FROST! Escape Room

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FROST! Escape Room Project in Saint Croix Falls, WI.

And So It Begins

Sleeping Dragon Studios has been hired to design and build FROST! Escape Room Project for Storyteller Escape Rooms in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Book your escape here: .When I was approached to design this project, I had no idea what an escape room was and spent a better part of a year researching games, puzzles and existing Escape Rooms. There are also podcasts dedicated to different aspects of these rooms. How to win, how to design, how to make props and puzzles. I listened a lot to those dedicated in reviewing their experiences of playing these rooms domestically and abroad.

As with most theatrical experiences, everything starts with a compelling story or narrative. A good narrative helps inform the action, in this case, the escape room. In our case: Jack Frost has kidnapped Santa Claus. The elf’s have left behind clues as to Santa’s whereabouts. You have an hour to solve all the clues to find Santa or Christmas is cancelled FOREVER! There, very simple narrative. Now on to the set design.

Considering our space requirements we had space for 3 rooms: A workshop, a breakroom and Santa’s Map room. I took to my drawing pad and started doodling to see what these environments might look like and what opportunities there are for puzzles/games.

The Elf Workshop would have a toy assembly bench, a paint bench and general shelving. The Breakroom would have what typically a breakroom would have: Elf (employee) of the Month photos, Stove and Community Board for posting things interesting to elf’s such as: lost animals, garage sales, classes and official notices. Lastly, Santa’s Map Room is the hub of operations for his travels around the world. An array of different types and styles of maps are plastered all over the walls.

FROST! Escape Room Project Layout
Finished Escape Room Layout

And of course we need our Villain, Jack Frost:

Jack Frost of FROST! Escape Room Project
Jack Frost

Time to hit all the second hand stores for used furniture, lighting and stuff to make props. If I can’t find it or modify it, it has to be fabricated from scratch. Luckily we have 3D printers and a laser cutter that helps with some of the fabrication. Later!

While the set designs were being finalized for the FROST! Escape Room Project, I turned my attention to the puzzles. I began researching games used in escape rooms all around the world. Some games are very simple while some require computers and / or controllers to operate. Both have pros and cons. I think our room will have a mix.

During my research I found that escape rooms use software to manage the operations of the facility. Managing game time, giving clues, employee timeclocks and keeping track of guest release forms can all be part of this management software. They all have varying degrees of sophistication and cost. You can “rent” them monthly or buy them outright, which is becoming increasingly rare. Most offer a demo version to try before you buy. I tried several. Since I was not familiar with the whole escape room thing, most of the interfaces were confusing an/or cluttered. I finally picked one that seemed to be the least confusing, had the features we thought wanted and provided hardware support for RaspberryPi’s, Arduinos, and PLC’s. They also had an updated website and a fairly active Facebook page (Which was a good indication they were still in business!).

If ever you should have any questions or comments, you can leave them below or on the Facebook post that landed you here. Peace out!

Pre Show of FROST! Escape Room Project
Elf workbench - FROST! Escape Room Project
Candy Canes - FROST! Escape Room Project
Elf Workbench - FROST! Escape Room Project
Decorative Shelf

Not only do we need to hear the guests as they play the game we also need to be able to see and talk to them. I will be adding microphones in the room (so we can hear the gamers) , one mic in the control booth (to give verbal clues) and speakers in various places in the escape room for sound (Verbal clues, narration , music and sound effects). We will be also adding three mini cameras to keep track of gameplay.

Last weekend we ran our 7th test group through Frost!. Why do we test the game? To make sure the game flow works as they should and any problems occur during testing, not the actual game. I have learned A LOT during this phase. Not only about the game but about human nature. I don’t know if you know this but people are funny!

Test Group
Test Group

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