Escape Game – DIY

Now the fun starts.  Let’s make our own Escape Game on a tiny budget!

Note: Game design is an incredibly complex & interesting subject.  I taught it at undergraduate & Masters levels for nearly a decade – so I apologise for how much I’m over simplifying things here.  If you’re interested I would be happy to point you to some of my favourite resources on the subject.

Our Escape Game is…

Our very simplified version of what an Escape Room is: a series of (non-linear) gated puzzles.  They are themed and physical in nature.  We’ll come back to the non-linear part in a bit.

So the player might have 10 puzzles to solve – however they can’t see all 10 puzzles at the beginning of the game.  Some are hidden from view and they are revealed throughout the experience.

The Iterative Approach

I think it is easiest to think of game design is an iterative process.  We’re trying to create stories, puzzles and interactions all at the same time and they all influence each other.

We’ll start by blocking out what you know.  Over time we’ll begin to fill in the blanks.  We’ll build placeholder content as we go.  Then it is a case of creating more iterations of the game each time adding more detail – and quite possibly breaking decisions that we made earlier.  You’ll be making many adjustments on the fly.

Just approach it with the mind-set that this is our best guess at this stage and that you are always happy to make changes.  It will magically fall into place at some point.

So these are ‘sort of’ the steps that I follow.  Once you’ve made your first game you may decide on your own process that works much better for you.  I’ve broken it down into three large chucks:

  1. Pre-Production
  2. Full-Production
  3. Play-testing

 

While I’d suggest at least skimming the above sections – you can skip all this and jump straight ahead to figuring out how you can add use the Android App to make your Escape Game at least partially digital.