Summer is officially over, and it’s time for some exciting news! Escape the Room Long Island is making moves on a new escape game. A brand new puzzle experience, coming to a location near you!
This will be my first room turnover since working here, and I am ridiculously excited. On this blog, I’ve gone through a lot of the basics as far as playing escape games, and the differences between types. But only now am I getting to experience the crazy process of designing an escape game. And game design is a whole different ball park.
Players often ask me how often we change our rooms. Is it every week? Every month? And they’re usually surprised to hear that we only do it every couple of months, closer to a year. Since opening in 2016, our Ronkonkoma location has only changed games one or two times. So the word “renovation” is a big one.
It takes a long time to design a completely original game. At LI Escape Game, we don’t have a special board of geniuses to draw up new puzzles for us. All of our escape rooms are personally designed by staff members, and it takes a load of collaborative work to put those ideas together. There’s no right way to game design, no exact science, no way to know at the beginning how exactly the room is going to turn out. Everyone has their own ideas for puzzles, and they need to be tested and demoed so we can find the best way to make them work.
Making the puzzles is only step one. Once you have a pile of cool puzzles, you have to decide what order they go in. What’s the best way to make the game flow? Are players stuck in one place for too long? Is the end exciting? Are there enough puzzles for multiple players to do? Will this realistically take them about an hour? The list of questions goes on and on.
And as the name suggests, the flow of a game isn’t set in stone. We’re constantly striving to make our games better, to make them more interesting, and to make them more fun. That means never getting comfortable with one way of doing things, and reassessing our games from a clear, unbiased perspective. Maybe it would make more sense if we moved this trick earlier in the game. Maybe that prop should come into play closer to this other combination lock. Maybe for younger teams, we could try setting it up like this instead.
It’s important to note that not all escape rooms do this. A lot of games are set in stone, and they don’t change for age, group size, or skill level. But here, at least, we always try and keep your enjoyment at the forefront of our minds. So even if running an ever changing game is more difficult, it’s certainly worth the effort.
Our newest room doesn’t have a release date just yet. In fact, it’s going to look very similar to one of the rooms we’re running now, with a bunch of new surprises inside. Our tricks and turns are being tested now, and hopefully we’ll be able to make a more formal announcement soon.
I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but trust me. It’s gonna be heavy, Doc!