Last week we took down our escape game to close our physical location. In a weeks time we demoted our magical land back to a plain, soulless office space.

We like to think the memories of four years of magic and delight still hides in the walls. But the real takeaway is that with the right set and lighting design in an escape room, designers can make even the most normal space outstanding.

Escape room game designer - set design
Just a regular office space.
Picture of escape room set.
The same space was once, the hidden land of Lemuria in our Lost Continent escape game. The area to the left with the wood and triangles is where the closet is in the first picture.

For our lost continent of Lemuria (pics above) we created rock walls for the entire set and then used a combination of LED lights from Fright Props, blacklights, LED light strips and a cheap moving light projector.

All of the lighting was from above to highlight the texture of the rocks. Light strips lit the tiki head eyes as well as the veins of lava in the walls.

How to design an escape room
We first had to block off the huge window on the left that looked onto a main sidewalk – can’t be giving away secrets. The floor was covered with a floating wood floor for our first game and then we painted that floor with sand textured paint for the next game.
How to design and escape room
Welcome to base camp! This is the same room as the previous image. For reference, the window you saw in the picture above is the space on the left. We fireproofed all of the fabric and installed it to look like a tent.
Escape game design process
This rock wall took up an entire wall of the game and included a hidden passageway to the next room. Making those rocks takes forever!

We transformed a regular room into “base camp” with fireproofed canvas. The biggest challenge was managing the huge sheet of fabric so it was applied evenly without bulges and making it human proof – so players couldn’t pull it down. This was done by adding wooden strips at intervals to keep it secure.

All of the rocks were carved out of foam, heated with a heat gun for texture and then coated with monster mud for durability.

The lighting in this room comes from lanterns wired for an electric bulb.

Our lobby after all the decor was removed.
Escape room game designer
We originally had a basic grey and green color scheme but then we went crazy and Tikified the lobby to match the feel of our two games! The door on the left is a real maze.

When we first opened in 2016, our lobby was minimalist in style with a green and grey color scheme. We were emulating the feel of all the games we had played in the mainland. After a year, we decided to mix things up and fully embrace our tropical theming and to style our lobby in a Tiki vibe.

Escape room designer
This was the site of our Tiki Lounge. The open window will become the liquor cabinet.
Escape room design before and after pictures
The Tiki Lounge – so many secrets stashed away in this game! Note the locked liquor cabinet that was the window to the lobby.
Tiki mugs in our Tiki Lounge Escape Game
I can’t resist adding another fun detail in the Tiki Lounge – there were so many fun items that we got to curate.

We used color lights to add to the mystery of the Tiki Lounge. There were bright colors to add interest to the set and many bamboo or natural fiber accents.

It was bizarre to take down everything we had built for the past four years, but we’re excited to devote our energy to building the Society of Curiosities game.

On one of the last days of take down, we found a key that had been lost for two years. Just a little sign that endings yield unexpected surprises.

Want to support our new endeavor? Give Society of Curiosities – escape game at home a try!

While taking down our escape room set, we found a key that had been missing for two years!
Well, hello key! The sneaky key hid under the floorboards for two years.