Department of Mysteries Puzzle Adventure

I’m currently working on a themed puzzle adventure, inspired by 5Wits Productions, that revolves around a misguided tour of the Ministry of Magic.  This project is currently in-progress and this page will be updating constantly as the design progresses.

Download an in-progress version of my design document here: Department of Mysteries Puzzle Adventure

Story

Welcome, Muggles!  On your very special tour of the Ministry, you’ll get to see a glimpse of what daily life is like in the wizarding government. Your guide will tell you about some of the most fascinating duties of the Ministry, including a department that deals with highly experimental and unknown magic: the Department of Mysteries.  Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, your group finds yourselves trapped inside the Department of Mysteries – and must find a way to get out!  Each of the rooms you encounter in the Department of Mysteries holds a series of puzzles, and you and your group must solve them to find your way out.  Use your wits, but remember that each room contains secrets!

Progression

Department of Mysteries Puzzle Adventure progression

In the experience, guests start out in holding, then are welcomed into the Muggle-approved transit area to transport them to the Ministry of Magic by trained Ministry Tour officials (the guides of the show).  The guests step into Floo powder fireplaces (small rotating chambers) that will transport them directly into the Ministry of Magic atrium.  From there, they will go into the gilded elevators at the far end of the atrium, at which point the elevator will “malfunction” and force them to enter the Level 9 Hallway, entering the Department of Mysteries.  The guide of the experience will take them through the hallway and into the room of spinning doors (a special effect room that will aid in disorienting the guests by rotating).  They will then go through a series of puzzle rooms, and by solving each puzzle they can move to the next room, eventually ending up in the Prophecy Room.  Once they’ve solved the last puzzle they will unlock the door back to the rotating door room, which will let them out into the Level 9 hall, back “up” the elevator and exit through the Ministry of Magic gift shop.

Puzzle Rooms

Space: People stand in specific places in the room that reflect alignment of planets

Brain: TBD

Death: Statues of Phoenix life cycle, rotate statues to show one stage to the next

Time: Hourglass Puzzle, 2 hourglasses, a 7 minute hourglass and an 11 minute hourglass, what is the quickest way to time 15 mins? (must be a shorter timescale)
Prophecy: Put clips of prophecy in the right order.  Guests find prophecy spheres in the room with their names on them (taken at the beginning of the show).  RF indicators on each of the four prophecy spheres identify which sphere is where on the dais.  Use a Liquid Nitrogen fog screen(+ ventilation) with rear projection to show the clips in the order they’re put on the dais.

Concept Sketchbook

Challenges

Safety

It’s important that all the puzzles are safe areas as well as accessible to many kinds of guests.  It is especially a challenge in the Floo Powder transport area and the spinning door room.  Solutions to these rotating room areas include having multiple safety features including a manual activation and auto-stop functions.

“Ride Control” & Show Control

It’s important to make sure there’s a throughput that makes sure the groups get through the experience in a timely manner and have a great experience.  Part of this falls on the guide for the show, who acts as the Ministry’s tour guide, and helps the guests through the puzzles.  Through motion detection controls and embedded technology it should be able to also create some interesting effects automated through a PLC, which will enhance the surroundings around the guests and create a compelling, convincing environment.

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