Justin Oborne has always had a passion for role-playing games, and now he’s turned his hobby into a career.
Blue Chest Games is a mobile mystery company — Oborne visits customers with costumes and scenarios for a night of intrigue. What started as a hobby for friends and family is now open to the public, he told SPIN.
“[In 2021] for Christmas, my brother suggested I do a murder mystery game for a group of friends … It went really well. I ended up doing a bunch more for friends and family over the [next] year,” Oborne said.
By Sept. 2022, Oborne ran a game for strangers.
“My guests were very impressed … And they were all saying, ‘Oh, we’d totally pay for this kind of thing.’ So I got some ideas for prices from them and went from there,” he said.
Oborne said he got to work creating multiple scenarios, writing mysteries between his other jobs in Sun Peaks. Then he made a website, started advertising and shared his business name in the community.
He booked one Santa-themed game over the holidays and has two other themed games prepared for future customers. One is a ski murder mystery, and the second takes place in a theatre. Oborne said he’s working on writing more storylines as he builds his business.
Once a customer books a date and time for their murder mystery, Oborne visits their home, sets up an evidence table and notebooks for players to use for their investigation, and lays out costumes for people to try on, including wigs.
Then, the game starts.
“The game is broken up into three rounds. So at the end of each round, [players] guess who they think the murderer is,” Oborne said.
At the end of the game, players get small prizes based on categories like best costume or most innocent. Oborne also hands out gift cards for local businesses as prizes.
Oborne said the game appeals to those with different interests like investigations, competition or role-playing.
“I try to incorporate different things that allow people who may not be that interested in solving a mystery to have fun in their own way,” Oborne said.
Oborne said he is also available to run games in Kamloops.
The game takes two to three hours to complete and accommodates groups of up to ten players.
For Oborne, inspiration for his characters and settings comes from many places.
“Living in Sun Peaks, it’s hard not to be inspired. There’s a lot of beauty around here … the Internet … And I’ve pulled very heavily from soap operas and use a lot of tropes and stereotypes you find in [those shows].”
Those interested in booking a game with Oborne can visit his website.
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