How to Create an Escape Room: Tips from the NWO Team

Mon, 19 Aug, 2019

Creating an escape game takes a lot of time and patience; there are a lot of things to consider! From the space itself, to the theme and the challenges – finding ways to blend all aspects of the room together to form one seamless activity can be a very rewarding experience. Here are some tips from the system_db team to get you on your way to creating your very own escape room in Dubai. 

Space, Theme and Time

First things first, choose a space that is large enough for a small group of people to move comfortably in – preferably between two and six people. The players should be able to freely walk around while they look for clues, without accidentally stepping on the toes of their friends or needing to squeeze past furniture.

After finding a suitable space, select an interesting theme that will intrigue and excite your guests. The beauty of escape rooms is the variety of themes that you can apply to each room: horror, comedy, fantasy or historical – go for whatever interests you!

Top tip: A good idea for newcomers to escape rooms would be to choose a mystery or adventure theme. This way, you’ll have an excellent template to get ideas from. Or take an idea from a favourite movie plot.  Also, it’s important to check the availability of props and decorations before making your final decision. You don’t want to settle on a theme only to be left with an empty room!

Escape rooms are usually one hour long; however, as this is your first game, aim for 30 minutes. You’re less likely to feel overwhelmed or overburdened in what is a new realm, instead you can focus on crafting a smaller number of high-quality puzzles and riddles, and it will be easier to keep your guests entertained.

Storyline and Challenges

It goes without saying that the storyline should be relevant to the selected theme. For example, if you have decided on a Harry mystery themed escape room, the storyline could go along the lines of this, taken from system_db: 

“The School of Magic is in great danger! While other students are on holiday, you are the ones the Headmaster has called for help. Discover the world of sorcerers and magic! Cast spells, use magic wands, solve puzzles and defeat the school from dark magic evil!”

Setting the scene in this way will give your guests a goal as they work through the game’s activities to exit the room. The pressure of battling against a perceived threat while the clock steadily ticks away is sure to add to the excitement. Also, whether your storyline is simple or complex, you should use a flow chart to clearly map out the direction of each stage and attach challenges to each one.

Solve puzzle -> Find object -> Decipher code -> Solve 2nd puzzle -> Find key -> Unlock door
Create a variety of challenges for each stage with only one repetition. This will keep things fresh and exciting in your guest's bid to exit the room. We don’t want to give away too many secrets but stick to these tips, and you’ll have the foundations for building your own exciting room!