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SNAP model for immersive escape room design

At Up the Game, an escape room conference at the Netherlands, I ran a game jam for escape room design where we created escape game concepts for a museum.   To help the jammers, I created a new model for immersive escape room design that I'm calling SNAP (Setting, Narrative, Activities, Puzzles).

I'm working on a proper scholarly article where I'm developing the model fully, but I wanted to share the PDF handout that I created for the workshop, which gets to the heart of the model.


Game of the Year Fair on April 4, 4-6pm

Want to see the best student-created games from the year? 

Join us for our annual Game of the Year Fair!   This will be on April 4th from 4-6pm at the BGNlab.  It will be a chance to try out some of the best games to change the world that our students have created.  All are welcome!

Other upcoming events include:
Free Play Friday:   3-6pm March 31
GameTalk, where you’ll hear from students who did design work last summer for organizations: 7-9pm, April 6.



BGNlab Watch Party for the Red Bull Escape Room World Championships

On Saturday, March 25 from 2-5pm, there will be a Watch Party hosted by the GDDA student organization for the live Red Bull Escape Room World Championships.  

The students who helped design the rooms for the semifinals and finals will be there, offering a behind-the-scenes commentary of what went on, while Dr. Nicholson will be in Budapest on the show as an expert commentator.   

This event is open to the public.  For more information, contact Robert Durant at

If you'd like to watch it at home, you can see the show at 3PM EDT on Saturday online at RedBull.TV 


If you want to learn a bit about the design process, we did a 6 episode design vlog which you can also watch here:




Last Day (March 16) to sign up for the Climate Change Game Jam!

If you've been putting it off until the last day...  we're there!  Our Climate Change Game Jam is March 18-19, sponsored by the Government of Ontario, where we will make games to save the climate!

At this point, we have about 60 students from 12 different colleges and universities signed up -  if you are a student at an Ontario college or university who wants to make games in Brantford, you can learn more and sign up at

We also have 13 remote sites from 7 different countries - you can learn more and join us remotely at


A few remote sites are seeking local jammers:

Denver, Colorado, USA - University of Denver - Hosted by DU Game Developer Society - Contact

Pawleys Island, SC, USA - Waccamaw Neck Branch Library - Ages 12+ - Contact

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada - Neil Notes - Looking to work with others - Contact


If you are interested in signing up, today, March 16 is the last day to do so, so that we can get everything out in time!




Join us Remotely for the Climate Change Game Jam

Are you interested in helping to change the world through games?  The Brantford Games Network lab (BGNlab) at Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting a Climate Change Game Jam on March 18 and 19 with funding from the Government of Ontario and we are calling out for sites around the world to join in and create games at the same time!  During a Game Jam, participants work together to come up with games in a short period of time, and in this case, the goal is to develop ideas for games that will help people lower their carbon footprint.  It's a chance for you to think about how to use games and play to make a difference and a way to share those ideas with those building these games!

You can host a remote site and join in from your school, library, game store, or even your home!  A site could be a class, a group of friends, a game lab, a family, or just you!

We will be livestreaming our initial briefing at 9AM EST on Saturday, March 18.  We will also record it, so if you can't join us live, you will have it available.  We will also be sending out other briefing materials prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.  Then you'll be off to make games that can change the world!  These can be digital, analog, or live action games.   Over two days, we welcome to brainstorm, come up with storyboards and design documents, or even create games, and put whatever you whatever you come up into the creative commons and upload it. 

On Sunday, March 19th, we will be asking sites to submit a form with some information about what went on.  We will also ask sites to have their jammers upload their ideas and prototypes to and place them into the Creative Commons, so anyone can benefit from the ideas.   The links needed for the livestream, content, and submission location will be provided to those sites that sign up. We will then be looking at the ideas, and developing two games out of the ideas and prototypes submitted over the summer of 2017.

So, grab some friends or classmates, sign up as a site, and plan on making games to change the world on March 18-19!

To sign up as a site, visit


Note - If you are a college or university student near Brantford, Ontario, we invite you to join our home site at WLU, where we will be interviewing for 12 summer jobs at the BGNlab to develop the games.  Learn more about the local Brantford site at