MEET THE TEAM – SIMON
“Meet the Team” is our chance to let you get to know the team behind our games. Simon our creative director, trained as a set and costume designer and besides designing our games and game environments, works and lectures in theatre, film and TV design.
We asked Simon what led him to become one of our game designers:
SIMON BASKETTER – Creative Director
A passion for immersive theatre and years working on commercial experience design have had a real influence upon my professional work. Designing for museums, entertainment facilities and visitor experiences opened my eyes to new possibilities outside theatre and film design, but I didn’t find a creative outlet to bring all that experience together until now.
I love puzzles, quizzes, mysteries and interactive, immersive games – they’ve all played a big part in my down-time with friends and family. The big revelation came several years back when I lost a whole Christmas holiday to Myst. From then on I’ve been looking for a way to bring those games to life for everyone, a way to make the screen come to life. I’ve always wanted to visit that island for real, to play that game in the real world.
2014-15 proved to be a turning point. Two separate experiences coalesced into a new direction for me: Punchdrunk’s production of The Drowned Man, a major interactive theatrical experience, opened my eyes to theatre that is experienced at the audience’s own pace, following their own narrative. The other was my first “escape room” experience. I’d never enjoyed an hour so much and felt it flash past so fast. It brought together the theatrical and gaming experiences I was looking for – I couldn’t get it out of my head. That’s when the lights came on. That first escape room was a revelation, finally bringing my love of quizzes, mysteries and puzzles together with the darker, quirkier side of history. I knew what I wanted to do next and History Mystery came along at the right moment.
Creating Archived Alive was a fabulous process – it just appeared to flow. Creating fun and intrigue was challenging but immensely enjoyable. It was truly terrifying testing it with real players: was it going to be fun; would it work? Well, you’ll have to be the judges of that. Body of Evidence was even more fun, creating props, puzzle boxes, videos and soundscapes to add to the complexity of the narrative and gameplay. Key to both was making sure they were games that I’d want to play, and that’s the only down side – I can’t play my own games! I have to play vicariously through the teams who take part – seeing their reviews and watching them test the games is fantastic.
I genuinely can’t wait for the next game to open. It always feels like Christmas.
Want to ask me a question? Then contact me at email@example.com