Team-up with friends online for a one-of-a-kind remote location-based experience.
Created by the newly launched company Adventure Lab, Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets is a live-hosted multiplayer game that brings to life the fantasy tabletop role-playing genre in a way only VR can.
You are an agent for the Virtual Intelligence Agency (V.I.A.), an underground group that uses VR technology to solve mysteries that the more traditional authorities can’t seem to unravel. Your first mission is to infiltrate Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets to stop the mad scientist before time runs out. Disguised as animals, you and your team are swept into an unexpected maze of puzzles and games that will put your brain and brawn to the test. The team that accomplishes the mission the fastest will be memorialized forever in the V.I.A. hall of fame.
Games are hosted daily with different time slots available each day. Each adventure allows up to 4 remote players at a time, which could be made up of your friends, family, or strangers from around the globe. The host acts as your guide, a clue master, and a performer who jumps in and out of different characters as they lead you through a series of time-based puzzles. As you solve each puzzle, you move closer and closer to escaping the room.
What is really fun is that each host brings in their own unique personality to the game. Depending on what time slot you have, you could be interacting with an improv actor, a comedian, a Twitch streamer, a Youtube star, or an influencer. One host might take a goofy approach while another may be a true thespian and bring the world of theater into the experience.
Like any multiplayer VR experience, however, players get back what they put in. The more you and your group commit to the adventure, the more exciting the game can be. Or maybe this is an opportunity for you to try out your dry quirky take of Detective Benoit Blanc from the film, Knives Out.
This is just the first of many Adventure Lab VR adventures. Each story will have a range of fun content for VR novices all the way up to advanced puzzlers and will expand into other areas of live hosted entertainment. The soft launch of the product (now run for 300+ guests) has been met with positive reactions from delighted guests and industry veterans alike.
Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets comes from the creative minds of Adventure Lab’s CEO/Co-Founder, Maxwell Planck and COO/Co-Founder Kimberly Adams. Planck was one of the co-founders of Oculus Story Studio and worked for Pixar for 10 years as a technical director on movies like Cars, WALL-E, and Up. Adams led a creative team at Facebook, developing the AR “Story Time” for Facebook’s Portal video device, and was Head of Production and Executive Producer for the Emmy Award-winning Wolves in the Walls.
Of course they are backed by an incredible pool of talented people and collectively, Adventure Lab has an impressive team resume.
During an interview with VRScout, Planck talked about Adventure Lab, saying, “I don’t look at VR as storytelling, where I sit you down and say here is a hero’s journey but you don’t play much of a role,” Planck adds, “I think of it as memory making, where you actually have something to do together.” It was during this time that Planck, who was working with Adams at Facebook, was getting into escape rooms, immersive theater, and role-playing games. He wondered how one could you bring all of those experiences into VR.
It was that thought that sparked the idea of Adventure Lab. The two then left Facebook to begin their own company. This was in 2019, right before the Oculus Quest launched.
What makes Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets so unique and fun are the hosts. Most will assist you in your journey and guide you through specific challenges; others will serve as the antagonist. Adams talks about the importance of this role for each adventure, saying, “Having a range of hosts has been really magical. Our first host that we worked with, Jasper Patterson, was a founder of a VR company. He is an expert in the space and was incredible in the terms of giving feedback and really testing out the platform and making requests for hosting tools.” Adams continues, “But our next two hosts had very little experience with VR but were improv actors, and they took to it immediately, putting their own fun twists into the characters. They their own take on the characters, their own accents they developed, and their own way of being a host in the space.”
Adams tells me that people are still contacting her wanting to be hosts for Adventure Lab adventures.
Planck and Adams ended our conversation saying that they are excited about how Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets and VR will connect people and give them the opportunity to create fun memories.
Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets is the first of many adventures coming from Adventure Lab. Time slots are available for booking now over at adventurelab.fun/book. A 40 minute showtime will cost $100 for up to 4 players (that’s $25 per head). For a limited time, Adventure Lab is offering a 50% discount if you use coupon code OG-LAB-RAT.
Adventure Lab’ Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets is available for the Oculus Quest with support for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index coming soon.
Image Credit: Adventure Lab