My name is John Sear and I’m a Real World Game Designer and Software Developer

A decade ago I moved from making videogames for small screens and mobile into those that take place in real spaces: cinemas, museums, libraries, castles, car-parks, city-wide, theme-parks…

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All these games are collaborative in nature & have a live actor behind the scenes.


A Rainbow For Amala

A new interactive experience for children and their grandparents addressing the climate emergency

Fame Game

A New Immersive Outdoor Adventure Game for Birmingham


A 15-minute Saxon-themed educational game meets Escape Room

A Moment of Madness

A political spy thriller where players are on a live stake-out in a public car park!

AMOM Online

Taking the core elements of ‘A Moment of Madness’ & reimagining it for an online audience.

Escape From Ballantine House

An online Escape Game where players must find the secret Ballantine Beer recipe during a dinner at a stately home

Lost & Found

An online mystery game where players are investigating the disappearance of Jessica - working alongside Officer Malik.


Strategic board game meets tower-defence videogame with Escape Game-style puzzles.

Who Killed Cynthia Conner

Full Motion Video game which mixes Murder Mystery with Escape Game style puzzles - set in The Newark Museum of Art

Digital Art Experiments

A random collection of Digital Art Experiments from 2015-ish where I thought I might be a digital artist ;)


a 500 player 90 minute experience designed for Cinemas where players control the experience with lasers

Recent Posts


Punchdrunk are back after 8 years! I’ve generally stopped writing about other immersive / interactive experiences that I’ve participated in. It’s hard enough to find time to write about my own projects! However, I absolutely have to make an exception for ‘The Burnt City’! I’ve been 3 times. Once to a preview and twice once it was officially open. We’re incredibly fortunate in the UK to have the world leaders in large-scale immersive performance, Punchdrunk and even more fortunate that they finally have a new show: The Burnt City.

I know it’s not quite the end of 2021 - but realistically I’m not going to finish any more projects before the end of the year. And since I’m trying to take it a bit easier to catch up on business admin - this seemed the right time for this post! Am I a Workaholic? I’ve been very fortunate to mostly keep working during COVID. In fact, despite a small blip at the beginning of COVID - where a bunch of projects were cancelled - I’ve had too much work.

…and this time it’s online! Back in 2019, we toured ‘A Moment of Madness’ to a number of UK festivals. AMoM is an immersive experience with live actors and Escape Game style puzzles where the players are on a stake-out in a multi-story car-park tracking politician Michael Makerson (just another politician with a closet full of scandals!). We were hoping to bring it back in 2020/21 – but a worldwide pandemic got in the way of real-world experiences.

Introduction This blogpost discusses a Zoom-based Escape Game Experience developed in collaboration with Newark Museum of Art. We built a one-hour experience that allowed large groups of players (50+) to work in small teams to solve puzzles related to the Ballantine House and it’s history. The game has a single host (a member of the education team playing the character of maid or butler) that allows them to manage the entire experience.

Last year, I worked with the amazing National Trust property The Workhouse in Southwell. I was reminded of this project recently when talking about how I work with Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (+ other art organisations) and that it’s one of many that I had failed to blog about! Often people come across my museum-work via my free DIY tutorials (either online or through word of mouth). As I’m sure I have mentioned elsewhere these are all open-source – please use & improve!

(This is really part 2 of a blog post about the ‘different ways I work with museums’. You can read this on it’s own or start with part 1 first.) For this project Outside Studios found me (I think via the free tutorials). They were doing a large redevelopment over the entire Workhouse site and I would chip-in with the Digital Tour Guides. Visitor feedback I’m sure NT have better visitor feedback but I thought I’d just take a few quotes from Trip Advisor.