Codice Indaco

An immersive experience in an abandoned laboratory.

Autumn of 2013 was a period of great research for us; a couple of trips allowed us to discover a few experiences that forever changed the way we design.
In London we saw The Drowned Man, a Punchdrunk production, which took place inside the set of an abandoned building with 4 floors–the Temple Studios.
What struck us the most was the freedom that viewers have to move inside the space, to choose which piece of story to follow, and to touch and interact with the sets.

The dream then was born soon: let’s mix urban games with immersive theater!

So we tried and, thanks to a contribution from the Cariplo Foundation, we produced the public preview of Codice Indaco, an immersive experience in an abandoned laboratory. After nearly six months of work, 4 game and theater nights were staged in June of 2016, integrating more than 800 players and 30 actors within the space of (Ex-Ansaldo).
The players entered the lab and got to know a character–a researcher who they would have to help. Each researcher had a different goal inside the story, but everyone wanted to activate an old machine which generated an incredible amount of Indigo waves, brain frequencies that can bring the human mind to a level never experienced before.

The public preview allowed us to learn many things about these kinds of experiences.

First, it is not easy to combine game dynamics – which are strongly interactive – with classical theater dynamics, which are instead usually passive.
Our poor players were constantly shifting from one aspect of the experience to the other, and this prevented them from achieving the kind of immersion we were looking for. Additionally, the location was too small and even if the players and the actors had spread out inside the venue, the noise of the different games was deafening and the beautiful soundtrack that we had created was almost impossible to hear! Finally, the lab looked more like the concept of a lab; our budget constraints allowed us to realize only a part of what we imagined. The amazing Temple Studios were a long way off.

However, it was not an epic fail, but the opposite!

We worked with a team of over 30 people who proved to be fantastic.
Actors with a mixed range of experiences decided to get in touch with the players. We found that sociability and the desire to play in a team are ingredients that our players enjoy greatly and, in this regard, the energy that was generated was amazing! A large group of fans follow us and they are already helping us to find the right way to realize our dream together as they take part in our playtests and continue to passionately provide us with feedback.


Codice Indaco, an immersive experience in an abandoned laboratory.
Designed by Urban Games Factory + Jason Corace, Asia Ufnalska, Gwen Morfey, Lena Mechtchanova, William Drew, Jana Wendler, Amy Strike, Elisa Angelico.
Produced by Urban Games Factory e Industria Scenica.
With the support of Fondazione Cariplo.
We thank all of our Researchers and WeMake.