WILL YOU SURVIVE?
Something weird and amazing is happening here in Austin and you lucky devils can be a part of it. It’s called the Texas Terror Challenge, and it will be glorious. The folks over at Desolation Manor have gone into their laboratory and sewn together bits from the vivisected corpses of Live Action Role Play — or LARP for us nerdy-nerd types — traditional haunts, capture the flag and other traditional camp games and created an incredible immersive and interactive horror experience. The event takes place in Austin (Lake Travis) February 26-28, 2016, and I had the chance to sit down with the madman behind this tremendous undertaking, Paul “PJ” Fiero, to get some specifics.
B.O.T.: First things first. What exactly is the Texas Terror Challenge? Where is it? Am I correct with that Frankenstein description up there? I’ll let Fiero tell you:
P.J: “This new event is the Texas Terror Challenge. Multiple teams of up to 8 players will be running missions, solving puzzles, disarming traps, rescuing hostages, and more weird stuff all while being chased and hunted through the woods of a camp by monsters and mutants. This is done over the course of an entire weekend starting Friday night and running through Sunday morning. It encompasses 39 hours of constantly trying to avoid being “killed” by monsters.
Players will wear flags, similar to capture the flag or flag football, and if a monster is able to grab yours, you’ve been murdered! You cannot continue to participate until you make your way back to the re-spawn area and wait the required amount of time, which Fiero assures me shouldn’t be longer than about 20 minutes or so. The event runs on a point system, with points given for completing tasks, and points deducted for being “killed” or losing items needed to complete objectives.
Those are the rules of the game, but it isn’t quite as simple as all that. The weekend will be physically and mentally challenging as well. Fiero says “players can expect to be active for long stretches of time without much rest, play with little sleep, eat on the run, and be scared.” You’re fair game wherever you are, including your tent or cabin, and at any time of day or night. Don’t expect to get your full 8 (or in my case 14) hours of sleep. Did Jason let anyone nap?”
This sounds like an incredible undertaking, but rest assured, these people are professionals. Fiero has been in the haunt game for over 25 years, building, acting, organizing, planning, you name it. He likes to call his company, Desolation Manor, an “extreme interactive adventure producer.” That’s quite the statement to unpack, but in addition to doing the traditional walk through haunt type things, Desolation Manor also does custom private and corporate events. If you’ve ever wanted to make your house haunted, Desolation Manor can make that happen. In addition to his experience with haunting, Fiero has played 24 plus hour scenarios, and he worked as a Paramedic for over 10 years, so he is familiar with the stresses that this type of event can put on your body. Medical staff will be on site as well, so any and all emergencies will be handled quickly by professionals. In addition to Fiero’s expertise, he is joined by operations manager Leigh Hegedus, and and Visual Effects artist Jenna Green. Hegedus comes from a theater pedigree, involved both on the production and the acting side, and Green has decades of experience in effects makeup, both on film and in haunts. Texas Terror Challenge also boasts sponsorship from EPS Creations, Illuseffects, and Blood Over Texas buddies, Zombie Life Podcast.
This event looks to be something incredibly unique, challenging and most of all a whole lot of fun for a horror fan. If you’re thinking of putting a team together — which you should be — we have a great discount for you and your teammates! The first 24 people to sign up with our code: BOT0216 — get 10% off the entry fee. CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO SIGN UP NOW!
There are tents to camp out in and cabins. Tents are $80 a head and cabins are $100 a head. Which is a great price — and a great discount — for 39 hours of pure horror. Each team consists of 8 people, so grab your closest friends to make a complete team of 8 or feel free to sign yourself up and they’ll find a team to join. If you’ve ever wondered what is was like to actually live in a horror camp movie, here’s your chance. Check the FAQs section on their site for all the things you’ll need, and remember, we live in central Texas, so it may be 30 degrees or 75, so pack accordingly. There will also be meal plans to purchase so you don’t have to worry about hauling food and a cooler. Let’s get some B.O.T. teams signed up and see who survives! JOIN THE FB INVITE • VISIT THE SITE
— Eric Harrelson, B.O.T. Contributor