Archive for November, 2010

LaserMaxx for Children Aged 4 and Higher

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 | Permalink

laserfun.nl

Attraction for young and older children
Laserfun is an exciting game for both children and adults. It is the highlight of children’s visits to an indoor playground or family entertainment center. The futuristic game combines fun and safety for young and old. This makes it the perfect attraction for celebrating a child’s birthday party. Recommended age group: 4 – 99.

The game
Laserfun is played by teams or individual players, shooting laser beams at eachother from laser guns. Each player wears a lightweight vest covered with electronic sensors that detect when it is hit by a laser. The microprocessor in the vest controls the player’s powers. Players win points by hitting opponents with their laser beam, and so contribute to the overall score of their team. Teams are recognized by the color of the lights on the vest.

Advanced games
For children age 8 and up, advanced play options make Laserfun even more exciting! They can get extra powers during the game. For example rapid fire, invisibility, and invulnerability. Mines are placed in the maze and can either deactivate a player or give him extra powers.

Scores
After the game is over, each player receives a scorecard. The players are ranked with the best player being number one. The scorecard shows exactly how many times a player was hit and by who. It also shows the team scores, highscores, etcetera. Even the accuracy of the shots for each player is given. Large LCD score screens can show the game scores in the bar area.

Two sizes: Junior and Senior
Laserfun vests are made in two sizes: Junior and Senior. Junior vests are specially designed to fit children aged 4 – 12, but they also fit adults comfortably. Senior vests are designed for adults and children aged 9 and higher. Both types of vests can be used within the same game, making it possible for parents to play Laserfun together with their children.

LaserMaxx technology
Laserfun vests are made with LaserMaxx technology. LaserMaxx is the largest European brand of lasertag system, and is well-known for its durability and excellent service department.

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VIDEO: LaserMaxxx Introduces the EVO-5

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 | Permalink

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3D/4D Theatre : theHouse, the first-ever 5D interactive haunted house, has opened its doors in Branson, Missouri

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 | Permalink

Source:  blooloop.com

Situated in Branson, Missouri (the ‘Show-Me State’), the Castle of Chaos has opened its doors in a new building next to the Hollywood Wax Museum on the ‘Strip’. For 50 years, Branson has been a major tourist and cultural city in the center of the U.S. with more than 100 shows and attractions that pull in over six million visitors each year.

“The attraction developed by Alterface is notable for its novelty and for being so ambitious,” says Kuvera Attractions Partner Tej Sundher. “The merging of an interactive game in a haunted house, with genuine video film and 3D images, special effects, animatronics and the rotating platform is a unique achievement. All our visitors are highly impressed. The opinions we gathered from the first visitors in an exit satisfaction survey make it clear. They love it!”

An experience full of emotions

Immersed in the story of Carli Winepeg, who mysteriously disappeared with her whole team in a medieval castle during shooting of a horror movie in the 1920s in Belgium, the players face surprise after surprise. It all starts in the room’s entrance, which is completely decorated, dimly lit and misty. Once in their themed seats, the players are welcomed by the voice of Stan Kablowski – who shipped the castle to the U.S. The eccentric old billionaire, who is obsessed with Carli, has a mission for them. Discover the origin of the strange things happening there and make them stop! But the mistress of the house quickly takes control of the situation, throwing the intrepid players into a furious battle for control of the castle.

In total darkness, the impressive rotating platform leads visitors from one screen to another. The 3D images, all in high definition and back-projected, create the illusion that new rooms are opening in front of the players and that the zombies and other creatures are about to enter the room. Some actually do: flies buzz around the room, a dog leaps through a door, bats emerge from the ceiling, a body bound in chains writhes around on a wall, statues start to mutate, and so on.

The seats themselves are packed with effects. They vibrate, bend, and tickle people’s heels and necks. Out of the walls and ceiling come lightning, rain and wind from the storm that is rumbling outside. Foul smells are released when the frightful face of Carli appears in the dark, some three meters (nine feet) high. In the final scene, the cursed actress chases the intruders away by destroying the castle!

An interactive game

Armed with a revolver, visitors take part in the story and can see the impacts of their shots on screen. Insects crawling on the ground explode, candle flames flicker, parts of the decor wobble, and ghosts are freed from the urns that have held them prisoner. Each target hit scores points for the players. When the adventure is over, everyone can see their own score displayed next to their photo! The highest scorers are highlighted in 3D. But this is not the only time players can see themselves on screen. During the show, zombies take photos of the room and these appear enlarged on screen. At that very moment, a trail of blood covers the screen and water is squirted on the players… Emotions run high, for sure! And there are other emotions to be experienced, which are just as impressive.

A new kind of attraction

“The market for haunted houses is huge in the United States and not only over the Halloween period. Thousands of attractions are based on this theme,” says Benoît Cornet, CEO of Alterface. “With theHouse, Alterface sets a new standard in this sector by introducing its recognized and proven interactive technology. In a single room with just limited floor space, it’s now possible to create a whole world of games and thrills for theme parks and entertainment centers.”

Based on the same content, theHouse is also available as a Drak Ride, cart-based or even as a pedestrian walk through Dark Ride thanks to Alterface’s exclusive lightweight and compact Wireless technology.

Key features:

– Surface area of less than 200 square meters (2,150 sq.ft);
– Up to 300 players/hour;
– High-definition 3D images back-projected;
– 10 special effects in the room and on the seats;
– 11 loudspeakers and 9 amplifiers, to create a genuine three-dimensional soundtrack too;
– Music composed by a pianist, to accompany the projection of silent films shown at the famous Cinematek in Brussels;
– The very latest Projectiondesign projectors;
– A platform with a circumference of 8 meters (26 ft), turned by 10 motors, weighing 8 tons (17,637 lb) and able to move at up to 15 revolutions/minute.
– An official site is now online: http://castleofchaosbranson.com
– The video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhKTSgrwo-A
– Film shoot that involved top professionals in the sector from Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, assembled in a real medieval castle in Thy-le-Château in Belgium

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Scare Attractions: Halloween Goes Global

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 | Permalink

Trick or Treating is as American as apple pie but the origins of Halloween lie in the Pagan festival of Samhain, the Celtic New Year *. In ancient Ireland Samhain was celebrated with tribal assemblies, meetings, games, feasting and brawling. The death of the old year and rebirth of the new was a time when the veils between the worlds were thought to be thin, the lack of clarity between the worlds allowing the supernatural to spill over into the everyday. Christian tradition absorbed this old Pagan celebration and renamed it Hallows Eve, being the day before All Saints (Hallows) Day, and it was subsequently taken to the US by Irish immigrants. Halloween has since developed into a multi-million dollar industry, there are over 1200 commercial scare attractions in the US, but the rest of the world has been slow to join the party. Blooloop takes a look at the way scare attractions are going global in the UK and Asia.

Horror in Taiwan

The growth of the middle classes in Asia is expected to fuel a boom in demand for world class attractions: Asia is forecast to comprise 43% of worldwide consumption by 2030. Little wonder that scare attractions are set to be big business in Asia. The new $3,000,000 “Horrorwood Haunted Theater” opened at Janfusun Fancy World, Taiwan, this June. Produced by Mirage Entertainment, the attraction has been designed to resemble an abandoned theatre and draws inspiration from both American and Asian horror movies. (See Themed Entertainment: Horrorwood Scares ‘em Silly at Janfusun with Mirage Entertainment. )

Brad Billington, C.E.O./Co-Founder Mirage Entertainment, Inc. describes the creative process for the attraction: “From the start, we wanted this haunted house to be a truly world class one and not just Asian copy of the US attraction. The client listened to us and supported the idea of a world class multimedia haunted house but also adding the Asian elements.” Technical elements include “multimedia and the latest technology available such as RFID facial capture and projection system, mechanical and pneumatic effects synchronized with the pre-recorded video and audio presentation, 4D simulation theater chairs, etc.”

Although this is a new experience for the park, visitor reaction’s have been positive, says Billington, “The audience loved the new experience and the park had their best summer attendance in 20 years. The Haunted House opened from 10 a.m. to midnight in the summer and every day around 5,000 visitors came“.

Mirage found project managing in Taiwan a positive experience: “ Taiwan as a whole is very much global region. American installers have very few problems working effectively and efficiently with the local partners. In our case, we also hired Hong Kong installers working on the set pieces so people speaking with 3 different languages are working within the same space and with respect to each other and in good spirit. The whole project was completed smoothly within 2 and half month from the contract signing to the grand opening”.

Billington sees huge potential for scare attractions in the region: “Asia is definitely the place to go for new attractions and specially for Haunted Attractions. In comparison with other permanent attractions such as rides, Haunted Houses cost much less but can generate same amount of attention and revenue. Mirage has done quite a few Haunted attraction in the theme parks in Asian and we are aiming to produce even larger scale and even mobile Haunted attractions in the near future”.

UK Frights

With the success of Harry Potter and the Twilight books and films, as well as the reality show Most Haunted, there has been a huge surge in interest in the supernatural and spooky in the UK across all age groups. Walmart’s acquisition of Asda has brought their Halloween range of goods into UK supermarkets and now trick or treating is widespread across the UK. Asda’s sales of pumpkins have rocketed from 20,000 in 2004 to 1 million in 2008 and Halloween now represents the largest commercial holiday spend outside Christmas in the UK with 90% of households participating.

Jason Karl and Paul Howse, co founders of AtmosFEAR! (see www.atmosfearuk.com), specialists in location based scare entertainment production, come from a theatre and TV background. Howse, the Technical Producer, provides a wealth of technical experience and Karl, probably best known for his work in presenting TV ghost hunt, Most Haunted, is Creative Producer. Having worked together in the US and seen the enormous potential for scare attractions, Paul and Jason decided to bring the genre back to the UK before someone else beat them to it. Since then they have sown the seeds of a potential scare empire.

AtmosFEAR! is celebrating its 10th year and offers a full range of services for scare attractions, from consultancy to delivery of a complete scare attraction including branding, marketing, websites and video. Over the last decade they have produced scare entertainment solutions for a variety of clients including Walt Disney Pictures and Merlin Entertainments. AtmosFEAR! also featured in business guru Duncan Bannatyne’s tourist attraction TV makeover show Duncan Bannatyne’s Seaside Rescue in which the task was to re-imagineer a tired and failing seaside waxworks museum in Cornwall into a brand new interactive tourist attraction which would appeal to a new audience while staying true to its core theme of Cornish myths and legends. Buccaneer Bay and sister attraction The Sunken Village of the DAMNED use the location’s history together with a strong plot line and a team of actors to create a complementary pair of attractions to cater to all age groups.

In 2008 AtmosFEAR! became a scare attraction operator. Attendance figures at Scare Kingdom Scream Park in the North West of England have grown spectacularly: in 2009 visitors were 400% up on 2008, and by mid October 2010 attendance was 250% up on the previous year.

However, Karl is not content with consulting, producing and operating, and has set up a magazine (Scareworld Magazine), a record label (Sinister Symphonies) and even a TV station (Scare-E TV) to stretch the boundaries of the UK market. In addition he is looking to create scare experiences for Christmas and Easter in order to extend the scaring season.

What makes a great scare attraction for the UK market? Karl has some definite ideas: “US attractions tend to present unconnected scenes rather than a narrative, and make extensive use of animatronics”. Most UK theme parks now have a Halloween themed event but there are pitfalls in trying to copy a US formula. “UK visitors have an expectation of a story with a narrative that has a beginning, middle and end,” says Karl, “something that is beyond being just scary; cohesive storytelling that can be dissected”.

AtmosFEAR! try to immerse the visitor on every level in an interactive theatrical experience. Every sense is specifically targeted by using lighting, textures, scents and sounds to create the environment, overlaid with a carefully crafted narrative and great attention to the actors verbal delivery. The overall effect is to make the visitor feel like they are in a film.

There is no magic formula for scaring says Karl. AtmosFEAR! employ a psychologist to review their scare plans to make sure that they have included enough different styles of fright to catch everyone. Karl believes that keeping the same tone in the experience, or repeating the same kind of scare dulls the effect and therefore it is more effective to keep the narrative varied: “we also include humour and try to make the experience like an emotional rollercoaster”.

So what does a seasoned veteran of the scare industry find frightening? Karl doesn’t miss a beat: “spiders”.

*Source: Jane Alexander – author of The Mind Body Spirit Miscellany (Duncan Baird)

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