Origin of an Escape Room?
The basic gameplay mechanism of having the player trapped in a single location dates back at least to John Wilson's 1988 text adventure Behind Closed Doors, in which the player is trapped inside a restroom. However, the growth of escape the room games is believed to be tied to the popularity of the Myst series, first released in 1993 by Cyan Worlds, which created puzzles across pre-rendered computer-generated environments, requiring players to look for clues across the landscape. The first game was a landmark title, helping to popularize the use of CD-ROM technology for computers, but as they continued to develop sequels with more ambitious landscapes, alongside several other developers spurred by Myst's success, adventure game sales flattened. Rand Miller, one of Cyan's co-founders, described Myst as "too big" and "too hard to top". Vox writer Alex Abad-Santos stated that while adventure games with more open exploration may be "too aimless", the appeal of escape room games is in their immediacy and constricted world.
The term originated in 2001 from the MOTAS game, though there are many older examples of the point-and-click variation, such as Noctropolis, and even earlier examples from the text adventure canon. The genre was further popularized in 2004 by the Japanese "Crimson Room" game by Toshimitsu Takagi, which has spread throughout the internet and can be seen on many gaming websites.
While a single-location game may not be set inside a room, and while the player's goal may not necessarily be escape, in 2002 the interactive fiction community first hosted a One Room Game Competition (attracting six entries, all in Italian), and in 2006 Riff Conner wrote Another Goddamn Escape the Locked Room Game, indicating that the genre is well known in the contemporary interactive fiction hobbyist community.
Wisecracks Comedy Escape Room currently offers two games Laundering Money, and Jack-In-The-Box. Jack-In-The-Box can be played either in person or online. we are working on our third game, more about this will be covered at a later date.
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