Of course, it can. Take an Ikea table, wire it with electronics from AliExpress, and it will work just okay, maybe, enough for 10 to 15 groups of players :-). We don’t do such things. Why?
When you buy any gear for an escape room, be it a turnkey room or a single gadget, it is not a purchase on a whim, it is a well-thought-out investment. It’s the same as with shoes or bags: originals are of high quality and will stand the test of time, while a cheap “made in China” copy looks the same in the picture but won’t live to see the next season. Scores of players will go to your room. So quality and vandal-proofness must be your number one priority.
Let’s look at the A to Z of making a new escape room gadget, so that you know that a quality gadget
can’t be cheap.
1) Planning and reviewing with customers.
The key thing here is the experience of the team in charge of the project. Generally, it takes 10 to 15 days to design a draft for an escape room and get the customer to approve it. We don’t have any administrative employees to spare, however, time required to design a draft escape room is just one of the cost items.
2) Designing the room.
Our experience shows that the best way is to hire professional design engineers to help bring all your ideas to life. The costs then will be: their working hours, mockup, making detailed drawings for production and wiring. It is really a cheaper and quicker way than to correct any errors in the puzzle after the main production.
3) Buying consumables
It is the bulkiest cost item. Buying consumables is an art unto itself. Sometimes you have to order a rare component 2 months beforehand. We use environmentally friendly materials for our frameworks and decorations, because kids are frequent visitors to our rooms. Wood, paint and coatings must be vandal-proof as well. You can try biting our furniture with no harm done to you or the puzzle. We make some of the smaller stuff, i.e. plastic figurines, plaster or rubber components, ourselves, without middlemen. We even launched a foundry to make metal components.
As for electronics, we choose the components that are easy to replace or reprogram remotely, if they wear out.
These are the main cost items related to the production of any puzzle, plus the wages you pay to professionals who help you make it.
4) Production and quality assurance
From carpentry shop, to polishing and coating, to painting and decoration, and, finally, to assembly and programming: that is the basic puzzle production cycle. But it’s not over yet! After programming, the puzzle goes to testers and sound engineers to be thoroughly inspected and reworked until I am personally satisfied with its quality. This process runs under the supervision of a project manager. So, it turns out, that the process involves at least 30 people at its various stages.
We try and use the economy of scale to optimize our costs: the more work in progress there is in production, the better the cost of the end product.
5) Administrative costs
They include logistics, advertising, warranty, and support service. We ship our equipment anywhere in the world. We help our customers find the best way to ship their orders, negotiate with forwarders on our customers’ behalf, and deal with export and import customs.
Our advertising costs are set so as to comprise no more than 0.002% of the final product cost.
The support is available to our customers 18 hours a day. Thanks to our remote room monitoring system, our engineers are able to reprogram the puzzles remotely, wherever you are.
We save on:
Reworking. Thanks to our planning process, we manage to cut these costs virtually all the time. Customers are able to see what they get, because we make a demo play involving all the puzzles. Customers are even able to see it before the puzzles are actually made!
Unlike most other production companies, we offer only high-quality equipment that will serve you for a long time to the delight of your players. Our gadgets are great-looking and in line with the latest advances in the industry. Try them now!