Resurgam: The Lost Pearl of Plymouth.

[Page contents mostly a backup of the original Resurgam: The Lost Pearl of Plymouth website.]

21 September 2013

A new type of adventure. You join the hunt. You take the risks. You become the hero.




Plymouth underwent a digital transformation in September, as hundreds of adventurers took part in the city’s first location-based live game. Resurgam: The Lost Pearl of Plymouth saw gamers using mobile technology to navigate their way around the City’s maritime heritage.

In addition to exploring the incredible history of Plymouth, participants experienced reality merging with storytelling as live immersive theatre brings the game to life in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Resurgam- Pearl of Plymouth (Teaser) from mutant labs.

Resurgam is your own supernatural action-adventure movie with you at the heart of the story.
A new way to play: History, digital technology and theatre are integrated to create an original game experience that immerses players in a citywide hunt to find the magical Pearl of Plymouth.

Travel back in time: Sea-soaked characters and stories from Plymouth’s nautical past will help you unravel the mystery of the lost Pearl, if you can find them.

Explore hidden corners of the city: The adventure starts at sundown when you will find yourself in a city swarming with sea demons and on the cusp of being lost under water. Those who can help you are already dead.Your task: To search the city and raise ghosts from the Order of the Pearl who can guide you to The Pearl’s hiding place. When you find it, you must return it to its place inside an ancient armillary sphere and restore the balance between land and sea.

Immersive action: You will face three hours of adrenaline pumping action as you use your mobile phone and interactions with game characters to navigate to various locations around the city uncovering secrets, making choices and running for your life to escape capture by sea demons roaming the streets and standing between you and your goal to find the Pearl of Plymouth.

Player interaction: The interactions you have and choices you make will determine whether or not you can solve the mystery of The Pearl, save the city from sea demons and board the Resurgam ghost ship for a final performance and live music.

Are you up to the challenge?: Fortune favours the bold. All you need is the Resurgam mobile application for Android or iOS and a spirit of discovery.Fair winds and following seas, friends. See you on the ghost ship.

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‘To the souls who find this pearl
Falls custody ancient power –
the balance twixt land and sea,
the battle twixt light and dark.
Beware forces unsettlin’ the axis,
protect her and ye’ll prosper.’


These words appear on a seaworn scroll found inside a chest on the southernmost island of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago by Sir Francis Drake. Elizabeth Island has since been destroyed by earthquakes but the teak chest and its contents were claimed by Drake on his voyage of circumnavigation (1577-80) and brought back to Britain to gift to Queen Elizabeth I. It took Drake nearly two years of his voyage to work out the right combination of turns to crack the ship’s wheel lock on the chest but when he did it revealed something very special.

Inside lay an armillary sphere, as bright and clean as when it was first forged. Drake knew this was no ordinary sphere, for in its central chamber, in place of a globe and map of the world, was a pearl so luminous it cast a glow on the faces of all who looked upon it. The pearl was celestial and something of the kind Drake had never seen before. Lightbulbs were yet to be invented and this was more akin to a light bulb than a gem. It was the size of a crystal ball and both translucent and iridescent, refracting and reflecting subtle colour variations according to the angle you looked at it. Drake carefully lifted it out of the chest and stood it on the desk in his cabin. There the pearl and sphere came to life, the pearl slowly rotating on an invisible axis and the wooden and golden rings encasing it appearing to duck and dive over and under each other with a gentle mechanical whirr.

Drake considered the Pearl the greatest treasure he ever found and gifted it to the Queen when he returned home. But the pearl dimmed the further it was from the sea and the Queen, sensing it didn’t belong in London, asked Drake to guard it in Plymouth, the maritime hub of her kingdom. It was then that Drake founded the Order of the Pearl, a secret society charged with the task of protecting the pearl. Initiation to the Order wasn’t easy, each member was required to prove his or her worth. For generations the pearl, which came to be known as The Pearl of Plymouth, was safeguarded and Order members used it as a talisman on voyages of discovery and adventure believing it brought them luck and protection at sea.

That was until the Second World War when The Pearl mysteriously disappeared leaving an empty armillary sphere. Many speculated it had been destroyed in The Blitz or stolen by Hitler as a holy relic, but there are others who believe it was hidden somewhere in Plymouth for safekeeping. One of those people is Cara Jones, lecturer in Marine Science at Plymouth University and expert on the Pearl. Cara inherited the ancient armillary sphere from her Grandma Betsy in 2001 and since then has been determined to find The Pearl.

Cara’s research has revealed that the Pearl originated from the ancient lost continent of Atlantis, the legend of which is well known. Many believe Atlanteans were an advanced civilisation, magicians of sorts, able to harness immense renewable energy fields. The continent was ruled by the Sea God Poseidon and his temple, on a central island framed by 18 alternating rings of water, housed a series of giant energy crystals. These crystals were suspended in a circle in the temple’s Grand Hall and were the source of power for all the ships, aircraft and technological artifacts Atlanteans had invented. The Pearl operated alongside those crystals and when active was able to maintain the balance between land and sea. Now The Pearl is separated from the sphere the balance between land and sea has been disrupted. Cara has been documenting signs of that imbalance evident in rising sea levels and the spread of a strange waterborne infection linked to Mergor, a dark beast of the ocean feared by centuries of seafarers. Cara’s research leaves her in no doubt that if The Pearl isn’t found Plymouth will be lost under sea like Atlantis…

Can you help her find the Pearl and save the city?


Resurgam: The Lost Pearl of Plymouth is an indie production, written by Hannah Wood, created and produced by the Institute of Digital Arts and Technology (i-DAT), Mutant Labs and Story Juice, with Rogue Theatre, and supported by Plymouth University and Arts Council England.


i-DAT, a National portfolio Organisation of the Arts Council England which is located within the Faculty of Arts, Plymouth University, is a catalyst for playful experimentation with data.

Story Juice

Story Juice is a storytelling agency making interactive and immersive fact and fiction projects. Run by writer Hannah Wood, it specialises in multiplatform productions and works across mobile, digital, print, game, performance, audio, TV and film platforms.

Mutant Labs

Mutant Labs is an award winning digital studio specliasing in online and mobile games.

Rogue Theatre

Rogue Theatre creates daring high quality theatre, events and immersive experiences that are widely accessible and deeply engaging. Their work mixes rich atmosphere and a highly visual style with instinct, energy and a passion for wild places.

This event has been made possible by:



Resurgam would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.



This is your chance to take part

You can be an extra in Plymouth’s first location-based digital adventure where reality and fiction entwine in an immersive, live action experience.

Resurgam is an adventure quest fraught with peril and designed to get hearts pounding and minds whirring. We need your help to make the experience as visceral and cinematic as possible so players feel like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft at the heart of their own supernatural action-adventure movie.

Resurgam players will feel alert and on edge, sometimes terrified by strange ghosts and other times epic and heroic for solving a task or escaping ambush by a gang of sea monsters. We need extras to play sea monsters, marshall performance zones and act as production assistants. You will dress up, be provided with professional make-up, performance training and equipment and be an important part of bringing this incredible citywide adventure to life.

If you are interested in having an awesome time working on this new type of entertainment that merges technology, theatre, gaming and history, then you are the person we’ve been looking for. You must be over 18 and available September 13-15 for rehearsals with Rogue Theatre and September 21-22 for the live event. Please send an email to: with a brief paragraph on why you are interested in taking part.



We are offering a number of small commissions for emerging performers to appear in the live event in September. We’re looking for peculiar, flamboyant, exciting, mind-blowing, captivating and enchanting acts that fit with Resurgam’s edgy, dark and supernatural action-adventure ghost story where players are thrown in the deep end and become centre of the narrative. Keep in mind that the atmosphere of the game has all the creaks and groans of an old wooden ghost ship where anything can happen…

If you think you can produce something creative within the nautical theme and you’re available September 19-22, then please send an email to: Please include a brief paragraph on why you are interested and what type of performance or act you propose.


There are also opportunities for emerging graphic designers, illustrators and filmmakers who want to produce something experimental within the Resurgam story world. We’re looking for innovative, daring and entertaining responses to the ‘lost Pearl of Plymouth’ story and theme. Your work will appear online before and after the event. Please email if you are interested in finding out more. Include a brief paragraph on the kind of activity you propose and why you are interested.

All artists and performers will get the opportunity to be mentored by the professional artists, writers and actors creating Resurgam. We look forward to hearing from and working with you!


How do I get tickets?

You buy them here on our website under the tickets section. The cost covers the game experience, mobile app to play and entry to a final performance and spectacle on a ghost ship with live bands. Whadda deal!

You can pay with debit or credit cards. We send out e-tickets by email only. Make sure you bring your ticket to registration.

Please note this is a ticket-only event.

Where does the live game start and end?

The game takes place in Plymouth and is woven into the city’s incredible maritime history. Game registration is in the atrium of the Sherwell Centre, Plymouth’s University’s city centre campus. This is a hunt for a hidden pearl so game locations will only be revealed as you play. However, so you can consider parking, taxis and bike racks, we can tell you that you’ll end up boarding a ghost ship at a secret location somewhere in the vicinity of the Royal William Yard..

The time on your ticket is your start time. Please try to arrive at registration about 10 minutes before the start time. The start times are to help reduce queueing but there may be some queues.

Is this theatre or a street game?

It’s both, and more too. Actors from Rogue Theatre will be providing wild entertainment at locations around the city and on the ghost ship. The game itself is a fusion of immersive theatre, digital technology and street game and a new way to celebrate the history of Plymouth. The difference here is that you are a central character in the narrative. Finding the Pearl depends on you.

It sounds a bit like a treasure hunt?

You’re right. In simple terms it is an old skool treasure hunt using the tools of modern technology.

What will I have to do?

There are a series of ghosts hidden in locations around the city. You must find your way to them using the Resurgam mobile app and without being caught by sea demons prowling the city. We’ll give you the first location at registration and then you are on your own. You will have to use your app to unlock the next locations and collect members of the ghost ship crew who can lead you to the Pearl. If you find the Pearl you will be able to board the Resurgam ghost ship for a sailors and pirates party, final spectacle, performance and live music. Technology, theatre and history are completely integrated throughout the experience. It will feel like being in your own supernatural action-adventure movie.

Is the story being released before the live game?

Yes. If you want to delve into the Resurgam story world before the game then get in touch with Dr Cara Jones (Nb. You may recognise her from the Halo series, True Blood or Dam 999). Cara’s a lecturer in Marine Science at Plymouth University and the world’s leading expert on the Pearl of Plymouth. Her staff profile is here and her research blog on the Pearl here, she’s also on Twitter and Facebook. She inherited an ancient armillary sphere from her Grandma Betsy and has been researching its connection to Plymouth and the Pearl ever since. She has made some interesting findings that will give you an enriched experience of the game.

This sounds so cool, can I/my company become a sponsor?

We’d love to hear from you! Check out the ‘Sponsors’ section on our website and email for a sponsor pack.

Is there a minimum age to play?

Yep, you have to be 18. Sorry 🙁

Can I play with my friends?

Of course! Get a group of intrepid adventurers together, it’ll be fun to play with your mates. No more than eight in a group though and make sure at least one of you has a mobile device with the app downloaded.

What if I come alone?

No problem. We can team you up with a crew at registration and you can still sail alone as you play. Just make sure you’ve downloaded the app to your mobile.

What devices are compatible with the Resurgam app?

It’s iOS and Android compatible. We suggest downloading it before the game to get a feel for how to use it.

I’m rubbish with technology, can I still play?

Yes, of course. Just make sure someone in your team has the Resurgam app downloaded to his or her mobile. Technology is integrated into the game but you can still feel like the star of your own adventure movie without it. There will be plenty of ghosts and sea demons to keep you entertained.

We should add that the technology is integrated to be a seamless part of the game experience and provide an extra layer of depth. It is simple to use and an important part of what’s innovative about Resurgam.

What happens if I’m caught by a sea demon?

Remember playing tag at school? This is a bit like it. If you’re caught, play fair and let the demons give you the ‘dark mark,’ it will have interesting consequences at the ghost ship party. Getting caught doesn’t mean you’ve lost the game, keep on playing, you can still find the Pearl.

How long will the game last?

This is hard to pinpoint specifically, me ‘earties, since this is the game premiere. We estimate about three hours with a big ol’ ghost ship party to top the night off. The ghost ship will set sail again at 11pm so everyone must disembark by then.

I want to volunteer to be a part of the game itself, either as a sea demon or marshall. I want to make some Resurgam art too, is that ok?

Great! And yes! Check out the ‘Get Involved’ section of our website and email

Can I dress up?

Yeah! Come as anything you want – a pirate, adventurer, sailor, buccaneer or whatever else takes your fancy. Or you can just come as yourself.. We don’t mind, we’re sure you’re heroic enough.

Can I bring weapons or props?

Er, no. This is a LARP of sorts but no swords, cutlasses, bats, nerf guns, lightsabers, lassos, canons, latex axes. You get the picture. If you bring anything that could be construed as a weapon by the police we’ll have to confiscate it at the start.

Will I be running?

Yes. The game is pretty physical in places. We’re not expecting you to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft but a bit of survival training will help you out there on the high seas. Having said that there are moments of calm when stealth, cunning and quietness will serve you better than running.

What should I wear?

Think about it this way, what would Indy wear? We recommend comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather and with safe places to store your personal treasures (phone, wallet, phone, etc.). You need to feel confident that you can outrun a sea demon and should wear shoes you’re happy running in. We’re seen running in heels on Saturday night before, and may have done a bit of it ourselves, but don’t recommend it at all. You can’t climb the riggin’ in heels, can yee? Costumes are welcome too!

What happens if I get lost or separated from my friends?

Don’t worry. There is a game helpline you can text or call and there are also game staff around the route who can help you if you get into difficulties.

Do I have to pay extra for the ghost ship party?

No way – it’s all included in the ticket price. There is an epic finale here, brilliant live bands, performances, food and a bar. When else will you get an opportunity to board a real life ghost ship? Don’t miss it!

Can I bring beer?

Don’t bring alcohol to consume en route, we won’t be able to let you play. Plus, there’s so much going on in the game you won’t get a chance to take even a swig. You don’t want your reaction times impaired when trying to escape slippery sea demons either. We have grog supplies aplenty available at the ghost ship finale at the end of the game. It’ll be enough to do any sailor proud.

Do I need money?

Not to play the game, your ticket covers all those costs. There will be a paying bar and food on the ghost ship so we recommend bringing doubloons for that.



Press pack

Resurgam Press Pack [images/logos/press release]

Resurgam in the press

Western Morning News, July 2013: ‘400 Digital Gamers Celebrate City’s History’ (broken their end)

Plymouth Herald, June 2013: ‘Plymouth’s First Location-based Game’ (broken their end)

Hidden Plymouth, June 2013: ‘Find the Lost Pearl of Plymouth’

BBC Radio Cornwall, May 2013: ‘Interview with games writer’

BBC Radio Devon, May 2013: ‘Interview with games writer’


by Dom Moore Photography


by Dr Simon Lock


This statement covers the services provided by the Resurgam website:

The purpose of this statement is to inform users of this web site, about the information that is collected from them when they visit this site, how this information is used, if it is disclosed and the ways in which we protect users’ privacy.

Data Protection Act 1998:

The Data Protection Act 1998 establishes rights for individuals who disclose their personal information – where personal information is widely defined – to any organisation for any purposes involving processing of that information. Any organisation which processes information about living individuals is a data controller for the purposes of the Act; that is a person who determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. A data controller is required by the Act to ensure that the data subject has, is provided with, or has made readily available to her/him certain specified information, including the data controller’s identity, the identity of any other person to whom she/he may disclose the information, and the purpose or purposes for which the data are intended to be processed. The data controller in relation to this website is Mutant Labs. The purposes for which the data are intended to be processed are as follows:

1. Signing up to the Resurgam game mailing list: If you register on this site, your personal details will be used only for the purpose of keeping you informed about Resurgam game related activities. Mutant Labs and the Resurgam partners i-DAT and Story Juice will respect the privacy of your personal information and undertakes to comply with all applicable Data Protection legislation currently in force.

In relation to the personal information provided by you on registration, you agree that we may use such information in accordance with the purposes for which we have obtained your permission upon registration. We do not give, share, sell or transfer any personal information collected by us to third parties. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not identify publicly who signs up on the Resurgam web site.

This privacy statement relates only to the Resurgam website. The website may contain links to other sites where information practices may be different to ours. You should consult the other sites’ privacy notices as we are not responsible for and have no control over information that is submitted to, or collected by, third party Web sites.