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Escape Room Props: Enjoy, Not Destroy

by | Dec 4, 2019

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Without props, an Escape Room is just merely… a room. As you can imagine, the production of Escape Room props is one of the most complex aspects. When considering an Outdoor Escape Game, of course, the world is your oyster. The only problem is finding a way for players to feel lost inside it. However, with small gadgets and tools, you can make a fantasy become reality.

When it comes to making anything, there are always quality expectations to be met. On the one hand, your Escape Room props have to look engaging and contribute to the atmosphere of your games. On the other hand, they have to be resilient, because players will push, pull, and tear apart anything that they think is a part of solving a puzzle. When surveyed, the majority of Escape Room operators even said that creating enticing-yet-durable props was their biggest challenge.

Key challenges setting up an escape room

When making props for an Outdoor Escape Game, the costs of production are cheaper. This is simply because there’s not an entire room that needs to be equipped. However, we at Cluetivity still believe that the more props there are, the more engaging the game.

For example, at Cluetivity, ActionPacks are available for our games Operation Mindfall and Magic Portal. These include many items to help you create immersive experiences for players. Over 95% of our partners use ActionPacks to create augmented reality puzzles, generate secret codes, and outline the setting of Operation Mindfall.

Get in touch to find out how we can support you to expand your business.

Matching Escape Room Props to Scenarios

In Operation Mindfall, players become secret agents who must stop mega-corporation – Spider Technologies – from infecting the world’s population with a mind-controlling virus. The accessories can be found in a heavy-duty suitcase (the ActionPack).

Even the design of the case fits with the theme of the game and is branded to fit with the game’s storyline. To solve the following puzzles, players must use the right equipment they find in the case at the right moment.

Included in the case is a UV flashlight. Players use this to discover a cryptic code on a note from Spider Technologies. In another puzzle, they combine a microscope with their smartphone camera to find clues on slides of microfilm. In addition to this, there are plenty of augmented reality puzzles that can only be solved when players scan objects with the iPad.

Making sure that the Escape Room props fit into the escape room theme is particularly important – obviously, the goal is to make the game’s background story come alive. In Operation Mindfall, we use a digital picture frame that players, lined with secret messaging that players can only decrypt with special goggles.

We also have a box with a screen (which almost looks like a DAB Alarm Clock), powered by a USB cable. The Code Scanner gadget is used by players in conjunction with a USB-enabled device, such as a laptop or power bank, to hack into the Spider Technologies server.

After the connection has been made, a code is slowly revealed on the screen, which in turn can be used for other mini-games. You can see how this works for yourself in the following video.

Are you someone who already uses unique Escape Room props? Then be sure to show them off so they become part of your marketing scheme! Check out our summary of 7 Escape Room marketing tips, including how to make exceptional deals for your customers and use them in your marketing strategy.

Precautionary Painting

Despite all precautions, it’s inevitable that Escape Room props will break or show signs of wear. Puzzle items must eventually be replaced sooner or later. So, what is the most sensible approach?

For small and fragile items, it makes sense to always have a replacement available. Keys and locks, as well as sensitive objects, can quickly disappear or be damaged. Our top tip is to paint decorative objects with a special coating to make them last longer. For this, your best bet is to use boat paint. It makes surfaces weather-resistant and provides an extra layer of coverage against wear and tear. When creating our ClueChest, durablity was an aspect for us to consider. We trialed and tested the boat paint, and we’re very satisfied with the result.

The Last Secret chest empty
To create special details, look into a patina. A patina is a surface created by natural or artificial aging. It is one of the final steps in the production process of Escape Room props and is created by applying salts, acids, or even oil-based shampoos and wax to the surfaces. In this way, you can create beautiful color accents and details, such as particularly shiny and high-quality surfaces, or just old-fashioned and worn-out designs.

When talking about Outdoor Escape Games, another thing to be considered is that your accessories must be weatherproof. Even in cold temperatures, windy climates, and on rainy days, your props need to function as intended. Pieces of paper, for example, should be water-repellent or laminated so that they do not become unusable when wet. Try to create your other Outdoor Escape Room props out of sturdy, yet cost-efficient materials, such as plastic.

Want to find out more about our games? Get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to send you more information!

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