PU001741: Design and Prototyping

The Grand Heist DevLog

Escape Room Puzzle Prototype (Collaboration w/ Abhimanyu Chattopadhyay)


  • For players to use multiple physical spaces during the game
  • For players to easily locate and solve tasks with little or no guidance
  • To create a captivating story, via an insight into a fictitious character, retracing their steps over the course of the Escape Room

Development Process

  1. Discuss different narrative approaches to determine the plot for this Escape Room, agreeing on the Heist genre
  2. Exploring various types of tasks, e.g. shading, tracing, jigsaw 
  3. Create the main game item, a journal, using coffee to make it look authentic, in order to produce a compelling story element for the game
  4. Plan the flow of tasks, and how they are incorporated into the journal


  • Players appreciate the journal’s appearance, describing it as authentic, as it helps set the scene for the Escape Room’s narrative and makes for a more interactive experience
  • Play testers had difficulty locating where and how many tasks could be found in the contents of the journal, often having to be directed where to look
  • Once some players had realised how to identify the tasks, they would look for more despite there being no similar tasks
  • Some players were confused once they had to move location once all journal tasks had been completed, this was usually due to not having read through the journal thoroughly


This prototype included a gripping narrative along with a set of challenging cryptic tasks, meeting the development objectives. However, players had difficulty finding the tasks. Implementing indicators such as shading in some words on the same page as the journal shading task helped minimise this. An indication to the number of tasks that could be found in the journal would also help with any confusion for players.

Due to the nature of certain tasks, such as cutting out certain objects in the journal, playtesting this prototype was made tedious as extra journal copies had to be made for each trial.

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