“The escape game allows me to link manufacturing and gaming passions.”
As production and methods manager at Kryptex, Francis Tschantz is in charge of finding the right subcontractors and organizing production internally. But with a background in cabinet making, this escape game player also puts his skills to work in manufacturing. He talks about his favorite projects.
What is your initial training? What brought you to the escape game?
I have an atypical background, which has nothing to do with the escape game. I first trained as a micro-technician, I worked in robotics and programming before becoming a project manager in this field. Then, I decided to make a change. I really wanted to design, so I retrained as a cabinetmaker. I’ve always been very interested in manufacturing in general. I made things in the shop, I installed them on site. Then, I worked as a project manager for luxury fittings in the watchmaking and packaging industries. The escape game adventure began with a meeting with Bruno Pouget, who was looking for a methods manager. It took me out of the luxury sector and I found this field fascinating. It also allowed me to combine my passions for manufacturing and gaming. Basically, I’m a big escape game player. And I became passionate about the field. In the escape game, there is a multitude of fields gathered in one. I was able to bring together many of my passions and skills into one role.
What interests you in the escape game?
No two days are alike, no two projects are the same. In the escape game business, clients are always looking for new things, new mechanisms, complexity and customization. It is a daily challenge to find solutions that are feasible within the given budget. As production manager, my role is to respond to these constraints by finding solutions with my team and my network of subcontractors. On the other hand, my role as a method manager is to set up work methods so that our teams can work more efficiently and in a pleasant way, whether it be in project management or in production in general. These two facets correspond perfectly to me, creating magnificent projects while listening to the people I work with to set up processes that benefit everyone.
What are the projects you are most proud of?
Crime on the Orient Express is my favorite since it appealed to one of my old passions, namely cabinet making. I really enjoyed working on The Mathilda Case a horrific escape game. For the first project, the challenge was to reproduce the great luxury of this train of the time with limited means. I played two major roles in this project, a technical role in the search for the right material but also a role in the fabrication in the workshop and the installation on site. I also made a game box, The Prisoner’s box, a futuristic box that talked about time rifts. I did all the technical design and manufacturing. I had a blast on this project. The Battle Box project, with two twin boxes, which linked a steampunk side and a lot of mechanisms. I did the technical design and part of the manufacturing before the project management part took over completely.