You have just joined a carnival association, but you have overslept, so now you have to go find the others. This is the starting point of the virtual adventure (in Dutch) that Bert van Gestel, his sister Anja and his girlfriend Michelle van Ardenne have put together. “It is sort of like an escape room; you have to solve puzzles to move forward in the story, and you pass lots of scenes of merrymaking on the way.”
Regardless of whether the real pubs and bars are open: “We Burgundians can take a knock and will still get up and party during our beloved carnival,” say the three. With their online game, they hope to encourage fellow carnival lovers to pull together and, cold beer to hand and preferably in full carnival costume, play as a group of friends - possibly connecting via video link due to the corona restrictions on visitors.
On lekkerontsnappen.nl you can download a free ticket; this gives you a password so you can log into the game and 'have fun escaping'. The game itself will go live on Friday February 12th at 11.11 a.m. and can be played for the entire carnival weekend, if not longer. “We may well keep the escape room up and running online for a while after carnival,” says Van Gestel, “but, of course, the most enjoyable time to play it is going to be during carnival. Partly because the game includes things like references to the Stratum carnival live stream that is being organized by a bunch of bars in Eindhoven on February 13th.”
The online adventure can be played free of charge, but for anyone happy to help Van Gestel and his fellow builders cover their basic costs, check out the donation button on the website.
Offering more online activities in the future is a possibility the master's student of Innovation Management is not ruling out. “We've often made puzzle challenges and physical escape rooms, but this is the first time for all of us that we have built such a big website. Anja's mainly been doing the programming and adding all kinds of visual and sound effects to the website to give it a buzz, while Michelle and I been working mainly on how the game unfolds and on devising the puzzles. I think there's every chance we could turn ourselves into a nice little company if this adventure catches on.”
How many players do the website builders hope to entertain during carnival weekend? “Puh, good question. We've been promoting it heavily within our own circles of friends and our networks, so we hope, at any rate, to reach a big group of Brabanders - though, of course, all carnival lovers are welcome.”He adds with a laugh, “If the number of participants gets completely out of hand, we'll probably have to upgrade the hosting package.”
Bert van Gestel is not the only person at TU/e who will be missing carnival this year. Cursor spoke to a number of employees and students about their over fond feelings for this people's festival and how they are doing their best to manage without it this year; read these interviews right here.