Businesses worldwide have had a tough run over the last two years. People have been avoiding public gatherings even after the lockdowns got lifted. The threat of the virus made people apprehensive about going inside closed public spaces such as movie halls, amusement parks, malls, and escape rooms.
The situation got so bad that many local businesses had to close doors due to a lack of customers. This is where innovation came to the rescue. In the escape room industry, digital technology swept in like a superhero to save the day. And now, in every corner of the world, be it an escape room Tampa or escape rooms in Seoul, the industry has revolutionized into its new phase thanks to the technological evolution it adapted for survival.
But even before the pandemic, technology has constantly helped escape room owners upgrade their experiences to keep customers interested. So, in the trajectory of escape room evolution, technology has been a focal point all along.
Let’s take a look at how it has helped this age-old gaming format relevant to this day:
- Usage of diverse sound effects
Sensory immersion is one of the most integral components of an escape experience. Set design and lighting have always been part of the original escape room concept. The addition of sound effects took the game to the next level, making the simulated environment inside the room all the more believable.
Apart from creating a hyper-realistic ambiance, sound effects are also being used creatively by some brands. You might find escape rooms where the gameplay makes use of auditory clues. This takes the experience a step further by adding much more excitement and urgency to the mission.
- Use of cameras to keep everything in check
Escape rooms are usually wrapped with surveillance cameras that allow gamemasters to keep an eye on every group while they are inside the room. The cameras cover every angle of the room to ensure the safety of players, as well as to allow communication between them and the gamemaster without interrupting the flow of the game.
In case of an emergency, the gamemaster can promptly assess the seriousness of the situation and guide players to the nearest exit without wasting any time. On the other hand, since the gamemaster can follow the entire game from the control room, if players are stuck at a point and need a hint, they can easily provide it through intercom without having to ask for further details. This promptness of service allows for a more seamless experience.
- Use of technologically advanced props:
Props are the life source of an escape room. They contain the essence of the storyline and take the game forward. In order to upgrade their experiences, escape companies have now started to incorporate technologically advanced props in their games. The most common ones are i-pads, robotic dolls, digital code locks, and different kinds of sensors.
- Use of advanced lighting effects
Lighting plays a huge role in ambiance creation inside an escape room. Most companies use elaborate lighting to replicate the real-life environments they are trying to simulate as closely as possible. But the usage of lighting has now gone past just this purpose. Now brands often use lighting as both props and clues.
Sensor-activated laser lights are often used to add a more high-tech edge to the gameplay. Sometimes creators also use special lighting, such as UV or Infrared rays, to decode certain clues.
- Remote technology during the pandemic
In the last two years, the primary contributor that has kept the escape industry alive is remote technology. When people could not step out to enjoy an escape game, different brands came up with their own versions of online escape rooms. Some of them are app-based, while others are live-actor enabled. With the help of live-streaming and avatar gaming technology, escape rooms were able to keep the business going even amidst the most unfavorable circumstances.
While technological innovations deserve their rightful credit for helping escape rooms evolve according to the times, equal credit remains due to the flexibility of the escape industry as a whole. Despite the many challenges, companies have continued to fight for survival and come up with creative ideas that have changed the course of escape room history forever. It is only because of this harmonious marriage of imagination and technology escape rooms have remained in trend for decades.