Lately, I’ve been pondering about how firms manage a room failure, so I decided I’d bring forward a short narrative about the features of room design. I am not definite with the meaning of failure as it can mean many things. A lock combination may go wrong; a key break is also a possibility, a padlock malfunction, or perhaps the GM wrongly reset the room code. My purpose is not to indulge in describing these reasons, rather how to deal with these conditions and come out of such situations as they occur.
I’m speaking here with no real expertise as I have never been in an escape room. In reality, I have never actually GM-ed an escape room game. I have no experience in installing and managing an escape room. However, the same is the situations for most owners when they plan to start their games and set up the system. While I may lack the experience of playing the game, I have extensive experience of being someone on the outside on the other side of these breakages.
My favorite @WillYouLaugh_50820/my-escape-room-experience-and-review-6776796e2f56">escape room experience is the one I had at Number One Escape Room. I visited this Las Vegas based firm in 2016. It was during the game resetting session; they left an unlocked feature that would not have been visible to me as I entered the game. Most GM would not notice this, and those who did would shrug at this situation and continue with the experience. However, Number One Escape Room was quick to spot this error as soon as I was there, the GM came in the game, remained in his character, and explained that he needed to check few maintenance operations. They kept the game intact by their quick thinking and did not alter the situation of the room in any way while dealing with the problem. Using their creative approach, they turned the otherwise serious error into a dramatic part of the game.
I am hoping this article will help owners to react to situations like Number One Escape Room and to tactfully deal with faults without creating disturbing the escape room game.
As an owner or designer of the escape room, you must be open-minded to accept any mistakes if they are observed before or during the game. You can have the best GM, a robust technical system, and a precise script to run in the escape room, however, any failure can occur at any time. Even if you manage to create a perfect checklist(which in reality is not possible), any event can happen during the game that you did not anticipate. For example, a player can lose his key or a prop during the game, and your GM is unable to recover it during the reset. With several people rushing in and out of the game, there is a probability a player may find that key that is not part of your script.
Allocating the Rights
Step two is to give your GMs the rights and authorities needed to make real-time decisions By allowing them to take control of the situation you will give them the confidence to make the right amendments in case of any mishaps. You must not discourage your GMs over any mishap during the game but applaud their efforts to make a quick recovery without obstructing the game.
Plan it Out
With a right mindset, you will go in with the acceptance of the possibility of any mishap or failure. Don’t put all the responsibility on you GM and actively design strategies to implement in case of errors. You can make it easier for your GM, by giving him plans to deal with any failures before or during the escape game.
You can start by creating illustrations defining the working of the escape room game; this will help you to map out all area and important paths in your room. For every prop, puzzle, or script, you must think about the possibilities of errors and its impact on the game.
In a worst case scenario, there is a possibility that the final key to getting out of the room is placed in a puzzle that breaks during the room escape and the player simply grab the key at the start of the game and exit the room, thus ruining his gaming experience. To avoid this instead of having a single key to get out of the room, you could place multiple puzzles to pass in order to get out. In this case, even if a part of puzzle crashes, the player will not be able to end the game without solving other puzzles.
You can sit with your GM and work on such strategies to eliminate the chances of any mistakes that ruin the whole game. You can create many gaming strategies where you let the player be in different characters to make a decision so in case even if a player meets a failure in character; he will not be able to move on unless the other characters clear the puzzles.
The Show Must Live to its Expectations
Whatever happens during the game must not spoil the whole game for the participants. A puzzle or component may malfunction during the game, but such failure must not fail the game itself. I have played hundreds of such games, and only twice the game was ruined for me as I was unable to enter due to a technical failure. On one instance a maglock got jammed, and the other time a combination lock malfunction happened during the gameplay. Since the door lock is the major gating point in the game, you must work to keep things in perspective in situations of such faults.
Now, tomorrow and the Weeks After
You can have perfect gameplay, however, keeping it working for every script without any failures is something you should work for on a daily basis. If your GM designed a perfect game, you should appreciate his efforts but work with him to have strategies to keep the game-play working for all times. In case of a room failure, you must have quick strategies to bypassing the faulty puzzles during the game and other exits from the game, so the player keeps playing in case of room door malfunctions. You can also inform the player in advance to skip a certain failure and look for other options.
By the time you fix one fault, there is also a probability a player causes another error that needs your immediate attention. You just cannot relax and be ready for any errors with ready strategies to deal with the malfunctions.
Number One Escape Room Las Vegas
1775 E Tropicana Ave #100, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA