How We Create Our Escape Rooms - From Start To Finish

If you’ve ever played an escape room, or any sort of in-depth, engaging interactive experience, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “How did they come up with this?!”.

Creating an escape room is an art and to create an exceptional escape room experience, one has to be meticulous, creative, a great storyteller, and have the ability to put themselves in the player's shoes to generate excitement.

At Lockdown Ottawa, we pride ourselves on our escape room experiences and wanted to share how we put them together:

Creating A New Escape Room

The first thing that we do when conceptualizing and creating a brand new escape room is to pick the theme. We like themes that balance broad appeal and uniqueness and that lend themselves to creating an interesting story.

An outline of the plot, as well as the emotions associated with each beat in the story, is created. Then, we start to brainstorm an exhaustive list of everything and anything associated with the theme. This is the fun part where we sling mud at the walls, come up with zany ideas, discuss props, and craft the room that has a high impact on our players.

For our Hockey Fans Unite room, this included everything from hockey sticks, an ice rink, hockey nets, a penalty box, locker rooms, uniforms, a stadium, a concession stand, and many more – all of which ended up in the final experience!

We then combine the props with the puzzle mechanics, lock types, and electronic features, which is usually the most complex part. We build everything in-house, but never shy away from complexity, again which means that this part is the most labour-intensive.

The path that players can take through the puzzles and the variations of this path are also laid out. At Lockdown Ottawa we know that there are different ways parties can come together to solve puzzles so we mix in puzzles that need to be done in sequence, puzzles that can be done in any order, and puzzles that force you to relook at a situation or item in a different way.

We love brainstorming!

“This is the fun part where we sling mud at the walls, come up with zany ideas, discuss props, and craft the room…”

The next step is the testing phase where we run through the prototype escape room and see what works out, what doesn’t, and what can stand to be improved. Game flow is again very important to us so combining how the narrative unfolds with how we solve the puzzles in this testing phase is looked at, tweaked, and improved upon.

Once this is solidified we take the next step and build the full sets and decorative items beyond the props, trying to make the experience as immersive as possible.

A second round of playtesting is done with our Game Masters, close friends, and family. This is great for getting more widespread feedback, where we iron out any of the wrinkles or oversights that we had. Good is the enemy of great, so this is our time to really take in the feedback and refine our experience so that it is polished.

After this is set in stone, we train our Game Masters on how to tell the story of the escape room, how to run through it, and how to introduce you – the player – to the escape room, providing hints and tips.

Our customers love our game posters for each of our rooms, so we then spend a little bit of time creating some graphics to help market them to the public.

Then we are ready to launch the experience! As players play and we see their reactions and gather their feedback, we will often continue to tweak and improve the game.

Over the years, sometimes the game ends up looking very different than it was at the initial launch, but it is all to provide the perfect Escape Room experience to our guests!
Lockdown Ottawa Posters

“Our customers love our game posters for each of our rooms…”

At Lockdown Ottawa, we pride ourselves on creating some of the best escape room experiences Ottawa has to offer! Best of all, we create every experience from scratch so you are always going to get a unique experience!
Interested in seeing the end results of our passion for escape rooms? Click here and browse our selection of experiences and book one today: