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Intro, debrief or both? Designing an Escape Room experience
How much induction do your players need before their Escape Game begins?
On one hand, it’s important to properly induct players with an orientation before shutting them in the room, to avoid a lot of wasted time while they work out what to do. A quick introduction also gives the room host a chance to explain any key information, do’s and don’ts, and a quick safety briefing.
But beware of impacting on game time itself.
How long should the entire experience last?
Game designer Adam Clare says 45-60 minutes is optimum. Too long of an introduction can kill that buzzing pre-game excitement, and make the experience drag.
Meeting your team in a purpose-designed waiting area and leading them to their game room can give you ample time to communicate the basics, before letting them get to it.
Provide a debrief
Another thing to consider is wrapping up the experience once players have escaped – or not escaped, as the case may be.
It can enhance the players’ experience to see the room host again after the game, to chat about the finer points of the game and get reassurance on how they did. Arm your hosts with information about average success rates of each room, usual escape timings and most common sticking points, as these are all likely to come up.
Offer photo evidence
It’s a great idea to offer a group photograph after the game has been completed. Prepare a themed backdrop, preferably with your logo, and provide props for players to hold – these can include boards with cheeky slogans, and a chalkboard to write the team’s escape time on. Remember to provide options for successes and failures alike!
Ask the team if you may use the image on social media, allowing them to tag each other and giving you a free marketing boost.