View Full Version : Is there a market for Virtual Haunts?

11-02-2008, 12:25 PM
Hey everyone,

Since this was my first posting up here, just wanted to say hi. I haven't been on here for some time since life got in the way. I'm an Over the road truck driver now but trying to keep up on the haunt side of things every now and again. I would like to open a haunt of my own maybe in the next 3 years in Dallas, Tx since I live about 165 miles from Dallas right now in a small town of Waskom, Tx. Yea, I would move to Dallas if I could get one up and running...

My question is: Is there a market for virtual haunt walk throughs? I mainly work on game making, 3d worlds and Ambient sounds and content packs for a company known as Garage Games who sells game engines and content packs for us Indy Dev people... for those who don't know what that is, it means we are small hobby game creators who are not EA or ID software Pro game makers, we don't do E3 (yet), but are small hobby like guys who make games in our spare time, striving to make the next big doom 3 like game hit.

I use the Torque Game Engine Advanced for all my games, and was wondering if a haunt walkthrough would fly? I'm interested in knowing before I begin throwing all my efforts and talents into making them for the public. My guess is no, but I'm not sure. I've been away from the business for 8 years now so that's why I'm asking here and now. My speciality is in Ambient sounds and music for moody scenes in games... I actually have 4 content packs:


Which are all marketed through Garage Games there. I'm wanting to take that Ambient talent too and start making Haunt CDs for haunted houses and specialize in games as well as haunt soundtracks plus if this works, do the virtual haunt walkthroughs.

What is a virtual haunt walkthrough? In my eyes, I wanted to make a model of the haunt that the customer has in mind. Or maybe, a new haunt to replace the older one... this way we can try scenes out and lighting, sounds and actor placement before the haunt even gets a dime put into it. This way, you can best place everything in the haunt (lighting, sound, effects, actors, etc) and see how it will work out before you invest some $100k or better into a haunt idea.

I don't know, I've had over 30 haunt attraction ideas, ranging from Area 51 like bases to Spider lairs and everything in between. Do you think this would sell? or maybe the Ambient sounds since I am already grounded in audio production? I honestly want to do this haunt and game stuff full time and be paid for what I love to do. I have step one done with the Ambient packs moving on their site... now for step 2... the virtual haunts. What do you guys think? Good or bad idea?

Thanks for all the feedback good or bad...

Will Zettler
Waskom, Tx

Greg Chrise
11-02-2008, 04:07 PM
I would have to say right now there is a very limited market. It might get a job once every other year to some big park planning something. Using this tour as an investor tool of why we need a billion dollars and how cool it would be and thus profitable.

To haunt builders the total meditation is indeed making something from nothing and having an interactive performance. There is no totally machine like repetition in a good performance. The customers are not viewing things with blinders on, they have side perception and for the most part are not waiting for the machine in their head 11.8 seconds to download the next move.

Real virtual reality might be someday you put on a helmet and go into a large dark room and fight your demons. A 360 degree visual and audio perception. Disney uses this vitual world technology but haunters can barely afford to get the walls up and detailed. It isn't planning $100,000 investment, it is planning 100 million. You competition in this field are old professors who have been on tenyear doing vitual reality for 30 years and still their students produce only hopeful cartoon versions of what could be. Very entertaining, even inspiring but not worth the money to the small investor.

So not to poo poo your idea, you will have to create a market. Years and years of free sample runs on Utoob. Then people interact with feedback about what could be added or other scenarios. Sharing of completed well detailed ideas. This demonstrates a potential. In haunted houses, even those attractions that are sitting on stacks of cash use their minds to visualize what it could look like next year. They do it themselves in their heads on scrap paper and build it.

If this could be an inexpensive program to plan out an event, it still might not be accepted as people just don't have hours to figure out how to simulate when they already have a picture in their head of what could be. Maybe the ideas are more on the line of a SIM world. Those things already exist but as far as I know are not widely used by haunted houses to any degree.

There is a big difference in the game world and the haunted house world. Those that have the talent do head to the game world market as it has a wider and not so seasonal participation.

In the lower budgets, it is dysfunctional to some degree to plan too much and not just do.