When Designing An Escape Room, Rely On Your Strengths [Design Tips]

… and outsource your weaknesses.

If you are thinking of starting a room escape business, we recommend developing in your area of interest and partnering with people whose strengths complement your own. Draw on your own talents and the talents of others.

How do I design puzzles?

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, you could likely find puzzle designers through local maker spaces, social media, and board game groups.

It doesn’t matter how clever your theme is if your puzzles suck.

How do I welcome my guests?

If you are shy, conversing with customers might not be your thing. Hire a vivacious escape room enthusiast who wants a chance to talk to other players and get them excited about escape games.

Customer service counts for a lot. Don’t underestimate it.

How do I design my website?

If you’ve never considered the puzzle that is your website, approach those whose favorite puzzle exists in code.

Your website is how your customers will interact with you before their game. If it is an unpleasant experience, you’re starting on the wrong foot.

I want to…

Whatever it is that makes you want to work in this industry – do that! And do it better than anyone else.

Watercolor image of a hefty lock. The lock's face reads, "TUFF STUFF."

Develop yourself

There are many areas of expertise involved in the operation of an escape room. A new business is an opportunity to try new roles and expand your skill set in different directions.

Invest in yourself while you’re growing your business.

Dive into the areas that sing to you. Network, research, and learn new tricks in skill sets that you already have; you can learn an awful lot from blogs and YouTube.

Business model

Ultimately, your company is a business with many roles to fill. Strengthen yourself in the areas you love most and partner or contract with people whose strengths complement your own.

You’re going to need someone to tackle:

  • Puzzle design
  • Set design
  • Fabrication
  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • Web development
  • Accounting
  • Insurance
  • Real estate
  • Finance
  • Contracts & other legalities
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Social media management
  • Play testing

If you think that any of the bullets in this list are the same thing, then you’re missing the nuance of these skills. Learn the difference.

Also, remember that each item on this list is a profession. There are people who have lifelong careers in each of these areas and never learn everything there is to know about them. If you think any of these are shallow, easy-to-master skills, then you have a lot to learn.

You can’t do all of this well on your own. Bring your own strengths to the table and build the partnerships you need to succeed.


  1. Nicely put. We’re opening a room and can’t wait to share escape rooms with our little island (pop 60,000). We’ve found great partners in the community but because our community is so small it is hard to find others – learning how to wire more advanced props for instance – but we’re confident that we’ll get there!

    1. It sounds like you are doing a great job. In your situation, YouTube might be a great resource. Continue to reach out to the online community too.

  2. Are you sure you all don’t secretly own an escape room company?

    We totally agree with you and definitely recommend for other owners to not try to do everything on their own. One thing I might add is for other owners to share experiences with each other. We often have owners visit us and we share information together to continue to bring great customer experiences to the public.

    Exciting times ahead, thanks for putting this together!

    1. We both design and manage other products when we aren’t writing about escape rooms. We agree about sharing knowledge… stay tuned for our interview series.

  3. Hello, good article.
    Im decided to start a Escape Room business soon on the upcomming months. Im already managing another kind of business, but i felt attracted to this “escape” business from some years ago when i read about them.
    Now that im decided, i was contacting different franchises…and realized that franchising is not a good idea for many reasons.
    So, i must design my rooms. Searching on the net and on youtube, i can see some things, but not any process of designing a full room, with descriptions of tricks, ideas of design, etc…
    Maybe you can recomend me any web, company, forum, or whatever place where i can get ideas to design the room?

    1. Now Escape produced this guide that I think is a reasonably good starting place. http://blog.nowescape.com/how-to-open-your-own-escape-room-simple-22-step-guide/

      We also have our design tips section which discusses in detail many issues surrounding escape room design. https://roomescapeartist.com/category/room-design/

      It looks like you’re from Manila (your IP address is submitted with your comment, I’m not not being creepy). I’ve played a game in Manila, and it was a lot of fun. It’s a city with a thriving escape room community. Be sure to play every game you can in your region. Learn from the good and the bad of every aspect of these companies. https://roomescapeartist.com/2015/03/15/mystery-manila-world-of-wizardry-review/

      Good luck, and have fun!

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