the-Tokushima_Concept.pdf