Rainbow Militia and We Are Denver are putting on an immersive and fantastic theatrical experience called Beer Quest.
Beer Ye, Beer Ye: A new immersive, outdoor, and fantasy video game-themed drinking theater experience is coming to Denver this summer!
Created by local circus theater group Rainbow Militia and art and media collective WeAreDenver, Beer Quest is a drinking game that combines 2D fantasy with immersive open-world play, theater, and of course, beer.
“It’s a chance to let go and forget about everything that’s going on in the outside world or everything we’ve been through over the past year and a half and just have fun,” said Amber Blais, owner of Rainbow Militia and one of the leaders of Beer Quest. producers. “And I think that’s the most magical part about it.”
The adventure takes place in a closed area of 16th and Welton, approximately half a square block in area. Groups of 4-6 people will meet outside the mall to solve puzzles, games and other challenges. Your quest? Help 2D wizard Drinkledore save his missing dragon friend, Sheila.
“Usually it’s about killing the dragon and saving the princess,” said Ryan Foo, co-founder of WeAreDenver and other executive producer. “And instead, you will save the dragon.”
Foo has experienced gamified events. Every year for his birthday he organizes an event called ILLFOOMINATI, a party that brings together hundreds of people to drink and play immersive games.
“It’s still kind of a ‘if video games were real life’ scenario,” Foo said. He knew earlier this year that he wanted to continue developing this concept. Last spring, he came up with Rainbow Militia the idea of a fun beer drinking event, and together they came up with the idea for a fantastic Dungeons & Dragons-like experience, but with beer.
Renaissance themes tend to be a bit Eurocentric, Foo said. To break with that, they decided to bring storytelling into a 32-bit video game world.
“Ryan was really passionate about bringing a worldview, and sort of taking pieces from all the different Fantastic Realms around the world to make it really inclusive, rather than just Eurocentric,” Staza Stone said. , co-director of Rainbow Militia and another Executive Producer of the Beer Quest.
What they came up with was an experience that sits on the borderline between a fantastic 2D virtual world and our own. At the start of the game, questers are introduced to a digital realm of elves, dragons, and wizards. When a portal opens between two worlds, Drinkledore enlists players from the 3D realm to find Sheila the dragon, his dear friend who has wandered through the portal into our world to taste the far superior selection of beer than us. have here. Drinkledore guides questers on their journey with the help of characters from Beer Quest, who help train players to fight a final boss and complete the quest.
“They opened up a portal and they kind of smashed their world into ours,” Foo said. “And so what you’re going to see is a lot of 3D and 2D mesh. It shows up in the costumes of the characters and in the way the games play out.” For example, Heather Kroggemann of Alien Earth Design designed some of the show’s costumes and props to appear pixelated.
How it works:
The game mixes bodily and virtual elements to function as a sort of real open world video game. The questers wander, explore, interact with different parts of the scenery and with the characters. They complete challenges using props, discover Easter eggs, and scan QR codes for additional hints or clues. And they’ll travel the world chatting with characters played by performers from the Rainbow Militia and the Denver Black Actors Guild. Like Sheila, the characters wandered our world through the portal.
“They are just excited about all the beer possibilities,” said Blais. “Because in Beer Quest there’s only one beer, and it’s pixel beer. And no one likes it.
Each character is assigned to a designated location in the closed play area and will guide players through a different challenge. Each location is sponsored by a different local brewery, including New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger, Raices Brewing, and Weldworks, and has different beers for you to try. Players can participate in challenges such as “Dodge Ball with Shields” to earn beer or an in-game currency called Dragon Scales, which can be used to buy more beer and other prizes, or even to tip. to artists. There’s also a bureau de change (a scale is worth $ 2) and a beer passport, if you want to taste all the beer, and you can earn bonus points if you come dressed in “fancy hero” clothes.
As players work to save Sheila, they are also tasked with earning beer for Sheila.
“As everyone knows, dragons have the unique ability to turn beer into manna,” Foo said. “So you are also helping him generate his manna so that these things can happen. “
At the end, Questers will face a final boss while playing a motion-based video game designed by Meri Burgess. It is similar to Xbox Kinect, or the Eye Toy. A camera will record players’ movements, allowing them to manipulate the 2D world on a screen by moving their bodies.
The quest will end in the Champions Beergarden, a separate area where players can congregate, celebrate, and drink more beer once the quest is complete. However, the level of service you receive there may depend on your performance in the game.
“Don’t fail the game and you’ll be fine,” said Blais. “You will be a champion.”
There is also a beer garden during the day open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. And although the name of the game is Beer Quest, its producers say you don’t need to drink to play. You can earn merchandise and non-alcoholic drinks in the challenges, and there is also a designated driver discount for players who don’t drink.
There are endless ways to play the game.
The actors improvise and constantly test the players. You can negotiate with them, ask them questions, or bribe them. You can also cheat, if you wish, although you may risk a penalty or a reward, depending on what the character thinks of it.
“The characters are built. They have a story. They know who they like and who they don’t. They have this really, really rich history, ”Stone said. “But how it plays out with the guests will be completely unique each time, because we can’t predict what people will do. And it’s really fun for the actors and for the audience.
Foo says there are a ton of Easter Eggs hidden in Beer Quest. He says what makes the game special is how new it is.
“There is a time that you have never experienced before, something that you stumble upon that perhaps no one in the world has yet encountered. And there will be things hidden in the world that some people may never find, ”Foo said. “As producers you have to be at peace with this. Like, oh, we put this whole cool story together, and nobody figured it out. But the point is, if you think of it that way, if there’s this philosophy of novelty, if there’s that kind of intention to come in and understand and explore, then the people who fall on it, even if it’s 5 percent of people, it’s gonna feel really authentic. And that’s what we’re aiming for. “
Stone says she hopes the game will give people the chance to be surprised after a year and a half of limited opportunities for adventure.
“People just haven’t had the chance to play, especially with other people,” Stone said. “So I think that’s like the most important part is to give people the ability to just play, to play games to be surprised to be caught off guard and to really engage. to that side of themselves that a lot of people don’t indulge in to begin with, but especially over the past year and a half, they just haven’t had the opportunity or the ability to do it.
Beer Quest shows run from July 15 to August 1, start at 6 p.m. and last 75 to 90 minutes, although players can stay and drink in the Champions Beergarden until midnight. Tickets are $ 35 to $ 45 per person and are now available on the Beer Quest webpage.