Some Tips for Escape Room Game Masters

2021.02.09.

When you book an escape room game here at ExitTheRoom, you're not just getting the room and clues and puzzles. What you'll receive is a curated experience and all under the watchful eye of the Games Master. This person is charged with keeping your game running smoothly. As the game progresses, they will be monitoring and, where necessary, providing guidance. They maybe present in the actual room, sometimes as an actual character from the narrative, and other times in the background. But with most games, they will be in a remote location, but you can contact them whenever the need arises. Our Games Masters are totally invested in you and your team having the best experience possible, a memorable and exciting game that you'll be talking about for some time. But, as with all things in life, there are good and then there are not so good Games Masters.  

The Games Master has control over the escape room experience. 

As you know, there are a million and one options for escape room games. Each room will have a different dynamic, as will each team playing. As Liam Neeson says in the movie "Taken", everyone brings a "particular set of skills" to the game. The Games Master's job is to help match those skills with the puzzles and clues the players will be up against, as well as ensuring the game's progress.

Games Masters: Giving the right hints at the right time.

Part of the fun of escape room games is the actual struggle to figure out solutions. Being stumped for an answer and then working out a new way of seeing a certain clue is all part and parcel of the game. Yes, it can be frustrating and leave a player pulling out their hair. But the whole point is to try and then try again, with new techniques and different players until you ave that satisfying "Eureka" moment. Nothing is going to take the wind from your sails faster than receiving a tip from the Games Master, right on the point when you are about to solve the puzzle yourself. Timing is everything. A good Games Master will not only know when to give a hint, but also exactly what the hint should contain. After all, as a player, you're not paying to have someone else solve the game for you. 

So a hint needs to contain exactly the right amount of information. Too much, and the clue becomes obvious. Too little and the player frustration increases. Being a good Games Master and being sure of when and what to give as a tip is an art form. What's needed is to nudge the team along in a certain direction. But the tip itself needs to be opaque enough that the players still have the satisfaction for when they do eventually solve the problem. If the tips come too often, then it removes any game satisfaction for the players. Conversely, if too few tips are given, then the game can become supremely frustrating as players struggle against the clock. Each group of players will be different in their needs and wants. The game master's job is to be able to judge the level and timing of appropriate help.

Games Masters: Complete Game Knowledge 

You might be surprised as to the number of complaints some escape rooms receive simply because the Games Master was not on point. Receiving a hint that has nothing to do with the problem at hand is going to drive any player nuts, as it simply creates yet another problem on top of the previous one. One of the causes of this is to do with escape room companies trying to save money. To do so, they employ but a single Games Master to over see any number of on-going games being played simultaneously. The problem here is that it's almost impossible to monitor more than a single game at once. Because hints should be almost surgical in their precision, here at ExitTheRoom, we only have a 1:1 ratio for each escape room. 

Another unfortunate factor is if the Games Master isn't fully in step with the game. It's obvious that in order to be able to help others who have become stuck in the game-play, that the Games Master needs to have a complete and comprehensive understanding of the game and all it's nuances. On the whole this comes down to a simple lack of training. 

Games Masters: On line, in-room staff provide the best curation

In this age of Covid-19, escape room games can still be played and are actually proving to be an extremely popular pastime. This works by having all the remote players able to see through the eyes of the on-site Games Master, who's taking their instructions. They can follow his every move via a camera. Because the Games Master is so directly involved, when ever the players get well and truly flummoxed, it's easy for him to present the most subtle of hints to nudge the game forwards. Here at ExitTheRoom our Games masters take great pride in their work. In fact, you'll be hard pushed to find a more dedicated and helpful group of Games Masters anywhere. But then again, we would say that! 
 

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