Reverie: a dream for theatre going game fans

Almost two years ago, we featured an interview with Julian Sykes who was on the path to creating a city wide game called Everwake which saw teams running around Cardiff trying to solve a mystery.

After the huge success of their first venture, Sykes and partner Allie John are currently in the throes of planning part two in their trilogy of games.

“I’m a producer for Yellobrick. We formed the company in June and that’s me, Julian Sykes (who also runs Hoffi in the Bay) and a lady called Natalie Clements,” says Allie John when we speak at Cosy Club. “We had started initially with looking at games, street gaming and did a lot of research for about three years before we formed the company and we went to different places and played games. We visited people in Bristol, London and then also some guys in Manchester. We just went to loads and loads of different events which were quite new to us really. Nothing like that exists in Wales and I’m from a very much theatre background and I was interested in a different type of performance or spectacle. Julien came in from a design perspective and so when we came to all these different events we thought there was something that we could do similar to it.”

Now the two have created Reverie, a game based on a character from the first game. Reverie also adds a multimedia and long game aspect to the event with the use of a website that you can ‘hack into’ using materials delivered to you before the event.

“Reverie is a kind of sequel to Everwake. We’re playing with the idea of a traditional film trilogy that will eventually have three parts. There’s a third part that we’ve planned,” she explains. “Reverie is essentially a pyhsical game that’s played in the streets which has elements of theatre and story and narrative and it’s a mix of pervasive gaming and theatre. The way we’ve designed the game or story is that you don’t need to know what happens in Everwake to play Reverie. It exists as a one but as a trilogy you get the richness of the world and the background characters. With Reverie, we’ve been playing around with ideas of how to tell the story and the story basically begins online with the main characters from the live event. There’s a website for the Brook Institute and every week we do reports on a character called Tom who was in Everwake. You can ‘hack in’ to these reports by using your intuition and skill. If you look hard enough at things related to the game, you can crack the code and hack into the website.”

The game takes place over seven nights at the end of May. That led to quite a bit of confusion about how long players would be involved for. The answer is just one single evening but nevertheless, Yellobrick are excited that people are thinking it could be played over a week’s period.

“Some people were asking us if they have to play for 7 nights and that’s a really interesting concept,” says John. “We’ve spoken about it and it’s about how detailed the story is and everything we’ve created for the website – you can e-mail and phone us… that’s exciting to realise that the fiction becomes a reality but also fiction. It’s exciting.”

I’m excited to go along and play Reverie with a group of other people. The idea of a game which is part organised and part chance is an interesting one. Moreover, the idea of a community of adults coming together to explore the idea of gaming for grownups is quite something.

See you in Yellobrick’s dreams!

Reverie runs 27 May – 1 June 2013. Tickets are available from their website.