Photo by Tomer Grassiany
I design interactive experiences that connect and entertain humans.
I’m an experience designer. What does that actually mean? I combine storytelling and game design to create experiences people can play. They're real-life adventures, games, plays, and worlds where the people and spaces around you are interactive.
I love collaborating with others while experimenting with formats, genres, and mediums to create accessible spaces for every type of audience.
Want to get in touch already? You can always email me.
What People Are Saying
"The way Tommy thinks - creatively, strategically, and tactically - is so unique and valuable and he has been an amazing partner for us here at GreatCo. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and intentionality that he puts into any project he has his hands in, which also inherently shows in the high quality of work he produces. He's also, on a personal level, such a genuine joy and supportive partner to work with."
CEO, The Great Company
"Tommy is brilliant. His experiences are accessible for all types of people and incorporate some of the most delightful surprises. He always listens patiently and lends a refreshingly generous perspective. Connecting with Tommy is always rewarding. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!"
"I've had the pleasure of experiencing Tommy's work both as a participant, and as a colleague. Our company, Interwoven Immersive, Inc. has collaborated with Tommy on multiple experiential events and we cannot speak highly enough about him. From game design, to puzzle creation, to strategic planning, Tommy is a total pro and an absolute delight to work with."
"Let me type about Tommy’s generosity, honesty, and intrepidity. It’s never about his ego but the betterment of the project. He is unafraid to point out shoddy design or untenable elements while flexible enough to admit when the pendent parts are his own. He seeks sparks, flashes, and catalysts in people and experiences. He allies with others, pays it forward, invests in karma. Anyone fortunate enough to collaborate with him will gain priceless dividends for a long time."
Half of Spectacular Disaster Factory
"Tommy is one of my favorite collaborators on any immersive or interactive design project. His vast knowledge of the field allows him to pull from a huge array of solid ideas, as well as generate entirely novel forms. In addition to being one of the smartest and most dedicated designers I know, he also happens to be an absolute joy to work with. He will make any project better!"
Game & Interactive Designer,
Jeb Havens Games
"Tommy was an amazing person to work with. Dedicated, passionate, and driven, his ideas were bright and always added to the project."
"Tommy knows immersive's theories and its practical applications. In reporting on the topic, I was glad to have him as a resource. He's knowledgeable, and makes that knowledge accessible. However immersive in LA evolves in the coming years, I'm sure Tommy will be there helping to guide it."
Brandon R. Reynolds
"Tommy crafts connections between realms - the digital, the tangible, the audible, the visible. Locks that don’t look like locks, keys that don’t look like keys. Tommy’s work takes you on a journey of discovery; his adventures slowly expand in scope, all building to the perfect “aha” moment."
Contributor, No Proscenium
"Every project Tommy touches is better for his participation. The spectrum and diversity of his own work speaks to what he has: that rarest of talents, when a creator’s skills so fully serve what they create that their artistic voice is virtually undetectable, inextricably tied to the piece like the harmony of a song."
Artistic/Producing Director, Walk the Night
"Tommy's work is unique, cool, and pushes limits. When working on a project, he dives in with 110% of his passion and takes critical feedback into account, determined to make every project better than the last. "
Interactive and Immersive Enthusiast
"I’m working on my second project with Tommy and it’s such a blast. Not only does he craft mind-blowing puzzles, but he’s also able to communicate them beautifully to non-puzzle-minded-folks like me. Plus, he designed Stash House, the best escape room in L.A."
"Tommy is a fantastic collaborator. Not only are his puzzle and game designs top-notch, he's also a superb storyteller. He understands how narrative and game play have to work together to create stellar experiences for audiences. I welcome any opportunity to work with Tommy!"
"There is no one else who thinks like Tommy. Aside from his ability to build fun and intriguing puzzles, his true gift is how he connects the creative intentions of a project with the needs of an audience. He cuts to the heart of a story and understands how to translate the material in unique and exciting ways. In doing this, he creates experiences that are more than just enjoyable, they're meaningful."
"Tommy Honton is a brilliant creative who weaves intriguing narratives replete with fascinating puzzles. As a collaborator, his thoughts are always insightful, specific, and make the project so much better. Plus he is one of the hardest working, deeply knowledgeable, and genuinely wonderful people in this industry."
Juliana Patel & Ariel Rubin
Creators of Fun, Wild Optimists
"I've known Tommy for a number of years now and some of my favorite memories of our friendship is getting mesmerized by his storytelling. An hour passes like a minute when you're enthralled in his unique perspective and beautiful language. And now he's taken his passion for writing and moved it into a creative space where his stories can literally come to life. There has never been a better marriage and I can't wait to see the pure art that comes from that creative and visionary brain of his!"
"Tommy represents what I aspire to be as an artist and a person. He makes sure his work involves lifting up other artists, he's an extremely diligent collaborator and friend, and he seems forever open to new people and new information. I'm honored to work in the same sphere as Tommy."
"If you need to create a new world, go to Tommy. We had to layer a 360 degree illusion over a Lower East Side basement for an immersive show where the participants could see and touch everything - everything. We needed to world build with every object, every part of the space, and do so without people realizing they had stepped into a different world. If we hadn't connected with Tommy, I don't know how we could have done it: from the grand design to tiny details, everything fit together create the ideal magic circle."
Co-Founder, Sinking Ship Creations
"Tommy has emerged as one of the leaders of the immersive scene, both creatively and as a premiere voice in championing the community's needs. He has a unique ability to think creatively and in the very meticulous manner required to express our esoteric ideas to permitting policymakers and stakeholders. "
Co-Founder, Think Tank Gallery & Creative
"Tommy has an innate ability to support, frame and funnel the ideas of everyone involved in a project towards its best aspirations. Whether it’s consultation or execution, he is the first on my list for insightful perspective to improve a piece in ways that are both innovative and true to the core of the work."
Artistic/Producing Director, Walk the Night
"Tommy is one of the smartest and kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with. He’s got an incredible handle on the principles of interactive design and storytelling, and his ideas have measurably improved our work."
Co-Artistic Director, Spy Brunch LLC (Safehouse ’77, Safehouse ’82, The Pod)
"Tommy has wide-ranging curiosity, a catalog of practical knowledge, and a spirit of experimentation oriented towards creating great experiences. He skillfully guides projects through production, balancing technical and design considerations. Throughout, Tommy is personable, courteous, and excellent fun to work with."
Rachel Joy Victor
Worldbuilder and Narrative Designer, The Apollo
"Tommy is a generous collaborator with boundless creativity, ingenuity, intuition and a passion for the well being and growth of experiential arts. Literally a genius and an absolute pleasure to work with."
Hyra & David George
"Tommy is one of the most creative and collaborative people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. He knows the immersive space better than anyone and uses that to push forward and find what’s new and what’s next. Any project is lucky to have him."
Adjunct Professor, University of Southern California
"Tommy's work is a treat for the senses and a salve for the curious that never fails to delight, challenge and satisfy. While all of his pieces offer unique innovations, they each share a singular trait - they allow you to lose yourself completely in an entire world of adventure shaped from his mind."
Film & Interactive Programmer and Festival Organizer
Overlook Film Festival / Denver Film Festival / Sundance Film Festival
Photo by Tomer Grassiany
Created with Don DeLeon, Stash House is the award-winning escape experience that explores the dark underbelly of Los Angeles. Mixing the criminal worlds inspired by the Grand Theft Auto video game series with those of shows Breaking Bad and The Wire, Stash House has been called "'the gold-standard' of escape rooms" and was ranked #15 in the world in 2018.
Beyond the escape room, in-world pop-up events pull people deeper into the rich, interconnected story of Stash House. These events have been hailed as "[p]art Grand Theft Auto, part choose-your-own-adventure book, it nodded toward other genres while belonging to one all of its own. This is something new [...] it may be the birth of a new breed of experience."
Photo by E3W
A four-day immersive horror game that took place at the 2019 Overlook Film Festival, All of Them Witches thrust players into a frightening mystery of drained corpses, deadly curses, and the unintended consequences that arise when the old and new ways cross.
Created with writers Eva Anderson & Eric Hoff, directors E3W (Aaron Keeling, Austin Keeling, & Natalie Jones), and producer Mali Elfman, All of Them Witches served participants a dozen hours of content across multiple terrifying locations throughout New Orleans.
Photo by Zack Filkoff
In 2014, five people died in an illegal medical experiment in an underground facility. Before their families could learn what happened, the incident was covered up, buried under a mountain of legal procedures and a web of police tape. Years later, the court cases now resolved, you are about to be led into the sealed facility to find closure. What do you discover?
The Mortality Machine was a New-York-Times-recommended immersive theatre experience that combined live-action roleplay and site-specific dance to allow the participants to become the protagonists of the story. Producing with Ryan Hart and Lara Marcin, the show explored the theme of death through multiple storytelling and interactive techniques.
When I was a child, a fluttering piece of paper under a park bench caught my attention. I had stumbled onto a scavenger hunt hiding in plain sight. It showed me that magic can hide anywhere and it became my goal to create the same sense of surprise and wonder for others.
Since that fateful day in the park, I've designed and produced projects across the globe for audiences of all sizes, ranging from 1 to 100,000 and have worked with a wide range of brands and companies, including AEG, Alamo Drafthouse, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, Expo 2020, Footlocker, Google, Lionsgate, Magnopus, Redbull, Warner Brothers, and Wizards of the Coast, just to name a few.
I designed the award-winning escape room Stash House and co-created the interactive exhibition The Museum of Selfies. Recent highlights include the alternate-reality experience Arcana, the game at the Overlook Film Festival, All of Them Witches, and the immersive theater piece The Mortality Machine.
I've spoken about experience, game, and narrative design at conferences, conventions, and festivals including Code Conference, The Immersive Design Summit, IndieCade, LeVRage, and WonderCon, and have lectured at Design Center, SCI-Arc, UCLA, University of Chicago, and USC.
I'm also a founding member of LEIA (The League of Experiential and Immersive Artists) and have been actively involved in advocacy work on behalf of the immersive and interactive community.
Latest News & Appearances
Whether it's to say hi, tell me a joke, or send a ransom note, I'd love to hear from you. I mean, you managed to get to the bottom of this page, so at least let me congratulate you for that. What are you waiting for? Do it now.
© 2020 Tommy Honton