How to write an Escape room narrative

Escape rooms are an interesting pastime for anyone. They feature a number of players, a room full of puzzles and an exciting scenario, where one player has to find the key to the escape room.

Escape room scenarios are very varied. They can feature literally any theme or escape room. While some have to deal with grim topics like murder, others are based on fantasy, and feature monsters or other supernatural creatures. Yet others are made for children, and will feature happy, childlike stories.

You need to decide on the theme of the escape room

If you are working on developing an escape room, then you should first consider the theme and style. There are literally infinite possibilities to see – there are escape rooms where the main character is stuck in an ancient tomb, yet others talk about going through an alien ship, and the third have to do with something supernatural, like a haunted house.
Time is of essence.
The Indestroom team has worked with many escape room topics, and we can help you design one from scratch. We also create decorations for escape rooms. For example you cannot play a game with zombies, without using special makeup, moody lighting and other things. Any other game will need special decorations as well, and we are always happy to provide that for a very low cost.

Come up with a little story and characters

The escape room must always have a plot. You have to invent a story for how the characters ended up in their current predicament and what happens when they find a way out of the escape room.

The story always is based around the main character escaping the room. He is provided a set of clues that help him get out of the room. He has to follow these clues in order to find a key and open the door.

There may be different characters in the stories. While some escape rooms may run without any additional people except the players, some may have other actors. For example, a story where a monster hunts the other participants of the game will have an additional character. Some may even have a few other characters, like a game with zombies.
Horror interior
The story must be upheld by the decorations in the room. For example a game based on pirates will require a room with a ship’s interior. A game with vampires will have Gothic decoration, and a game with zombies will have bloody splats all over the floor and walls.

Come up with riddles

Riddles and puzzles are an element that makes escape rooms so interesting. The players have to find a way out of the room, but only the one who is smartest will find the key that lets him out of the room. The puzzles can have different themes.
Historical naval map
For example if you are escaping from a tomb or different dimension, then the puzzle decides who is worthy enough. In others the riddle is different, for example, you need to find a certain combination of items to help you defeat a vampire or ghost.

And also, if you are having a game for kids, the riddle may be cuter. Like helping an animal or superhero get to a certain location or find something. There are endless possibilities.

Wow effect (unexpected plot twists)

It is always more interesting to have a story that does not go linearly. When there are sudden new clues that change the story, it makes for a much more exciting narrative. For example, if the players find a clue that shows there is a different murder suspect, then the whole story gets more interesting. Such wow moments make the puzzles in the game even more interesting to play.

A clue that contradicts the others or reverses the previous story line is the best way to make a wow moment in an escape room scenario.

There may also be jumpscares if your room is made with a horror or thriller genre. This will help not just create a plot twist, but will also keep the players on edge.
This is a well-decorated interior of a cave.
In order to make the players feel more immersion into the story, you can add emotional moments, hard choices, dilemmas that play on the players’ sense of justice and moral. All this will help keep the player deep in the game. Because the true meaning of the game is not in the decorations, but in its plot and meaning.

The wow effect may also be reached by the sudden appearance of a new character, who may aid the players or also menace them and prevent some from reaching their goal. The surprise factor is important, so it would be great if in your story this character emerges unexpectedly, like from a hidden passage.

Be sure to come up with an end of the story

The end to the story is one of the most important parts, since it leaves an impression that the players finish with. This depends on what effect you want to cause. If the game is directed at kids, then it would be great to have a happy end, with all the characters making friends and living happily ever after. And for other games you may want to have a more depressing and frightful end, especially if the story is about monsters, zombies or other dark topics.

Our team works on developing immersive escape room scenarios, and if you order one from us, you will be sure to get an exciting and interesting story. We are the team to ask if you want to buy escape room scenarios for any occasion, be it a birthday, Christmas or other occasion. We can make any story you want to see, and we will also provide decorations and materials for a good game.

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