How to design an Escape Room to do at home?

So you have an Escape Room idea you’d like to turn into reality? 

jeu escape game maison
Creer un Escape Game

Start designing it

You’re about to create the wackiest escape game you could ever imagine! 

Like any puzzle, it’s going to be difficult to create. But, follow this plan and be ready to think creatively!

Before we begin, let’s be honest. Chances are your first Escape Room DIY (Do It Yourself) will be pretty bad. But they are fun to make and we hope this guide will help you a lot.

 

How to succeed ?

It’s very ambitious to create an Escape Room yourself, especially if you’ve never done it before! But if there’s a will there’s a way!

To get started, we recommend that you make an Escape Room that takes only 30 minutes to complete instead of one hour.

By adopting this approach, you will experience the process without wasting too much time

Get set!

PS: If you’re short on time, just download and print one of our complete Escape Room kits!

Succeed creating Escape Room

Start by writing a crazy theme

This is the easy part!

Write a premise that appeals to your tastes…

  • “A detective has gone mad in the middle of an investigation” Great.
  • “What really happened on the trip to Las Vegas ?” Funny.
  • “Students trapped in a video game” Original.

You can take inspiration from movies you’ve seen, books you’ve read, and even other Escape Rooms you’ve done before.

Long story short, the important thing is to make it engaging! 

Then describe your world

Once you have your theme developed, use Google Images to find 10 objects/persons that belong to your world. This list will represent the elements and actors of your Escape Room.

For example, in an Escape Room on the theme of a Corrupt Detective, the object could be a pocket watch covered with blood and fingerprints.

images escape game inspiration
Histoire escape game

Sketch a storyboard

Now that you have a theme, you will need something to happen to push the game into play

This may seem obvious, but it’s often missing.

Be creative and move away from cliché scenarios like “Prisoners escaping the most secure prison in the country” but rather something like this:

  • Robbing a bank vault or hacking into the FBI database.
  • Saving someone’s life by giving them the antidote so they don’t succumb to Zombie bites.

 If you make a printable Escape Room kit, without a game master, keep the setting in only one location. This keeps the game under control and makes it easier to manage.

At this stage, you haven’t introduced the players to any of the puzzles yet, so feel free to be creative and let your imagination run wild.

Convert your story into an organizational chart

This is the moment when you put the entire story together. 

Write out your timeline points on Post-It notes. Then, arrange them into a timeline of what is happening, where and when. As most Escape Rooms have a lot of things going on in parallel, this method will help you organize.

Each of these Post-It will become a challenge or puzzle in your Escape Game.

Well… okay, let’s be honest. You’ll end up changing half of your challenges before the game is over. But hey, you have to start somewhere!

Converting your timeline into a series of puzzles is surprisingly difficult. Our best advice is to add as much detail as you can at this stage. 

Start by adding Post-Its to represent objects from your story. I prefer to use paper of different colors for objects to help visually recognize each idea.

Keep going until you have a clear story in your head because it will save you a lot of time when it comes to designing your puzzle.

Escape Room create organigramme
Casse-tête

Choose a puzzle for each challenge

Congratulations! You’ve got this far!

Now it’s time to start the really fun part: transforming your story into a series of puzzles.

Start by doing a quick version of the exercise before spending a lot of time on the puzzles. This allows you to quickly browse your design without getting lost in details or puzzles that are too complicated.

To do this, write a quick description of a puzzle on each of the Post-It challenges.

Tip: You can find many puzzles on Pinterest.

Although there are no perfect Escape Room puzzles, they must all be logically connected to each other. Otherwise, you’re going to have players banging their heads against the wall because it’s so inconsistent and difficult to find their way around.

 

Simplified version

Now it’s time to make a simplified version of your game as simple as possible to test it before investing hours on details and accessories.

After a few tries, you will see what changes you need to make to the game. You might need to alter the story to make it smoother, or make the puzzles more challenging. 

It is essential to have your puzzle tested by as many teams as possible (at least 4/5).

Time the players in front of you to see how long each puzzle and the entire game lasts. The idea is to get to 45 minutes of play!

Once your game is ready, don’t forget to add accessories to spice things up!

Escape Game avant et apres