Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2005.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

It's an absolute mess

Posted 8 February 2005

Frances Searle may well be the most awful building I've ever had the displeasure of attempting to navigate. The building is nothing more than a reconstruction of the labyrinth of Knossos, posing as a center for the School of Communication. It's impossible to tell which way to go. Signs litter the inside, confusing all who enter the maze.

I walked in the door and turned right, looking for the Staircase of Promise, which only a week earlier had been indeed to my right. However, the hallway where it should have been deadend-ed into two ominous portals --- I mean doors --- that bore no markings. I turned back to find the elevators, which carried me to what I believed to be the 3rd floor. The room number I was after was 3220.

When the elevator doors opened I found that there was a single walkway passing by the elevator. Not seven feet in front of me was a Guardrail of Prevention to keep me from falling into the abyss. I followed the pathway to the left. Color me surprised, then, to find that infernal staircase, right where it should have been not two floors down! I wandered past sign after sign. Each one had at least three arrows, and exactly no directions for finding room 3220.

I passed by door after door, each with no Window of Enlightenment to illuminate what might lie inside. Finally I found a corridor, the guidepost of which was broken and on the floor. I picked up the sign and read "Passage of the Minotaur". I had exhausted all possible other routes, so this must surely be where room 3220 was located!

And so it was. Frances Searle's labyrinth conquered, and only 25 minutes late to the experiment, I tore through the questions. But not fast enough, and eventually the experimenter said that she was going to head on down to her office, and to please come find her when I was finished. I told her that I wasn't familiar with the building, and wouldn't she like to explain how to get to her office? Thus she quoth:

"My office is at the end of the Path of Guidance. For safe passage into the Path, you must first confront the Chief Elder, who will instruct you to slay the Dragon of Despair. In order to open the chamber of the dragon you will need the Key of Certainty. The Key can only be forged from the remains of the Goblin King, which is located at the top of the Staircase of Promise..."

Knowing full well that I'd never be able to find the Staircase of Promise, I ran screaming from the room. After several hours I managed to find a way out.

Oh, and I drew a sketch of the interior.