At our Escape Rooms we pride ourselves over having great GMs (Gamemasters). This is an extremely important aspect of running an Escape Game. In this blog we will approach how to properly train Escape Room game masters and how to treat your employees properly.
Escape room Gamemasters, or GMs, make or break an Escape Room Experience. We have read numerous reviews of other escape rooms, and constantly read our own to gain insight into what the players thought of us afterwards and how to possibly improve. If you are in the process of making an Escape Room or building a business of any kind, it is very helpful to read reviews of similar businesses and see what people are upset or happy with. One of the main things for escape rooms we have seen is that players love games with great Gamemasters. Sometimes this is the sole reason why they enjoyed the room.
An Escape Room experience is never complete without the human interaction from a great Gamemaster. For example, you can only ever build a 8/10 escape room experience, and it takes a great employee to bring it to a 10/10 game. Same thing in the opposite point of view, if you have an 8/10 game, but your Gamemaster sucks, suddenly the players will hate the game and post a 1 star review mentioning how terrible the host was. Some similar reviews usually go as such, “ The game went great but our host was so rude over the walkie talkie!” or, “ The game was fun but the host made it so much better! I will be coming back and hope to see (insert GM’s name) again!”. You can see that both reviews could potentially be the same exact game, but the host is what made all the difference. Now that you see the importance of great game masters, here are some general tips for you that we think are quite important.
Gamemasters should always be attentive to ongoing Escape Room games. Hints and the wording of them are very important. So the host must always be able to help players properly with as minimal wording as possible, while still giving the players the chance to solve it on their own. More can be read about how to properly give hints here. Players have spent money on the games and specifically to solve puzzles. What fun is it to tell them exactly how to solve the puzzles? It is not fun at all! The players will feel like they’ve been cheated, so watch your wording and be careful not to give too much or too little away.
Gamemasters should never host more than 1 game at a time. If the Escape Room is set up in a specific way where it makes it possible to not have attention divided up between 2+ rooms then that is fine. But many Escape Room businesses have reviews that mention, “We asked for a hint and the host had to ask us what we wanted!”, or “The Gamemaster had to give another group a clue WHILE they were giving us our intro to the game! I could already tell we were going to have a bad experience.” All of these are real reviews which negatively impact every Escape Room business. If there is a chance that the Gamemaster may be asked for hints from multiple groups, there is also a chance that someone (who paid money to go there for a good experience) is ignored for a while. We had previous employees who came to us after quitting other Escape Room establishments, their actual reason was that the other location overworked them and had them host 3 games at a time. We checked, they had tons of reviews similar to what I was mentioning which is not a surprise. So the simple solution is to always have one GM per room, and make sure they give the players the attention that they deserve.
Gamemasters should never be thrown into hosting people without being fully confident in their own abilities. At our Escape Room, we usually do this. New employees come and bring their friends or family to play the games. They experience what it’s like to be players without any stress of running the games and just enjoy some nice family fun. Then they come back and we show them what it's like behind the scenes. They watch the experts host, then learn how to clean and reset. Cleaning is a big priority from us, feel free to read more about that here. Next, they host some mock games with us as pretend players or maybe even bring their own friends or family. Finally once they feel confident, they host while being observed. After a few times of this they are usually quite comfortable with everything. Gamemastering is an easy job but there is a lot of information to learn. But once they get good at it, we are always happy to see how relaxing it is. Many of our employees are in college or so this is a perfect side job to have. We always say, it is the most fun, and easiest job you can have.
The next topic which relates to this is how to treat your employees properly. At our Escape Room business, we understand that the player’s fun comes first. If the employee is not happy then it becomes difficult to give the players a good experience. When we begin onboarding new employees, one of the first things we tell them is that they will make many mistakes, we will point out every single one. The purpose of it is to make them a better host to give the players a better game. But at the same time we are very clear that if the Gamemasters do not like the way things are run or we are doing something wrong, we hope they also tell us about our flaws. Because we are all equal human beings and deserve to be treated as equals. Our whole goal is purely the idea “How to make people have fun” and so we strive towards that goal with every game, so there is no need to ever feel offended by feedback. To the players reading it, we always double or triple check your games beforehand. But there are still times when we make a blunder and your game does not go as planned. We are heartbroken each time! Luckily we have become better optimized to avoid small errors.
Escape Room Era has been providing premier family-friendly immersive and challenging escape room experiences for the novice or enthusiast since February 2017.
In these completely private live games, participants use their team building, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving skills to beat the clock.
Players must quickly work together to find clues, solve a series of puzzles and riddles, and crack codes to ultimately accomplish their assigned mission within one hour.
Whether players consist of co-workers, family, friends, or schoolmates, they’ll be bonded by their memorable experience at Escape Room Era.
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