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Secrets to Designing the Best Escape Room

Escape Rooms are the latest craze, and there’s no shortage of them. So how do you know which one is worth your time? What sort of things should you be looking for when deciding on where to go?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, then this blog post is for you! We’ll list 8 secrets that will guarantee a successful escape room experience. 

  • Know your backstory

Every escape room starts with a backstory. This is the most important step in designing an escape room, as it is what will filter into every clue your design and every puzzle you craft.

If this step is not taken seriously, then all of your hard work can be ruined by one poorly crafted clue or lackluster puzzle.

Every good escape room begins with a solid story that guides everything else about the game’s design.

The more thought out the background of the game is, the less likely players are to stumble upon answers accidentally or feel cheated when they discover a hint or clue placed within the environment naturally. 

It should also be noted that there doesn’t have to be just one backstory for an entire game – many puzzles can have their own individual backstory or even multiple ones.

  • Keep the puzzles appropriate to the story

One of the biggest mistakes that escape room designers and puzzle authors make is thinking that every puzzle has to tie into something within the game’s background.

While there are some games that do tie everything together tightly (such as jailbreak), most require players to only become involved in one part of a larger plot.

Players should feel satisfied with each step they take towards escape, not frustrated by obscure clues and seemingly impossible challenges placed within easy reach!

A great example of this is prison break – not all of its puzzles contribute directly to the protagonist’s escape from prison, but all contribute toward revealing more about his character and what he must accomplish before he can escape.

  • Keep the difficulty consistent

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is actually one of the most common mistakes that escape room designers make – especially when they are new to designing their own games.

While you don’t want every puzzle in your game to be too easy.

If most are challenging then players are likely to become frustrated when they stumble upon one that is very simple or seems impossible to solve.

The key is finding a balance between making puzzles challenging enough so players have fun trying to solve them.

But also providing clues so more experienced players can help out those who are struggling without spoiling the entire game for others just because they know how to use a hint system!

  • Make sure your hints are helpful, but not obvious

 Many escape rooms allow players to use hints if they feel stuck.

Unfortunately, this makes it much too easy for them to avoid the challenge entirely, or continue on with something that is impossible to solve.

With so many games now offering hint systems, players are also more likely than ever before to ask for help solving puzzles via walkie-talkies.

Even when it involves combining multiple steps within a single puzzle.

The best way to go about designing hints without sabotaging your game’s difficulty level can be found by thinking like someone who has never seen the game before.

What would you say if you were walking through an escape room and came across something you couldn’t figure out?

you throw up your hands in defeat, or you look for help.

If all the hints given throughout the game are too subtle.

Players might become frustrated when they can’t even figure out how to ask for assistance – especially if their last resort is picking up a walkie-talkie and calling for help on an open channel!

  • Hints can be used as rewards

Escape rooms are more of an interactive mystery than your average game, so hints should be offered at just the right time.

If there is no specific restriction on where they come from then it’s easy for clues to get lost in translation or forgotten by players.

Who has had their attention distracted with another activity before getting around to solving that pesky puzzle again!

It also lets players provide some assistance to novices who are having trouble without giving them the entire solution.

As designers, it is our job not only to make sure that hints are incorporated properly into an escape game but also to think of ways to make them fun.

For example – what if instead of simply revealing a clue or solving part of a puzzle for players.

They had players stand on a magic marker and give clues using the walls as their canvas?

It might seem silly at first, but once you start designing games yourself you’ll find that there are countless possibilities for integrating hints into your game in unexpected ways!

  • Don’t neglect realism

  Escape room puzzles need to feel like they fit within the world where the game takes place – which is not always as easy as it sounds.

Players are naturally skeptical about even the most common objects they find lying around and run away screaming when they come across anything out of place.

  • Pay attention to room flow

  The way people move around your game will determine how much fun they have while solving puzzles, which is why room flow is one of the most important aspects of designing an escape room.

It’s a common mistake to forget that you don’t control how players move from room to room. 

They’ll naturally gravitate towards any paths that give them the shortest route, even if those routes include dangerous hallways or other rooms where they won’t be able to do anything! 

In summary, it’s a common mistake to forget that you don’t control how players move from room to room.

They’ll naturally gravitate towards any paths that give them the shortest route, even if those routes include dangerous hallways or other rooms where they won’t be able to do anything!

For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure there are multiple points of entry and exit from every room so players have lots of ways of reaching their intended destination.

You can also encourage people to explore your game by adding dead ends and false walls so players will be less tempted to take shortcuts!.

This article has been informative on best practices for designing video games with player movement in mind. 

 

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