Professor Soir – Escape Zoom

I finished the escape room class on Tuesday, 05/05/2020. It has been so magical that we adjusted to the pandemic situation quite well and created an immersive game experience on zoom.

For the last week of the semester, we have hosted five one-hour-long games for our escape zoom and gained helpful insights in what to do moving forward. It has been so fun to see people playing/struggling with the puzzles we made. It has been so rewarding as well to see them succeed in the end.

Overview

Storyline:

Three newly recruited research assistants are assigned tasks with hidden information about the Professor Soir.

Medium:

This escape room experience is fully immersive and digital and hosted on Zoom.

Mechanism:

Gamemasters:

This game is consist of three AI systems, whose primary roles are to communicate with one assigned player, one person controlling the sound, one person acting as the timer, and one person working on making the souvenir through photoshop.

Our group built a script module to make sure the tone and character of the AI system is the same. We also build a manual for Zoom meeting setting and sound control to make sure everybody knows how to do so.

For these roles, all of us communicated through Discord.

Puzzle Pathway:

Our original puzzle pathway is made by Emma.

Escape Room Preliminary Flow

Here is the revised game flow made by Martin with different puzzles.

Professor Soir's Escape Zoom REVISED Game Flow

Details:

Before the start of the game, one of us will give a brief introduction of the logistics of the game and welcome the players.

Introductory phase: The players are named student1, student2, and student3. This game involves three AI Systems (e.g.: AI_SYSTEM 001, 002, 003) who send tasks to his/her corresponding students.

Investigative phase: VOICE and VIDEO activated. Players are now onto second puzzles where they can collaborate with each other.

Cometogether phase: Players are given one extra puzzle, if they finish the puzzle faster than anticipated, where they are encouraged to collaborate with each other.

Escape phase: Players are given two choices which lead to them being locked in a room. They are only given 20 minutes to solve the puzzles.

Game Over: Players are given digital souvenirs that celebrate their collaboration.

Documentation

I created an Escape Zoom event on eventbrite and lots of people signed up so quickly.

More videos coming soon. Here are some screenshots.

People playing the jigsaw puzzle.
Feedback session with the playtesting group on Tuesday in class. 05/05/2020
Players communicate during investigative phase on 05/03/2020.

Digital Souvenir if players choose different outcomes:

May2, 2020__Dateline: ESCAPE ZOOM HEROES_Newspaper - This image was shared with players who picked to DESTROY_SOIR after completing the Escape Phase of the Escape Zoom

Professor Soir's Instagram - This image was shared with players who picked to DESTROY_INFO after completing the Escape Phase of the Escape Zoom.

Presentation

Coming soon.

Feedbacks

  1. Felt anxiety at the very beginning
  2. As puzzles went on, the connection with their roles faded away. AI system may need to remind the player.
  3. Should reinforce the relationships with the characters and character traits – should be reinforced by the future decisions  
  4. Should tweak to distinguish the hints and instructions.
  5. Satisfying especially at the end

Next Step

The feedbacks from these playtesting has been so helpful that I modified my own puzzles to make it less difficult. I shortened my puzzle from “i do things when i am told not to” to “i don’t follow” so that it would be easier to type, reducing the possibilities of mistyping.

Some of us are thinking about polishing the game in two ways:

  1. create a digital online version without game mastering through zoom [This means every puzzle should be in one domain]
  2. create an online zoom event where people can sign up for the immersive experiences [potentially we can live-broadcast this as well]

Special thanks:

David Rios for advising and playing our game.

Tito, Emma, Martin, Helen, and Melissa for being supportive throughout the process in terms of puzzle making, script-writing, game mastering, and play testing.

Jianhao and Ran for their puzzles.

Published by Yiting Liu

NYU ITP '21

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: