Escape rooms are a unique form of recreation that is based on ‘escape-the-room’ video games. This time-based game usually lasts for 60 –minutes, and during that duration of time, the teams need to solve all the puzzles in the room. All the team players play the role of the protagonists of an interactive story in an escape room, and their ultimate task is to unravel the mystery of the room and escape it.
This game is genuinely filled with thrill and adventure that is enough to cause an adrenaline rush. The escape rooms’ gameplay is so immersive and puts the players right in the middle of the action. Along with doing all this, escape rooms also promote communication and participation among the players. These games are a perfect form of entertainment for people of all ages!
But what goes into the development of an escape room that can do all this?
Designing a virtual escape room that is immersive and enjoyable for everyone is not easy at all. This game that is played for 60-minutes takes months to get ready. The challenging part of creating an escape room is to develop puzzles that promote lateral thinking but not to go too far in doing so and end up making unsolvable mysteries!
The General Blueprint of Escape Room Games
We have analyzed the general blueprint of escape room games and have deciphered the technology that goes behind making a truly engaging escape room. Read on to find out more!
- The mechanism of locks: Locks are the main component of an escape room. The main goal of an escape room is to unlock a door and escape the room! There is a range of locks that can be used in an escape room. Some can be opened with a key or a passcode manually, while some are unlocked automatically. The padlocks have to be unlocked via a key or by three/four-digit passcode, and for doing that, the players need to find the key or solve the hints to achieve the passcode number. Some escape room designers have also started making use of the tech-based locks. These tech-based locks include sensor-activated locks, i.e., Locks activated with specific vibrations, lights, or movements. While some escape rooms also use electromagnetic waves that may use the properties of magnetism. These locks add an extra thrill to the game and make it more immersive.
- The mechanism behind automatic doors: One of the things that have always left the players wondering is the mechanics behind automatic sliding doors in escape rooms. Imagine a door opening to let you in when you decode a puzzle or solve a riddle. How would that make you feel? When the door opens, players feel a great sense of achievement and excitement because they are going towards the unknown. They don’t know what is on the other side of the door, which gives them an adrenaline rush. Now, the question is, how does this happen? Well, automatic doors can have quite a few different mechanisms. Firstly, the team handling the escape room’s control system can open the doors with a button when the players complete a specific number of puzzles. Secondly, the automatic door might have a sensor that activates with a particular trigger, and the players have the task to find that trigger. Thirdly, the escape designer could also go for a manual approach and have someone open the door from behind when they accomplish a task. It entirely depends on the escape room designer in what direction they want to create an automatic sliding door.
- The use of technology for lighting: Lighting in an escape room plays a huge role. White or neon-colored lights are perfect to create a sci-fi room, red-colored lights or dim lighting are ideal for spooky rooms, and yellow lighting gives the feel of a medieval era. Also, flickering lights create a sense of thrill and adventure among the players. But what is the technology involved in making the right lighting? In this case, the storyline requires subtle meddling with the light switches. As mentioned, the color of the lights depends on the theme of the room. Usually, LED light bulbs are used to create the perfect atmosphere for the game. Also, the flickering light effect is achieved by programming the lights to switch off and on at a particular time, or a staff member of the escape room does it from the outside.
- Use of smoke machines to create a foggy vibe: Players always wonder about the mechanism behind the misty atmosphere that some escape rooms have or the spooky vibe created in a horror-themed escape room. Hidden table fans produce the gushing winds in escape rooms switched on when you reach a certain point in the game. Smoke machines create the thick, white smoke that gives the effect of fog. The smoke machines create mist by vaporizing a heated glycerine and water solution to produce a cloudy atmosphere in the room.
- The puzzles: The most crucial component of an escape room is the quizzes and puzzles. They must be immersive because they form a significant part of the whole experience. The conventional form of puzzles included riddles, math problems, pattern recognition, analogy, logical-reasoning, and deciphering. Since the advancement of technology, the mysteries have also upgraded. Now, along with the traditional forms, escape rooms also have puzzles like electronic labyrinths, touch screen code locks on tablets, interactive devices that speak out clues, and UV mazes. The room could also have hydraulic robots that move in response to specific actions done by the players. The room’s puzzles either work by a manual effort of the teams or be controlled by a game technician or staff member who is in charge of that room.
Escape room designers put in a lot of work to develop immersive escape rooms. For an escape room to feel real and thrilling, the technological devices and mechanics used to be well-hidden and should not be in-sight of the players. Therefore, efficient planning and designing the room and the right placement of the puzzles and props are vital.