Laguna Beach native seeks crowdfunding for escape room venture

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Cutline: A concept drawing of the USS Destiny escape room being built by Tyler Russell McCusker of Laguna Beach. Courtesy of Breach Escape Rooms

Tyler Russell McCusker of Laguna Beach and his business co-founder at Breach Escape Games have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help complete their science fiction-themed escape room concept in Lake Forest.

Since 2016, players have enjoyed a futuristic scenario with McCusker’s other venture, The Escape Bus, Orange County’s first mobile escape room, or traveled back to 1960 to solve the murder in “Secrets of Suburbia.”

Now, players will embark on “USS Destiny,” a replayable, choose-your-own-path escape game built at the company’s Lake Forest warehouse.

The project is nearing completion and needs public support through a recently-launched Kickstarter campaign with a $15,000 goal. The pandemic has delayed the experience but McCusker hopes a successful crowdfunding campaign will help with a summer opening.

“This project has been an ambitious undertaking. We’ve always wanted to take the time necessary to create one of the most unique and exciting escape experiences in the world, but we never expected COVID to slow us down even further” McCusker said in a prepared statement.

Breach Escape Games and The Escape Bus are not affiliated with a large escape room franchise. Designer Jonathan Katz and McCusker’s long friendship and a shared passion for playing games and storytelling sparked their business venture.

“Our goal is not only to challenge your brains but to tell an engaging story,” Katz said in a prepared statement. “That’s why we create our games story-first and develop puzzles to push the narrative forward.”

In the game’s universe, players are on a routine space survey mission that’s interrupted by an alien attack that damaging their spacecraft, USS Destiny. The team can choose to fight back, attempt to communicate or repair the ship.

There are multiple areas of the ship to access, depending on the choices you make: the airlock, the security terminal, the laboratory, the armory, and the conservatory. Some puzzles include building a missile, growing an exotic plant or donning space boots to repair the exterior of the craft. Players will also take on different roles on the space crew, like engineer, gunner or captain.

To support the escape room’s launch, visit kickstarter.com here and search for “USS Destiny: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Style Escape Game.”

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