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The Merle Inn

The Merle Inn is the next iteration of the local game store and board game cafe. Using immersive sets and technologies along with professional guides, guests can play Table Top Role Playing Games in a brand new way.


This concept was designed to fill a need in the entertainment landscape. As an avid player of table top role playing games and a huge fan of immersive experiences, it felt like the next step for me to imagine how the two would interact. 

The proof of concept VR game was played by attendees of the IU Luddy School 2023 Capstone and participants had a 100% success rate of solving the puzzle. A live Game Master led each player through a short D&D 5e puzzle in a VR recreation of the Merle Inn's Game Portal.

Project Breakdown


January 2023 - April 2023

Production of this table top role playing game venue concept involved creating a comprehensive pitch deck, a VR game, and a playable module. I was able to use Unreal 5, Quixel, and Adobe Stock assets to create a mock Game Portal as it would appear in the physical space. The module was then run for participants to demonstrate the concept.

Writing and Concept

Show Writing

Game Development

The story for this concept is focused on a Wizard named Merle, who wants to bring his guests along on his adventures. I was able to weave this story into my pitch deck and the playable VR module. The overall effect was an immersive, whimsical, adventure for all participants.

Capstone Presentation

April 28, 2023

Program attendees were able to play the proof of concept game, using the Meta Quest 2 headset and led by an individual DM - myself, Thomas Holmes, or Jensen Otis. After rolling dice and casting spells, 100% of players figured out that Merle needed them to do the Chicken Dance to open the dungeon door.


This project tested my resilience in that I had a clear vision of what I wanted to create, but I knew that I would need to learn a lot of new skills in a short amount of time in order to create it. I was able to teach myself how to use Unreal and understand the needs of Virtual Reality.

I was given tons of feedback from my mentors and peers on this project, and it was instrumental to my process. I ended with a concept that I am proud of and was able to showcase it in a way that surpassed my expectations. I hope to see you all at the Merle Inn real soon!

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