Since 2007 escape room industry has been growing rapidly. There are now over 2000 escape room facilities running in North American while the number is 0 before 2008. Although the escape room industry has been rapidly growing since 2007, it's far from saturating. On the other hand, the competitions between escape room facilities are becoming more and more intense. There are now more than 30 escape room facilities in the GTA area running at least 90 games, while new escape room facilities are opening and others closing down permanently. Until 2018, most of the escape room facilities are running the so-called second-generation games which have numbers of drawbacks or limitations that prevent the industry from further growing.
The biggest problem with the current game design is that it can hardly couple the challenges or puzzles with the story of the game organically. In fact, the current design flow is to some degree reversed, during the design process, available puzzles are collected first and then designers cram them together with a farfetched story or theme. The result of such design process is a game with random puzzles while the game can never convince the players to immerse themselves into the game.
Secondly, challenges lack diversity. For example, most of the existing games are decoding orientated. That is to say, although the form of the challenges varies from one to another the nature of the challenges remain the same, a decoding process. The result of the decoding process ultimately leads to a combination of a padlock, a PIN pad or a pattern of placeable objects in most of the cases. The lack of variation can cause fatigue to players and soon they will look for more creative challenges.
Thirdly, although team building has almost been a default selling point for escape room proprietors to promote their products, a few to none escape games can actually promote teamwork effectively. A lot of the time, at a certain point of the game only a few players are actively engaging with the challenges while the rest of the team just wander around and cannot contribute much. "Putting people in a room does not promote team building but more like a team diagnosis"(Dr. Linda Carson). This is not ideal for promoting teamwork, players who can't make contributions will not have any sense of satisfaction and they are less likely to come back for another game. In another word, the industry loses new customers.
Lastly, the lack of replayability is the generally known problem of escape games in the industry. Escape room facilities have to create new games in order to bring the customers back. The lack of replayability is caused by the decoding nature of the challenges. Once a puzzle is solved it will not pose any challenge the second time, as the players already know the method to solve the puzzles the fun part of the game disappears. Every escape room proprietor has to deal with this one-time experience problem either by choosing a location with a higher visitor traffic or renew the games every number of years. Demolishing old games and building new games is a costly and time-consuming process that cannot solve the replayability problem inherently. If the life cycle of a game is too short the business becomes unsustainable.
Escape games are evolving, you won't be able to survive in the future with padlocks from the competition. In order to win the game, you need new generation games which is exactly what ERDS creates.
Although escape rooms have been very popular for a while, it's limitations that prevent the industry from further growing cannot be neglected. At ERDS, we have studied deeply of what players and escape room enthusiasts are looking for in escape room games and create games of latest generation by breaking through the limitations and resolving the drawbacks of older generation games.
Players have been appealing immersive escape room experience for so long. In order to achieve a real immersive experience, the game itself should be story-driven, every challenge should make sense in the scenario, players should have a defined role/a clear goal and the scenes need to be as realistic as possible. There are should not be random puzzles or challenges. In fact, the puzzles/challenges should be well integrated into the plot while naturally progress the narrative and reveal the story behind which is for sure not easy to do. The designers at ERDS have successfully created a series of games that unify the challenges and the story together organically with extremely realistic scenes to ensure players can immerse themselves into the story subconsciously.
The diversity of challenges is another aspect we pay extra attention to. Not like the existing games in the market, our challenges always consist of three types of challenges which are the logic challenge, the physical challenge, and the teamwork challenge. The balanced use of different types of challenges ensures the diversity of the game inherently and greatly enhance the experience of the game.
Although many escape game facilities claim that their games are good for team building, it is actually not true. We made our challenges in such a way that all players are always interdependent by sophistically tuning the game according to the number of players before the game starts. In our games, no one will feel like an outsider and everyone gets involved.
We also pay extra attention to address the most difficult aspect of game design, that is replayability. In our games, players get to choose different difficulties for the same game which will change the mechanism of the challenges. There is a score-based leaderboard system for each game, and the score is calculated not only based on the time used to complete the game but also the difficulty level chosen and the performance. This unique setup will enhance the replayability of the game so that business owners only have to invest once to get a much longer lifespan of the game when compared to other products.
We welcome you to try out our games at our showroom, please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment.
REDS currently has two developed and built themes while the third theme is currently under development. REDS can provide you one stop service to build our existing themes at your location and make necessary modifications to fit your unit size and needs. With our highly efficient construction method with new type of concrete wall panel which offers much better finish than drywalls, we are able to finish building a 80 square meter theme in as short as two weeks and keep the downtime as short as possible.
ERDS can also offer comprehensive service to bring your own escape room/real life adventure ideas alive. The designers of ERDS are registered professional engineers who can utilized all available technologies to realize your ideas no matter how crazy they seem to be.
ERDS can design any kind of props based on the clients' idea or a picture of the prop. Not only we have the ability to design the prop we can also manufacture the props in house as we have access to all kinds of equipment include but not limited to milling machine, TIG welding machine and CNC laser cutting machine.
IT support/Intro video:
Customize your own website and have full control of your own booking system without the limitations of the booking system provided by a 3rd party booking system. ERDS can also create professional introduction videos for your existing games that will set you apart from your competitors.