Things to do: Beer Quest brings the goodness of gaming Guzzling to downtown Denver
Colorado Creative Ryan Foo is back for more fun and games, Denver – this time with a sword-witchcraft-and-stout… or a lager, or a lager, or whatever whistle your little heart desires. beer-loving player might get wet. He teams up with the Rainbow Militia of Denver, who bring their own sense of the circus arts to the business. The result: Beer Quest.
“Summon 4-6 of your most capable friends to aid Drinkledore on a quest to save his beloved dragon,” the website urges. He clarifies that due to the beer, this is a 21+ event, and it’s an immersive experience that will take place outdoors over three weekends, Thursday through Sunday. Tickets and more information can be found on the Beer Quest website.
We caught up with Foo via email to find out more about the new game and all that it promises. As in any role-playing game, the real treasure is friendship and adventure – although in this case it is friendship, adventure and beer.
Word from the West: Therefore, Beer Quest. How did this idea come about?
Ryan Foo: Well I knew I wanted to do another ‘game-ified event’ afterwards. IllFooMinati, and I’ve been on an outdoor cafe adventure with a friend for a while. The inspiration for going 8-bit like we did is attributed to Rainbow Militia, as we worked together on a lot of the creative work. They really helped us build the world that we will see in July.
Give us an idea of what participants can expect from the experience. It kind of sounds like some sort of LARPing SCA live dungeon stuff, plus beer (so: all kinds of awesome).
I wouldn’t call it larp, but you’ll be doing all kinds of things in the land of Beer Quest. I’d say if you’re a nerd of any stripe you’re going to love it – and if you just love beer, it’s always going to be a good time. We have done our best to balance these things.
What video games, if any, inspired this live action game? The nature of the 8-bit pixels of the concept suggests a serious gaming story …
Hahaha! All! I like the games. Games as a philosophical concept are what inspired this – although there are many allusions to popular games and culture around the world of Beer Quest. In terms of influence, the mechanics of the world come from RPGs as Skyrim or World of warcraft. But some do teach a lesson in storytelling itself, and for that I’d credit games like Divinity: original sin, Bioshock Infinite and The witcher.
What can event attendees expect?
To be tested. To be guided. But above all, expect to explore! The experience is open-world, so you can really do whatever you want to do. There are four realms to visit, dozens of quests, hidden Easter eggs, and a final boss fight that’s a real video game. And you’ll earn beer and dragon scales along the way.
Whether it’s an “open world experience”… how does this video game term translate into the real world?
Above all, that we don’t force you to do anything. There will be a big open space with lots of things to do and reasons to level up, but we don’t guide you from scene to scene like in a traditional video game. So the name of the game becomes exploration, where you can roam the open world at your own pace. Plus, there is more to do than most people will be able to accomplish in one go, so anyone who comes more than once will have quite drastically different experiences.
Player rewards are either beer or ‘dragon scales’, which are the in-game currency. What kinds of items will the scales be able to purchase?
All kinds of stuff! Everything from pixel clothing / weapons to decorations for their Pixel Blitz “Trusty Shield”. And of course beer! It’s also possible to bribe in-game characters with dragon scales… but don’t tell anyone I said that.
BQ actors Sarah Marsden, Cerene Shepard and James Brunt.
Photos: Les Jo (e); Photographic illustration: Thomas von Bohlen
The cast looks pretty awesome. Can you tell us about the cast of the characters?
Sure! You will therefore meet four heroes on your journey: Richard the Sparkling, who runs the arena and the Pixel Blitz game; Dread Pirate Bubbles, who runs the Menagerie and the Wheel of Doom; Professor Barleywine, who runs the Brewniversity and has knowledge of dragons; and Thief Queen Ale-Xandra, who runs the Thieves Guild and has The Master Quest.
There is also a quest master, a bard, the wizard himself – Drinkledore, although not all of you can meet them in three dimensions. And an incredible supporting cast of bar and crew!
One of those who play Richard the Frothy is none other than Stephen Brackett of Flobots. How did he get involved in this project?
He plays one of our main characters, Richard the Sparkling. And he’s fantastic. Stephen has been on a Rainbow Militia show before, so they have a story – and I personally know Stephen in many amazing spaces in our community. We sit together on the mayor’s committee responsible for cultural affairs and we see each other quite often. I’m pretty sure he visited my high school when I was in first grade, so he’s a legend in my book. He’s really up to the task. An incredible honor to work with him, and he’s perfect for the role.
It’s also worth noting that he shares the role with Bryan Connolly, who himself is exceptional.
How was Beer Quest born of the rainbow militia? What is the connective tissue between these two efforts?
And who are the beer partners who supply the hops?
Our Arena sponsor is Voodoo prowler, with Welders, Raíces Brewery and Liquid death following suit as sponsors of the Kingdom. There are also other partners for the Beer Garden, which is open every day where we do the show from 11am to 4pm.
What makes Denver the perfect place to Beer Quest?
All the amazing breweries, of course! Also, I think we have a growing community of gamers / nerds here that is starting to show their muscles, and I like myself a good ol ‘geekdom.
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