Steamquest – no pressure

Steamquest was held on 13th February 2015. The evening was a murder mystery without the murder, a fun evening designed to draw out the Steampunk enthusiasts in Hawke’s Bay and see what sort of interest there was for a Steampunk scene in the region. Napier naturally lends itself to the genre with the Art Deco buildings and creative makers who live here.


The evening was a great success with nearly all the allocated tickets sold. The Department was one of two outlets selling tickets in Napier, which bought different customers into the shop, many who were keen to explain their costume and what they were planning. The enthusiasm shown by people to create their own characters and costumes was inspirational, with one person having two different outfits, changing chameleon like half-way through the evening.

Steampunk for those who haven’t encountered this genre before can be best described as Victorian Sci-Fi. It takes the aesthetics of the Victorian era and then adds elements of technology and science fiction, for example Ray guns and steam-powered flying machines are common place. Along with a healthy dose of leather, brass and cogs. There are many websites dedicated to this and a quick google search will uncover a treasure-trove of information. The chance to dress-up and be creative appeals to a wide variety of people and this was apparent on the night.

The premise for the night was that the water in the Hawke’s Bay aquifer had been tainted and it no longer boiled, participants were divided into teams and through a series of games and challenges were given clues to uncover the “baddie”. Along with helping to organise the event, I (Andy) played one of the suspects and had a back-story and answers to questions that would help or hinder the teams. It was immense fun playing this role and I enjoyed slipping into a character for the evening.

Feedback on the evening from participants has all been positive:

Twas a damn fine night, well organised and fantasmagorically well supported by the community. The effort that went into organising the whole was matched by the individual effort that went into costumes. I was much impressed. – Jamie McPhail

That was SOOOO MUCH FUN! What a great night! Everyones costumes were amazing – can we do it all again next week? – Rebekah Bloomfield

It was apparent that there is a need for more of this type of event in Hawke’s Bay and “Regiment 25” will be turning the cogs to make it happen.

Andy Heyward



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