Escape rooms have been rapidly gaining popularity since their inception in 2007 when Takao Kato initiated the idea in Japan. Escape rooms are creative and very fun to design and play and share the same fundamentals as the situations found in virtual computer gaming RPGs, or Role Playing Games. However, instead of being virtual, the escape room is built in the real world. Escape rooms are designed to entice players, and immerse them in the well-crafted world of suspense, anticipation, and fun. Escape rooms are quite comfortable and fun to make and require nothing more than some space and a lot of ingenuity, say the live room escape Las Vegas for example. Whether you are looking to create escape room for a party or create an entire business for profit, there are certain guidelines that should be considered to create an interesting and enjoyable escape room.
Immersion in the Game
A successful Number One Escape Room is composed of certain basic elements. The first element to be considered is how immersive the escape room will be for the player. When immersion occurs, the player will briefly ‘escape’ from the real world, and become totally immersed in the world of the escape room. When you begin to draw up your plans for the escape room, keep asking yourself if this can contribute to an immersive experience for the player. If not, consider cutting it. For example, when you consider a theme, narrative, puzzles or objects, will they immerse the player, or will they bore them to death? To be alert while you plan, can help eliminate headaches later on during final game phase testing. It is important to regard the human attention span when planning an interesting escape room. If the game lasts too long, it will become dull. If it is too short, it will be seen as not interesting enough. A good rule is to have your game last one hour.
Atmosphere and Theme
The atmosphere you create for players is the next key factor. As any developer of escape rooms will tell you, the theme is the show piece that will draw players. For instance, if you play on a zombie theme, you will attract fans of shows and films that share that theme. If you create a futuristic theme, you will attract demographics who favor science fiction. Those who are interested in getting their feet wet in the escape room business might find Halloween the perfect time to test their plans, as the game can be incorporated into a haunted house, Halloween theme.
The Importance of Narrative
A good narrative is the heartbeat of your game. The narrative is what will be used to tie your puzzles together to reach a solution and escape from the room. It is the narrative that drives the theme, not the other way around. Your theme is simply the setting you chose, but the narrative is the engine of your game, and without it, you have no escape room game. Here, you can incorporate the mechanics of good story telling. The narrative makes the player a part of the game. For example, perhaps in your narrative, the players are involved in zombie apocalypse theme, where they are trapped by a mad scientist who is about to seal their fate if they cannot escape the room before the countdown ends.
Objects, Puzzles, and Gadgets
Interesting objects and puzzles which involve the player are key to making an immersive escape room experience. Every object in your room must have a meaning or purpose to it. For example, a hastily scribbled bit of graffiti may contain the combination for a lock, which will proceed to unveil another hint. The way the lamp is shining at a crack on the wall may lead you to look for and open the cracked shoe box, where you will find another clue. These objects need not be expensive and can be found in local thrift stores. Using objects in creative ways can add variety to your escape room, the more creative you are with your objects, the more interesting your escape room experience will become.
It is the quality of your puzzles which will make your escape room a pleasantly addictive experience. It is important to remember that if your puzzles are too complex, people can lose interest. If they are too simple, people will wonder why they even bothered coming in the first place.Puzzles are what your players will solve to leave your escape room. This is the tricky part of the game. The more innovative and creative your puzzles, the more enjoyable and less boring your experience will become. An example of an easy puzzle is to have a bit of writing on a wall, which says “for a good time, email Andy1435” Looking around, the player sees an Andy doll sitting on top of a chest with a numerical lock. The player unlocks the chest for a new clue.
Interesting escape rooms often use a vast variety of gadgets, both old fashioned as well as high tech to enhance the experience. Locks play a key element escape rooms, so familiarize yourself with the different varieties, such as magnetic locks. If you are a large budget, consider going real high tech with infra red sensors. Take a look at what your local Spy Stores have to offer. For example, perhaps an important clue is on a far wall, but the only way the player will know this is if they were to follow other clues to a security cam hidden in a clock. Perhaps position the hands of the clock where it would represent a numerical clue, which will lead the player to a password. The password unlocks a computer which has the live video stream of the wall the hidden camera is taping.
As can be seen, creating an interesting escape room can be fun as well as profitable. Don’t be afraid to be creative, even setting yourself up as a character which will be part of the narrative. If you find yourself stuck at any one point during planning, simply go online and watch a few videos of RPG play throughs with games such as Silent Hill, which depend heavily on solving puzzles before you advance to a level. You can utilize one room, or if you have the assets, an entire building. Indeed, in the end creating an interesting escape room depends on research and creativity.