The Goonies Game
Behind the Scenes

Stanford Oval/Hoover Tower

Stanford Oval Structure

Sloth Feet

Read the clue description first.

The idea for this clue went through dozens of iterations.

We knew we wanted a clue that looked different from different angles, and made you view it from somewhere cool to make it work out. This fit nicely with another of our goals, which was to use a medallion at some point to show you where you needed to go, like in the movie!

We decided that we wanted to use Hoover Tower pretty early in the process, but it took longer to decide to use the Oval as the other location. For quite a while, we wanted to use Frost Amphitheater, but we realized that there would be no way to reserve it, so we moved the plan to the Oval (which is almost exactly the same distance from the observation deck of Hoover Tower as the part of the Oval that we used).

After much iterating, we settled on using a PVC piping-based structure, and cloth "flags" strung accross the structure in different directions. We then used a 3D modelling tool to help us come up with a layout (png | ay) of flags that looked very different from the ground vs. at the top of the tower. We also built 1/50 scale model of the structure to test, and to help while putting it together.

The 3D modelling ended up saving us a lot of time, since it helped us get the angles right the first time, and gave us an easy way to make accurate transparencies. In the Oval, we constructed it to specs for the first time, went up the tower and looked down through handmade transparencies, and it all just lined up!

We also made plaster medallions (see the making of Michaelangelo's Davids), and used a dremmel to rout out the holes which lined up with 3 edges of the structure, leaving a hole for the Observation Deck of the tower. A small piece of chalk for drawing Sloth's footprints was obtained on Game Day out of an unguarded classroom on the Quad.

Ingredients: 120 feet of PVC piping, 16 PVC connectors, lots of light rope, 12 yards of fabric, 2 inflatable balls, a ladder, the bottom half of a 1/2 gallon orange-juice carton for the scale model, half a roll of gaffers tape, tent stakes, chalk, plaster, dremmel, transparencies, ink-jet, scissors, people to help set up, a station wagon to transport the parts to and from the Oval, and a friendly helper to watch over the structure and keep it safe from the ProFros and groundskeepers.

Almost Facts: