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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so my first post, (seen some great stuff on here so far). I'm planning a quite ambitious high fantasy inspired dungeon (rather than a dedicated 'haunt though could be ramped up in intensity for different ages) as a live action adventure game for children primarily 7/12 years. Think classic D&D style, where the kids solve puzzles and fight goblins with safe foam weapons, similar to a Larp game, gaining extra skills and treasure/magic items as they progress and meet interesting and entertaining npc's. I would ideally like to have an indoor modular set up (hopefully on several floors in a warehouse type facility to provide depth and vertical play), that can be rearranged and redecorated to provide different adventures without too much hassle, comprising of stoneworked corridors, rooms and caves, interspersed with some wider open areas with some special terrain pieces like swamps, evil forests, and some interactive special effects etc

I've seen plenty of tutorials with fake foam walls and such, but i'm worried these wont hold up to the rigours of being bashed about a bit. I assume though that being just for children some of the foam hardeners or some spray on quickcrete would suffice.

Some primary questions I have would be;
How to make the corridors and rooms seem 'enclosed' with a ceiling that wasn't just a sheet of something on top, and perhaps get them arched or vaulted a little to provide a more 3d experience?
How would I go about making arched dungeon doors that work and can be also moved about in a modular manner?
How would one create more interesting curved sections rather than everything being at 90 degrees that can still link up to other sections without throwing everything off kilter?
How easy are 'secret' hidden doors or sliding bookshelves (classic trope I know) to make? What would be the best way of lighting these sections so the still provide a safe level of vision without unnecessary reams of wiring? (kids will have safe glowing torches/lanterns/wizards staffs etc anyway)
What is the best way of providing a sturdy link between modular sections?
Have you got any cool ideas of how to decorate the place with interesting prop items and any ideas of non-complex interactive sfx?
and of course 'What are the best money saving and safe ways to do this?

As an aside some of my inspiration thus far has come from films like Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, LotR, Hobbit, Disney, Harry Potter, D&D , Warhammer, Grimm's Fairytales, Knightmare etc

Apologies for my rambling incoherence but I hope you get the gist of this preliminary idea! If I have forgotten something important please ask me some questions. :)
 

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Evil Wizard
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Why, yes, I will be subscribing to this thread . . .

;)

I've always wanted to do something similar. Can't wait to see what you do with this theme.
 

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If people are likely to be banging it I wouldn't do foam I would go vacuform.

I recently got a bunch of this stuff used and it is amazing. using a heat gun you can even shape it.
http://www.hauntedprops.com/Vacuform-Wall-Panels-Halloween-Props-s/73.htm

there are cheaper alternatives though and if your planning on allot of it probably better to go with someone like this. it seems as soon as you add the word Halloween to the product it doubles in price. http://storefront.vacuformstore.com/catalog/zen-cart-v1.3.7-full-fileset-12302006/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=46&zenid=9b45e12c8a1947e3834a7ec4a7e5e6d6



Some primary questions I have would be;
How to make the corridors and rooms seem 'enclosed' with a ceiling that wasn't just a sheet of something on top, and perhaps get them arched or vaulted a little to provide a more 3d experience?
some type of panel on top. at one pro haunt I went to they had framed in small sections of camo-netting and made celling panels out of it.


How would I go about making arched dungeon doors that work and can be also moved about in a modular manner?
as for modularity I would build wall sections that can be re-ordered and just bolt or screw together. Research theatrical flats for ideas there. You don't have to use fabric on the frame I used the above vacuform on mine for my dungeon on Halloween and they worked great.

How would one create more interesting curved sections rather than everything being at 90 degrees that can still link up to other sections without throwing everything off kilter?
vacuform and heat gun should work well for making corner sections


What is the best way of providing a sturdy link between modular sections?
I braced all my panels using steel studs leftover from a shed I bought.

Have you got any cool ideas of how to decorate the place with interesting prop items and any ideas of non-complex interactive sfx?
and of course 'What are the best money saving and safe ways to do this?
watch craigslist! setup a rss feed on your computer for various types of props and just the word Halloween. I recommend feed demon. Do a search for something on craigslist then click the rss icon on the bottom of the search results copy the URL into feed demon and your done. it will now alert you whenever someone lists something your interested in.
 

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What is your end-game? Is this a Halloween only event or are you trying to build a year around maned attraction? Do you plan on charging admission? The old adage - If you build it and they will come - is true for most Halloween displays. So, how many kids can you run threw this in an hour? Will you use volunteers or paid helpers to run it?

You also need to consider your budget very carefully. Not to be a Debbie downer but it always cost far more that you expect (I know this one from experience!). You will also need to calculate insurance in the mix. The bigger and more interactive the display the more liable you are.

I cant wait to see what you come up with. It sounds like a fun display.
 

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Prop Master
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What is your end-game? Is this a Halloween only event or are you trying to build a year around maned attraction? Do you plan on charging admission? The old adage - If you build it and they will come - is true for most Halloween displays. So, how many kids can you run threw this in an hour? Will you use volunteers or paid helpers to run it?

You also need to consider your budget very carefully. Not to be a Debbie downer but it always cost far more that you expect (I know this one from experience!). You will also need to calculate insurance in the mix. The bigger and more interactive the display the more liable you are.

I cant wait to see what you come up with. It sounds like a fun display.
Your right, i was a pro haunt for 2 seasons and it kinda sucks the fun out of it. Budget and insurance will be your greatest enemies. what ever you have planned to spend at least triple it and with all the interaction that your planning be prepared for the insurance to be pricey. my advice is try a demo version of this as a home haunt for next year and if it works out for you start planning to move to the pro's, and if it doesn't work out at least you don't really lose anything.
 
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