Thursday, May 26, 2011

Murder in the Maze Part IV: The Website

In 2001, My friend Don and I decided we needed something to celebrate the fun of The Maze.  Secretly, while no one was watching, we built a website for The Maze. Don was proficient at code and I was up to my eyeballs in Photoshop, so away we went.

We gave each year its own page and placed photos from the parties and descriptions on each.  I designed a header for each one of the pages.  We created a page to do profiles on everyone who helped construct the Maze and make the party such a success.  We also had a page for all the strange things we had created - like the skull keystone from last post and the "Carrie" trophy for best costume - a trophy with an idol of a prom queen covered in blood!  We threw a huge party on my friend Carol's birthday (Cinqo De Mayo) and premiered

I suppose that is where things went a little crazy.  The party that year was beyond huge.   We had more people than we'd every had at any of the other parties combined.  I believe the cops showed up three times that year.  There wasn't any violence or anything...with that many people, we were just a bit too loud.  I have to claim some responsibility for the tension and recriminations that followed.  That party was TOO big and many boundaries were crossed during and after the party.  That was where things changed.

After the 2001, the luster of the maze fell away and we were left with the stark reality of the effects the parties were having.  After that year, the Maze moved to another location and the parties lost some of their sparkle.  They were still fun mind you, but the honeymoon was definitely over.  The price of the maze had become painfully clear: too much money, too much cleanup, too much arguing, and too little respect.

So the maze parties moved to another location and we all had to grow up a little.  The parties continued, but some people backed out of the preparation phase and all of our efforts were a bit halfhearted now that we knew and understood the price of the maze.  Ahhhhh, but we have the memories of rushing through the darkness, anticipating and fearing the strange touch of our friends and wondering if the trembling hand that reaches towards us is shaking out of communal fear or in preparation for the kill.  Oh the Murder!  The Murder in the Maze!

There are still a couple of pieces left to post from the website and a flyer or two I've missed.  OH, and did I forget to mention the LEGEND OF THE MAZE!  Alas, that is for another post...BWA HA HA HA HA HA!

The website doesn't exist anymore, but I couldn't post about the maze and overlook this essential part of its history. The Carrie trophy was created and photographed by my friend Don and the Skull Keystone was created by my friend Mike and also photographed by Don.

{All the headers were created within Photoshop} 

More Maze History and Art:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Murder in the Maze Part III: The Second Murderer

During third and fourth years of the Maze parties, so many people were playing the Murder in the Maze game that we developed an alternate set of rules for a second murderer within the game.  This was to help the game last a little longer with a large crowd so that everyone would have the opportunity to be "killed".  Also, sometimes the games would run long and people would have to head home to bed and had not had a chance yet to be the murderer.  So we inserted a second murderer to up the ante across the board!  There were several variations on how the second murderer was activated and came into play.  I don't remember them all, but following is the rule we used most often.

During the game, if the first murderer tapped the second murderer on the shoulder, then the second murderer was activated and tapped the first on the shoulder letting him know that he had become a murder victim and was dead.

Once this unknown murder had occurred, it would throw off any theory anyone had developed so far on the identity of the murderer and turn the game intrigue up to 11!  There was always lots of chatting after we were finished playing about who was where when and who secretly or not so secretly was watching or overheard when the murders were committed.  Lots of fun moments in the dark scaring the crap out of each other!  Good Times!  :-P

The first piece of art here is the flyer for the 2000 Maze party.  The flyer was printed on neon green and neon orange paper.  I apologize for my crappy scythe.  The image of Jack here has a MUCH better scythe!  :-)  Over time, Jack kind of became the official mascot for the maze parties.

{Pen & Ink, Text created in Photoshop}

The second piece of art here is the box I created for the deck of cards I created in Photoshop for the game.  During that time I had backed up many of my art files to zip disks and did not realize my error until too late.  I don't remember the exact year it occurred, but rapidly over several months time, all of my zip disks began to scramble and become unreadable.  I found out far too late that this is something that happens with zip disks over time.  I lost two years of artwork due to the scrambling.  The Murder in the Maze deck artwork was on those disks.  I've looked through all my old files to see if I had a hidden copy, but have not found any trace of the cards.

The person on the front of the box is my friend Don.  He let me xerox his face and use it as the cover.  The image from the back of the box is a skull painted by my dearly departed friend Ratboy aka Mike.  It was attached and used as the keystone in a fearsome archway we built for the entrance to the maze.  I'll see if I can find a picture of the archway and post it at some point.  The background is from several photos Don took of the black plastic that we used to construct the maze.  Those photos were used in the website we created to celebrate and advertise the Maze.  The website only ran for a couple of years but is no longer present on the web.  In my next post I will post some of the work I did for the site and give some more background info on it.

{Digital images manipulated in Photoshop}

More Maze History and Art:

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