If you don’t know what Themed Thursday is please read this. Today’s object is a painting. Next week’s ‘object’ is betrayal!
It’s awesome that the global escape game community has grown so much, and continues to grow so quickly, that there are now so many sources and articles to read on the subject. Unfortunately that also makes it more difficult to remember where you read something. So with apologies to the author, I recently read someone say they enjoyed escaping because it provided such an escape from reality. And with that they liked their rooms to become increasingly surreal and fantastical. So on that note…
The brief for the room would be a pretty standard “The famed artist, Eto, has not been seen for over 48 hours. You’ve been sent to his studio to look for clues to his whereabouts, and hopefully bring him back safely.” The studio itself would be a pretty standard set up with a door that seemed to lead to a second room and a painting on the wall. As you searched the room and solved puzzles you would discover that Eto has been basing his recent work on a book, something to do with the occult, or magic, or mythology; something that would lead you to the twist – Eto has been drawn into his painting! The last lock in the room does not open the door, it opens the seal around the painting on the wall, allowing you to climb through into the fantasy world depicted.
Obviously this second room could now be of any theme/design you like, but should be a complete contrast. This room can progress again in a pretty standard way as you discover more about the story. In this fantasy world there’s some sort of powerful being that is upset that Eto has been painting them so dragged him into this world and turned him into some sort of inanimate object as a punishment. Maybe a paintbrush? And that is now being used/kept by the Witch/Sorcerer/Demon.
The third room, which of course should be completely different in style again, is the lair of Eto’s captor, which you must now infiltrate to rescue him. Some puzzling later you find what you’re looking for and must now return to the real world. For some contrived reason I haven’t thought of yet, the object must be passed through a separate portal, to break the spell imprisoning him. On doing so the painting door you came through in the first place reopens and you can return to the real world/studio. In the studio a box has now appeared (or perhaps has been there all along but you couldn’t access it before) but is rattling about. A voice from inside tells you how to open it, and outcomes your host or another member of staff, in character as Eto. He thanks you for your efforts, ‘paints’ (or more likely photographs) you as a reward, and unlocks your exit for you.
Yes, this is pretty ambitious, but these posts are all about pushing the industry forward. And I think you’d certainly be surprised based on your initial brief. Hopefully in a good way?