P layers in Super Secret have one hour to rescue the missing hero, Captain Secret, and thwart his powerful nemesis before the city succumbs to ruin. One of the six current rooms at New Mexico Escape Room (NMER), Super Secret stands as a remarkable testament to ingenuity, boasting an impressive array of cutting-edge technology, custom-fabricated props, and a cast of unforgettable characters. This ambitious project by NMER is a culmination of collaborative efforts, resulting in an experience that has earned both accolades and the admiration of escape enthusiasts.
From Concept to Reality
The journey from concept to reality was a labor of love, requiring meticulous planning and coordination. The idea for Super Secret began taking shape in early 2018. After careful deliberation, NMER decided to embark on this ambitious project, dedicating 4-6 months to developing the game flow, script, and characters, designing puzzles, and making construction plans. Construction then began in March 2019. The countdown was on, with opening day set for Black Friday 2019, when eager escape enthusiasts could experience the magic. The collaborative efforts of the writing, design, and fabrication teams converged to create an immersive adventure that captured the essence of the superhero theme.
The Masterminds Behind the Game
Creating an escape room as intricate and captivating as Super Secret required a dream team of talented individuals. Darren Guido, Nicholas Wineman, and Jair Gonzalez masterfully crafted the game's storyline. Nicholas and Jair made for a dynamic script writing duo. Joining the three game writers for puzzle creation were Moriah Lockhart and Adam Eisman. Jaimie Hamilton collaborated with Moriah and Jair designing the video animation, artwork and graphics. All the props and sets were custom fabricated by Adam Eisman, Jack Boubelik, Robert Fox, Juan Suarez, Kirk LeBlanc, Moriah Lockhart, Ian Wester, and Eileen Reynolds. Local celebrity, Dylan Storm, announcer for the Albuquerque Isotopes, gave voice to Captain Secret and J.A.R.F.R.E.D. Nicholas provided the voice over acting as the narrator and Ian Wester as Rule Breaker.
A Technological Triumph
Within Super Secret's confines lies an intricate tapestry of technology, from controllers and relays to TVs and pneumatic systems. This amalgamation of gadgets seamlessly orchestrates the immersive experience, showcasing the team's technical prowess. Dedication, countless hours of programming and meticulous coordination went into ensuring the execution of the game mechanics.
By the Numbers: There are 4 main controllers that run the brains of the game, 6 controllers that operate specific puzzles, 25 relays, 9 TVs (each with its own video controller), 8 pneumatic controllers, a couple thousand feet of cables, and hours of programming to get it all to work together.
Crafted with Creativity
Super Secret’s set and props are custom fabricated. With its unique storyline the game's universe was a blank canvas, devoid of off-the-shelf solutions. NMER’s team built from scratch most of the items in the room. Some props feature recognizable electronic components like buttons, controllers, and SD cards and other items have been completely transformed from an original form. For example, the villain’s weapon, a milk gun, was originally a nerf gun. Dissected and reimagined, this villainous tool emerged adorned with lights, buttons, paint, and the unmistakable touch of utters, becoming the distinctive prop it is today. Nearly everything, from concept to completion, demanded the artisanal touch of the dedicated team.
Easter Eggs and Characters Galore
Within Super Secret's walls lie a plethora of hidden gems. The game boasts references to popular culture, nods to beloved superhero and comic franchises, and NMER's inside jokes. For example, the Rule Breaker's character was born from real-life encounters with customers who disregard the rules. In the spirit of Stan Lee's alliteration tradition, the Rule Breaker playfully taunts players with names like "Rude Rapscallions" and "Fumbling Fools."
One of the standout characters is the friendly and endearing J.A.R.F.R.E.D., whose name stands for "Just A Really Friendly Robotically Engineered Dude." A delightful addition to the game, J.A.R.F.R.E.D. has undoubtedly won the hearts of many players.
The Journey Continues
Super Secret was constructed in the workshop at the McLeod facility. Then it was moved and installed at the Carlisle facility, replacing the Family Jewel.
When the game was at Carlisle, it was set up within an existing office space with walls around it so there was no room to add or change much without completely dismantling the game. Not content to rest on their laurels, the NMER team saw an opportunity to refine and improve the experience when the Carlisle location closed down and Super Secret was moved back to McLeod. In March 2022 a new and improved hint system was implemented.
Accolades and Gratitude
The dedication and passion poured into Super Secret did not go unnoticed. The room earned the prestigious Golden Lock award from the Room Escape Artists, a well-deserved recognition of its excellence. This accolade serves as a testament to the game's excellence, a validation of the team's dedication and creativity. The owner of NMER could not be prouder of the team's achievements, expressing immense gratitude for their collective efforts in bringing this captivating adventure to life, “I love bragging about this game! It is so special to us because it was a whole team effort. It brought out the amazing talents possessed by our game masters and professional contractors alike. Everyone should be proud of their contributions to making Super Secret such a fun and unique experience.”
Your Super Secret Adventure Awaits!
Super Secret's enchanting narrative, technological marvels, and delightful characters combine to offer an experience that transcends the ordinary. From the brainchild of the design team to the dedication of the prop fabrication crew, each element of the game is infused with passion and innovation. Super Secret captivates and inspires players, proving that true magic lies in the art of storytelling and the collective effort of a passionate team. As you step into the world of Super Secret, you're not just unlocking an adventure – you're embracing the spirit of teamwork and creativity that defines the NMER experience. Get ready to unleash your inner superhero and embark on an unforgettable quest. Book your tickets now and get ready to unlock the superhero within!