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 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 dissapperance 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


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

Recent Posts


…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.

** This post is to encourage you to go and play a museum-themed online Escape Game I built. So, you can skip the rest of this article and head straight here to play! Now, you may have already seen that I have a brand new tutorial which shows you how to create your own online Audio Tours. This means your visitors can use their own devices to view / listen to the content #BYOD.

Introduction A Moment of Madness is a project that I’ve been collaborating on with Katie Day of The Other Way Works for over 5 years now!!! In fact you can even see some of the earlier blog posts on it here: In 2014 back when it was still called ‘Agent in a Box’ In 2016 when we had some ACE support to build and show a prototype (AiaB reboot)  Anyway – now it’s out there I wanted to write about it some more (doing my best to avoid giving away any spoilers) and also to mention that Katie and I are running a FREE 2-day Immersive Theatre workshop this September in Birmingham.