In the Library? In a Closet? In the Billiards Room?
You will need to make some decisions about the location of your Escape Room game. It's best to set a location early on so you can reserve and set up the space ahead of time and communicate the logistics of the experience to collaborators/participants. Keep in mind the location you choose can impact the design of your clues as well as how many players can participate in the game. Below are some key factors that may impact what space you select for your Escape Room, but know that this may also be an area where you can be creative and think outside of the board game! Consider the following:
Do you have a space/room available in your library? Or will you have to create a makeshift one?
Will you be running multiple games at once?
Where will participant groups gather? Where should they meet you? Do you have a waiting area?
How much space do you need to effectively convey your theme?
How many players can the space accommodate comfortably? (You want them to be able to explore and work both collaboratively and separately)
How noisy will the game be? Will it bother others?
Is there a space for you to observe the game that is out of the way? (There are advantages and disadvantages to being in the same space as the players)
Once they have finished, is there a place where players can participate in a reflection exercise?
Is the space secure/lockable and is there storage? If the space cannot be secured, then how long will it take you to set up?
How long it will take to reset the room? (This is especially important if you are running sessions consecutively)
This is the most fun part! Well, except for actually designing your clues... Here is where you can be creative and craft an environment that will fully immerse your participants into the theme/world of your game. Just like a stage set, you can be as elaborate or minimalist as you choose (or need to be). This is easier once you know the space/location of your game, and any constraints you will have with that area. Options for sourcing your props include:
The FSU crew found the majority of the props for their CLUE Escape Room at the Goodwill for less than $20!
Raiding Your Closet
Look to what you already have in your supply closet to reuse items used in past Outreach events
Consider using materials, such as maps, books, or tech, from your libraries' collection
Asking Your Peers
Utilize your organizations' communication channels to put out the call for supplies that may be too expensive to buy or hard to find
If either you or your coworkers/employees have any crafting skills or artistic abilities, now is the time to use them to create materials customized to your theme!