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A new take on dark rides: Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten on OCT’s game-changing walkthrough attraction from Triotech | Planet Attractions
     

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A new take on dark rides: Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten on OCT’s game-changing walkthrough attraction from Triotech

OCT Group has debuted a first-of-its-kind attraction at its new Fabland Valley Resort in China. Triotech’s Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten speak to Planet Attractions about the exciting new multi-path dark ride, how it came to be and what it could mean for future attractions






A new attraction at the OCT Group-operated Fabland Valley Resort is turning heads, with dark ride specialists Triotech developing a first-of-its-kind double walkthrough attraction.

Located in the brand new theme park’s Alien Port land, ‘Hive Break’ covers more than 1,000sq m (10,800sq ft) and features two parallel pathways with intertwining narratives.

Through the immersive experience, visitors can choose to battle as either pirates or bounty hunters in an intergalactic sci-fi battle for ancient alien technology. Across each of the parallel paths are three separate zones, each path featuring a motion simulator, a training facility with interactive projection mapping and an interactive theatre.

Offering high throughput and encouraging repeat visitation, the attraction has been custom-built for OCT, with the interactive media created entirely by Triotech in its Montreal studio using the Unreal game engine.

The new attraction also represents a continued collaboration by OCT and Triotech, with Hive Break inspired by another experience from the dark ride specialists. Planet Attractions’ Tom Anstey spoke to Triotech’s Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten about the game-changing attraction, how it came to be and future plans for the concept.









“The experience is really much longer versus your usual dark ride. A dark ride experience will typically last three to four minutes. Here, we're talking about three times three minutes during the action. But overall, you're going to be in there for at least 20 minutes between the three different steps, the theming and everything else.

Every step is different. Two of them are interactive and you walk with a group of 16 people, so there's a sense of being part of a group and interacting and living through the experience together. If you compare this to, let's say, Disney's Rise of the Resistance dark ride, it's essentially two sides, but the same experience. This is much different because you're doing the experience either as a bounty hunter or as a space pirate.”



“The attraction was delayed by more than a year because of Covid. This was signed before Covid. Because of everything related to that, we almost had two years of delays.

China has been one of the most strict countries regarding Covid. The parks were closed and then when they reopened, it was with limited capacity. We then had related issues with construction workers, suppliers and then the long quarantines for our teams.

There was a first quarantine and a second quarantine, so Nol and I have not visited the attraction because it's too complicated right now to get into China. We assembled part of the experience in Montreal but I'm looking forward to doing it in person in China as soon as it's possible.

As Triotech, we had a big advantage in Triotech China, which is based in Beijing with our own installation employees. So part of the team that was on the installation was our Chinese team. Part of the team was our Canadian engineers. The fact that we had a Chinese team helped us a lot, but we were still hit with a lot of delays.

It's been open for a few months now and so far the response has been very good.”



“We opened Fear the Walking Dead in Bali, which is a single path attraction. The team from OCT visited it, just three months before Covid. They loved it and they said they wanted this concept with their IP.

With time it evolved and we said if we're going to make up the world and the storyline, why don't we explore it more, double the capacity and double the fun?

Bali is an indoor park in a shopping mall with fewer visitors, while OCT is a major amusement park in the region. So in terms of capacity, this new attraction is more than double that one. It's groups of sixteen people going from station to station. So there are at least six groups of 16 people living through the experience at one time.”



“We sell dark rides with vehicles but this is a simpler ride in terms of technology, so the cost is lower and you save significantly. The vehicle is usually almost half of the cost of the ride and with the two different story aspects, in terms of cost per capacity, this could be a very cost-effective attraction for operators as well.”



“So far the response has been extremely good from our guests and the customer and I think there's going to be more and more of this type of experience in the future.

Whether it's three chapters or four or five, it's really a concept which, versus a classical interactive dark ride, people are really intrigued and they're asking questions. They're looking for a new type of group experience to live with their family and friends.”



“The secret, the magic behind this attraction is the Triotech technology. The reason that I think it's a successful project is that the entire story was developed in-house with a group of 40 professionals. So there's a seamless link between the technology and the story.

The guest remembers the story and we try as much as possible to make them forget that they're using the technology. That's why the screens are oversized. We use the latest game engines because they're familiar with the graphics on their PlayStation or Xbox or whatever.

For this project, it was a turnkey solution that we built in-house alongside the OCT team.”



“There there's another major one of these attractions in development which we can talk about right now. The client also saw the Bali model and loved it.

The new attraction is going to be somewhere in Asia - not in China. It's being built right now. We're going to announce it officially soon. It's going to be hugely popular, in my opinion.”



“We have a team that always tries to strive in terms of developing tools to be able to tell a story in a different and better way.

We’re always thinking that as an industry we have to compete with what's happening in places like Netflix and with video games.

Both these industries are much, much bigger in terms of means to achieve that, but on a much smaller device. We try to compete by really having guests live through an experience that they cannot have at home, using cutting-edge technology and always making it a profitable venture for our operators.

Cost-effectiveness is also very important and more and more we've seen that operators like to work with one point of entry. So either we handle everything or we subcontract elements, but we are at the interface to make sure that their story and our story is told in the most efficient way.”









“We're taking the guest on an adventure. They embark on what I would describe as an immersive multisensory journey that has interactive components across three chapters - your starter, your main course and your dessert.

Each of those experiences is also an attraction in and of itself. But combining the three in sequential order and wrapping a storyline around that makes the guest the main character in this adventure. The three attractions talk to one another with a storyline and an adventure in which the guest plays a central role.

The first stage of the attraction is the motion simulator. This is essentially a motion platform inside a fully-themed environment in which we can suggest transportation through the means of high-definition media screens. In the case of this attraction, the environment is a space shuttle that takes you from Earth to a distant planet. During your journey, something unexpected happens and you crash land on a distant planet - not the one you were planning to go to.

The doors open and the guests are greeted with a whole new adventure. They enter the training facility where they learn about the predicament that they've gotten themselves into.

We tell the story through means of interactive projection mapping on a wall that is 60ft (18.3m) wide and 24ft (7.3m) tall.

The guests learn about their predicament and how they can get out of it, which leads to another climax, taking us into the third space, which is a fully-themed interactive theatre where we're using all of Triotech's technologies to give the guests a hair-raising ride back to safety, in which they have to play a central role with the interactivity and the targeting devices.

So we're using Triotech's technologies in a variety of ways to tell a story. This particular adventure is a space-based sci-fi one. The client had shared with us a master plan regarding this park and it revolves in its entirety around a space and sci-fi theme. They asked us to develop a storyline unique to this attraction that fitted into that bigger master plan.”



“The interesting thing about this attraction is we're getting people through three attractions that each take three minutes. So it's three minutes in the motion simulator and three minutes in the training facility, then three minutes in the interactive theatre. That’s one journey together with a dwell time in between spaces. You're at a 12+ minute experience down one track but that same experience can be lived by the guests from a different perspective.

We have two motion simulators, two theatres and two training facilities. That allowed us to tell the same story and give the guests the same experience from a different perspective. In this case, it's a conflict between space pirates and the bounty hunters that are hunting for them. As a guest, you have the choice - am I aligning myself with the baddies and living the journey and the experience that way? Or do I align myself with the bounty hunters and live the same journey and the same experience from their perspective? That sort of in a nutshell, how we've set this up.

What makes it interesting is that it's not a passive experience. It's not like a 4D theatre where you sit back in your seat and let it all come your way. There is a theatrical component to it, but ultimately - because we're asking the guests to journey on their own accord from space to space to space, and we make them a central character in this adventure and in this story - it’s a much more involved and engaging experience than a typical dark ride or 4D theatre.

It speaks very well to where people are these days in terms of what sort of entertainment they're craving, which is one that they can interact with and that they can be a part of.”



“From an operator's point of view, we have a ride system that doesn't have a lot of operational and maintenance challenges to it. The moment we start dealing with vehicles and wheels and the engineering of all of that, it can become a bit of a burden for an operator.

Our technologies are proven technologies. These are not things that we've developed for this particular attraction. We've developed this over the years for our products and other projects, and we're now leveraging these technologies to make a more complete experience where we're adding these. The motion seats have proven to be very reliable. We know the media aspect of it, so from an operator's point of view, it's a very solid attraction to operate. By taking groups of 16 in three-minute experiences and pulsing them through it and then running multiple tracks, it allows us to not only come up with a way to do replayability by being able to show multiple storylines, but also a way to up throughput to where it needs to be for the operator.”



“It's very much been a project in evolution that started off a long time ago in 2016/17 with a pop-up we did in Las Vegas around the Fear the Walking Dead IP. The success of that led to us thinking we were on to something and that we could do it better if we tweaked certain things about it. That led us to the Fear the Walking Dead attraction in Bali, which was then seen by several potential clients, one of which was OCT.

OCT immediately bought into the format and we just needed to work out how to improve throughput. That was an easy solution because it was always thought of as being modular. We added another track and all of a sudden we had doubled our throughput from the Bali version.

OCT were very clear to us that they wanted a custom IP and that they wanted it to fit the IP of their park. They shared with us all of the master planning with regard to the storytelling of the park that they were developing. The story revolved around a sci-fi interstellar theme. So we then, together with our team in Montreal, worked on a storyline unique to this attraction, but it ties into the larger storytelling of the park one way or the other. That's the interesting thing about this attraction format to us. It's a framework, it's a format and we can develop it and skin it with any sort of storyline that a client might see fit or might need.”



“It was very smooth. They were very clear and transparent with all of the designs that they were doing for the park because it's brand new. So they were very clear to us in terms of what was the overarching story.

OCT gave us pretty much a green light very early to say 'what’s your version of your attraction that fits into this?' We developed that storyline in collaboration with them to make sure that it lined up with the vision of the operator and lined up with the design firm that did the master planning. From that moment on, as we do with most attractions, once we have alignment on the big picture, we then go into a concept phase and a design phase in which we keep the client involved on a three-week basis.

We always strive for that very open and transparent dialogue with the client so that nobody veers off course. If there are adjustments to be made, we're ready for it. Because we do it at such a regular interval, it rarely becomes a major deal when we have to change something because it goes in small increments. From the moment that the design phase was completed, everything goes into production. We still do regular follow-ups but at larger intervals.”



“I don't think we ever questioned it because we were going to do these two storylines from the beginning. That angle was done rather fast. If we have two tracks, then we should leverage them for maximum replayability and maximum experience.

We had hooked onto this idea of good versus evil, the space, the pirates versus the bounty hunters, etc very early on in the process. It requires, of course, that you're developing these storylines in parallel to make sure that what you do in one thing is reflected in the other storyline as well.

I don't think it affected us in the sense that it didn't become more complicated. It was something that we had bought into from the get-go. It was certainly interesting, that's for sure.”



“It's super exciting. I think we are lucky in the sense that we have a really, really exciting team together.

The dynamics are fantastic between the creative group, the engineers, the software people, the project managers, that unit all the way to our installers and our factory and our international offices, both in France and in China.

We're in a very fortunate situation that we have a very exciting team of people that are very dedicated to building these completely crazy, absurd and outrageous experiences. We get an opportunity to do that day in, day out.”


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A new take on dark rides: Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten on OCT’s game-changing walkthrough attraction from Triotech | Planet Attractions

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A new take on dark rides: Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten on OCT’s game-changing walkthrough attraction from Triotech

OCT Group has debuted a first-of-its-kind attraction at its new Fabland Valley Resort in China. Triotech’s Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten speak to Planet Attractions about the exciting new multi-path dark ride, how it came to be and what it could mean for future attractions






A new attraction at the OCT Group-operated Fabland Valley Resort is turning heads, with dark ride specialists Triotech developing a first-of-its-kind double walkthrough attraction.

Located in the brand new theme park’s Alien Port land, ‘Hive Break’ covers more than 1,000sq m (10,800sq ft) and features two parallel pathways with intertwining narratives.

Through the immersive experience, visitors can choose to battle as either pirates or bounty hunters in an intergalactic sci-fi battle for ancient alien technology. Across each of the parallel paths are three separate zones, each path featuring a motion simulator, a training facility with interactive projection mapping and an interactive theatre.

Offering high throughput and encouraging repeat visitation, the attraction has been custom-built for OCT, with the interactive media created entirely by Triotech in its Montreal studio using the Unreal game engine.

The new attraction also represents a continued collaboration by OCT and Triotech, with Hive Break inspired by another experience from the dark ride specialists. Planet Attractions’ Tom Anstey spoke to Triotech’s Ernest Yale and Nol van Genuchten about the game-changing attraction, how it came to be and future plans for the concept.









“The experience is really much longer versus your usual dark ride. A dark ride experience will typically last three to four minutes. Here, we're talking about three times three minutes during the action. But overall, you're going to be in there for at least 20 minutes between the three different steps, the theming and everything else.

Every step is different. Two of them are interactive and you walk with a group of 16 people, so there's a sense of being part of a group and interacting and living through the experience together. If you compare this to, let's say, Disney's Rise of the Resistance dark ride, it's essentially two sides, but the same experience. This is much different because you're doing the experience either as a bounty hunter or as a space pirate.”



“The attraction was delayed by more than a year because of Covid. This was signed before Covid. Because of everything related to that, we almost had two years of delays.

China has been one of the most strict countries regarding Covid. The parks were closed and then when they reopened, it was with limited capacity. We then had related issues with construction workers, suppliers and then the long quarantines for our teams.

There was a first quarantine and a second quarantine, so Nol and I have not visited the attraction because it's too complicated right now to get into China. We assembled part of the experience in Montreal but I'm looking forward to doing it in person in China as soon as it's possible.

As Triotech, we had a big advantage in Triotech China, which is based in Beijing with our own installation employees. So part of the team that was on the installation was our Chinese team. Part of the team was our Canadian engineers. The fact that we had a Chinese team helped us a lot, but we were still hit with a lot of delays.

It's been open for a few months now and so far the response has been very good.”



“We opened Fear the Walking Dead in Bali, which is a single path attraction. The team from OCT visited it, just three months before Covid. They loved it and they said they wanted this concept with their IP.

With time it evolved and we said if we're going to make up the world and the storyline, why don't we explore it more, double the capacity and double the fun?

Bali is an indoor park in a shopping mall with fewer visitors, while OCT is a major amusement park in the region. So in terms of capacity, this new attraction is more than double that one. It's groups of sixteen people going from station to station. So there are at least six groups of 16 people living through the experience at one time.”



“We sell dark rides with vehicles but this is a simpler ride in terms of technology, so the cost is lower and you save significantly. The vehicle is usually almost half of the cost of the ride and with the two different story aspects, in terms of cost per capacity, this could be a very cost-effective attraction for operators as well.”



“So far the response has been extremely good from our guests and the customer and I think there's going to be more and more of this type of experience in the future.

Whether it's three chapters or four or five, it's really a concept which, versus a classical interactive dark ride, people are really intrigued and they're asking questions. They're looking for a new type of group experience to live with their family and friends.”



“The secret, the magic behind this attraction is the Triotech technology. The reason that I think it's a successful project is that the entire story was developed in-house with a group of 40 professionals. So there's a seamless link between the technology and the story.

The guest remembers the story and we try as much as possible to make them forget that they're using the technology. That's why the screens are oversized. We use the latest game engines because they're familiar with the graphics on their PlayStation or Xbox or whatever.

For this project, it was a turnkey solution that we built in-house alongside the OCT team.”



“There there's another major one of these attractions in development which we can talk about right now. The client also saw the Bali model and loved it.

The new attraction is going to be somewhere in Asia - not in China. It's being built right now. We're going to announce it officially soon. It's going to be hugely popular, in my opinion.”



“We have a team that always tries to strive in terms of developing tools to be able to tell a story in a different and better way.

We’re always thinking that as an industry we have to compete with what's happening in places like Netflix and with video games.

Both these industries are much, much bigger in terms of means to achieve that, but on a much smaller device. We try to compete by really having guests live through an experience that they cannot have at home, using cutting-edge technology and always making it a profitable venture for our operators.

Cost-effectiveness is also very important and more and more we've seen that operators like to work with one point of entry. So either we handle everything or we subcontract elements, but we are at the interface to make sure that their story and our story is told in the most efficient way.”









“We're taking the guest on an adventure. They embark on what I would describe as an immersive multisensory journey that has interactive components across three chapters - your starter, your main course and your dessert.

Each of those experiences is also an attraction in and of itself. But combining the three in sequential order and wrapping a storyline around that makes the guest the main character in this adventure. The three attractions talk to one another with a storyline and an adventure in which the guest plays a central role.

The first stage of the attraction is the motion simulator. This is essentially a motion platform inside a fully-themed environment in which we can suggest transportation through the means of high-definition media screens. In the case of this attraction, the environment is a space shuttle that takes you from Earth to a distant planet. During your journey, something unexpected happens and you crash land on a distant planet - not the one you were planning to go to.

The doors open and the guests are greeted with a whole new adventure. They enter the training facility where they learn about the predicament that they've gotten themselves into.

We tell the story through means of interactive projection mapping on a wall that is 60ft (18.3m) wide and 24ft (7.3m) tall.

The guests learn about their predicament and how they can get out of it, which leads to another climax, taking us into the third space, which is a fully-themed interactive theatre where we're using all of Triotech's technologies to give the guests a hair-raising ride back to safety, in which they have to play a central role with the interactivity and the targeting devices.

So we're using Triotech's technologies in a variety of ways to tell a story. This particular adventure is a space-based sci-fi one. The client had shared with us a master plan regarding this park and it revolves in its entirety around a space and sci-fi theme. They asked us to develop a storyline unique to this attraction that fitted into that bigger master plan.”



“The interesting thing about this attraction is we're getting people through three attractions that each take three minutes. So it's three minutes in the motion simulator and three minutes in the training facility, then three minutes in the interactive theatre. That’s one journey together with a dwell time in between spaces. You're at a 12+ minute experience down one track but that same experience can be lived by the guests from a different perspective.

We have two motion simulators, two theatres and two training facilities. That allowed us to tell the same story and give the guests the same experience from a different perspective. In this case, it's a conflict between space pirates and the bounty hunters that are hunting for them. As a guest, you have the choice - am I aligning myself with the baddies and living the journey and the experience that way? Or do I align myself with the bounty hunters and live the same journey and the same experience from their perspective? That sort of in a nutshell, how we've set this up.

What makes it interesting is that it's not a passive experience. It's not like a 4D theatre where you sit back in your seat and let it all come your way. There is a theatrical component to it, but ultimately - because we're asking the guests to journey on their own accord from space to space to space, and we make them a central character in this adventure and in this story - it’s a much more involved and engaging experience than a typical dark ride or 4D theatre.

It speaks very well to where people are these days in terms of what sort of entertainment they're craving, which is one that they can interact with and that they can be a part of.”



“From an operator's point of view, we have a ride system that doesn't have a lot of operational and maintenance challenges to it. The moment we start dealing with vehicles and wheels and the engineering of all of that, it can become a bit of a burden for an operator.

Our technologies are proven technologies. These are not things that we've developed for this particular attraction. We've developed this over the years for our products and other projects, and we're now leveraging these technologies to make a more complete experience where we're adding these. The motion seats have proven to be very reliable. We know the media aspect of it, so from an operator's point of view, it's a very solid attraction to operate. By taking groups of 16 in three-minute experiences and pulsing them through it and then running multiple tracks, it allows us to not only come up with a way to do replayability by being able to show multiple storylines, but also a way to up throughput to where it needs to be for the operator.”



“It's very much been a project in evolution that started off a long time ago in 2016/17 with a pop-up we did in Las Vegas around the Fear the Walking Dead IP. The success of that led to us thinking we were on to something and that we could do it better if we tweaked certain things about it. That led us to the Fear the Walking Dead attraction in Bali, which was then seen by several potential clients, one of which was OCT.

OCT immediately bought into the format and we just needed to work out how to improve throughput. That was an easy solution because it was always thought of as being modular. We added another track and all of a sudden we had doubled our throughput from the Bali version.

OCT were very clear to us that they wanted a custom IP and that they wanted it to fit the IP of their park. They shared with us all of the master planning with regard to the storytelling of the park that they were developing. The story revolved around a sci-fi interstellar theme. So we then, together with our team in Montreal, worked on a storyline unique to this attraction, but it ties into the larger storytelling of the park one way or the other. That's the interesting thing about this attraction format to us. It's a framework, it's a format and we can develop it and skin it with any sort of storyline that a client might see fit or might need.”



“It was very smooth. They were very clear and transparent with all of the designs that they were doing for the park because it's brand new. So they were very clear to us in terms of what was the overarching story.

OCT gave us pretty much a green light very early to say 'what’s your version of your attraction that fits into this?' We developed that storyline in collaboration with them to make sure that it lined up with the vision of the operator and lined up with the design firm that did the master planning. From that moment on, as we do with most attractions, once we have alignment on the big picture, we then go into a concept phase and a design phase in which we keep the client involved on a three-week basis.

We always strive for that very open and transparent dialogue with the client so that nobody veers off course. If there are adjustments to be made, we're ready for it. Because we do it at such a regular interval, it rarely becomes a major deal when we have to change something because it goes in small increments. From the moment that the design phase was completed, everything goes into production. We still do regular follow-ups but at larger intervals.”



“I don't think we ever questioned it because we were going to do these two storylines from the beginning. That angle was done rather fast. If we have two tracks, then we should leverage them for maximum replayability and maximum experience.

We had hooked onto this idea of good versus evil, the space, the pirates versus the bounty hunters, etc very early on in the process. It requires, of course, that you're developing these storylines in parallel to make sure that what you do in one thing is reflected in the other storyline as well.

I don't think it affected us in the sense that it didn't become more complicated. It was something that we had bought into from the get-go. It was certainly interesting, that's for sure.”



“It's super exciting. I think we are lucky in the sense that we have a really, really exciting team together.

The dynamics are fantastic between the creative group, the engineers, the software people, the project managers, that unit all the way to our installers and our factory and our international offices, both in France and in China.

We're in a very fortunate situation that we have a very exciting team of people that are very dedicated to building these completely crazy, absurd and outrageous experiences. We get an opportunity to do that day in, day out.”


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2022