What a difference a year makes. A few months ago as we prepared (ok, it was more like few weeks), we started looking at our banners, props, materials we used last year. We pretty much had to trash anything that was printed. It was a reflective moment to see how far we’ve come.
Firstly, our Bad ASS Controller didn’t even exist last year. It was debuted at REC in Nashville 2018 with a lot of interest, but on a very small scale. Heck, I wasn’t even supposed to be at REC. I found myself available for a speaking opportunity, packed a bag and hit the road.
Our FX350 and FX50 had been discontinued and replaced with the FX450 and FX51, all of our controllers had gone through significant hardware and firmware updates. Our branding had evolved a bit as well. We ended up keeping one banner as an ‘extra’ but two others were updated and two more represent new product lines, the Bad ASS Controller (BAC) and the Indestructible Knobs.
Our demo props also all had to be upgraded. Instead of the FX350/FX450 style of controllers where users would have to use Arduino Studio to program their games, now, they just open a web browser and configure their games. That’s a huge difference. Go figure, not every escape room owner wants to program. :)
A few new demo props we had to build were for our Indestructible Knob and a ‘Valve Game’ highlighting the use of serial LEDs (NeoPixels).
This will also be my 3rd speaking engagement for Transworld/RECTransworld/REC. Anyone who’s met me knows I spend a good bit of time educating and sharing my engineering experience with the escape room world. This time I’ll be talking about the “How and Why to Tech” and will highlight the business decisions that come along with tech. It is on Friday at 2pm in room 260.
Transworld has become a significant event in my life as well. Besides being the premier show for the escape room and haunt industry (and now Christmas and themed environments in general), I also met Nicole on the plane ride back from my first visit two years ago, while eating a bag of M&Ms, which I am also enjoying a bag as I type here on the road. We are now raising our 4 kids together, with 3 dogs and 3 cats, and a whole lotta of love.
I’ve met a lot of interesting people along the way, mostly good and the rest best left unsaid. David Hernley of Mythric Mystery Master (M3) will be at our booth with us showing off his software. We’ve made several new hires too. John Calloway is an engineer with years of experience and will be in the Escape Room Techs booth this time around. Come see us in booth #3215!