Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Category: Design(Page 1 of 31)

Escape Room Puzzle Ideas from Game Design Improv

Game Design Improv

Game Design Improv

Ideas for escape rooms can be hard to think of. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start (of course you can always read my book)! I’ve got just the thing for people struggling to think of escape room puzzle ideas: Game Design Improv!

Some brave George Brown game design students joined me on the Wero Creative Twitch channel to stream a recent brainstorming session. We set out to create escape room puzzle ideas using Game Design Improv and I must say the results are pretty entertaining. After a rocky start we got the swing of things. I think our best idea was generated in the second video embedded below.
This first video includes me describing the game and some ways to use it to come up with escape room puzzle ideas.

After you come up with your escape room puzzles you can use the Room Escape Company Name Generator by the ever-amazing Room Escape Artists.

Get Game Design Improv now!

You can get the game now on iOS and Android!

Here’s the trailer for the game about game ideas:

A Game About Game Ideas

My most recent game is out and you can get it now for iOS and Android! Game Design Improv is all about generating and pitching game ideas!

gamedesignimprovlogo

You can play it as a fun party game or use it to generate game ideas for your own purposes (as in for games you’re making). Inspired partly by Oblique Strategies, the game will help you conquer and creative difficulties you may have! Ok, maybe not all of them – but some. At the very least it can be used to get you out of whatever the equivalent is of a writer’s block for a game designer.

Game Design Improv screen

It’s an evolution of my One Game a Month game of the same name which I made two years ago(!). Indeed you can see the previous version and the most recent version in the screenshots below. It’s obvious the impact good art direction can have, and for that I must thank Samet Choudhury.

Original version of the game idea game

Original version of the game idea game

Game Design Improv screen of game ideas

Game Design Improv

From Wero Creative.

Generate game ideas like never before!

Have fun competing with others to create the best (or just hilarious) game idea! You can also use it on your own for some fun last-minute game jam ideas.

Game Design Improv is a digitized game design exercise which I use to quickly produce ideas for games in all forms. It’s all about quickly creating game ideas based on limited information in a fun way.

Use it to come up with ideas for:
– Video Games
– Escape Games
– Board Games
– Puzzle Games
– Any other games!

The way to play it is to use what’s presented on the screen in a short ~1 minute game pitch. Keep it quick and it works as a fun, quick, useful activity.

This started at Board Game Jam and has evolved into this app you see in front of you now. You really should download it as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wero Creative wants you to make games! Do whatever you want with the ideas you generate from this app – no restrictions!

Game Design Improv screen of game ideas

Get it now on iOS and Android!

Get the Update to my Book: Escape the Game

escape the game sale banner

My popular book on escape rooms, Escape the Game, has been updated and expanded! It’s more useful than before for making your own escape game experience.

The book has more information on how you can make your own escape room or similar game experience. I added an entire chapter about an example puzzle that you can use and modify in your escape room (but do so before everybody else does!). If you’ve already bought the book through Amazon then your edition will be automatically updated. All new purchases will obviously be the updated edition.

Included in the update:

  • Template for your puzzle design!
  • List of documents!
  • Better examples throughout the book!
  • And more!

You can buy the book on multiple sites thanks to Smashwords! I’ll announce when the new sites become available on my Twitter and update the list below.

And of course, you can still get the book on Amazon.

If you have any further questions I do consult on – and make – custom escape game puzzles!

A Framework For Understanding Escape Room Games

Puzzle in an escape room
I’m a fan of escape rooms and I keep finding myself writing about them (and bring trapped in them). First it was my book Escape the Game and now it’s chapter in a book on using games in education. Along with Markus Wiemker, and Errol Elumir, I co-authored an article on escape room games titled
Can you transform an unpleasant situation into a pleasant one?

In short, our conclusion is yes you can.

The article goes into more than just thoughts on using escape rooms in learning, we wanted to provide a way to think about and discuss escape rooms as they grow in popularity. We have created a potential framework for understanding escape rooms and discussing the puzzles found within them.

Dialogorientierung & spielerisches Lernen analog und digital
Here’s a short excerpt from what we wrote in Game Based Learning -English Dialog Orientation & playful learning analog and digital:

Puzzle Types in Escape Rooms
Puzzles can be categorized into two basic approaches: mental and physical.

A mental puzzle makes use of the player’s thinking skills and logic. In order to overcome the mental puzzle, the players must deduce, correlate, or decipher clues to arrive at an answer. This type of puzzle is cognitive.

A physical puzzle, sometimes known as a ‘task’ or a ‘twitch’ puzzle requires the manipulation of real world artifacts to overcome the challenge and get the reward. For example, a maze is a task based puzzle. There is no ‘trick’ in solving the maze, you just need to get to the exit. Crawling through a laser grid is another task based puzzle. These puzzles are usually used to eat up time or provide a challenge for people who do not like mental gymnastics.

These puzzle types can obviously be used in combination with one another. A cryptogram may take a while to deduce, however, once the answer key is figured out, it will also take a while to translate. Or possibly a puzzle is obscured by darkness so another player needs to generate light via a bicycle.

Lastly, there is one more type of puzzle which is the meta puzzle. Although not a separate type, this tends to be used as the final puzzle for an escape room. In a meta puzzle, the final answer is derived from solving previous puzzles. For example, let’s say as the players progress through the room, jigsaw puzzle pieces are found with every other puzzle solved. Once they have completed all the other puzzles do they get every jigsaw piece. This jigsaw is the meta puzzle and when put together, it will lead the way out.

From:
Escape Room Games
“Can you transform an unpleasant situation into a pleasant one?”

By: Markus Wiemker, Errol Elumir, Adam Clare

Which can be found in Game Based Learning – Dialogorientierung & spielerisches Lernen analog und digital. You can get the book here, or a PDF here.

If you’re interested in learning more about puzzle and escape rooms check out my book: Escape the Game.

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