Our class has recently started gathering ideas for our final escape room. To come to this stage, we spent the first half of the semester on understanding the fundamentals of escape rooms, and get a general idea on what our escape rooms should work like. We visited Mr. X to introduce ourselves to the world of escape rooms, and tried making a digital escape rooms as well. Digital escape rooms were escape rooms played on the internet, and not on a physical medium.
We had to use the ideas gathered in Mr. X to create a series of puzzles and codes the could be solved on our MacBooks. I customized my blog in to function as a maze of links, with many different widgets leading to external pages of clues. I also took the “digital” theme literally, and created a story in which the computer is being hacked. Then, we had to translate our digital breakout rooms into physical alternatives. This was a challenge, as the locks and clues we established through google docs and links were not possible anymore. I substituted the google docks with actual, physical locks, and used my cell phone lock screen as well.
What I felt was the most frustrating was my inability to control the difficulty. As I was the ones who were making the puzzles, it was difficult for me to actually estimate the complexity of the escape room. The person who tried out my digital room seemed to wander, and didn’t act like I expected. It was then I learnt that escape rooms weren’t such a simple matter.
I’m still retaining the same goal as the beginning of the year: Create a escape room that is interactive, not static. The one thing I noticed in Mr. X was the inactivity of.. Everything. The entire process was fully automated, and the players did not interact with anything. They found for clues, and cracked the code. The experience was that one dimensional. What I want is lore, a story that will engage players in a game that is something more than an arbitrary clutter of locks and hidden codes.