Game Master: this word implies a particular job; discover the inside out of our escape room Paris through the overview of two of our Game Masters of the Lock Academy.
The job of Game Master is all about assist the player from his arrival at the Lock Academy until he’s leaving. The goal is to put the player in a life size investigation which will make him believe he has to solve a case. It’s not only about welcoming the player, it’s also creating a unique environment, speak with them, and have a good time of laugh and sharing. Having an important role in your adventure, the Game Master is responsible for your safety… and your good time! Today you will find out about the day of a Game Master thanks to our two detectives: Emilie and Martin! Today you will be behind the screen!
Emilie and martin are both game masters at the lock academy. Their job? Lock you up in a room for one hour …a bit sadistic. Emilie, martin, can you present briefly the concept of escape room and the lock academy?
Emilie : The principle of an escape room is to be locked inside a themed room for an hour, in team of 3 to 6 people. Once in this room, the players will have to solve puzzles, so they can get out.
The puzzles are really diversified and can go from simple math, to decode a signal of black lights or even understand how a mechanism is working. The escape rooms are games where you to communicate and search if you want to get out in time of the escape room!
The Lock Academy is a school of detectives created by the Professor Lock. Inside this academy there are loads of events going on and our apprentice detectives (you!) will have to investigate to solve the case of a murder, a robbery or a missing person. The goal is not to get out but solve a mysterious investigation in an hour.
The Lock Academy is more than escape room in the centre of Paris, it’s a real universe in which we can find it’s favorite characters from one investigation to another!
WHAT IS EXACTLY THE JOB OF A GAME MASTER ?
Martin : The job of Game Master can look a bit sadistic or wicked, because as you said, it’s all about locking up people inside a room for one hour et see if they can get out by themselves.
But it’s not the only thing to do.
We are not passive while the players are inside the room, as we need to guide them and help them to resolve puzzles by giving them pieces of advice through a screen and a software to send messages. We never just wait and think « they’re in a bad situation, I don’t think they will get out of the room !”
On top of that, helping the players is only one part of the job, because we also need to welcome them, put them in the right environment, change the difficulty, and also do a legit debriefing to show to the players they did good (or when they had some troubles !) to not upset them and also tidy the room without forgetting anything. Also, we need to improvise, if an item is broken we need to choose if we need to take it out or change the investigation, or fix it before the next session. (Luckily we always have a spare one, sometimes we even have 3 of them !)
IS THERE A « TYPICAL DAY” ?
Emilie : Yes and no. It’s true that we welcome players daily and entertain with one of our three investigations, but everyday is different. In fact all players have a different personality and a way to think through an investigation. We welcome teams which sometimes are “pro” and did loads of escape rooms, and also players who never tried once, families, friends or colleagues. Every session is unique !
ARE THE MECHANISMS AUTOMATIC OR DO YOU ACTIVATE THEM ?
Martin : It depends… At the Lock Academy, some mechanisms are automatics, others aren’t and we have to activate them. Anyway, all the automatic mechanisms are pros for us (Game Masters) because the job gets easier and allow an action right on time, and imply no human mistake. But I think it’s always important to have the control over the mechanisms. With this power we can adapt and customize the session, which is more enjoyable for the players. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to make it automatic. Especially when players need to think and find a solution without using an item. In this case, it has to be manually, and we need to know what the players are doing. Even if the automatic mechanisms are more practical most of the time, I think to have a service of best quality, it is necessary to have a Game Master to customize the session and offer a unique experience !
THE JOB OF GAME MASTER MUST HIDE SOME SURPRISES, DO YOU HAVE ANY STORIES TO TELL ?
Emilie : Yes indeed ! Really often the Game Masters meet really funny situation, especially inside the room.
The most original one happened while the players were inside the room “The Heist Of The Century”. It was quite a normal session, but the crazy thing was that one of the player wanted to propose as a “bonus puzzle” at the end. Indeed, the future groom contacted us a month before the session to let us know about his will to do the proposal to his girlfriend. He found an excuse to not be part of the game and was hidden in the Game Master’s room until the end of the game. At the end, because the players didn’t win, he came in with a disguise and his girlfriend had to ask questions until she finds his identity to win the game. Once identified, he proposed to her. And she said yes !
WHAT PROFILE AND SKILLS ARE NEEDED TO BE A GOOD GAME MASTER ?
Martin : To be a good Game Master, I think you will need :
-First to have good social skills, after all it’s a job where you are around customers, and you need to be polite, nice and adapt to every group (companies, children, families …)
-You can’t be too much empathetic to the customers for your session. The players will rarely do what you want in the room and you need to keep your calm (not get angry, or not helping them too much)
-You also need to have a good memory, so that you can remember how to tidy every room with all the codes known like the back of your hand, and you need to recall what the customers did during the game so your debriefing is legit.
-You can also be a bit of a comedian, to put the players in the right environment before the game. You need to be able to play a character, tell them a story, give them safety measures and give pieces of advice without getting out of the story.
-A good understanding of the game, you sometimes need to adapt the pieces of advices, the puzzles to customize as much as possible the session and fix the issues which happen in the room during the game.
-And to go further, you need to be able to do several tasks at the same time, we usually manage a session and another duty at the same moment. There are several items to prepare to swap with the old one, answer the phone, welcoming the early players, doing some strategic development… It’s a wide job.
Emilie, Martin, thank you! You can go back torturing your poor students.