People who love escape rooms tend to think extensively about how to prepare and how to best work together as a team to solve puzzles and escape within their time limits. But some escape room pros, though, may have started to wonder about what goes on behind the scenes. How are the rooms set up? Who runs the hints? Who designs the puzzles? Read on to find out!
Planning The Games
Each escape room company does this differently, but at Room to Escape, we collaborate as a team to come up with all of the puzzles that you struggle over when you’re in the rooms. After we come up with a concept for the room, we work together to design the puzzles and clues before beginning to craft the props and put all of the pieces together. Sometimes, we come up with the puzzle and then have to find the props for it - other times, we find a really cool prop or sign and try to come up with a clue or puzzle based on it! However we come up with the rooms, we work together to think through all the possibilities to ensure that the progression of clues will be clear and make sense.
Altering The Rooms
We also go through multiple stages of testing to make sure that the rooms aren’t too easy or too difficult. We’re always working to improve the way that the clues are set up, aiming for maximum challenge level and fun. We test our rooms with game players who has already paid for another game, just to be sure that the paying players have the most maximum fun possible. We also have special alterations prepared for the rooms in case of extra escapers for corporate events, and we have changes we make to certain clues or puzzles to make the rooms “kid-friendly” when groups of younger children come in to escape. Bet you never thought about that!
Setting Up The Rooms
After each game finishes, an employee (or sometimes more) from Room to Escape go back into the room and reset all the puzzles. Clues go back in their hiding places, locks are reset, secret doors are closed, and props are meticulously replaced. Everything you throw on the floor, someone later goes back and cleans up. But don’t feel bad making a mess - we love seeing rooms ripped apart, since it means you were working hard and having fun!
At Room to Escape, each room is outfitted with a camera that projects video and sound to the control room, where your game master carefully observes your sleuthing. The gamemaster follows your progress so they know what hint would be most useful, depending on what puzzle you’re currently working on. That’s why it’s important to look at the camera and make it clear that your group is asking for a hint. If your gamemaster can’t hear you ask, they won’t know which hint to send to you on your screen! Gamemasters also run only one room at a time, but occasionally they need to switch places depending on when rooms start and stop - so sometimes there are up to three people in the control room working on different rooms and figuring out how best to help you.
So that’s how Room to Escape works, behind the scenes. Now you know how we plan and set up our escape rooms, and how we work before and while you’re escaping them! Did any of these insights surprise you? If you’re curious about anything else, be sure to ask in the comments!