An outdoor escape game- how to build a city escape game for a team building event?

September 17, 2018 - 6 minutes read

Outdoor escape games are one of the current trends in event companies in different countries. You can start off building an escape game by constructing it on a simple rogain type of game.  Indoor escape games are familiar to everyone. But what about an outdoor escape game where you have to get out from a city area? In Loquiz your can construct a city escape game in 6 steps. Below is a mini example of a such game idea.

1) Create questions/ tasks which go inside the “perimeter”. Add custom pins according to your theme. A prison, spaceship, hospital, medieval, horror, military, spy- whatever suits your escape game storyline.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good background story or a theme! As the Halloween is not that far away, in this article example utilizes a horror theme. All pins are from the Openclipart

2) Think out a street or a place where you leave a way out. One way to reveal the way out is to give info in the after-answer comments. You could give letters one by one to form an anagram of the street name or numbers to the coordinates that lead out.

3) Set a picture overlay you want to use. Make it to surround the area. The neatest outcome is achieved when you ask a designer to make an image matching the city area outline you plan to run your game multiple times.

4) Create a bunch of minus areas to block the ways out of the area. Use no answer type of question and set them to give a big amount of minus points. The text could be “You have stepped over the border and you get -1000 points.”
In the after answer comments, you can add: “You are thrown back to the area. Keep finding the way out and you might redeem yourself from minus!” 
Keep your promise and have +1000 location somewhere on the way out.

Make sure to leave a way out! (In the example, I have set pins to show scores for clarification of this example. During the game, scores on the invisible pins are still not shown!)outdoor escape game team building city escape game

TIPS.
+You don’t have to surround the full perimeter with minus areas. Naturally, buildings, fences, rivers etc also block the way. So you have fewer pins to add on the map and slower smart devices don’t have hundreds of pins to load on the screen.
+Optionally, you can add warning pins in front of the minus pins. No answer type of questions saying:
“Don’t come any closer or the xxx will do xxxx to you. You will then get -1000 of points!”
+The invisible danger is probably more thrilling. So set minus area questions radiuses and pins invisible in questions additional settings tab.

Pay attention that a radius edge on the map and GPS in real life are not always fully in the same place. Blocking half a street like in the example left, and hoping players can squeeze through is a BAD idea. A better way to block the street is fully, an example on the right! This explains the specifics of GPS technology accuracy and you will understand why half-street blocks are a bad idea. This applies to both visible and transparent radiuses/pins.

Invisible pins points are not shown, visible pins points are.

5) Tune last details on the configuring page of the game. Share a background story in the welcome text of the game.
Make clear what players have to do, what is the goal (to get out from the perimeter or gathering points is also important?) What areas to avoid. Keep in mind the spirit of the background story/theme.
You can decide what to show on the pins. You can opt to show nothing on the pins when scoring is not important. If you decide to show scores on the pins, then the scores on the invisible pins are still not shown!

6) The game is ready to test. You will probably need to run through the test on your own and then beta and alfa tests with different groups of people to iterate and validate. Quite often games are simplified or tasks made clearer based on players` feedback.

Ideas for extra excitement
+Building the outdoor city escape game on rogain works well but rolls out even more awesome if you build it on the scavenger game type. It allows timer activations; new pins on the map when a certain score is reached (helping out the players who get -1000); locations opening after a certain question is answered all make the magic!

+Setting up some invisible locations within the perimeter that players can find or stumble upon to do extra tasks.

+Timered huge radius locations that open up for all teams.

+Create a custom language for the app.

+For welcome and questions’ text use language jammers to add spirit.

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