19 Mar

How to Create a Virtual Escape Room

basement

Ready to redefine entertainment and engage your audience in a whole new way? Learn how to create a virtual escape room, turning your team-building ideas into an exciting activity for all your friends.

These online experiences are designed to challenge participants with puzzles to foster teamwork and problem-solving skills. With today’s workforce becoming increasingly off-sight, the demand for team-building activities remains.

In this article, we explore the transformative potential of these digital adventures and how they can be used to foster cohesive, collaborative, and resilient teams in a professional setting.

Ready? Allow us to take you through how to create a virtual escape room to give family, friends, and coworkers an unforgettable experience that tests their knowledge, problem-solving skills, and team synergy.

How to Plan Your Virtual Escape Room

Get ready to plan your own virtual escape room! Achieving success is as straightforward as completing the following tasks.

  • Define objectives and goals
  • Choose a theme
  • Determine team size

Let us zero in on the first crucial task: defining objectives and goals.

Define Objectives and Goals

When planning an escape room, you must first set clear goals and objectives for the room and the players. This step ensures a focused and purposeful activity.

For example, your objectives could be similar to the ones provided below.

Objectives

  • Foster teamwork and collaboration.
  • Enhance communication skills.
  • Encourage problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Promote creativity and resourcefulness.

Goals

  • Teams must be able to effectively communicate and delegate tasks to solve challenges.
  • Participants should collaborate to overcome obstacles within a set time frame.
  • Encourage creative thinking by incorporating diverse puzzles and scenarios.
  • Emphasize the importance of utilizing each team member’s strengths for overall success.

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme is crucial because it sets the tone and makes the activity more engaging and immersive.

Picking a theme related to team interests or work scenarios is critical in boosting enthusiasm and the desire for teamwork.

In a professional setting, you can choose similar themes to the following:

  • Project Rescue Mission
  • Corporate Espionage
  • Global Business Adventure
  • Cybersecurity Challenge
  • Time-Management Maze

It makes the escape room more relevant and effective for team building while keeping the fun, escapist atmosphere escape rooms are known for.

Determine Team Size

Deciding the team size is vital when planning an escape room. Consider factors like the difficulty of challenges, team-building goals, and participant preferences.

Smaller teams (4-6 members) often lead to better communication and active participation. Larger teams offer diverse perspectives but might face coordination challenges.

Team dynamics will vary greatly depending on size. Smaller teams encourage close collaboration, while larger teams need structured communication to ensure things get done. Plan accordingly.

Tools and Platforms to Make a Digital Escape Room

tools and platforms to make a digital escape room

Creating a digital escape room involves using different tools and platforms to make it engaging and immersive. Popular options are indicated below.

  • Google Sites: Great for making a website-style escape room. It offers easy multimedia integration and navigation.
  • Canva: Useful for designing visually appealing graphics, clues, and puzzles. It provides templates and customization options.
  • Jamboard: A collaborative tool for teamwork, creating interactive puzzles, brainstorming, and organizing clues.
  • Google Forms: Effective for designing interactive forms. With embedded clues, questions, or links to guide participants.

Step-by-Step Guide for Each Tool

Explore the abilities of the following platforms. These platforms allow would-be game masters to create engaging puzzles, appealing graphics, and interactive challenges.

  • Google Sites
  • Canva
  • Jamboard
  • Google Forms

Now, let us delve into the specifics, starting with the foundational platform in our digital escape room toolkit – Google Sites.

Google Sites

google sites

Are you excited to build a thrilling escape room? Let us get started with Google Sites! Here is how.

Step 1: Set Up a Google Account

If you do not have one, create a Google Account. It will give you access to Google Sites.

Step 2: Access Google Sites

Go to Google Sites (sites.google.com) and log in with your Google Account.

Step 3: Create a New Site

Click on the ‘+’ sign to create a new site. Pick a template or start from scratch, depending on your preference.

Step 4: Design Your Home Page

Craft an engaging home page that sets the theme for your escape room. Introduce the storyline and provide any necessary background information.

Step 5: Add Pages for Each Challenge

Create separate pages for each challenge or puzzle in your escape room. Use the ‘Pages’ tab to organize and manage different sections.

Step 6: Insert Media and Clues

Enhance each page by embedding multimedia elements like images, videos, or audio. Place clues, riddles, or instructions related to the challenges.

Step 7: Create Navigation Links

Connect pages by creating navigation links. This ensures participants can smoothly navigate through the virtual escape room. Utilize the ‘Insert‘ menu to add links between pages.

Step 8: Test Your Escape Room

Preview your escape room to ensure that all links work correctly. Test each challenge to confirm that the clues and media are displayed as intended.

Canva

canva

Let us dive into the process with Canva! Here is where we begin.

Step 1: Set Up Your Canva Account

If you do not have a Canva account, sign up on their website or log in if you already have an account.

Step 2: Choose a Design Type

Start a new project and choose a design type. For an escape room, you can select a presentation or poster format.

Step 3: Set Dimensions

Customize the dimensions of your project based on your preferences. Consider using a layout that allows for an engaging and immersive experience.

Step 4: Design Your Home Page

Begin with the home page, as this will set the tone of your virtual escape room. Add visuals, a storyline introduction, and any background information.

Step 5: Create Pages for Challenges

Develop separate pages for each challenge or puzzle. Canva allows you to duplicate pages easily, maintaining consistency in design and saving you time and effort.

Step 6: Add Visual Elements

Incorporate visually appealing graphics, clues, and puzzles. Canva provides a wide range of elements. This includes images, icons, and illustrations to enhance the aesthetic of your escape room.

Step 7: Utilize Canva Elements

Explore Canva’s library of elements, such as lines, shapes, and arrows. These elements create interactive and visually stimulating elements within your escape room.

Step 8: Integrate Multimedia

Embed multimedia elements like videos or audio to make your escape room more dynamic. Canva supports easy integration of these elements.

Step 9: Establish Navigation Links

Connect pages seamlessly by creating navigation links. Ensure participants can navigate smoothly through the virtual escape room.

Step 10: Incorporate Interactive Features

Consider integrating interactive features. You can use Canva to create clickable buttons or links leading participants to different sections or challenges.

Jamboard

jamboard

Are you putting together a virtual escape room with Jamboard? No biggie! Just perform the steps laid out in this section.

Step 1: Access Jamboard

Open Google Jamboard through your Google account. You will need to create an account if you do not have one.

Step 2: Create a New Jam

Start a new Jam by clicking on the ‘+’ icon. This will be the canvas for your virtual escape room.

Step 3: Set the Theme and Background

Choose a theme or background that aligns with the storyline of your escape room. It sets the visual tone for the entire experience.

Step 4: Design the Home Board

Begin by designing the home board, which introduces the escape room and provides essential information. Text, images, and shapes can be used to create an engaging layout.

Step 5: Add Boards for Each Challenge

Create separate boards for each challenge or puzzle in your escape room. Use the ‘Add Frame’ option to keep new boards organized.

Step 6: Incorporate Interactive Elements

Use Jamboard’s interactive features, such as sticky notes, text boxes, and drawing tools. These allow you to incorporate clues and challenges. Experiment with different elements to enhance engagement.

Step 7: Collaborate and Brainstorm

Leverage the collaborative nature of Jamboard for brainstorming. Encourage team members to contribute ideas for challenges or collaborate in real time to enhance the escape room experience.

Step 8: Link Boards for Navigation

Create links between boards to facilitate smooth navigation. Participants can click on links to move between different sections of the escape room.

Step 9: Embed Media and Resources

Embed multimedia elements like images, videos, or external links. These allow you to provide more information or enhance the storyline.

Step 10: Test and Refine

Test your virtual escape room by navigating through the boards. Adjust the layout, content, and interactive elements to ensure a seamless experience.

Google Forms

google forms

Crafting a virtual escape room using Google Forms is a breeze. Dive into the details with this guide.

Step 1: Access Google Forms

Open Google Forms through your Google account. You will need to create an account if you do not have one.

Step 2: Start a New Form

Click on the ‘+’ sign to create a new form. This will serve as the foundation for your virtual escape room.

Step 3: Craft Your Home Page

Design the initial page of your form as the home page for your escape room. Add a title, introduction, and necessary background information to make the experience smooth and efficient.

Step 4: Create Sections for Challenges

Divide your form into sections representing a challenge or puzzle in your escape room. Use the ‘Add section’ feature to organize different parts of the game.

Step 5: Add Questions as Clues

Use various question types to create clues or challenges for participants. Multiple-choice questions, short answers, and paragraph answers can all be used for interactivity.

Step 6: Embed Images or Videos

Enhance the visual appeal by embedding images or videos within your form. This helps in presenting clues or setting the scene for each challenge.

Step 7: Use Logic Branching

Leverage the logic branching feature to create dynamic paths based on participant responses. This allows you to tailor the escape room experience based on their choices.

Step 8: Include Timer for Challenges

Introduce a timer for each challenge to add an element of urgency. Google Forms lets you set time limits for respondents to complete specific sections.

Step 9: Test Your Escape Room

Test your virtual escape room by completing it yourself. Ensure that questions, clues, and logic branching work as intended.

How to Design Your Virtual Escape Room

Have you ever wondered, “How do escape rooms work?” Get ready to crack the secrets as we look into the art of designing your virtual escape room.

A. Crafting Engaging Clues and Puzzles

Creating engaging clues and puzzles enhances the experience by keeping participants engaged. They should blend well with the story you are trying to tell and cater to different skill levels. Here are some simple tips.

  • Keep Theme Consistent: Make sure clues fit the chosen theme, creating a cohesive participant experience.
  • Visual Theming: Use symbols, colors, and images that fit the theme, enhancing the visual appeal of clues and the overall setting.
  • Integrate Story Elements: Strengthen the connection between your clues and the overall theme. Incorporate narrative elements.

Balancing difficulty means providing challenge levels. Adjust the difficulty and promote collaboration with teamwork-based clues that you feel your team or group of friends can handle.

B. Storyline Integration

A well-crafted narrative in an escape room boosts engagement. It creates a compelling reason to solve puzzles and enhances emotional connection and investments.

It also motivates participants to progress, keeping them engaged and motivated to uncover the next part of the narrative.

A narrative connects puzzles by providing context and guiding logical progression. It also maintains consistent theming and increases engagement.

It provides context for each puzzle, ensuring a cohesive experience. The narrative encourages exploration, as each solved puzzle contributes to the larger narrative.

Conducting Tests and Making Revisions

Get hands-on with the testing and refining, turning your virtual adventure into an exciting challenge for all.

A. Conducting Test Runs

Testing before a team-building event is crucial for identifying issues early. It will also ensure seamless execution of all elements and fine-tune difficulty levels before you get all your coworkers on the call.

It also allows designers to identify glitches. They can ensure the seamless execution of clues, puzzles, and multimedia elements. They can also make adjustments based on test group performance.

Involving a small group in test runs helps designers enhance user experience. It can also identify ambiguities or confusion and adjust pacing and timing.

This helps enhance engagement, clarify instructions, and ensure participants understand the challenges they are facing. Feedback from test runs also helps in adjusting the virtual escape room’s flow and preventing lulls.

B. Making Revisions

Designers should address identified issues or challenges by analyzing feedback. This will allow them to address technical concerns they may have missed, make adjustments, refine content, and ensure narrative alignment.

They allow designers to fix bugs, improve platform compatibility, and enhance user experience for the next group of players.

The virtual escape rooms will be enhanced through superior navigation, storytelling, flow, and timing, as well as by fine-tuning difficulty levels.

These changes aim to maintain engagement, prevent disruptions, and balance difficulty and ease. They will enhance participant satisfaction and overall success.

How to Host the Virtual Escape Room Event

how to host the virtual escape room event

Learn the ropes of hosting a virtual escape room event that will keep your team on the edge of their seats.

A. Communication and Instructions

Effective communication and instructions are crucial for a smooth virtual escape room event. Follow these guidelines to convey instructions clearly and foster a collaborative atmosphere.

  • Clear Language: Use straightforward language to avoid confusion. Ensure participants understand the tasks at hand.
  • Written and Verbal Instructions: Provide instructions in both written and verbal formats. This is to cater to different learning styles.
  • Visual Aids: Use graphics or diagrams to enhance players’ understanding of challenges and tasks.
  • Timely Communication: Ensure timely delivery of instructions before each stage. This is to maintain seamless progression.
  • Open Communication Channels: Encourage questions. Provide a designated communication channel for ongoing dialogue.

For a successful collaborative virtual escape room, focus on teamwork. Keep a positive atmosphere, celebrate achievements, offer encouragement, and encourage group discussions among players.

B. Facilitating Team Discussions

Encouraging team discussions during and after a virtual escape room boosts engagement and builds camaraderie, a goal for workplace escape rooms.

Participants who actively communicate and collaborate during the escape room and can share ideas and strategies will be able to improve communication and practice skills critical to their day-to-day life.

After the activity, a team discussion session allows them to reflect on their experience. Insights are gained by identifying wins and challenges, determining effective communication methods, and evaluating interpersonal dynamics.

Professional growth involves applying these insights to work. When done correctly, something as simple as an online escape room can foster continuous team improvement and encourage individual reflection.

Follow-Up and Reflection

The virtual escape room experience continues beyond the solving of puzzles. Explore why follow-up and reflection are crucial for a truly impactful adventure.

A. Post-Event Debriefing

Debriefing is a process that gathers participant feedback. It encourages open reflection, understands effectiveness, and provides insights for future collaborations.

Debriefing sessions are thus crucial for team dynamics. They help teams identify strengths and challenges, clarify roles and contributions, and address communication strengths or issues.

B. Continuous Improvement

Constant improvement is an iterative process that involves refining teamwork, communication, and strategies used.

It also involves integrating feedback from debriefing sessions into project planning and execution. It allows teams to adopt strategies based on past experiences.

Encourage teams to apply lessons learned during the game for more effective collaboration down the line.

Key Takeaways on How to Create a Virtual Escape Room

Virtual escape rooms can enhance teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills in professional settings. They create a dynamic space for individuals to learn, adapt, and grow.

Organizations should integrate virtual escape rooms into team-building initiatives. When designed well, they can improve a team’s communication and problem-solving abilities.

If you are looking for an effective way to engage your team in a corporate setting, look no further than Escapely’s virtual escape room. 

Escapely is perfect for creating an exciting experience that promotes teamwork and creativity, whether in person or virtually. Book a demo or email us at hello@escapely.com.

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