The team behind Dark Realities is building the world's largest free-roaming, 4D, multiplayer, VR experience in the centre of Birmingham.
We’re using the latest in virtual reality and motion tracking technology to generate immersive and interactive experiences that you’ll never forget.
Make no mistake, this is a first. This is the world’s largest and it is true free-roaming. It will be limited to 1720 teams and then it will finish in Birmingham. Think escape rooms crossed with Crystal Maze but in virtual worlds where anything can, and probably will happen.
We are located in the centre of Birmingham, 5 mins walk from New Street Station and using 6000 square feet of fully customisable floor space to build fully immersive storylines with added 4D effects.
You’ll enter Dark Realities in teams of four and work together to solve puzzles whilst we test your nerve. It’ll be fun, it might be a little frightening, it will definitely be memorable.
Dark Realities is intended to be a scary experience that will be memorable for those brave enough to enter. Due to the nature of the story lines, the experience is only suitable for people aged 18 and over.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Virtual reality is fast becoming a mainstream thing. There is a need for creative and interactive experiences, to satisfy the demands of an ever more adventurous population. Don’t think of this as a game but as a challenge that will play with all your senses.
We’ve brought together the technology required to make this happen, we’re working with MSI and their fantastic VR One backpacks, Oculus headsets and the amazing Star-Tracker system by MO-SYS. Star Tracker is a game changing system that allows our free roaming experience, not only that but it allows us to build walls and doors and other interactive elements, setting us aside from any existing competition.
Through the application of all these technologies and our interactive and immersive content, Dark Realities is creating the next big thing in the experiential market.
Dark Realities is more than a ‘shoot’em up’. This is an experience where players interact with their surroundings in a meaningful way. You can touch, feel and manipulate what you can see in virtual reality.
OUR FIRST STORYLINE “MIRROR” IS WAITING
14 years ago, the most brutal mass killing in the UK took place. A single mad man armed with shards of glass from a broken mirror stabbed and killed 20 people in a block of luxury apartments before slitting his own throat. All reports from the time say he was screaming about "the darkness in the mirror".
8 years ago, Robert Marshall, a successful property developer purchased the abandoned apartment complex, intending to rebuild it and wipe away the past.
A year later, Robert and his family moved into the show apartment, as a publicity stunt to demonstrate how the building's history doesn't matter. That night, Danny Marshall, Robert's 7-year-old son disappeared from his room. The mirror in his bedroom had been smashed; the spread of glass looked like it was smashed from behind. No other evidence was found, and his disappearance has remained a mystery.
Since that day, nobody has lived in, or dared to even enter the building. Robert Marshall has dismantled his property empire to fund the search for his son and has become convinced that something came from the mirror; something dark that took him.
On the 7-year anniversary of his son's disappearance the now reclusive property developer has made a public statement. A desperate call has been made to anyone who will aid him in rescuing his son. Robert has found a way to send a group into the darkness and has opened the challenge to anyone brave enough to take it. Are you brave enough?
WHAT WE STILL NEED TO DO
Having run a successful demo day in November, we’ve set out on the Kickstarter path to raise the required capital to make this happen. Although we have two potential investors waiting in the wings we believe that selling some of our tickets would offer us the revenue we require to fully deliver the project.
On reaching our Kickstarter goal, we will be able to fund the full and final software build and invest in the VR equipment required. The 'in-game' footage that is visible in our video clips is not footage of the actual experience, but a temporary world created specifically to test the efficacy of the technology. The site is already ours and in build progress, all we have to do there is complete the theatrical set to match the virtual footage. A period of testing will be required prior to our estimated launch in the end of March.
“All I can say is wow!” - virtual reality newbies and Twitter competition winners Ashley and Suzanne from local company Digi-Vu
“The most innovative VR experience I've tried yet!” - from local blogger ‘Geeky Brummie’ and Brum radio host Ryan Parish
“Touching spaces in the VR world that have physical items to represent them was fantastic! An extra dimension added to my expectations. I'm not the typical gamer or vr obsessed person, so to find being able to see through spaces that had walls in the real world was crazy as was touching "trees". Can't wait to see what the full experience is like! Get supporting this great event and buy your tickets asap! More more!" - from Brum Radio's Dave Massey.
We've come to Kickstarter in order to pre-sell tickets. Ticket sales will enable the project to succeed without additional capital investment. There are 6720 tickets available which means 1780 teams can take part. By securing your tickets through Kickstarter, you'll guarantee entry to Dark Realities.
We aim to be open and operational towards the end of March 2018 but we want to bring you a polished and brilliant experience, so bookings will only be opened close to the actual operational dates. We will notify all contributors when bookings open with a direct link to the system and a unique access code.
Contributors will then be able to book their hour-long experience from the available time slots.
Dark Realities will open in Birmingham with ‘MIRROR’ in Q1/Q2 2018. Our aspirations are to follow closely with venues in the South and the North West. Q3/Q4. An additional venue in Scotland would be pursued in Q1 2019. We currently have plans for 4 additional storylines across all 4 proposed venues. We are also building a franchise model to offer the experience to other interested organisations.
Risks and challenges
The Dark Realities team have set out a risk management strategy that endeavours to minimise any risk before it impacts the project. There are inevitably issues faced and we believe in transparent business practices. Potential issues include:
We have spent over 6 months building relationships with our technology partners and have successfully passed the first round of testing. We now have to replicate this an additional 24 times to ensure all systems work reliably. Issues could arise during this testing phase which might delay the project. In this event we will inform all contributors with regular updates and progress reports.
We are currently working with freelance developers to enable this project. A successful Kickstarter will enable us to bring these developers inhouse. Current timescales are tight for environment production and could slip due to using shared resources.
Lack of Kickstarter support
Dark Realities have spent a great deal off time on social media and marketing; however, this project is an all or nothing deal, should we not meet our goal we will need to look at selling advance tickets outside of this format. We already have the tech in place to do this however it could also impact the planned launch date.
As stated earlier, there are a couple of interested investors looking at our project; however with investment comes share offerings. Although we’d welcome this support these deals take time and again the delivery date could push back.