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The Haunted Hall

The Idea:

We would like to create a giant projection-mapped platformer video game projected onto the walls of Miner's Hall in Durham in order to turn the building into a "Haunted Hall" whose ghosts can be exorcised by participating members of the audience. Two participants at a time will play the projected game by controlling the game characters whilst being watched by cheering crowd and spurred on by an MC.

Based on Durham's mythology and its rich history of ghosts and monsters this brand new commission will combine spooky projection mapping with competitive but fun audience interaction.

Relevant Previous Work:

This idea is based on our two previous projects "Lucy" and "Shelf Life" which you can see below:


Inspired by the aesthetic of "Lucy" as well as Tim Burton and Adams Family style animations we will transform Minor’s Hall into a haunted house inhabited by creepy local ghosts and other spooky creatures who pop out of windows to attack the players like haunting figures from a sinister cuckoo clock. We will include ghosts that are relevant to Durham mythology such as Lady Ann Day, the soldiers of Nevilles Cross and Lady Jarrett.

Here is a simple sketch to demonstrate the concept:​

The Gaming Experience

Two contestants at a time will join the MC on a podium in order to control two game characters. Each player starts from opposite ends of the building and their objective is to dodge the obstacles and haunted characters that lay in their way. Whoever reaches the centre of the building first gets to fight the end level boss  -the zombie gatekeeper of the house! If they succeed in defeating the gatekeeper the building collapses in a visually spectacular fashion, the ghosts are exorcised and the player wins the game.

Each game will last 2 to 5 minutes and during player changeovers a screensaver animation will keep animating the building.

A giant projected scoreboard will reveal the player's names and their scores.

Points are scored in the following ways:

  • Dodging Obstacles

  • Destroying Enemies

  • Collecting Tokens

  • Completing the level in the quickest time

At the end of the festival, the player with the most points is awarded a trophy and the title of being "Ghost Master Number 1".

Participants vs Audience

Holding this all together will be an MC who is there to introduce players, commentate on their performance, get the crowd going and award the trophy at the end of the evening. The MC and the two players will be on a podium/stage so that audiences can simultaneously watch the projections and the players playing the game at the same time.

There is a growing and hugely popular trend in E-Sports where enormous international crowds are enthralled by the tension of watching other people play video games against each other. We therefore believe that non-players will enjoy the experience as much as active contestants. In order to get the audience to invested in the players we are happy to work on a simple idea in which the 2 active players always represent two audience teams, such as 'Durham vs. Visitors', 'Mackem vs Tackem', 'Men vs Women', 'People wearing Red vs People wearing Blue' etc.

The format of the project was initially inspired by the World Tetris Championships. Below is an example of some of the most popular E-Sports experiences:

Participant Recruitment:

At this stage we are looking at different approaches to recruiting contestants. Options include a live queuing system supervised by front of house staff or a simple advance booking system online or at a dedicated local desk.

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