I don’t even know anymore.

We were pretty deep into construction over here this week, so not a lot of dramatic progress to discuss. The 3 major machines that facilitate most of the puzzles are being built, the UIs and associated programmatic functionality for the machines are being created, and we are in the process of filming for the pre-show and post-show video elements.

A project of this size has been challenging to accomplish in the course of only 15-ish weeks. Work that seems like it should only take a day or two has ended up taking a week or longer, and there isn’t any possibility of pushing deadlines back. This means , for better or for worse, that a large portion of the work will be happening over these last couple of weeks as we race towards the finish line and our test-run in Cleveland.

As the team works around the clock, we’ve been fortunate to have been put in touch with Lori Kipp, an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering and who has agreed to help us with designs and fabrication for our robot character. We talked with Lori extensively about the role the robot plays in the story and the personality we’re trying to express. Lori’s designs perfectly encapsulate what we were imagining for our friendly, helper robot would look like.

Meanwhile, work is progressing steadily on the pre-show and post-show videos that play before and after the experience. Aside from the robot, these videos play the key roles in establishing the world of the experience as well as the tone. To that end, we created this really fun t-shirt that’s worn by our story’s villain, the tech billionaire Silas Flux.

Finally, we’ll have the opportunity to test some of our puzzles with local Pittsburgh residents at the the biannual ETC Playtest Day. We’ll be testing to see how potential experience guests would respond to the UI we’re creating for one of the machines, as well as how they’d go about constructing a diroama that synthesizes the information they learn from the puzzles.

Next week, we’ll report back with those results and hopefully be able to share some exciting images of the full experience coming together!