How Escape Capers' Eric Boudreau Crafts Escape Rooms

There's a rhyme and reason to every room.

Inside one of Escape Capers' escape rooms.

Photograph by Eric Boudreau


Anyone who has spent an hour or more trying to solve puzzles in an escape room knows that the series of tests and challenges can often be mystifyingly complex. But, as Eric Boudreau, founder of Escape Capers explains, there’s a rhyme and reason to every room.

“I start with a story, and that depends on the location, (though the inverse is true as well) because everything in the escape room should make sense in the story. Then it’s building the puzzles, so I ask, what are expected tropes people want to see? For the private-eye room, [the character’s] probably a drunk, so I built puzzles around him and his drinking problem. Other things that are important are flows. There’s the flow of the room, the layout, so people feel they’re always finding something new, and puzzle flow. You don’t want three easy puzzles, then a really hard puzzle and another really hard puzzle, you want to have some easy, to medium, to hard, to easy again, to keep the momentum going.

Planning how it ends is also very important. What’s the moment someone is working really hard for? And when that big thing happens it’s rewarding for guests to get there.” 

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This article appears in the April 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.


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