The Drawing Board Part 6 - Making a change

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In the spirit of the New Year, I thought I'd touch on changes.

You've gotten your haunt up and running. You're having a pretty good time with it, but now you want to "level up". What are you going to do?

You could go all the way back to the beginning. Start all over from scratch and hope it works out.

Another idea is to look at what you have and ask some basic questions:

What are we doing that is working?
What are we doing that we need to STOP?
What are we not doing that we need to START?
What are we doing that can be done better?

These are good questions to ask in just about any ongoing endeavor. However, you may not be the right person to answer them. For the best insight, you may need to ask your patrons. If you have "scare cams", your patrons may already be telling you what is working well. If you have any kind of exit polling, you might be getting suggestions from there too.

Otherwise, see if you can talk to some people who you know have gone through your haunt and find out what they liked and what they did not. This will take some work on your part, since they likely will not really know how to answer. You may have to ask them about specific moments, or start with what they remember as their favorite moments.

You just might find out that your favorite room leaves most guests feeling like they are missing something, or that the room you were going to cut out was loved by most. Whatever it is, take the data and mix it with your creativity and see where it goes. If you happen to be open for multiple days, you might even be able to poll people over the course of a season!

You may decide you need to make some changes, additions, and subtractions. If you have established characters and mythology, your changes could be about telling the next (or even previous) chapter in that story. By jumping back 20 years to tell the story of how the murderer came to be crazy, you get to use a lot of the same elements, plus you get to have an "in-story" reason for any changes. Ditto for moving forward in time. What new evils have sprung from this cursed place? What callbacks to last year help tie it all together? That's the cool thing about stories. Even when you have a beginning, middle, and end, there is always more to tell. Just keep it interesting!

Anyway, I thought i'd share with you this approach to making changes and "leveling up".

Happy Haunting!