Escape From Reality Episode 3

Where does this fit on the fun spectrum?

Yes, I promised this a week ago. Yes, it’s usually my laziness to blame. But this time it’s my stupid new laptop and its crappy microphone. Anyway, lessons learnt and hopefully the next episode won’t create as much work for me.

This week Ken and I are joined by Chris Dickson, now of, to talk about the unconference we attended at the end of last month. We talk about a lot of things but in particular:

  • High tech vs. low tech
  • How to build a more immersive world
  • Using live actors in escape games
  • Thoughts on failing
  • Escape games for children (and how conversations get diverted!)

In the course of that we mention:

And more! Hope you enjoy it and, as always, hit me up with feedback either here in the comments or on Twitter.


  1. High-tech versus low-tech and when something will appear out of date is an interesting one. I think most games will feel out of date in 5-10 years, and not because of technology. Yes, Star Wars is still a good film that you can enjoy now. But most people won’t enjoy watching 1920s silent films, at least not as anything more than a curio. Things have just moved on, not only in technology, but cinematography, screen-writing and elsewhere.

    Settlers of Catan was something I found amazing and brilliant when I first found it around ten years ago, when all I’d played were mass-market Monopoly-likes. But a decade on it’s still a decent game, but I feel like everything about it has been done better, there are things I’d rather play, just because design has moved on. Catan is one of the few 90s games still held in any sort of high regard today.

    I think people will just get better at making rooms, and old rooms will just feel old.

    • But all you need to ‘fix’ Catan is the Helpers expansion (which is built into the Star Trek version) 😉

      The board game analogy is an interesting one. I enjoy playing something new and ‘fancy’ for a few plays, but then I find myself coming back to old classics like Catan and Carcassone just to bask in their simplicity. I haven’t felt the same about escape games yet, though I’ve also not played that many which I’d consider high tech.

      • Catan was probably a bad example, I guess the point I was trying to make is there’s not much between that and Go/Chess that are still played.

  2. Weirdly we’ve also had the drinking-game discussion entirely separately. Including the idea of designing an entirely task-based room specifically for stag/hen parties involving drinking and doing various stupid tasks.

    Toying with the idea of drinks-based forfeits for failing rooms on our Budapest trip…

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