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5 Reasons Escape Room Design Is Like Making Art

contraptions escape room design fort collins

Escape Room Design taken seriously


At ConTRAPtions, we are passionate about creating one-of-a-kind, unconventional, fun and excellent escape rooms. There is real-life, applied science (aka, technology) behind every in-house puzzle we produce. But art makes a big appearance too, both in process and product. Here are 5 reasons escape room design is like making art:

1. Because it IS making art

Building, painting, measuring, wiring, evaluating, finishing…. any artist or art student will say preach! The best part is that the finished product is not meant to be merely looked at or viewed. The interactive nature of escape rooms brings the viewer and the artwork a little closer. Which brings me to my next point:

2. It involves a maker and an ‘experiencer’

The experiencers, aka the players, get to see a glimpse of the maker’s interests and way of thinking when they play the escape room. Conversely, the maker must build and create the room at every step with the players in mind, perhaps even more so than with museum art. In this way, escape rooms also bring the creater and the experiencer closer together.

3. It has meaning to convey

The most basic meaning of an escape room is enjoyment and connection. Connection of clues to puzzles, connection of ideas to things, and most importantly, connection of people with people. New friends and old converge in real time and space to complete something, and just remember to enjoy being alive, also known as having fun!

4. Sometimes the escape room design changes from its original version

This is not always the most efficient way to build an escape room, but when it happens, it can have positive effects on the overall game play and experience. The surprises that present themselves to the makers are often bequeathed in creative ways to the players. Frustration and epiphany sometimes weave themselves into the narrative (Plight of the Margo is an example of this). Puzzles evolve from their original conception, but become more concrete because of it. This is true of several puzzles in Tiger’s Eye (we won’t say which ones, you’ll have to come find that out for yourself!)

5. Aesthetics and quality matter

Art means that the room itself, the props and set should be aesthetically pleasing and theme relevant. In Mafia Gallery, for example, the mechanics are not only real, but so are the paintings! Three of them were done specifically for the room, and appear in their original versions, keeping Mafia Gallery true to its name. Like good art in general, quality escape room design requires a high level of investment and attention to detail, including verisimilitude.


Come experience the art of great escape room design, game play, and fun at ConTRAPtions. We hope to see you very soon!


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