Industry Guest 1: Mink

Talk Notes

  • The ins and outs of designing an escape game
  • games design 10 yrs
  • board games design
  • escape the room
  • alternate reality
  • open world
  • education game


Escape the Room Games

  • Punchdrunk – Mink used to work for
  • Spark of resistance – 2014 – Made in America
  • Moved to england and made it in london – Escape from Pelagia – Jan 2016 6 months


  • Puzzles – logic, agiglity, dexterity, split knowledge between players – communication is a puzzle – consider accessibility
  • stuff – that wont break
  • time – pressure inducing
  • Real world physical room – Escape from room to room
  • Theme – story – informs why you’re doing it


  • Players vs humans – Not a computer
  • Working as a team and working with friends
  • Friends are your story – They much the fun for you


  • Mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics framework


History of Escape the room games

  • Escape from the mysterious room – opened in japan and brought over to america
  • Detarou – Online escape the room game – More in asia – Surreal
  • Mateusz Skutnik – Daymare Town – video game – more
  • The Room – After escape rooms became big – Digital – haptic


  • All games go back to the Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy Game – Passer Games
  • Crystal Maze
  • The adventure Game



  • Don’t have to have a narrative in there – Just a theme
  • Portal – Radio in the game that players can interact with – Diegesis – Sound is inside the game environment


Laura Hall – Diegetic Narrative

  • Myst – Inspired The Witness – Walk round island to find sound  to open doors – Prove you know the island


Donald A. Norman – The design of everyday things – Podcast – Don’t know whether to push or pull? Blame design – Design to know how to work them

  • Secret to puzzle design – Good at UI design


Not just escape room in a room – City Dash – Different check points

  • Agent November – Set in a park
  • ZombieRun – 2.8 hour later

The story get told afterwards are what the player has afterwards – Discuss it – Story of your experience

  • Stories inhabiting spaces – Curated space – Freedom to make their own fun – masks over people’s faces – Not affected by other people’s emotions



Kurt Vonneguts – Story Graphs


  • Papers please – game

Space Team – Split info






Reflecting upon the talk I found it interesting and useful as it was about an area of gaming that we hadn’t covered before – escape rooms. My preconceptions of what an escape room was before the talk, was that it was a room containing a set of traditional cube or sudoku puzzles that were more aimed at professional puzzlers. However through the talk I began to realise that this wasn’t the case, as the genre is evolving and there are purpose built sets containing a narrative throughout them, creating an immersive environment for players to engage with. Therefore the puzzles are made for everyone and aren’t just sudoku puzzles. I feel the talk was using in changing my perception of escape rooms and get me excited by the process of making them. I found the tactical and physical nature of the puzzle prototypes fascinating, as I feel they would be something I’d enjoy crafting, as I enjoy being able to build and shape objects with my hands. Therefore I think the talk was beneficial to me as it opened my eyes to a different type of games design and another possible job opportunity route for me. So for the future I will try to keep my options open in terms of areas of games design to work in, as well as not shrugging of a genre of game without understanding/ trying it out properly.