Introduction: How to Prepare Your April Fools Day Operations. (A1 Day.)

About: I like building props, and little things that either are a big help, or are useless.

There are plenty of pranks on Instructables, but nothing to bring them together. Sure, you can do a few individual ones here and there, but you really want to get a coherent mesh of pranky goodness.

You want to begin planning days in advance, to allow time to assess routes and prank-points.

Step 1: Determine Your Targets.

The more people you are pranking like this, the more time you will need. Especially if they aren't in the same house/location. You are going to be setting up at least a few pranks for each person, so keep this in mind.

Ideally, you want to have a few hours when they aren't going to be around, like early in the morning before they wake up, or before they get to work. Try to keep a range of 3-5 people and plan your time accordingly.

For my own operations, I'm sticking with my sister, dad and mom.

Mom's awake around 7 Am, Dad is supposed to be up to get to work, but anyway. I'm planning my prank placement for around 5 Am, although I may adjust to 2-3 Am depending on conditions.

Step 2: Begin Surveillance

You want to start watching the morning routines of the people involved, making a chart (hide it!) may be of use.

What time are they up?
What is their first stop, what room and what order are their activities?
Second room, same and so on.
Is their a point where they encounter another target in the same space? If so, mark it.

An organizer might be a good choice.
Check which day A1 will be on, and pay close attention to each time you hit that day of the week.
Any changes? Is their something that might change the routine on A1?
These are important!

Step 3: Locate Prank-points

Start looking at the rooms involved, is there a good opportunity for an environment-based prank?
Try to work out chains, they get something on them, so they go to the sink and get sprayed, etc.
Try to allow for long term pranks, spiking ice cubes and the like. Avoid destroying anything, full jugs, etc.

Try to prank objects that the people will use, shower, toilet, sink, doors, computers.

If you do destroy something, have intact spares nearby, so as not to adversely affect someones getting ready to go to work.

I'm not going to come up with the pranks for you, look on the site, or use your imagination, crazy idea.

Step 4: Case the Joint

Start checking out the rooms and objects, is there anything that might trip you up at night? Squeaky floor, boxes, start mapping them out now. Procure a map of your location that you can write on, or do your own.
You will want to look at each room one at a time,

What am I pranking?
Is there something that will effect me getting back out?
(Pranks involving closed doors. Have an alternate route!)

Is there an order I should go around the room?
What supplies will I need?
Do I need to prepare anything ahead of time?
What order should I do the rooms?
Any danger zones?
How will I avoid them?
What's my alibi for being in this room after hours?
What's my emergency escape route?
Where's my dark corner to hide in?

Step 5: Place Your Caches

Once you have your info, start stocking materiel that you will need. Programs, demolitions, dyes, you name it, have it ready before hand.
Rather then carry it all that night, stock it near where it's getting used.
Try to do this the day before you strike. Hide it in shelves, behind doors, just make sure you wont make noise getting to it.

Step 6: The Day Before

At this point you should be ready to go. Place any last minute gear where it's needed, check for any schedule adjustments, DO NOT ACT ABNORMALLY! In fact, don't act at all. Don't try to pretend that there's nothing up, or you might blow it.

That night, offer to turn off computers, put away things, whatever you need to prank.
Trying to deal with computers during the main operation is a bad choice, have a flash drive ready with whatever you are putting on.
Have dark clothing on at bed, and be ready. Figure out what time you should get moving, it should ideally be dark or before people would be there.

Step 7: A1 Day

This is it. The moment you've been planning for days.

A1 Day.

Have your dark clothes on, and wear socks.
Take each step one at a time, complete the prank, move on to the next one, saving door related pranks for last. Be ready at any moment with your room specific alibi, and keep a listen for movement.
Try to start with the closest and or easiest pranks and rooms first, if you have to abort you'll at least gotten something done.

If someone wakes up or is coming:

LOOK- Where are they?
EVADE- Can you get to a different room?
DUMP- Lose whatever equipment you have, unless it's part of your alibi.
COVER- If you are in a dark corner and have time, duck and cover, sit with your knees near yourears, head down, arms wrapped around your legs. Pretend that you are a box, or for MGS fans, doyou have a box to hide in? If you choose this route, do try to be in the corner. A box in the middle ofthe floor isn't going to work. If you don't or the light goes on switch to your alibi, getting a drink,
heard a noise, have something ready.

Try to avoid flashlights, or if you use them, have something between the light and any doors, and NO lights in rooms with people. A red filter could also make a difference.

When your done, head back to bed/wherever and await the glory of your hard work!

Step 8: Sit Back and Enjoy

When you enter your own routine at the normal time, keep up your non-act. In fact, if you can help it, try not to be in the room as a prank when it's about to go off. Show general humor at the prank afterwords, but try to avoid blame if you can. You may even choose to prank yourself, so as not to arouse suspicion. Pick a time, say 4 Pm or whenever you wish, to announce that it was your doing.

You do want to own up at some point, or else why bother doing this?

You could also have a note at the end of each person's prank chain with a VA1 day message, styled after WWII posters (i.e. V Day) It's up to you want you want, since it's your operation.

Congrats! With any luck you've pranked a group of people excellently.

I'm going to be using this come A1 Day myself, so I'll let you know how things go. I want to hear your stories as well, so send 'em in!

(Note: Looking at my targets since I started writing this, something came to light. Mom appears to have a phobia of all things for pranks. Who knew? You might want to keep odd things like that in mind. This should be fun, remember.)

Step 9: Credit

Me for the general idea, Neokatis for photo work and running stuff for me.
Thanks, Neo.