Time is relentless. Time is unforgiving. Time is everything in our fifteenth Master Mystery Production, The Silent City. Our company has traveled into the past for our shows many times, but now we’re pushing fast-forward instead of rewind. C. R. Rowenson dreamed up a future as harrowing as it is fascinating, and we’ve been building the necessary equipment to bring that future to life (Anyone got a spare time machine?). But beyond the concept, time plays a crucial function in how the show plays out and the game works. Time is the essential ingredient in The Silent City, because when the clock runs out, anything could happen. Learn how time plays the all important starring role in our upcoming mystery.
TIME TRAVEL: The Making of The Silent City (Part 2)
When you attend writing conferences, seminars on fiction, etc., the number one thing they tell you about writing suspense is the need for a ticking clock. The sound of it alone mirrors a steady heartbeat, but as the seconds wind down and disaster lurks on the horizon, your heartbeat starts to race. The passage of time is invulnerable and inevitable, and it’s that remorseless quality we wanted to tap into to rev up the tension during the show.
The Silent City is an interactive thriller mixing mystery, horror, and science fiction into a tantalizing and tense experience. A key word here is interactive as all our shows work on the idea that the audience needs to be involved in some way, that the guests have an active role in how the story is shaped and ultimately solved. Each experience is unique. The central idea of The Silent City is that the audience is initiated as members of a fictional organization of underground truth-seekers known by the simple and ambiguous moniker of The Group. As the home team, they have to collect reconnaissance, analyze clues, and answer lingering questions to help the field team navigate the quarantined city. So how we do that?
We’ve had great success with a series of proctored challenges, quick logic puzzles fully integrated into the storyline and theming of the show. These challenges are reward-based; Solving them earn players vital clues or advantages to the mystery. We’ve used the same construct in shows such as Hello Out There, Ex Luna, Wildflowers for the Funeral, Pauper’s Grave, and Murder at the Broken Heart Mine.
Since The Silent City is a thriller, we knew we wanted time to be a major factor in the show. Manipulating time would give us the pulse-racing energy we wanted. Time would have to be the advantage earned if teams were successful…and the disadvantage if they weren’t. After all, every challenge needs a consequence.
Since the audience would be a “home team” for our fictional characters trying to breach the quarantine, we designed a set of “computer consoles” built from rusty, retrofitted technology of all sorts to fill the room. These alien pieces of technology would serve as the challenge hubs where teams would play the mini-games to earn The Group clues and advantages throughout the game. Each was specially designed to fit a specific purpose. We had a radio repeater tower, a decryption console, a monitor console, etc. Each features a different puzzle.
The game is simple. The audience is divided into seven teams. Each team is part of The Group, the independent truth-seekers mentioned earlier. As the event progresses, each team will be summoned to compete in a challenge that will earn everyone in The Group a clue and the advantage of having as much time as possible to study the clue. However, teams only get ten minutes to solve the puzzles. If they do, hooray! The entire audience wins the clue! If they don’t, the clue is only revealed at the end of the show right before ballots are filled out, giving the audience a much shorter time to process the information.
Time is everything in this game. You have the time limit for each puzzle. You have the advantage of more to time to study versus the alternative. And time is running out for our heroes. As the challenges progress, more and more frightening audio from the field team is released to the players, heightening the tension, but also heightening the fun. So synchronize those watches and set your time machines to 2063, because The Silent City is about to speak.
Tick tock tick tock. Time is running out to buy your tickets to this unique interactive experience! We’ve learned how the game will be played, but who is on the mysterious field team sent into the quarantined city of Ridgecrest? We interviewed veteran MMP actress, Devanne Fredette, on the work of being a voice actor on this show and on what might be her strongest and most intense role yet in In The Field, The Making of The Silent City (Part 2).
The show is creeping closer! We’re so excited! Hope to see you all there!
–Master Mystery Productions