New concessions klaxon!

New concessions klaxon!

We've updated our concessions list to include: Students, 16 and Under, Emergency Services, Education, Carers and Social Workers, and Military. Check out this blog to find out more.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Twitter Competition: Win a pair of tickets to Citydash in London!

Twitter Competition: Win a pair of tickets to Citydash in London!

We are offering a pair of free tickets for you and a friend to take part in any of our Citydash games currently listed for London. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is go to our Twitter page. follow us, and RT the competition tweet pinned to our profile. Once we reach 1200 followers, a winner will be chosen at random.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Aldgate: gateway to fun in London's East End!

Aldgate: gateway to fun in London's East End!

Citydash is in the shadow of the Gherkin this April, and you can play our new Aldgate Zone each weekend. Players will be running, hiding, and finding checkpoints around the streets with the guards in hot pursuit. If you come to play and want to make a day of it, there are plenty of other things in the area for you and your team to do – in fact, it’s a great place to hang out!


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Could the Agents of B.I.(R.D.) have spied on Donald Trump?

Could the Agents of B.I.(R.D.) have spied on Donald Trump?

An espionage agency known as British Intelligence (Reconnaissance Division) have been suspected of involvement in international drama, following claims they may have spied on Donald Trump on behalf of GCHQ.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Games and Dating, Or Concrete Proof I am a Nerd

My mom always insists that having activities and games are an essential part of any party or gathering. I think she is right. My partner and I recently went on an ordinary dinner date and we instantly regretted it. 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Proud Supporters of Headway

It's great when you can use fun and games to benefit a good cause, especially at Christmas. In December 2016, we ran an extended seasonal version of Citydash around Bankside. Players followed cryptic clues to round up stolen gift tags while being chased by angry Santas. Clue hunters could be seen running scared from jingling bells around the Southbank, and occasionally feeding carrots to Rudolf outside the Tate Modern. It was a lot of fun, and we were proud to use its success to help a cause we think is important: we donated a percentage of the profits to Headway, a charity that works to improve life after brain injury.

Headway's work is very close to our hearts, as our founder, Gwyn Morfey, explains:

‘Our friend and colleague suffered a severe cardiac event in October 2015 which left him with life-changing brain injuries. Doug's been with us since almost the very beginning, the easy-going kiwi with the impressive beard, dry humour, and reputation for outwitting and manoeuvring players in elaborate cat-and-mouse games.

Brain injury is something that none of us had thought about at all. We didn't really have a concept of it. It's been savagely hard on Doug's family, his friends, and Doug himself.

Headway is the charity that supports brain injury survivors and their loved ones - supporting them through the Christmas games is our way of saying "Hey, mate. We haven't forgotten you. We miss you and we hope you're doing okay.”’

If you would like to find out more about the work of Headway, or you would like to donate, then visit their excellent website.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Amy and Gwyn Play Raiders of Adelaide

Amy Strike reports from Adelaide, where she played one of her creations re-imagined.

As a game designer, I make the games that I would like to play, and am then unable to play them because I know where the lions and lockets are hidden.

This week I got a really unusual opportunity to play my own game. We have been running Raiders of the Lost Archive for nine months in London. We’ve had 1000 players come through and seek the lost treasure. Recently, Fire Hazard Australia began to build their own version of the Raiders game, and our visit to Adelaide coincided with one of the first of the new Raiders games at the State Library of Australia.

I should point out now that I had not looked at any of the clues in advance. I had visited the State Library once, two years before, heavily jetlagged to the point where I had the sensation that the portraits were looking at me disapprovingly. 

The moment we arrived, we were greeted by Professor Coffinberry, one of our most loved characters. The Professor is an enthusiastic leader of the Wingback Society, who loves brandy almost as much as her fellow explorers and has a keen eye for the mysterious, the arcane, and a comfy chair by the fire. In Adelaide, the Professor has been reinvented, overwhelmed with joy at our arrival, he was sporting a fancy waistcoat and a keen excitement for the adventure ahead.

We were joined by a large group, some of whom had attempted Fire Hazard Australia missions before. We took up our map and tried to familiarise ourselves with the layout of the library. It was fascinating to realise how difficult it is to get to grips with a new space. Having spent the better part of a month wandering the halls of the Victoria and Albert museum before our game began, I’d forgotten how alien a museum layout can be if you’ve never visited before.

The Professor set us our mission and launched us off. We immediately stalked away in the wrong direction, and took precious moments to right ourselves. 

The clues ranged from the relaxed to the fiendish, with plenty of exclamations of “it’s right there, by your knee!” and “That’s the wrong way up!”  We noticed a team of players carefully counting steps across the floor at one point...and later found out why. I met a skeleton, Gwyn cracked codes. Finally, with two minutes left on the clock, we decided to try to get to one last clue...and missed the floor completely, heading up into the attic of the building, and coming back down, only to miss the answer by a few seconds. One of the most important parts of any scavenger hunt; know which floor you are on.

Ultimately, we won the game, but the clues were challenging, and we were neck and neck with Team Madam Butterfly throughout the game, making for an exciting, pacey ninety minutes.

Coffinberry and Rackharrow were waiting to greet us on our return, and thanks to the combined efforts of the group, the lost treasure was located. We were gifted with some ancient gold coins, which were much appreciated. Although the game is played at walking speed, after ninety minutes of fast thinking with the minutes ticking away, we were in need of the sugar.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Playing With Fire

From watching horror films to taking on the monsters of Shadow Over Southwark, a surprising amount of people are testing their limits and deliberately choosing activities that scare them. What is it about taking risks and trying something a little bit dangerous that appeals to us so much? 

If you’re a Londoner, chances are you spend a lot of your working week in front of a computer screen, sat at a desk. Thinking of creative solutions can become a struggle when you’re chained to a keyboard. Arguably, immersive experiences and real-life games challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and find new solutions, often in tense, time-sensitive situations. 

In fact, in a school in East Sussex, Headteacher Mike Fairclough believes exposing students to risk is beneficial to education, helping children build confidence and learn to think on their feet. Facing the unexpected in a controlled environment means they’ll be better equipped when life eventually throws something at them that is out of the ordinary. And it appears to be working. 

So it’s not too far a leap to see why adults, too, are choosing to push themselves, and live out an action film or video game plot for an hour or two in the middle of Central London on a weekend afternoon. And there are lots to choose from: survival experiences inspired by Bear Grylls, escape rooms that test your intellect and nerve, zombie days for Walking Dead enthusiasts and city-wide chases and scavenger hunts.  

Fire Hazard players come from all walks of life, but for the duration of the game, they become spies, or treasure hunters, or speed freaks and clue crackers. Triggering a fight-or-flight reaction can be a welcome change to the everyday, and our players often end up picking up skills that will help them next time you're puzzling something over back at their desks. 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Ready, Player One (or Two, or Three...)?

The question we probably get asked the most at Fire Hazard HQ is: how many people can I have in a team? Luckily, whether you’ve got 20 friends who want to do something new and fun this Saturday, or you’re hoping to go solo, there’s a Fire Hazard game that suits. We think gaming is for everyone, and that’s been at the core of the design process for each of our games. 

Best for… Solo agents or dastardly duos

Undercover, our immersive spy experience, is the best game for solo players or teams of two. Unlike our other games, to excel at Undercover you’ll have to be really subtle and blend in, and if there are 7 of you in a team, you’re going to stand out for miles around. Try Undercover if you’re looking for a really different date idea, or book a ticket just for you if you’d like to dip your toes into the world of immersive gaming without a crew. 

Best for… the Famous Five (or Four)

For smaller, perfectly formed groups, Raiders of the Lost Archive is the best fit of all our games. Raiders combines the smarts of Undercover with the adventure of Citydash, but you’ll be hunting for clues through the V&A, so a slightly smaller group means you won’t get lost, or left behind, and there’ll be no need to run or yell across the museum - behaviour that is completely off limits!

Best for… GIANT GROUPS

To be honest, Citydash is good for any size of group - we often get solo players rocking up, who join forces to become the ultimate Citydashing team, like in the Power Rangers when they all morph into a big dinosaur robot. However, you need lots of people on your side if you’re going to win Citydash - you need someone on look-out, someone with a map, a few of you gripping phones and cracking clues, and all of you working together. And we’re quite flexible with Citydash, so if there’s a bunch of you, you can compete against each other in teams for the ultimate showdown

To let you into a little secret, if you’ve got a big group, we can also organise a bespoke game for you based on our current games, or inspired by TV and film - Sherlock, unsurprisingly, has been popular recently. It’s a bit different than the usual office party! Just let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll see what we can build for you.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

3 Decidedly Not-Terrible Resolutions for 2017

It’s January, it’s 2017, and this year has got to be better than last year, surely?! Presumably you’ve kicked off the year by cobbling together a list of goals that are either very vague or very specific, and by now, you’re already working out which you’ll abandon first. 

However, here are three Fire Hazard-approved New Year’s Resolutions that we promise you won’t regret making. They’re not necessarily easy, but they’re definitely achievable. 

#1 - Meet new people

Why is this so hard? People are EVERYWHERE. But talking to them, and making new friends, is absurdly difficult. If you’re in London, you can’t just start chatting to someone on the Victoria line, can you? One of the best ways to make some new connections is to go to an event, club or activity. Chances are, everyone will be in the same boat, and will actually welcome an impromptu conversation attempt. Which brings us neatly to…

#2 - Try something new

Amalgamate your goals. If there’s something you’d like to do, do it now. Don’t put it off any longer. Take a friend for support if you need to, but you’ll definitely make some new ones. Book a class, learn a skill, go to a new place.

#3 - Don’t be scared of fitness

You’ll notice we’ve not said “do more exercise!” Setting a goal like that is already making exercise into something scary and annoying, when it really doesn’t have to be. No, really. And we don’t mean it in that equally intimidating glowy gym fanatic way. Movement should be fun, not a chore. Dance more. Run more. Even just walk more! If your new activity seems like it might involve a little more fitness than you’re used to, don’t fret. 

It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so if you make it to February, the rest of the year will be a breeze but don’t panic if not, because every month has more than 21 days in it, and you’ve got almost 12 of those this year, so keep at it.

 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

MISSION COMPLETE: Undercover Twitter 1K Followers Competition

The British Intelligence (Reconnaissance Division) needs you!

1K FOLLOWERS REACHED.

PRIZE DRAW NOW CLOSED.

WINNERS NOTIFIED.

This January, we are offering 3 pairs of free tickets for you and a friend to take part in our London-based spy game: Undercover. To be in with a chance of winning, you must demonstrate your surveillance skills by following a mark and hitting a target. The mark is our Twitter account: @FireHazardGames. The target is 1000 followers. Follow us or retweet our competition tweets to enter. Once we reach 1000 followers, a winner will be chosen at random.

Good luck, agents!

Terms and Conditions

The Fire Hazard Twitter competition is open only to residents of the United Kingdom.

Entrants must follow the Fire Hazard Twitter account @FireHazardGames and retweet a Fire Hazard competition Tweet.

Only one entry per person will be accepted.

Entries for the competition must be via Twitter only.

The competition will end when the Fire Hazard Twitter account reaches 1000 followers.

Winners will be selected randomly after the competition has ended.

Winners will be notified of their win via Twitter. Winners must respond within 24 hours of notification. If they fail to respond within this time, they will lose the tickets and a new winner will be drawn at random.

There will be three winners in total.

Each winner will receive a pair of tickets valid for an Undercover game. Tickets must be redeemed within three months, and can only be claimed via the Fire Hazard website - www.fire-hazard.net.

Tickets are only to be used for Undercover and cannot be exchanged for any of our other games or for cash.

Fire Hazard reserves the right to cancel or modify the competition and its terms and conditions at any time.

This promotional activity is in no way organised, endorsed or associated with Twitter.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Experience This

It’s late December, so marks of the festive season are unavoidable, from Christmas lights strung up in windows along most streets to Santa merchandise stuffing the shelves of shops. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have created a Christmas spreadsheet in November, but I appreciate that most of you aren’t like me. In fact, I’m definitely in the minority there. We’ve even designated the last Saturday before Christmas as Panic Saturday, after all, because so many of us rush out then to buy stuff.

It’s tempting to panic buy like a maniac. But forget dropping some cash on a hastily selected box of chocolates or candle. Does your cousin/friend/sister really want that? Spend the time, not the money. If you’ve got the skills or the inclination, make something: cake, a knitted hat, a puzzle, even a voucher for a favour to be claimed sometime during 2017.

Even better, plan an experience that your gift-ee will remember past the first of January.  It seems like the tide is turning from a preference for possessions, to a desire to try new things, and experience something. Pound for pound, dinner and a gig with your best friend is probably going to cost the same as a pair of trainers, but the good feelings of the former are winning out over the tangibility of the latter.

What’s prompted this shift? It’s not as simple as the nation just deciding they’re sort of over consumerism. For one thing, most of us work long hours, so planning and then doing something really out of the ordinary prolongs the excitement of the activity, and is the perfect antidote for those extra shifts. Plus, experiences just keep getting better and better. You can eat all around the world on your average high street, and you can bowl, dance, climb some stuff and try out hot yoga. Games are getting bigger and better, and expanding to be interesting and challenging for everyone. You can get locked in a room and use your brains to escape. You can go to a piece of theatre that changes nightly, depending on the audience and the location. Exciting things are happening, and people want to go out and do them.

This seems like a good time to casually mention that you can now get Fire Hazard gift certificates, valid for all our games… A pretty good solution if you’re panic buying, or sorted everything out months ago but want to try something completely new.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

The Undercover Hall of Fame

Regardless of whether you prefer Connery or Craig, forget about the fictional feats of James Bond. Here are 5 real life spies to inspire you to slip under the radar and become a master of deception - skills that will serve you well in our immersive game, Undercover. 

Sidney Reilly – 1873 - 1925

Sidney Reilly is rumoured to be one of the many real spies who served as the archetype for Bond- not least because he was an absolute ladies’ man. Nicknamed the Ace of Spies, his biggest mission was an attempt to overthrow Lenin in 1918, by infiltrating and working alongside the Latvian guards at the Kremlin. The details of his other exploits remain clouded in mystery, which is next level spy skill! 

Virginia Hall – 1906 – 1982

Amongst aliases such as Artemis, Diane and Nicolas, American spy Virginia Hall appeared on the Gestapo most wanted list as the Limping Lady; in 1932 she accidentally shot her own foot, and undeterred, she used the prosthetic leg to transport secret documents. It even had its own code name: Cuthbert. She was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Allies, managing drop zones for supplies, finding safe houses and even training guerrilla forces to support her until a larger army could join her, delivering vital information throughout the Second World War. Unsurprisingly, she was awarded the MBE for her incredible efforts. 

Melita Norwood – 1912 – 2005

British civil servant and Communist, Melita Norwood spilt state secrets to Soviet spy network, the NKVD. She worked at the British Non‑Ferrous Metals Research Association, and was able to report on the atomic bomb project in Britain. After racking up almost four decades of espionage undetected, and living a relatively normal life for many years, Melita gave one of the most incredible statements upon being discovered, aged 87: “Oh dear, I thought I had gotten away with it.” 

Roald Dahl – 1916 – 1990

Yes, the beloved children’s author dabbled in the fraught world of covert intelligence before penning classics like Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Dahl worked as a Royal Air Force pilot during World War Two, and squeezed in some work for the British Security Coordination (BSC) on the side, promoting UK interests in the U.S.A and blocking Nazi propaganda. He was apparently a terrible gossip, so his undercover career as was very short lived!

Shi Pei Pu – 1938 – 2009

The story of Shi Pei Pu is so incredible, it inspired an award-winning play – M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. Shi Pei Pu posed as a female opera singer and conducted a passionate affair with Bernard Boursicot, a French diplomat based in China, in order to obtain confidential documents for the Chinese Communist Party. The affair lasted for 20 years, and Pu even produced a child to keep the deception alive. Boursicot delivered over 500 documents to his spy lover, leading to them both being arrested in 1983, and convicted in 1986. However, they each only served one year of their sentences, as both France and China were keen to lessen tensions and the impact of the bizarre story.  

Think you can cut it as a covert agent? Put your money where your mouth is and try the ultimate test. Undercover gives you the chance to intercept messages, deliver secrets and unmask rival spies in a two-hour immersive game experience in Central London and Adelaide, Australia. Find out more and book your tickets here. 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Decision Time

Many hands make heavy work.

For big decisions, like hiring, it's worth involving as many people as we can and taking as much time as we need. For those, we have to optimise. But for a lot of others, we should be satisficing instead - the most important thing is that we make a decision that's not obviously stupid, and we make it right now.  

So here's how we do it:

0) Setup. We're probably in the context of a Quest, which means that we have a Guide already appointed. Otherwise we pick one (usually Gwyn or Amy if available). 

1) Introduction. The Guide defines the problem to be solved, and defines the maximum amount of time available to solve it. "What are we doing with Shadow scheduling? We can potentially extend, or add another season, or both, or neither. We have until 12:50". 

2) Discussion. The Guide keeps this moving. If other discussions come up ("wait, are we extending Undercover as well?"), the Guide makes the decision to Switch ("Right, this is urgent, we're switching to dealing with this weekend's Undercover") or Queue ("We'll resolve Shadow, then talk about Undercover"). The guide tries to terminate the discussion early as soon as it looks like there might be consensus, possibly using Fist Of Five.

3A) Consensus. Everyone agrees, or the people who disagree agree to be overruled ("I think you're probably wrong, but I'm not sure enough to make an issue of it").

3B) Tiebreaker; time has expired and there is no consensus. Gwyn puts the CEO hat on (this is an actual hat). Each side restates their position and reasoning. The CEO makes an instant decision. Discussion of this issue ends until we have new data (which, if the CEO decided wrongly, might be quite soon). 

4) Document. The Guide writes down the decision and the reasons (so that, when we've forgotten, we don't have to repeat this process).

 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

How We Audition

Though both need actors, immersive games are very different to theatre. In auditions, we're evaluating people on three axes:

a) Character Fit

We have a sense of the character in our heads already. For example, in Shadow Over Southwark, Lord Mayhew's brief is:

"Genuine action hero. Decisive, capable, charismatic, and fearless. The kind of person you'd follow into battle. Proxy for the players.

Ideally 35+, tall, muscular. Any gender.

Mayhew loves London and all the people of London - rich, poor, and in between -  and s/he will defend them to the death. He’s Henry V rallying the troops (he knows it too, he will happily quote some Shakespeare), total Alpha, can wither someone from a distance with a stare. He is a protector and will put everyone ahead of himself, but will sacrifice a friend for the greater good. He once faced off a whale in the Arctic circle, huddled with a pride of lions during a cold night in Kenya, and has a lover in every Borough because he also possesses Bond-like charm. He needs, nay, deserves, a catchphrase. Will flirt with all players."

Can this actor realistically portray this character, both physically and in terms of personality?

b) Skill

Regardless of the particular role, is this actor skilled? Can they project, speak clearly, move well, respond to direction, and handle improvisation?

c) Professionalism

Can we rely on this person? Do they arrive on time (or tell us if they can't), know their lines (or tell us if they don't), and work well with the often-stressed stage manager? Do they remember details? Can they handle the pressure?


Where we're different to theatre is that we will absolutely sacrifice (A) in order to get (C) and (B). The most important thing about an immersive game is this: it has to work. Being out in the real world with players who have genuine agency already introduces so much uncertainty into the system that there's no room for any more. We are building a relatively small, tight, trusted crew of people who can handle anything that we throw at them, and that goes for our actors as well as our infrastructure team.

In our general hiring, we start with a Job Spec like everyone else - but once we find amazing people, we absolutely mutate the spec to fit what they can, and want, to do. The same goes for actors - we find first-rate people and build roles around them. 

And if that means we have to rewrite the script, so be it.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Magic Process Dust

[A followup to Squishy Human Fails At Task]

Once you get the team used to "people don't fail, processes fail", you're still only halfway there.

The next thing that happens, with the best will in the world, is that people report failures and add the sentence "we'll change the process so that this doesn't happen again", as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card.

But it's not a card. It's a rock hammer. Process change is the tool, but you still have to do the work.

And, like in debugging code, if you don't know why something failed, you yet don't know why its replacement will also fail - but you're doomed to find out. 

So, though it might seem that I'm being unnecessarily precise, even finicky, I'm actually just trying to get the answers to four questions:

1) What was the old process?
2) Was it followed? (If not, what makes us think that the new process will be?)
3) In what way did it fail?
4) How does this new process address that way?

Anything else is just Magic Process Dust.


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!

Self-Destruct Sequence Activated

How do you get people out of the office?

I'm sure it happens at other companies too. Everyone agrees it's time to go home but nobody is actually walking out the door. Little unclosed loops keep popping up - "oh, before we go, what about ... ?" or "I have a great idea! We should make a ... "

It's all great stuff but we need to be gone. All of this stuff can wait until tomorrow. It'll be just as exciting then and nobody will be late for dinner.

Yesterday I tried something new: I thumped an invisible Big Red Button on the wall and announced: "I have just activated the office self-destruct system. Anyone still here in thirty seconds will be blown to bits. Thirty. Twenty-nine. Twenty-eight. ..."

I kept the countdown going, and it worked. We all made it out, windows closed, lights off, door locked and into the corridor with eight seconds to go.

I'm now seriously thinking about building an actual Big Red Button that does exactly this. Might be useful for lunchtime, too.

 

 


Hey there, we're Fire Hazard!

We make high-energy games in the real world, because life should be exciting. Anyone can play. If you're looking for an adventure, come to one of our games!