Escape Room Safety: How to Keep the Players Safe

Escape Room Safety: How to Keep the Players Safe

As an escape room owner, you know that safety is a top priority. You want to ensure your players are safe and not put in dangerous situations while playing your game.

With the proper safety equipment, your games are fun for everyone involved. Escape rooms without fire alarms or emergency exits have lower player satisfaction scores. In contrast, those that provide these essential features enjoy customer retention.

The best way to keep customers happy is to provide them with a great experience and safety at all times. Investing in essential safety equipment like fire alarms and emergency exits is highly relevant. It will be easier to maintain high customer satisfaction ratings. Thus, people will return for more and recommend your service, too!

 

Are Escape Rooms an Amusement Building or Something Else?

An escape room is an amusement building and also a recreation center. As an amusement building, it provides games that need physical exertion to escape the room for fun or a hobby. Also, it tests the mental capability of teams playing inside. The puzzles and riddles serve as their mental exercise.

As a form of escape entertainment and recreation center, the escape room urges players to solve puzzles, find hidden objects, and break codes to escape. Using clues and hints provided, completing the escape game is always possible.

escape room scenario

Do Escape rooms undergo safety accreditation checks?

Escape room safety is a priority for escape game owners and operators. Local escape rooms should undergo inspection before opening. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards that regulate the quality of construction, design, maintenance, operation, and personnel qualification of establishments.

 

Escape room operators should show escape plans while a game is in progress and enforce them if needed—likewise, visible marked emergency exits of the escape room with prominent signage. Game masters must have safety training before playing any role-playing. This is to ensure they know how to escape the game in case of an emergency.

Escape room emergency exit

 

Escape room operators should have documentation. It includes safety plans and emergency procedures. It should be available for inspection or customers at any time when their escape rooms are open to the public.

 

How do escape room business owners keep players safe in their facilities?

Owners should include safety guidelines in their introductory video and escape room design. Escape rooms have props, puzzles, and clues that can be hazardous when not used properly. So players should be well oriented about the escape room and materials used.

 

Here are some examples of what you’ll find inside an escape room:

  • Escape room props, which may contain hazardous materials
  • Escape room puzzles can cause injuries if not handled correctly or according to the escape game’s instructions.
  • Escape rooms also keep players safe by providing a clear escape plan and exit strategy for all participants in an emergency.

 

Whether you’re first designing an escape room or looking to renovate an escape room, you must consider escape room safety for the following reasons:

  1. Escape rooms are highly complex and demand constant attention from players. The escape game experience is immersive and can result in injury if not played with proper care.
  2. Creators design escape games to be as realistic as possible. It often includes escape room puzzles that can cause injuries if not handled correctly or according to the escape game’s instructions.
  3. Escape games require players to solve problems and find clues to escape before time runs out. Players are also responsible for maintaining their safety during these activities by following all safety guidelines at the start of gameplay.

 

Ways to Keep Players Safe

There are many ways escape rooms keep players safe, but some of the most popular include:

  1. Keep your escape room clean and tidy.
  1. Keep the lighting in your escape room uniform.
  1. Provide a sign outside that clearly states “Escape Room” with an arrow pointing to your building
  1. Make sure you have enough staff on hand for opening and closing time as well as during gameplay hours
  1. Have a safety word or phrase that players can use if they need assistance from staff without interrupting the gameplay.
  1. Consider adding a panic button inside the room so players can alert staff at any point in their experience.
  1. Create rules for yourself about who you will allow into your escape room. Do not let anyone under 18 years old enter. Make sure people understand how intense it is before they start playing, etcetera.
  1. Check all locks and bolts on windows and doors before opening up shop each day to ensure no defects or malfunctions present that could create an unsafe environment for customers coming in to play games with your escape game.
  1. Use two-way mirrors instead of glass when possible – this way, people cannot see what’s happening behind them while still getting natural light into space (glass reflects too much light, which causes glare). It also helps with escape room design because it allows you to observe players and the games played to improve your services further.
  1. If you have a video game or escape room with more than one team playing simultaneously, it’s essential to keep an eye on what is happening in both chambers – make sure there are no physical obstructions that could cause injury.

Escape Room Safety

 

Red Flags of Unsafe Escape Rooms to Observe

Since the safety of the players in your escape room is your utmost priority. As a business owner, you should identify firsthand the red flags that can make your escape room unsafe to players. Escape room design flaws that are potential safety hazards in the event of an escape game malfunction or injury are:

  1. Escape rooms without a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, emergency exit, etc.
  2. Having too many players at one time for your space (too many people crammed into a small area can result in injuries).
  3. Small moving space of the escape room.
  4. Poorly lit escape rooms
  5. Inadequate escape game design, such as requiring players to carry a heavy object or being in an escape room without access to the outside world.

 

In Conclusion

Safety is a big concern for escape room players. Your priority should be to provide an environment free of hazards and dangers, making your escape games more appealing to customers who want their safety ensured before they get started on the game. Contact our Cluetivity experts about how we can help you design safe rooms with all types of puzzles in them!

Blackout: All You Need To Know About Our New Cluetivity Outdoor Escape Game [with FAQs]

Blackout: All You Need To Know About Our New Cluetivity Outdoor Escape Game [with FAQs]

We are all eager to get out and experience new things, even if it’s in our own city, enjoy the weather, breathe fresh air and have fun with some outdoor activity. Well, it’s about time!

Outdoor Escape Rooms are just what we are looking for and, moreover, presently considered a very popular social entertainment activity. They combine the best elements of escape rooms, scavenger hunts and geocaching with the help of a smartphone or a tablet.

 

What is an outdoor escape game?

Outdoor escape games are fully immersive adventure games where the team’s main goal is to solve a mission within a time limit. The games are equipped with a complete storyline set in real locations, tricky riddles, fantastic AR avatars and complementary gadgets for a real-like feeling. Usually, these adventures are run on a phone or tablet following a real online map.

Outdoor escape games are among the most famous fully immersive scavenger game experiences for company events, family bonding, and friends getaway. Frankly speaking, it’s a worldwide trend as they add interactivity to the reality surrounding to immerse teams into a whole story.

When it comes to lasting experiences, outdoor games are way better than other team games available. It improves our emotional, mental, and physical health. Outdoor Escape Rooms provide the perfect combination of team-building activities and mind-bending puzzles for groups who enjoy solving problems together while enjoying real scenarios.

 

How to set up an Escape Game

Creating a good escape room is hard. It’s not enough to just have an interesting premise or some fantastic riddles – it needs the right balance of both. Most escape rooms suffer from one of two problems; either they’re too easy, and players can solve them without any thought, or they’re so complicated that players need to spend hours trying every possible solution before finally getting through.

First and foremost, you need an exciting premise that will grab your players’ attention from the start – make sure they’re invested in solving your riddles before they even walk through the door! Next, consider how complex each riddle should be; not too easy (or people might get bored) and not too hard (so people don’t give up).

Finally, think about what type of customer or demographic you want to attract with your escape room experience. This way, you can design an escape room that’s just right for them! Have you thought about creating one for yourself? Cluetivity experts are here for you.

The Cluetivity Outdoor Escape Games have been created by experienced game designers who know how to make fun scenarios for players with all levels of experience and skillsets. We have decades of combined experience in creating physical games that challenge people in new ways, but we also understand how tricky online gaming can be to make sure your customers have a great time! We cover any audience requirements and understand the niche of your business, giving you the right tools to build unique, exclusive and top-quality escape games for your B2B and B2C business.

For instance, our latest outdoor game experience, Blackout, is fully equipped with top-notch elements such as AR avatars, ultimate gadgets and hidden clues, new multiplayer features and the latest technology.

 

Blackout, The Latest Outdoor Game Experience

 

FAQ

1. What is Blackout?

Blackout is a Cyber-Spy-Hacking-Game taking place in the modern universe. An unknown group of hackers hacked a city power plant, causing one of the biggest threats in modern times: a citywide Blackout!

The consequence is the complete collapse of the modern world as we know it. Unknown to the population, players’ city is currently running on emergency power. They have just a limited time to stop the hackers, restore the power supply and avoid the biggest catastrophe in modern history!

 

2. What is the team’s mission?

Here is the mission:

  1. Three (3) main power nodes and a secret emergency generator can control the city power network. The team must find these power nodes and activate them.
  1. The team has to find the secret emergency generator and restart it to restore the power in their city!

 

As this is a mission of the utmost importance to the whole world, the city is full of agents from different organizations and stakeholders who are either on the same mission as the team or double agents who want to stop them! To protect the team against possible opponents, Cluetivity has equipped each team with a unique new skill: Hacking!

The teams must use this new skill carefully.

 

3. Is the Blackout mission complemented with any widgets?

Definitely yes! Each team will be equipped with a unique case called ‘ActionPack.’ This ActionPack is designed to make the story fully immersive and interactive, making it genuine thanks to the great items and hidden clues.

There will be around three (3) pre-defined ActionPack riddles in the game. Additional ActionPack riddles can be created easily with some of the provided items. We are producing a wholly customized case for the ActionPack, which will fit perfectly into the game setting. The new ActionPack will weigh just around 2,2KG.

 

4. What is the estimated playing time?

The standard playing time is between 2 to 2,5 hours. Yet, the playing time could be reduced to around 1,5 to 2 hours by deleting 2 to 3 riddles.

 

5. Can Blackout be played as a single-player or in teams?

Our mission is to build teamwork, cooperation and team bonding within each game. Therefore, the game is designed to play in teams. We recommend each team be between 2 to 5 players.

 

6. Can different teams play against each other?

Yes! Teams can play parallel to each other. Players can also play „against“ each other. Each player’s score can be compared at the end of the game. Besides the high score, our new optional Multiplayer Feature (Versus Mode) will allow players to interact directly against each other.

 

7. What means the “Versus Mode” in Blackout, and how does it work?

The „Versus Mode” (also called VS-Mode) is an optional and additional new mode in Blackout. It is a multiplayer feature that enables teams to fight against each other. The standard story-based game mode works without the VS-Mode!

The VS-Mode can be activated in the route settings on the iPad. If the VS-Mode is activated, players see an additional Button inside the User Interface of the App. This button enables the players to „Hack“ other teams and steal money from them (in Blackout, the teams collect ENERGY and DOLLARS $).

To use the VS-Mode, the iPad MUST be connected to the internet! For this mode, SIM cards are needed. The data volume for using this function is low, so no big data plans are required.

 

8. What are the limitations of the “Versus Mode”?

The VS-Mode does not work for single teams. It will work only if multiple teams are playing simultaneously and in the same high score.

 

9. What outdoor settings and conditions should be considered to set up Blackout?

We recommend using a city location (probably a forest would not fit much to the setting). Any urban area with buildings will be okay. The size of the area needed is very flexible and depends on the length of the game.

 

10. Is Blackout exclusively an outdoor game?

Not really! We plan to release an indoor version with printed documents and without the need for the ActionPack.

 

11. Which iPad model is recommended to play the game smoothly?

We recommend an iPad 6th gen Wi-Fi + Cellular (2018) or newer to run Blackout and other Cluetivity games such as Operation Mindfall, Magic Portal or The Last Secret. There might be other iPads like iPad 5 or iPad Air 2+3 and several iPad Pro models which might be supported. A detailed list of all supported devices will be published once the first version is available in the app store soon.

In our upcoming Outdoor Escape Game Blackout, players will be equipped with an exciting new Gadget Case – the Cluetivity ActionPack™ and immersed in a fully new story. Become a Cluetivity Partner now and bring Blackout to your city this summer!

Outdoor Escape Games: Why Is It A Thriving Alternative

Outdoor Escape Games: Why Is It A Thriving Alternative

Are you seeking excitement, thrill, fun, and adventurous games for your employees and customers to enjoy? Have you tried adding an outdoor escape game to your training, tradeshow, and events you organize for your employees and customers? Here’s the best information about outdoor escape games you need to know and why it’s a company must-have.

Today you will know all about outdoor escape games:

What is an Outdoor Escape Game?
     Benefits of Playing Outdoor Escape Game
     How to Build Escape Game for Outdoor
Best Outdoor Escape Game for Events
     Blackout
     Operation Mindfall
     Magic Portal
     The Last Secret
Conclusion

 

What is an Outdoor Escape Game?

Outdoor escape games are among the most famous fully immersive adventure game experiences for company events, family bonding, and friends getaway. Frankly speaking, it’s a worldwide trend as more and more people experience the fun and excitement it can offer. Even at weddings, outdoor escape games are a big hit!

Escape games are adventure-based games where players seek to solve puzzles and riddles. Participants search around to find clues, hints, and items that can help them complete the game. Typically, escape games take place in physical rooms like offices, gymnasiums, or the streets.

 

Benefits of Playing Outdoor Escape Game

When it comes to lasting experiences, outdoor games are way better than other games available. It improves our emotional, mental, and physical health. If you’re looking for a fully immersive escape game for significant events that bring value to the money you invested, here are the top 5 benefits you can gain in considering Outdoor Escape Games.

Outdoor Escape games can improve players’ overall health

Outdoor games such as escape games are also exercises that offer more awesome fun. As the participants try to figure out how to escape the game with the hints and clues to solve a puzzle, it helps them stay in shape and maintain an ideal fitness level without noticing it.

It allows people to get an adequate amount of sleep

When your employees or customers participate in outdoor games, they also get into a rigorous exercise beneficial to their bodies. As a result, it enables the body to utilize unused energy that you don’t usually use when they’re just sitting in their workstation with minimal movement.

It can boost a person’s concentration

Escape games do more than just keep a person physically fit, which is essential in this time. When they answer a riddle, solve a puzzle, or look for hidden clues, it serves as a mental exercise, further boosting focus. Lack of concentration in this game can fail as people are expected to keep their thoughts together to surpass the challenges and complete the escape room.

It’s an innovative way to socialize

This kind of game is the perfect company activity if you want your employees to socialize or just want to interact with your target customers and get to know them more. It’s a good marketing tool to get more information about the market your company is catering to.

Outdoor Escape Game is an alternative to a boring wellness program in the company

If you want to keep your employees in shape while having fun, you can spice things up by allowing your employees to play in escape rooms. It can be a perfect cardio workout because your employees will be moving a lot to race against other teams and beat the clock.

If you want to carefully plan the building of your outdoor escape game for essential events to avoid any mishaps on the day of your company fair, we’ll share with you a simple step in building an escape game with your colleagues.

 

How to Build Escape Game for Outdoor

Here is a simple guide you can follow for your DIY outdoor escape game:

  • Come with questions or tasks to be done by your participants inside the “perimeter.” You can create custom pins or color-coded t-shirts for each group, depending on your theme that suits your escape game story. Ensure a good background story or a theme to follow to ensure that the tasks or questions are on the same page.
  • Next, think of a street or location where you will leave a way out. You can creatively reveal this secret location by giving out info or hints in the after-answer comments. You can give out letters one by one that will form the location’s name.
  • Think of a picture overlay that you want to use and make sure it surrounds the area. If you want it to look clean or professional-looking, you can simply ask help from a designer to create an image that looks exactly like the city area outline where you plan to run the game.
  • To ensure that your players escape the right way out, you should create many minus areas to block the ways out of the room the game will take place. To do so, you can use a no-answer type of question and set them to give a significant amount of minus points or warning pins.
  • Ensure that the players know what they have to do, their primary goal, the areas in the city they should avoid, and always keep in mind the background theme or story.
  • In this stage, the game is already set to be tested. To ensure that everything works well, you should probably need to run the test on your own or ask guests to play and try the game before the actual event for honest players’ feedback.

Yet, suppose you want an outdoor escape game that’s already made for you and only requires a little bit of customization with no programming skills needed. In that case, Cluetivity has the best outdoor escape game available.

 

Online Escape Rooms with Cluetivity is Possible!

Cluetivity offers outdoor escape games, mobile games, and online escape games. It allows companies to subscribe to their gamification platform to customize their predefined games with ease according to your desired location and needs. Users don’t need any programming skills to do it!

Their Online Editor allows users to create their scenarios, riddles, routes, stories, and games in a few hours. Likewise, they can upload images and videos, use their pre-defined Augmented Reality Interactions and play thrilling mini-games. Once your escape rooms are all set, users can now engage with their participants or customers.

Here are some of their best outdoor escape games from Cluetivity to check out!

 

Best Outdoor Escape Game for Events

Blackout

Blackout is our brand new outdoor game, released in 2022! It is a Cyber-Spy-Hacking-Game taking place in a very modern universe. The story runs in the players’ city, where the power plant was hacked by an unknown group of hackers, causing one of the biggest threats in modern times: a citywide Blackout! The consequence is the complete collapse of the modern world as we know it. Players don’t have much time to stop the hackers, restore the power supply and avoid the biggest catastrophe in modern history! The mission is complemented with special gadgets such as an iPhone, lantern, speaker, LED fan and other thrilling tools. This thrilling outdoor game can be played in single teams or multiteam-versus mode.

Blackout

 

Operation Mindfall

Operation Mindfall is an outdoor and indoor team-building game where the players take the role of secret agents. As international secret agents, their primary mission is to protect the entire world from danger. Players are grouped into 3-5 secret agents that will solve tricky puzzles, experience an Augmented Reality setup, and have lots of fun as they enhance their teamwork.

Each team always has an iPad they have to use to follow the map, play the riddles, and communicate with the AR Secret Agent as a guide. They need to carry a suitcase with all the physical gadgets they must use in some puzzles (mirror, cards, etc.). The perfect problem-solving tool for corporate team-building events.

Making a code visible by black light

 

Magic Portal

Magic Portal is a fantasy escape game that can be played indoors or outdoor. This game is ideal for newcomers and is designed for the whole family and children. It offers ready-to-play content that allows game customization. No need for more staff to run the game flawlessly! This game also provides Augmented Reality. Thanks to this, the virtual avatar comes to life. Players can experience fiction and reality all at the same time.

Chest opening in Magic Portal

 

The Last Secret

Last Secret is an outdoor escape game that will expand players’ range with excitement and versatile Augmented Reality. In this game, the players will act as adventurers to solve tricky puzzles using the most modern tools you can think of. Participants will have an extraordinary and intensified play with its sophisticated puzzles and navigation.

The Last Secret Teaser

 

Conclusion

Outdoor Escape Games are the next big thing in recreational activities enjoyed by families, friends, employees, and customers. It does not only offer fun, but it allows bonding and interaction. As the participants escape the game, the fun-filled memories and newly discovered friendships will probably stay for a very long time.

Get your escape room ready for that exciting outdoor activity with your employees and customers when you contact Cluetivity today.

Escape Room Puzzles: 7 Ideas For Your Missions

Escape Room Puzzles: 7 Ideas For Your Missions

Whether they be independent ideas or straight off-the-rack, unique Escape Room puzzles are a deciding factor for the success of your business. Are you seeking inspiration? We have compiled a list of ideas, sectioned into 7 different categories.

What you can expect to read in this article:

  • The different types of Escape Room puzzles
  • How each puzzle can challenge each of your senses
  • Standing out from the crowd with unusual puzzles
  • Using soundtracks and certain perspectives to create unique Escape Room puzzles
  • The attraction of interactive puzzles

Buying or developing your own ideas?

Buying premade Escape Room puzzles saves a lot of time, because it’s much faster to access existing ideas and have them built in by professionals than to come up with them yourself. However, the fun and individuality of your Escape Room can be lost in the process. Perhaps a competitor in your region has already bought the same puzzle?

You want a guaranteed unique selling point for your company? Contact us now and find out how you can stand out from the competition with our outdoor, mobile and online escape games.

If you are avid Escape Room players yourself, creating and developing Escape Room puzzles is probably one of your favourite pastimes. Bookkeeping, personnel administration and your audience are, of course, also part of it. However, time for creating a unique-yet-professional game must be put aside.

By creating your own Escape Room puzzles, you will stand out from the competition. However, you must also accept that the journey from the initial idea to implementation is a bit longer. Remember, once you have developed your idea, you need to test and build it, too. 

Key challenges setting up an escape room
If you have a case of Writers Block and need some inspiration for developing ideas, you are in luck! Read ahead for 7 different ideas that might just help you out.

1. The Sound of Music

Some puzzle types are absolute essentials and can be found in every Escape Room. Therefore, we want to focus on something a bit more unusual – the soundtrack of your puzzle.

Birds croaking, Frogs roaring, Lions chirping?! Something does not add up here! Only if your players listen carefully, they will realise that the sounds are part of your Escape Room puzzles. As music and other sounds often run in the background, it is easy to ignore them. The fact that they are actually part of a puzzle only becomes clear, when the players listen carefully. This is what makes them so exciting and extraordinary – players have to use another sense to escape from your room.

Sounds can also be used to implement great Escape Room puzzle ideas for children. It can be about assigning different sounds to animals, or to recognise messages in well-known children’s film songs. There are no limits to your creativity, but the puzzles should always fit the setting of your Escape Room.

2. It All Depends on the Perspective

Everything in life is relative. Some situations are good or bad, depending on how you view it. This very philosophy can be applied to your Escape Room puzzles – the correct answer all depends on which perspective the players look at something. Sometimes objects from a distance look very different from what they look from up-close. You can take advantage of this effect.

Paint cryptic symbols on walls and furniture that look like they do not make sense. But when players stand at a certain point in the room, they will recognise the code. For example, numbers, letters, or shapes become visible when your players find a certain pair of glasses. The glasses would then decode the markings to reveal a clue, which the players need to solve a puzzle.

3. It Must Be Here Somewhere!

Hidden objects are a standard puzzle in Escape Rooms. They are used in almost every challenge. Often keys are hidden – in decorative objects, under desks or behind windows. A good example for a puzzle would be to place a row of books on a shelf. One of the books is hollow on the inside, and thus, offers space for a hiding place. You can then place the key to a padlock or other Escape Room puzzle items inside.

Another variation of this classic puzzle is to place a crate with a trap door inside. The players will find something when they open the crate, but by digging a bit further, they will discover the item they really need.

Of course, you can also hide other items for Escape Room puzzles. Players may have to assemble a file with different letters circled in it, but the snippets are scattered throughout the room. Perhaps players may be looking for the pieces of a map where they need to decipher something. The possibilities with hidden object puzzles are almost endless.

4. The Writing Is on the Wall… Or Is It?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most clueless of them all?

You can build mirrors into your Escape Room puzzles in many ways. With a mirror, players can read text backwards, direct beams of light to specific locations to trigger effects and turn cryptic hieroglyphics into decipherable messages. The characters can also be in another room, separated by bars, upon which the players have to take the mirror in their hand and stretch their arm through the grid to decipher them.

But in the same way messages can be hidden on the mirror, you can inscribe mirrors with soap. The writing is only visible when players breathe on the mirror. Alternatively, a backlight can be used to make a message appear on the mirror. The players have to activate the light before by solving a different puzzle.

5. Let There Be Light!

In the suggestion above, we mentioned light as part of Escape Room puzzles. You can use it in very different, yet creative, ways in your Escape Rooms. Often UV-light is used to make the invisible visible at first. A sequence of lights, however, which results in a Morse code-like pattern, or lights up in different colours are great ideas for clues.

UV flashlight showing escape room puzzle
Also unique (or rather scary in the right setting) is a strobe light. Strobe lighting not only creates a tense atmosphere but achieves a disorientating effect. Did you know that a rotating fan “freezes” under strobe light? Due to the speed at which strobe lights illuminate a space, it actually looks as if the fan is no longer moving. From the perspective of an Escape Room operator, you can hide a message in the rotor blades that can only be deciphered under strobe lighting.

6. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

You can see a key, but you do not have a clue on how to reach it? Perhaps there is a way to reach it from another room. Then teamwork is needed here. One player tries to get the key without being able to see it, while the other tells them what to do. Or you chain two players together and they have to find a key first before they can move independently again.

Escape Room puzzles of this kind are especially interactive, because they can really only be solved if the players work together. Celebrating successes together bonds them together. This is why more and more companies are booking Escape Rooms as a team-building measure.

However, not every Escape Room operator has enough rooms to accept bookings from large groups. If this problem seems familiar to you, an Outdoor Escape Game might be the solution for your problem. With Cluetivity games like Operation Mindfall and Magic Portal, you can send hundreds of players on exciting missions at the same time.

7. Something “Obvious” Is Easily Overlooked

Sometimes players are so focused on looking for codes and hidden crevices that they no longer notice the obvious. This gives you the opportunity to surprise them. Avoid trying to disguise all the clues, but quietly place some tips right in front of the players’ noses.

A few footprints in the ground are pretty obvious. For example, you can open a secret door or activate a light that illuminates clues. In the same way, a mechanism in a sofa cushion can be built in to trigger an effect. Perhaps a rather conspicuous carpet could have a passage to a secret area built underneath it!

We hope our suggestions have inspired you to create some original ideas for your Escape Rooms. Is there something that we perhaps left out? Feel free to drop us a comment!

Are you in a company and looking for a fun remote training for teams? Check out our new platform for virtual team building events.

3 Harsh Truths That Escape Room Operators Don’t Want to Hear (and What They Can Learn From It)

3 Harsh Truths That Escape Room Operators Don’t Want to Hear (and What They Can Learn From It)

As human beings, it’s natural that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. This also applies to Escape Room Operators – some business owners are so focused on the minute details of a situation; they fail to see the bigger picture. With this comes plenty of brutally honest truths to be told. If you find yourself easily frustrated, perhaps this article is not for you. However, if you are prepared to face reality, keep reading ahead and see what you can learn from some mistakes you’ve probably been making.

1. The Quality of Your Escape Rooms Does Not Matter

Normally, the team at Cluetivity tell you how essential the quality of an Escape Room is. A captivating story, a wide variety of puzzles, and an inspiring game master are all crucial aspects. We cannot stress enough that these points are still valid! As Escape Room Operators, you can develop the most exciting missions, but if you don’t have players visiting your rooms at all, there is nothing we can do to help.

The truth of the matter is that most players can’t intricately rate the quality of an Escape Room anyway. They lack the experience. Maybe they’ve played an Escape Room before, but even then, they won’t notice much difference – so as long as your Escape Room meets standard expectations.

The absolute minimum that we would expect from an Escape Room includes:

A backstory: Escape Room Operators should come up with stories for their missions. Locking players into a room and solving disjointed puzzles that have no real connection to each other no longer works. An exciting and rigorously told story ensures that your guests can immerse themselves in the action – like a cinematic blockbuster or a fantastic video game.

Functioning puzzles: We love creative puzzles and thinking outside-of-the-box. With our Outdoor Escape Games, Operation Mindfall and Magic Portal, we also seek to inspire the players with an exciting story and versatile puzzles. The most important thing, however, is that the challenges are solvable. Nothing is more frustrating than when a puzzle, for example, fails to work because of technical problems.

An appropriate level of difficulty: Most Escape Rooms have a success rate of about 30%. You should also aim for this rate as an Escape Room operator. If it sits well below it, that itself is a sign that your puzzles are too complex or incomprehensible. If your success rate sits above 30% and teams manage to escape in well under 60 minutes, the rooms are probably too easy or there aren’t enough puzzles.

Attentive Game Master: Whilst they are based outside of the room, an attentive Game Master is a crucial element for success. They don’t have to be the perfect entertainer, but they have to be attentive and helpful. It’s pivotal that they follow the player’s journey throughout the game, and if your guests need a clue, the Game Master must have it ready.

What You Can Do To Tackle This

Don’t expect players to open the door for you, no matter how good your missions are. As Escape Room Operators, you need to take action yourself to attract customers.

You should pay as much attention to your marketing as you do to design your spaces. Check out our blog here for 7 tips on how to market your escape room.

If you’re especially new to the market, you need solutions that bring success quickly. In addition to obvious things such as an appealing logo, flyers and your own website, it is important to not forget about online ads. Advertisements on Google (AdWords) and Facebook are usually particularly effective under a cost-efficiency view.

With Google Adwords, you can target ads to specific keywords to appeal to people around you. The ads appear above Google’s normal search results. If you run an Escape Room in Berlin, it can look like this:

Escape Room operators are usually also active on Facebook and Instagram. Using these platforms, you can also run ads and target people in your local areas. You can also interact with your fans and followers through competitions (that are compliant with each social media platforms rules and regulations). Lottery draws often achieve high engagement rates, so you can secure your relationship with your existing fans whilst drawing in a new audience.

Last, but not least, it is also advantageous to offer guests a wide variety of games to play. In addition to Indoor Escape Rooms, you can also offer them Outdoor Escape Games.

Outdoor Escape Games, such as our agent thriller Operation Mindfall, are significantly faster and ready for use at a cost much lower than traditional Escape Rooms. They offer challenges which have been tried-and-tested thousands of times, and can be adapted to your individual needs with minimal effort. They’re even suitable for both small and large groups with over 2,000 participants!

2. Operating an Escape Room is Draining

If you’re still reading, it must mean that you dealt with the first harsh reality particularly well. Are you ready for the second? Here goes… Escape Room operators have the most inflexible schedules. Whilst this is certainly the case for many self-employed people, not many industries can compare when it comes to anti-social working hours.

Many Escape Rooms open between 2:00pm and 4:00pm during the week and close around 10:00pm. On weekends, it usually starts earlier – in extreme cases at 9:30am or 10:00am – and lasts until 10:00pm and longer.

As an Escape Room operator, you always have to be there a little earlier and stay longer in the evening– prepare the rooms, clean the premises and so forth. In addition to being ever-present on-site, there are other obligations as entrepreneurs:

  • Precise bookkeeping
  • Managing employees and preparing their schedules
  • Managing marketing activities as well as social media presence

However, there is the advantage of that during the week, you can at least use the mornings for running errands and general life management.

What You Can Do To Tackle This

What does that mean for you? Are the masterminds behind the rooms at least financially well-compensated for their efforts? Or is the Escape Room industry not the right one for you?

The latter of both of these questions is an answer only you can answer yourself. Some get along better with irregular working hours – others, not so much. There are, however, definitely easier ways to manage being self-employed.

You have to really know how much stress you are able to cope with and how your role in the Escape Room industry affects your social relationships. Once you’ve built a solid business, you’ll be able to seek support sooner or later, and eventually become a backseat driver in maintaining the business. It’s important that you learn to give up responsibility and find staff you trust.

From a financial perspective, an Escape Room business can be quite lucrative, but it’s no ‘get rich quick’ scheme. The fact of the matter is that you sell 60 minutes (with briefing about 75 minutes) entertainment for around 25€ per person.

In larger cities, some Escape Rooms might charge higher fees. But let’s take the above numbers as averages and assume each room attracts 125 players a week (the value depends, of course, on factors such as region, season and number of missions available). The total earnings become 3,125€. This amounts to 12,500€ per month.

Out of 12,500€, the following will correspond to:

  • Payroll payments
  • Rent and incidental costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Royalties (for example, for software)
  • Advertising

You can argue that owning an Escape Room can lead to earning a healthy income. For some people, however, this amount of money is nowhere near enough. If you’re looking to get more out of your business, we are more than happy to give you a helping hand.

3. Escape Room Operators Could Save a Lot of Money If They Were Craftier

Conjuring up Escape Room puzzle ideas is one thing. Another thing is to implement the ideas – and then equip the entire Escape Room with props.

Building an Escape Room requires not only a creative mindset, but also great craftsmanship. There is a reason that there are companies that specialise in constructing Escape Rooms. Teams complete with game designers, set designers, carpenters, electrical engineers, software developers, graphic designers and filmmakers work to install the pre-made missions in your premises.

It’s your decision on whether you want to offer your customers ready-made Escape Rooms or, instead, an idea from scratch. Whichever route you take, repairs are naturally going to be imminent. If you’re someone who is particularly crafty, you can undertake most of these tasks yourself – but not everyone is a naturally gifted carpenter.

With the installation of puzzles, hidden passageways, and decorative items, how much of it can you really do yourself? What do you need professionals for? The truth is you could save a lot of money if you are a bit handier.

What You Can Do To Tackle This

Don’t beat yourself up too much for a start. No-one is perfect, and what is not, can still be.

Nobody is born with an expertise in carpentry. They have acquired their skills over the years. You can do exactly that. Consider taking up craft courses or watch tutorials on YouTube. Start with small construction projects and gradually expand your knowledge.

Want a game that doesn’t require any craftsmanship knowledge whatsoever? Check out Cluetivity’s solution here!

Due to the “new normal”, many employees work from home. To support the companies in keeping their remote teams motivated, we developed a completely new platform for Online Escape Games and custom solutions.

8 Considerations Before Running an Escape Room Business

8 Considerations Before Running an Escape Room Business

Fun, challenging, and memorable – these three words describe what escape rooms are all about. If you are thinking about running your own escape game business in your locale, here are some of the considerations to ponder before joining this industry to open your own escape room business.

What is an Escape Room?

Escape Rooms are puzzle rooms or escape games filled with theme-based challenges, where the players form groups to complete tasks by looking for hints and use them to solve various puzzles. The rule of the game is to finish the challenges at a given time. 

Contrary to the misconception about escape games, no one is locked in. All the threats and dangers that the players will be going through are all imaginary. It becomes experiential because participants will be taking part in the story designed in the game. 

Being a player is not hard because escape games have a Game Master who explains how the game works, what the players need to do, and the one who will provide certain clues if needed. Most escape rooms offer the following settings: castle, ancient pyramids, space stations, and more. Some even offer a customized theme depending on players’ preferences. 

If you tried an escape room before, you might experience the classic escape room setup that requires the players to finish the game in under an hour or 45 minutes to solve the puzzles and unlock the door. But now, there are new features added in escape rooms like solving a crime, additional targets, finding treasures, and even rescuing hostages. 

Due to this, escape rooms have never been so popular. Many companies avail of their services for celebration and reward purposes. Many also use this for team-building activities, a practical activity for building trust, communication, and strengthening relationships. 

For a marketer like you, the vast popularity of escape rooms is a huge opportunity for you to start your very own escape room business. As you begin your escape games business plan, there are certain things you should put into consideration aside from the startup costs. These are:

 

Experience a lot of Escape Rooms 

As a startup tip, you do not need to have a business degree to open your very own escape room. What you need are skills and a lot of experience in playing the game for you to succeed. Well, you can’t expect a great outcome if you, yourself, are not familiar or clueless about how an escape room works. 

Aside from experience, you also need creativity, attention to detail, and good customer service skills. In this industry, it is not enough to be wise. You should be creative in developing new concepts, room designs, and clues for your players. 

Keen attention to details is a must, from booking escape rooms to placing clues. You, as a future escape room owner, must have a good eye for details. 

If you have experience in customer service, that is a great advantage because it is ideal for escape room owners to provide superb customer service to work well with adults, teens, and kids. 

 

 

Find to talk to other Escape Room owners.

It might be a surprise, but unlike other industries where the competition is tough, the escape room community has an inviting aura, and the owners are supportive. To grow or develop this industry, escape game owners rely on one another as a support system. 

This practice started way back when escape room owners recommended other rooms to try. Although this practice is slowly fading, some owners are still happy to share what they know about running the business with new entrepreneurs to the point that they will even discuss with you the startup cost of running an escape game business. 

 

 

Be part of the community.

As mentioned above, the escape room industry has a welcoming community. You can easily reach them as they mostly communicate through Facebook and other social groups like Reddit. They have numerous groups. 

For example, North America has 25+ groups whose primary purpose is to aid new owners in marketing and sales. Aside from that, you can also gather information from their podcasts and blogs. 

Find time to attend seminars and conferences.

Conferences in this industry do not happen regularly. If you stumble a virtual event about starting an escape game business, it’s best to attend. Such an occasion will help you stay updated with the latest trend or technology to apply to your escape room. Your effort is worth it as you follow a conference because a large portion of the seminar is purely dedicated to helping start-up owners.

 

 

Market Research is a must.

If you already decided to start your own escape room business, the first thing you should prepare for is the escape room cost and planning the location of the escape rooms. It is a must because aside from your marketing strategy, this is the highlight of your business. To succeed in this industry, you should come up with new themes for your rooms. 

Still haven’t come up with a great theme? You can check out other escape rooms and gain some insights from them. 

Aside from the business proper, you should keep in mind your target customers. Are you going after the kids, teens, or adults? Make up your mind, but if you want to cater to all age groups, it is advised that you have 1-2 challenging rooms, 1-2 comfortable rooms, and several rooms in between. This way, all age groups can have fun. 

If you want to be unique, you can also have those portable escape rooms set up anywhere. 

Study competitors.

Learning from the best in the industry can help you gain insight into how you will run your escape room business and create superior rooms like no other. You’re not going to ask your competitors for a lesson directly. You have to study the way they run their business. 

Do they offer free versions? 

Do they have demo plays? 

If they have been in the industry for a while, they must have been doing something right. Also, include their weakness in your study to ensure that their weakness is your success. 

 

 

Write a Brilliant Business Plan

An escape game business plan is a must if you’re going to start an escape game business. But, do not overwhelm yourself. 

You can start with small steps like the designs for your escape room. From there, you should focus on creating a sturdy foundation for your business. So, your business plan must include the following:

  • The name or brand name of your escape room business
  • The mission of your business
  • The market research 

These are essential because you’ll know if you’re low on funds and need to attract investors. It will ensure them that you know what you’re doing. 

Expenses in starting an Escape Room

Every business has its startup cost. For the escape room, it has too many factors to be considered. But, if we base it on the classic escape room, it could start from $10,000. 

Portable escape rooms are much cheaper, ranging from $4,000 to $7,000. Get in touch with Cluetivity for more information. Likewise, transportation is already added to the calculation. 

What makes escape room business expensive are the following: 

  • The renovation cost of the rooms
  • The additional lobby area furniture
  • The supplies and decors
  • The technical supplies like video cameras
  • The vehicle for both classic and portable escape rooms

Conclusion

Starting a business is not a stroll in the park. During your journey, you may experience some bumps, but it’s okay. As long as you stick to your business idea, keep yourself immerse and updated with the escape game industry, you can navigate your business smoothly.

To learn more about escape game business opportunities, contact a Cluetivity specialist today to jumpstart your escape game business this year.