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March 19, 2024

The Creation Process Behind Escape Rooms

The-Creation-Process-Behind-Escape-Rooms

The Creation Process Behind Escape Rooms

If you’re interested in learning the creation process behind escape rooms, you’ve found the right post. The fundamentals of good escape room games are well established. Several people assembled must solve puzzles and escape while the clock ticks. It creates a fun and tense atmosphere. It also creates an adrenaline surge in those participating in the complex game. There’s a feeling of elation and satisfaction among those who escape the room. But it’s worth tackling just what goes into creating a good escape room. It’s an intriguing process for anyone who wants to know how these games are structured. Let’s delve into the detailed process of this creation.

Determining the Setting and Theme

The goal of an escape room isn’t to simply put the players in the game for them to participate. The larger purpose involves drawing them into a new world for a temporary time. Escape room organizers go to great lengths to give their rooms specific themes. Having a narrative that draws the audience in is a significant part of this structure. It helps to give the players a goal to work towards. They’ll imagine themselves as the characters stuck in a complex and tense situation while inside. In fact, a good backstory will immerse the participants before the game even starts.

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The theme is tackled before providing the objectives for those playing. The quest can be about players retrieving a lost item in their process of escaping. Halting a plot from a foul villain is another solid concept. Perhaps it involves unraveling a large secret. The backdrop is similarly important. The murder mystery setting is a good and popular example. A science fiction scenario is another good one to choose that many like. A spaceship adrift in the universe is yet another one. Making the group itself feel heroic is a significant part of the process.

It’s worth paying attention to market trends. This will help see the kind of setting many people would love to immerse themselves in. A good first impression is important here. The setting will also be the kind that benefits from having several puzzles to solve.

Designing the Puzzles

The team must nail down the setting and theme first. Only then can they tackle the puzzles necessary for it. The creators should strike a good balance in the puzzle design. The puzzles should also be challenging. It’s important that the audience feels satisfied when they solve each one of them. But the puzzles should also be easily solvable within the time limit. Players tend to only have an hour to get out of the escape room. It’s necessary to test the players’ puzzle-solving abilities. But they shouldn’t feel demoralized.

The puzzles themselves will come in a variety of forms. There are jigsaw puzzles. Others involve logic puzzles with riddles that must be solved. Some will even require manual dexterity, though not literal heavy lifting. The puzzles involve small thinking outside the box. But they aren’t complex to the extent that participants will spend too much time on them.

It’s important that the puzzles fit the theme. After crafting the puzzle, ask yourself if it truly needs to be there. Then, begin the process of implementing it. This is an important step for making sure the group feels immersed in the experience.

The puzzles should also be designed for collaboration. A key positive of escape rooms is the encouragement of togetherness. Small and large groups should huddle with each other to figure out the best puzzle solutions. This allows them to share their successes. The puzzles here should keep the philosophy of being solvable within the time allotted. 

Designing the Clues Players Will Use for Help

Participants won’t have an easy time solving every puzzle. This will increase the need for clues to guide them along. The clues should be hidden in the room. That is, if they’re not given out occasionally by the guide. The gamemaster and clues inside should be different. The clues should be within spaces that make them easy to find for those playing.

It’s important for solid clues to be hidden within smaller spaces. These should involve devices like padlocks. These should be opened physically, or have one that’s digitally opened. Padlocks of several types are sold by local and large hardware stores.

The clues should also be specifically marked. This can include a bright ribbon over a box that screams to be opened. Obscure clue locations are fine too. In this case, the game master should identify where clues are located before the game starts. This should be done while also figuring out when to provide hints when players get stuck.

Determining the Room Design

The room design is also important for nailing down the theme. The players should feel the dimensions of the task after walking into the room. This should also be the time to determine where in the room clues and puzzles should go. The space should be arranged for challenging purposes. But it should also be done to ensure players are comfortable. It’s fine to stuff plenty of immersive elements in the location. Just be careful not to overcrowd it.

It goes without saying that the room should fit the theme. But the theme itself can serve as a clever clue. Every detail of the puzzles and clues is useful for a narrative device. Perhaps the theme of the story could involve a scientific lab. In this case, the puzzles should consist of lab equipment and chemical bottles. This will help make the group feel immersed. Ambient audio and lighting effects also help here. But again: Be careful not to overdo it.

The Creation Process Behind Escape Rooms

Crafting a Good Narrative

The best escape rooms aren’t simply rooms with a series of puzzles. Their narrative hook will help drive players along and immerse them in the environment. Good narrative design starts by establishing a strong concept. This should expand into an entire story arc. This will guide players through the experience. The hook shouldn’t be too complex, however. The concept should quickly engage all players. It should involve a series of challenges. The story and puzzles should naturally flow in the environment.

The puzzles themselves should be plot points themselves. They should provide crucial information for the establishment. This will help it have a good middle point during the puzzle-solving process. It should end with a solid conclusion. The participants will feel satisfied not only for escaping, but finishing the story. Their feelings of success will be nearly on par with the story characters. 

Testing Out the Room

The organizers shouldn’t throw the setting and puzzles together and hope for the best. Testing the room to see if everything flows well is a crucial step. Enlisting the assistance of playtesting groups is an element that shouldn’t be skipped. This will help determine what works about the room, and what doesn’t. Take notes about whether the puzzles are solved, and how they’re being solved. Note what’s causing the group potential confusion. But also write down what the group found most exciting about the game.

This data is necessary for the refinement process. The puzzles might need to be shifted around to ensure less confusion. Perhaps some clues might need rewording. The narrative, too, might need adjustment if they don’t work with the puzzles and clues well enough. The escape room should be challenging, and consistent in its difficulty. But it must, above all, be an enjoyable experience. Playtesting will ensure that the room is worthwhile for all who participate. It’s safe to prepare for a soft launch and to nail down the opening date at this point.

Watch the Players Have a Good Time

After all these steps are finished, it’s essential that the organizers watch people have a great time. Designing the escape room is hard work. Designing the game flow can be stressful. You, as the organizer, should get a feeling of satisfaction too. Watch the fruits of your labor play out. You won’t have a choice but to watch if the organizer is also the gamemaster. They’ll have to provide clues to participants occasionally confused along the way.

Not that your job is done either way. Keep a note of any occasional complaints and criticisms participants might have. The general audience can pinpoint issues missed even during the playtesting process. Provide game adjustments for future participants during this time. 

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The Creation Process Behind Escape Rooms

The process of assembling an escape room is a detailed one. It starts with determining a good setting and narrative. This will help establish a solid goal the playing group will work towards. Then, design the puzzles. The puzzles should be relevant to the theme chosen. Clues should also be designed for the puzzles, and the way in which they’re implemented. This will factor into the room’s overall design, which shouldn’t be overcrowded and overstuffed. A good narrative will help players work towards their goal. It will assist with the feeling of satisfaction upon completing it. But it’s worth testing out the room before it opens to the public. Finally, watch the players have a good time in the process. This is the creation process behind an escape room.

Check out the map below for additional information and take your escape room experience to the next level!

Escape Room Madness 
38 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor, Ste 500 New York, NY 10001
Phone: 
(212)-239-8800
Email:
contact@escaperoommadness.com