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Expositor Features Article on BGNlab's Game Jam 

The BGNlab's Game Jam event was the focus of an article in the Brantford Expositor this Sunday, January 10th.

The article, titled "Puzzle makers get their game on", emphasized the rich educational opportunities that the BreakoutEDU game boxes provided the players during the Game Jam event. It applauded the BGNlab for participating in this international event which connected game designers from countries such as Japan, Guatemala, and France in order to create games which solve real world problems.

Game Development and Game Design students Robert Durant, Chris Tenata, Nick LaNave, and Toyin Oteri were featured in the article as one of the Game Jam teams. Abby Goodrum, professor of Digital Media, was also a team member. In their interview with the Expositor, the team highlighted the importance of playtesting games. LaNave is quoted to have said "This is like practicing an instrument, the more you do, the more you learn".

The Game Jam was a great success for the Game Design and Game Development program at Laurier Brantford. This article shows that Brantford has taken notice of the work our students do for the community. Our program aims to continue to partner with local citizens and businesses in order to make the world a better - and more fun - place to be.

Full article by Susan Gamble:


Joining in on the BreakoutEDU Game Jam

January 9-10 is the BreakoutEDU Game Jam where people will make puzzle games for classrooms in 2 days.

Want to join us?  There are several ways!

If you are in Brantford, learn more about the Brantford site and sign up for the Brantford jam here.  Please note - while families are welcome to come, we will ask that those that are underage work on a team with responsible family members.

There are several sites around the world open to others. If you want to join, contact the people below:

Liberty North High school  - Liberty/St. Lawrence, Missouri, North America -
ARientation Japan - Kyoto, Japan -
Escape Quest - Nampa, Idaho, North America -
Maker Space - Leeds, West Yorkshire, England -
San Jose State University - San Jose, California - 
Guatemala - Commercial location (game store/escape room) -
The Crux Escape Room - Hamilton, Ontario - 

We also have private sites registered in Oregon, Michigan, New Jersey, and France!

If you want to host your own site, which can just be you at home, sign up to register as a site here so I can send you more videos and guides for the day!

We will be livestreaming our day on Twitch!

Support for this event is provided by the Laurier Brantford Grants Program, made possible by donations to Wilfrid Laurier University.



BreakoutEDU game jam Jan 9-10

Time to make an escape game for classrooms!

We are hosting a BreakoutEDU game jam on January 9-10.   We will be hosting a local version of this in Brantford, but you can host your own site as well!  More information is at our Facebook group at




If you are thinking about hosting a site, here's a video I made with suggestions as to how to do so:

We will be providing guidance and videos on what you need to do.  


Are you going to host a site (which can just be you at your house)?  Learn how to host a site at and then Sign up here:



If you want to join us in-person at Brantford, learn more at and please sign up here:   

Please note - while families are welcome to come to Brantford, we will ask that those that are underage work on a team with responsible family members.


Grand Opening article from the Expositor & Keeping Up

There was a nice article in the Brantford Expositor about the grand opening of the BGNlab.

If you would like to know about our upcoming public events, there are a few ways to do so:

1 - You can keep up with this page at

2 - You can Like our Facebook space at

3 - You can Follow our Twitter account at

4 - You can subscribe to our e-mail list via

We will be posting event info to all of these places, so you only need to follow one.



Ontario Escape Room Unconference 2015

On October 26, 2015 we ran the world's first Escape Room Unconference, which brought together 60 escape room owners, designers, and enthusiasts to Toronto, Ontario to talk about escapes! 

The conference chair was Dr. Scott Nicholson, the director of the Brantford Games Network lab and WLU Brantford professor. The venue was provided by the Transmedia Zone, led by Dr. Richard Lachman, Director of the Transmedia Zone/Transmedia Research Centre and an Associate Professor, Digital Media in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University. The evening social event was hosted by Riddle Room, an escape room facility and board game cafe in downtown Toronto. 

Unconferences are different than traditional conferences, as the topics are generated by the participants, and the day is then a series of discussions  There are no formal speakers, as the experts are the attendees.  It is a day of sharing information, asking questions, and building networks.

One of the things that is exciting about the Escape Room community is that, unlike most of gaming, there is significant female representation in both designers and players.  



The first step in the day is coming up with topics.  Attendees were asked to propose topics of interest, which got people up and engaging right away.

Dr. Nicholson then worked to put similar topics together and place them into the schedule grid in order to create the topics for the day.

Here are the topics in textual form:


Session 1

Topic 1: future of escape rooms

Topic 2: children in escape rooms

Topic 3:physical puzzles

Topic 4: escape games on a large scale

Session 2

Topic 1: puzzle design

Topic 2: advertising and marketing

Topic 3: pricing and associations

Topic 4: replayability

Session 3

Topic 1: storytelling and narrative

Topic 2: apps and software

Topic 3: durability and set design

Topic 4: beta testing

Session 4

Topic 1: devices and electronics

Topic 2: effective hint providing

Topic 3:what do you wish you had known?

Topic 4: room designs that reset themselves



The sessions were not recorded, as these were not formal or prepared presentations.  Instead, these were discussions around the topics, and if they were being recorded, that would create a barrier to people being as open with their questions and stories.  There was great demand for video of the event from the Escape Room community, but small group informa discussions are not appropriate for that type of content creation.



Groups were asked to develop three points from the session and to record notes in a shared Google document from the sessions.  Some groups followed this request, while others did not.   

The google document with information from the day, which is still being updated, can be found at

At the end of the day, there was a small activity exploring what a full Escape Room Conference might look like, with considerable interest in exploring Niagara Falls as a venue.

Afterwards, we went to Riddle Room where people played escape rooms and continued the discussion for a few hours before escaping back home!

Attendees seemed engaged throughout the day.  One attendee commented that the day just flew by, as the pace kept people moving from discussion to discussion.  For a nacent field, the unconference is a great model, as there aren't established speakers that people will travel to see.