Game-based Learning
Security Awareness Training

7 Tips on How to Create the Ideal Virtual Escape Room to Energize Your Remote Team

Virtual Escape Rooms - How it works

Nothing beats the visceral thrill of a good escape room, challenging teams to discover clues and solve mysteries to achieve a specified goal (usually escaping a room!) in a limited amount of time. Have you and your team got what it takes to make it out in time?

A relatively recent phenomenon, escape rooms have become a global craze. Red Bull staged the first Escape Room World Championships in London in 2019, hosting elite teams from 23 different countries. US-based live escape game franchise Escapology has opened venues in Chile, Ecuador, and the United Arab Emirates, and there are now over 1,500 escape rooms in the UK alone.

Escape rooms transitioned to online formats in response to the COVID pandemic. Virtual escape rooms replicate the thrill of the chase for remote teams, bringing the adventure into the home office for some much-needed energy and variety in these challenging times.

Why should your remote team try a virtual escape room?

Scott Nicholson, Professor of Game Design and Development at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario Canada, recommends escape rooms for both educational purposes and corporate team building activities. Museums are using escape rooms to bring history to life, creating engaging educational experiences. Meanwhile university researchers are using escape room data to analyse models of team performance, diversity, and leadership styles. Many of the world’s leading companies are participating in escape room challenges to test and develop leadership skills, collaboration, and communication among their teams.

One of the unique benefits of an escape room is the way in which the activity stimulates teamwork, prioritising collaboration over competition. Both real-life and virtual escape rooms require groups to work together for a common goal, cracking codes, deciphering riddles, navigating mazes, and applying strategic thinking and logic to complex problems.

OK – you’re convinced to give it a try, but you’re unsure where to start. Where can you find the best platform for you? How should you prepare? And what makes a great virtual escape room?

Employee playing virtual escape room game, taking part in virtual team building game with remote colleagues

Have you and your team got what it takes to make it out in time?

At Green Hat People we know a thing or two about this topic, having designed acclaimed virtual escape rooms and remote games for a wide range of international clients including Microsoft, Pepsico, Comcast, the Bank of America, Bayer, Porsche, STADA, and the Home Office. Here is our guide to help you find your way, with seven tips on how to create the ideal escape room:

1) Craft a compelling scenario

The live format uses themed rooms and exciting scenarios to create immersive experiences. Solve spells to escape from the witch’s lair, catch the killer in a murder mystery, discover the secrets of a mad scientist to prevent him from destroying the world – welcome to the wild world of escape games!

Virtual escape games require an even stronger focus on the plot. Compelling storytelling can substitute for the lack of physical interaction in a remote format, bringing the adventure to the desktop to energize virtual teams.

The transition to online experiences has unlocked a wide range of new storyline possibilities. The star of our escape rooms is a nefarious hacker intent on terrorizing your company. Save your company’s files from a major I. T. lockdown in Beat the Hacker!

Virtual Team Building
Virtual Team Building

2) Expand your horizons to connect large international virtual teams

Virtual alternatives provide a range of advantages to live escape rooms, which are limited by room size and geography. While a live room could host up to 6 players, virtual escape rooms can entertain thousands of players simultaneously.

How many players do you need for a virtual escape game? There are formats to suit different needs. World’s Collide, the popular Doctor Who themed online escape room, is designed for teams of 1 to 6 players.

What about when you have thousands in your team? At Green Hat People we have hosted escape games for large corporate teams playing across multiple countries at the same time. Virtual escape games allow unlimited teams to play from anywhere around the world, making them ideal for remote team building.

3) Keep the tech requirements basic to ensure that everyone can get involved

You’re ready to take on the challenge with your team, but how does it actually work? What kind of tech setup do you need?

Most virtual escape rooms have been designed to encourage accessibility, allowing people to get involved without requiring the latest hardware or applications. Some involve independent play, challenging individuals to escape on their own before rejoining their colleagues in the main video meeting, with leaderboards introducing an element of competition to this format. Others are based on screen sharing, enabling teams to collaborate in the search for solutions as they battle for the fastest escape times against other teams.

Some escape room venues have transitioned to virtual gameplay through live link ups. Virtual teams need to instruct a games master fitted up with a 360° webcam on how to escape, bringing a first-person perspective to the online challenge. Communication is key, with teams directing the live game master with common commands such as “open the envelope”, “look left”, or “try the other key!” Will you escape, or will your games master be locked in forever?

Get in touch
Virtual Team Building

Our virtual escape room games are run on a browser with screen share, enabling everyone to see and hear each other for the best possible team collaboration experience. They can be played on Laptops, PCs, Tablets, and Smartphones, and have been designed for fast and simple gameplay across these devices.

We support all major video conferencing systems, including Zoom and Teams, and you do not need a host or a facilitator – teams simply click on a link to start the game. Split your teams into small groups or breakout rooms, set up video meetings for each team, and click on the game link to start playing within seconds.

4) Time it right

How long do you need for a virtual escape room? 3 hours might be too short for the Red Bull Mind Gamers Escape Rooms World Championship, but it is probably too long for your remote team – “Zoom Fatigue” is real (!), as confirmed by a group of Stanford University researchers.

Having run thousands of virtual escape room games, we have found 60 minutes to be the ideal duration. Long enough to provide an immersive challenge, short enough to keep players engaged throughout and feeling energized at the end.

All-star Challenge - Virtual Team Building
Virtual Team Building

5) Make it challenging, but not punishing

Virtual escape rooms provide the ultimate challenge for a remote team, and you need to get the difficulty just right. You want your team to feel some degree of stress while playing – this will make the game more exciting while demanding cooperation under pressure. The experience of solving mysteries and overcoming adversity together will foster resilience and collaboration, preparing your remote team for the challenges of the workplace.

Nevertheless, if you make it too difficult you risk damaging your team’s morale. You don’t want anyone locked in forever! Everyone should escape… eventually!

6) Encourage diversity and cooperation by varying the challenges

Escape games are an ideal team activity because they demand such a wide variety of skills, providing a platform for different teammates to express themselves and contribute their unique talents to the cause. To beat our notorious Hacker and make it out safely from our escape game, teams need to crack numerical codes, decipher visual patterns, solve word puzzles, and much more! By varying the challenges you will encourage all of your remote team members to contribute.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are currently analysing results from a US virtual escape room to analyse the ingredients of a successful team, and their findings show that the most successful teams have collaborative leaders, open communication, and diverse teammates. Inclusive leaders fared the best in the study, while those that tried to do it all themselves were the least effective. Gender diversity is crucial – the best teams were made up of an even balance of male and female teammates, while the all-male or all-female teams ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard.

As shown by the study, virtual escape games exhibit the value of a diverse and inclusive team, and you can help foster these qualities by making your challenges as varied as possible.

Virtual Team Building All Star Challenge

7) Try an offline alternative

Escape rooms have made a successful transition to virtual environments, and they are now taking the gaming world by storm, with Fortnite Escape Rooms currently all the rage on the popular Battle Royale platform. But there are still some fun offline options, even while most of the live escape rooms venues are closed. The official Sherlock escape game has developed At Home versions that can be delivered to your door, while The Panic Room offer a selection of Print and Play Escape Room Games. If jigsaw puzzles are more your thing, why not try a Ravensburger Escape Puzzle? This popular series challenges jigsaw puzzlers to uncover secrets as they piece together items that will assist in their escape.

Whether it’s our Hacker, Sherlock, Fortnite, or a jigsaw puzzle, an escape game demands strategic thinking, creativity, collaboration, and calmness under pressure. A virtual format can provide the ideal challenge to energize your remote team, and we are ready to help you design your great escape room!

Our Virtual Team Building Games

Beat the Hacker

Virtual Escape Room Game

A hacker has locked your company files. Can you unlock them in 45 minutes? ‘Beat the Hacker’ is a fun, virtual Escape Room Game. It can be played online, anywhere. Perfect for remote teams!

  • Fun and Challenging
  • Team Collaboration
  • 45 minutes
Find our more

All-Star Challenge

Virtual Team Building

A whirlwind of fun and exciting mini-games and challenges that takes your team spirit to a new level! This game brings about an All-Star feel as teams race to score as many points as possible.

  • Fun & Motivational
  • High energy
  • Get to know each other better
Find out more

Beat the Hacker II

Virtual Escape Room Game

The world’s friendliest Hacker is back with even more wicked challenges! Can you outsmart him and save your company once again? The sequel to our best-selling game goes live in Q2.

  • Fun and Challenging
  • Team Collaboration
  • 45 minutes
Coming in Q2

Get in touch with us today

    Rather send an email? Click here

    Request more info

    I want to know more

    Boka ett möte

    Book a demo

    Book a demo

    Boka ett möte

    Get In Touch

    Book a demo

    Boka en demo

    Boka ett möte

    Book a demo

    Book a demo