Easter Eggs vs Red Herrings

I’ve written before about how irritating red herrings are, and how they don’t really have a place in escape rooms. They’re more often than not an artifact of poor design.
On the other hand, I’m a big fan of Easter eggs. So what’s the difference between the two?

Wall of text warning!
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Sequential vs Path-based Design

Scott Nicholson’s white paper on escape rooms details three common methods of puzzle organization: Sequential, Open, and Path-based (Pg. 17). A sequential design was described as one offering players a single path of puzzles. An open gives players access to a large number of puzzles simultaneously, usually each contributing to an overall larger ‘metapuzzle’. The path-based approach is effectively a hybrid of the two. Most rooms I’ve played gravitate towards one of the the three listed options.

Is any approach more fun than another? What are the advantages and disadvantages each approach holds? Long post ahead.
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