How often do we change our games?
We love chatting with guests in the lobby prior to their games and one question we often receive is – how frequently do we change our escape room themes? (Another is about the history of our 100yr+ old building, which will be the subject of a future blog post!).
The short answer is ‘not very often’, which tends to surprise people a little…until they actually enter the game space. At that point the intensity of the build and the detail required becomes a little more clear.
When we first decided to open our escape room we committed to a few significant ideas:
- The game spaces would be fully immersive. Players should feel that they have stepped into another world; from floor to ceiling everything should make sense, should belong and should fit within the theme.
- The game spaces must reflect the storyline. For example, if the mission is an expedition to recover an ancient artifact hidden deep in a jungle it would make sense to begin in a tent, progress through a lush landscape and finally end up within a mysterious ruin.
- The actual puzzles must also reflect the storyline and the goal of the game. They must be in keeping with the specific game environment. It would be natural to decode an ancient prophecy script found in an archeologist’s camp – but it wouldn’t feel as immersive if that same puzzle was instead a complex math equation or a sudoku (both of which will never appear in our games!). We especially like when puzzles and the environment meld together; the opportunities for more interesting design and creative solutions (not to mention bigger ‘aha!’ moments from players) exist when this happens.
When we opened back in early 2017 we also wanted to further introduce the ‘next generation’ of escape games to London. Early escape rooms relied heavily on the ‘locks on boxes’ approach and we were determined to bring more sophisticated technology and enhance the magical aspect of escape games in this way.
The result of these ideas and commitments has meant that the escape rooms we have built thus far have ended up being very substantial projects! Months to design, and then months (and months…and months!) to create and refine. Everything in the games is built in-house, from scratch. We are a very small team and we continue to learn as we go. The complexity of the sets, puzzles and tech has also increased significantly over time!
We admit, when our first room (Volcano’s Ruin) opened we thought perhaps it would last for about a year – maybe two – and then would be retired and replaced. However, after opening our second game (A Brief Mystery of Time) both rooms have been equally popular. We then decided to just keep expanding and our third room (Kittens in Space) will open this year. This newest game has been the most intense build so far and we are so looking forward to revealing the many surprises it contains!
We have much more to share about the specifics of game design and how a number of props and technology features have been created. Questions? Send us a message or email. Watch for more blog posts over the next couple of weeks!