Reminder: New York City Escape Room and Immersive Meetup on Wednesday!

This Wednesday join us for the New York City Everything Immersive Meetup, co-hosted by Room Escape Artist and our friends at No Proscenium.

Glo and Bulder looking into one another's eyes with the mountain in the background.

Details

Please RSVP on Facebook or by contacting us.

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019
  • Starting at 6:00pm and continuing for a few hours
  • Shades of Green Pub (125 E 15th St between Irving Pl and 3rd Ave)
  • We will be congregating in the back room

This is a casual gathering. There is no formal programming. Stop by at your leisure.

For more information, read the meetup announcement or check out the Facebook Event.

Should I Attend?

We love meeting other folks who enjoy immersive entertainment. This is a space to share ideas, find collaborators, talk about experiences (with spoilers!), and give/ get recommendations.

If you’re part of the New York City escape room and immersive community – or if you happen to be in town this week – we’d love to meet you.

Also, we’ll have some popular friends joining us from the other side of the world!

Easy Ways to Design Escape Rooms For Colorblindness

8% of men and 0.5% of women are colorblind. (Colorableness & National Eye Institute).

This is probably something that we should talk about a little more often.

A flower depicting the color spectrum in normal vision
Normal Vision

I’m going to give you a little background information. Then I’m going to show you a few easy ways that you can adapt your escape rooms to make them fully playable for players with colorblindness.

You can make your escape rooms playable for people with colorblindness with minimal effort and without spending any additional money.

Finally, the improvements that you make for players with colorblindness will improve the game for normal-sighted players as well.

Accessible Design

Accessible design is a design process in which the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered.” (Washington.edu)

There are times where it isn’t possible to create something that can be universally experienced in the same way. However, there are ways to ensure that the thing can be experienced at all.

Credentials

Professionally in my life as a digital UX designer, I’ve been practicing and advocating for accessible design for over a decade. I’ve written a white paper on this and given talks on the subject. (I no longer work for Phase2, but I’m still proud of this talk.):

Designing Escape Rooms For Colorblindness

How do we design escape rooms for colorblindness?

Most people with colorblindness can see color. They just don’t see it in the same way that normal-sighted folks see it. While monochromacy is a thing, it is incredibly rare.

With that in mind, here are 3 techniques that I recommend.

Colorblindness Simulation

The Coblis — Color Blindness Simulator is a free web app that allows you to upload images and see what they look like to people with different types of colorblindness.

And yes, you read that correctly, there are a number of different forms of colorblindness. Red-green colorblindness is the most common by a wide margin and gets all of the attention.

How Do I Use This?

Run images of your puzzles, designs, and interactions through the simulator and ensure that there is enough contrast that the colors appear different from one another.

In general, high color contrast helps.

That’s the key. Just make sure that every player has the opportunity to visually differentiate relevant colors from one another.

This is the same image run through the simulator to visualize different forms of colorblindness:

Additional Indicators

If you’re planning to use color as an indicator, add another layer such as a texture or a symbol.

Symbols

Magic the Gathering color symbols. A white sun, a blue water drop, a green tree, a red fire, and a black skull.

Combining colors with symbols means that players aren’t in the position where they have to communicate color. They can communicate by the corresponding symbol if they so choose.

Textures

Similarly, adding a unique background texture that corresponds with the color can provide another way to differentiate between, say, purple and blue.

Lighting

We beat this drum often: provide adequate lighting.

If you’re using low lighting for atmosphere, that can be cool. Please provide spotlighting for workspaces, puzzles, and inputs.

This will help improve the experience for all of your players, not just your players with colorblindness.

The Bottom Line

Make the experience a bit smoother for everyone by improving color contrast, giving people more than just color to identify gameplay components, and providing good lighting.

There are disabilities that are truly difficult to design around. We may explore those in the future. Colorblindness, however, is one that doesn’t have to be a problem most of the time.

Last Chance for New Orleans Tour Tickets!

The purple, gold, and blue Escape Immerse Explore New Orleans Logo

If you’re on the fence about Escape, Immerse, Explore: New Orleans this July, you have 1 week left to decide… unless other people claim the last few tickets first.

The last day to purchase tickets is Tuesday, May 28.

This tour takes place Friday July 12 – Sunday July 14.

Your Ticket Includes

This tour includes 9 escape rooms and numerous other awesome things!

  • Escape My Room, New Orleans (2 escape rooms)
  • Clue Carré, New Orleans (2 escape rooms)
  • 13th Gate Escape, Baton Rouge (5 escape rooms… including their new horror game Asylum!)
  • An immersive puzzle event set in the French Quarter, designed and produced by Escape My Room
  • A weekend with Lisa and David as escape room tour guides
  • A talk by Lisa and David
  • A catered group meal
  • Bus transportation to 13th Gate Escape
  • Exclusive discount coupons to book additional escape rooms at these venues
  • Networking with other tour attendees
  • The option to play an escape room with Lisa or David
  • Event t-shirt

We have an incredible group of folks coming to this event from all over the country… and even from the other side of the world. Yes, 1 person is coming from Australia! On this trip you will have teammates who are as excited about these escape rooms as you are!

This is all included in your ticket for $799 per person.

Take Advantage

While in town, you can take advantage of the amazing food, drink, and partying that New Orleans has to offer.

Escape My Room will have Escape Extinction: Sharks running at the aquarium. Clue Carré will have new games open at their new location in Surge Trampoline Park. While these games aren’t officially part of the tour, you will have time to book them while you are in town. You will be some of the first players in the community to see these new attractions.

Don’t Wait

These tickets are only available until Tuesday, May 28th. There are only a few left and we anticipate they will sell out before the week is up. Buy your ticket today!

Any questions? Read the FAQ or contact us. We’re happy to help you figure out if this tour is right for you.

San Francisco: Join us for Escape the Palace & a talk!

As part of Escape, Immerse, Explore: The Palace this June, Palace Games will be running a special session of Escape the Palace.

We invite San Francisco locals and anyone who might be in town that weekend to join us for this event.

Escape Immerse Explore Palace logo, uses art deco design elements.

Details

  • Sunday, June 2
  • Palace Games (3362 Palace Drive, San Francisco, CA 94123)
  • 9:30am – Talk by Lisa and David, light breakfast served
  • 11:00am – Escape the Palace

Why Join?

  • Escape the Palace is only available for groups of 30 or more people. This is your chance to play.
  • Lisa and David will give a talk. It will be informative and funny.
  • You’ll get to meet enthusiasts from all over the country who are in town for this event. This is a great group of folks to hang out with!
  • You can spend some time chatting with Lisa and David.
  • If you’ve already played The Great Houdini Escape Room, The Roosevelt Escape Room, and The Edison Escape Room and you’re eagerly awaiting their 4th escape room… this is your chance to be back at Palace Games in between.

Questions?

To learn more about Escape, Immerse, Explore: The Palace, visit the Palace Tour page of our website.

If you have specific questions about booking Escape the Palace / Talk Tickets, please contact us.

Solved: Mystery of the Meow Wolf Postcard

It is with great pleasure and relief that I report to you the closing of a most vexing mystery. 

And last night, we saw the Meow Wolf documentary… more on that below.

A Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return postcard.

The Mystery of the Meow Wolf Postcard

Back in early June we received an unsigned postcard summoning us to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I explained the particulars of the case when we put out a call for clues. 

A postcard addressed to "The Spiras" reads, "Meow Wolf is calling to you and you must go." No signature.

We had our suspects, but we couldn’t solve it… until Lisa caught a break. 

Case Closed

For the past 7 years (with one exception), Lisa and her longtime friend Roslyn have chosen a single day to walk the ~35 mile perimeter of Manhattan. The event is called The Great Saunter (although they never do it with the group or even on the same day). This year, they did their Great Saunter in November.

When you walk 3 dozen miles with a person in a single day, the conversation tends to cover a lot of ground. Roslyn, who had been a character in our wedding puzzle, mentioned that she had visited Meow Wolf. 

With that little bit of information, Lisa unravelled the puzzle that had been vexing us for 5 months. 

We had suspected so many people from the escape room and immersive theater worlds that we completely neglected to scrutinize suspects from other facets of our lives.

Meow Wolf Documentary

In other, related news, while we still haven’t had a chance to visit Meow Wolf (and we truly want to), we did go see their documentary in the theater last night. It was equal parts entertaining and interesting. 

If this kind of thing interests you, it’s now available for rent or purchase via the interweb.

A few hot-take thoughts:

  • The documentarians who pulled this together from old and new footage did a fantastic job. The film was energetic.
  • Meow Wolf’s origin story was legitimately riveting. Watching a collection of talented anarchistic artists struggle with success, organization, process, and commercialization was compelling. 
  • The friends who’ve been to Meow Wolf and described it to us did an amazing job. 
  • The film ended exactly where I was expecting, which was a declaration of aspirational commercial goals. This was an elaborate and artful commercial. I can’t blame them
  • Hearing someone say something like, “we don’t want to become like Disney” with contempt in their voice made me smile.