Inside the Control Room

Jan 31, 2019

Ever wondered what a Charlotte escape room looks like behind the scenes? Look no further! In this article, you will get to experience a room through the eyes of a game master – from inside the control room.

Wait – what is an escape room “Game Master”, anyway?

No, not THAT kind of master...

No, not THAT kind of master…

Game Master – just the term alone sounds exciting and fun, which it is! Here at Timed Out Escape, all of us work together and get along very well. It is a very fun and creative atmosphere – you’re not stuck behind a desk inside a cubicle all day (however, we are constantly working with computers). While most of the day consists of sitting, we do get some exercise running around trying to reset the room for the next group coming in. It is a fun and rewarding job – it is all about creating great experiences for our customers!

The Control Room

Control room – the Game Master’s natural habitat. This is where the magic happens, so to speak, in our Charlotte escape rooms. Our Control room consists of lots of comfortable rolling chairs, tons of computer monitors, and, of course, snacks galore (hey, we get hungry on the job too…).

We have 2 computers for each room; one for watching customers via our cameras and the other for controlling the room. We use Escape Room Master software to manage the room timer and for providing clues to the players in each room – it also allows us to monitor all of the puzzles in the room, and to automate sound effects and background music. We wear gamer headsets that allow us to listen in to everything that is going on in the room, as well as speak to the players in the room.  However, we usually type in clues that are delivered via screens in the rooms.  The systems are very easy to use, so us Game Masters rarely have any problems with it. We can also use buttons to trigger puzzles if for some reason they aren’t working as intended – but if we do trigger something, you’ll likely never know it.  We do everything we can to ensure that even if something doesn’t work perfectly, we can fix it behind the scenes and it doesn’t impact the game for the players.

Game Time

When running a room, the control room can be a bit of a zoo. We get everything ready on our side, so our customers can have the best experience. When the game starts, everyone crowds the computers to see the new “victims” inside the escape room. It is always fun to watch all of our customers playing the game; that is what makes our jobs fun and entertaining. During game time, the control room overflows with laughter and positive vibes – we are always cheering for the teams in the rooms. Sometimes, we want you to “beat the room” so much that the hardest thing is not providing a clue! Often, Game Masters will help each other with clues or hints to give the escapees. It can sometimes be a team effort to help a room run smoothly.

The Aftermath

12-year old birthday party? Check...

12-year old birthday party? Check…

(I know I wrote about this in my other blog, Confessions of a Game Master, but it is a part of the job) The aftermath – cleaning up the escape room after the customers leave. Sometimes, the players are organized and leave all the locks in a pile somewhere and keep everything together.  Other times, there are players who are just a bit messy… These people annihilate the room where you can’t even see the floor! Often, the disasters are children’s birthday parties, where 12 year olds transform into Tasmanian devils! Cards, clothes, clues, locks, etc. are scattered around the ground. We have to make sure ALL of the pieces of each puzzle are there, counting and recounting scraps. It is a tedious process, so next time just remember someone behind you has to clean your mess… Be nice to us Game Masters, okay?

Down Time

When we don’t have bookings, the control room becomes much quieter, with everyone working on their own projects (designing puzzles, working on marketing and social media, or writing this blog!). It is good to get more work done, but it doesn’t have the same vibe as running rooms. We still fill our stomachs with junk food, and often go challenge our tech team to code even more amazing experiences (just wait until you see what we have in store for you in our next room!). But ultimately, we love the games, and can’t get enough of the the borderline-crazy control room vibe that comes when we have every room running with a different team.  Honestly, it is almost as fun to watch and run the room as it is to play!

So come on in and book an escape room from us today! We love the fun and the laughter you bring!