InsOmNomNomnia438 karma2019-01-17 22:06:57 UTC
I’m not the OP, but I’ve built 8 rooms now, played close to 30 built by other people, and have about a 75% personal escape rate.
It differs from person to person though. Another couple I know that owns their establishment and builds their own rooms are absolutely abysmal at actually escaping.
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InsOmNomNomnia113 karma2019-01-17 22:02:35 UTC
I’m not OP but I also work in this industry and have a slightly different answer.
At our establishment, we have 2 or 3 planning sessions that all the employees attend. The first session is where we brainstorm themes for the room. Everyone throws out all the ideas they can think of for our next game. If there’s one that stands out and everyone is excited about, we choose that one, if not, we narrow it down to a short list.
During the second meeting, we work on the narrative. What is the story we want to tell? What’s the “what, when, where, who, why, and how” of it? Once we get that nailed down, we basically play “wouldn’t it be cool if...?” to come up with props and puzzles that we feel fit within the theme and the narrative. Then we figure out how to fit them together in the room such that they flow in a way that is engaging and challenging.
After that, we make detailed lists of everything we have to buy or build in order to implement our plan. Often times, there are at least a handful of puzzles we want to make that require us to learn some new skills (e.g. coding, woodworking, resin casting, etc) so it’s always a lot of fun bringing our vision to life. (:
InsOmNomNomnia27 karma2019-01-17 22:14:12 UTC
I’d say it depends on your audience demographic and the purpose of the room. Is it cultural outreach to non-Natives? If so, err on the side of less difficult and include ways to learn any specific knowledge they need within the game itself. Is it intended as a fun group activity for other Native Americans? In this case, you can probably up the difficulty a little bit if there’s an expectation that most of your guests will already be proficient with the language.
I’m of the opinion that good puzzle design follows from a good story, so I would suggest starting there and working backward to figure out what puzzles make sense to include, but there are many different room design philosophies, so that is not the only correct way to do it.
Hope this helps!
InsOmNomNomnia21 karma2019-01-18 03:36:54 UTC
At our establishment our rooms have run about $2-6k to build. We save a lot of money on props since we design and build everything in house. One of our major props would be $5k if we bought it from frightprops, but we built it for about $400.
There are people who say you can’t build a good room for less than $75k, but those people are elitist assholes who lack either the knowledge or skill required to do quality work on a shoestring budget. 😜
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