How To Build Your Own Escape Room

24 Nov, 2023

Our Top Tips on Designing Your Very Own Escape Room Game

You’ve played our rooms, taken on more challenges than you can count, and mastered puzzle-solving down to an art. But, have you ever wondered how to build your own escape room?

Ponder no more, as Lucardo are here to share all!

One of the things that makes Lucardo unique is that all of the escape room experiences across our two locations are completely unique to us, having been dreamt up, designed, and even constructed by our own talented teams.

Keep reading to learn some of our top tips on how to build your own escape room, including a step-by-step guide to getting started with this exciting process…

Step One: Theme

Some may say this is the fun part! Every good escape room needs a theme, right?

Popular picks for escape games can include themes such as pirates, bank heists, magic and wizardry, or detectives. More niche themes may include things like aliens, local interest topics, or even historical drama. Be sure to choose a theme you’re knowledgeable enough about to build a story around and, most importantly of all, one that you are going to enjoy yourself.

Step Two: Format

Next, you need to think how your game is actually going to be run. In this day and age, you don’t even necessarily need a physical room to use, so this stage can also allow for creativity, too.

Maybe you’re writing a paper-based escape room, to be completed in a table top style like our favourite EXIT games. Or, perhaps you’re gifted with impressive technical skills, and are coding an escape game for your friends to enjoy online. You might even just be taking over a room in your home for a fun family game night. However you’re planning on doing it, just be sure to make it your own!

Step Three: Storytime

Now comes the imagination! Ask yourself, what story do I want to tell with my escape room? What mission does the player need to accomplish?

Whether it’s recovering a stolen item, breaking out of a hostage situation, or even exploring the depths of outer space, you’re free to be as inventive as you like in creating your game’s theme and crafting a narrative.

Remember, not all escape rooms need to have an “escape” element, so allow yourself to dream big and come up with your own plot line for players to explore!

Step Four: Space

Now we’ve enjoyed letting our imaginations run wild, let’s take a minute to rein ourselves in and consider practicalities for a moment. Where is your escape room going to be? Of course, if you’re building an online or paper-based game this won’t be an issue but, if your plans involve an actual physical space, you’re going to want to be cautious of size. Sure, we’d all love to build a helter-skelter inside our escape rooms, but sometimes our space and budget aren’t as high-reaching!

Instead, see the space you have as a starting point, like a blank canvas with which to expand. Will your game be limited to one room, or can part of the game involve traveling from one into another? Are there any secret nooks where you can hide secret clues? Are there any existing items in there, such as furniture, which you can use to help create your vision? The space with which a game takes place is always a key feature in any escape room, so be sure to take full advantage of whatever you’re working with.

Step Five: Props

Before we get into puzzle territory, let’s stop for a minute and consider props. Did you know, a lot of the time our Lucardo game wizards actually build puzzles based around the props they’ve found for a room, rather than the other way around?

Let me explain. Think first about the theme for your room, let’s use “bank heist” as an example. Next, we consider what kind of things you can expect to see inside a bank, so for instance cash, diamonds, personal files, lockboxes, safes, security systems, flyers, ATMs. You can take all of these ideas when creating your puzzles, in order to keep them as natural and in-fitting with the theme as possible.

Plus, props make rooms look more effective, and help your players truly immerse themselves in the world of your game!

Step Six: Puzzles

The big step! There’s no right or wrong way to make your puzzles, instead it all comes down to your own imagination.

If you’ve played a lot of escape rooms, you’ll know that puzzles can come in all different forms, from logical reasoning to hide-and-seek searching, or even physical activity. Whichever types you want for your room, just have fun making them. Popular types of puzzles to use as a springboard can include cyphers, mazes, matching, object hunting, UV light secret messaging and – the classic – locks and keys.

Remember to go back to your thinking about space and props, too, as these will help provide inspiration. With a bank heist theme, can you think of any puzzles involving coins, for instance? Does your bank have a hidden vault that’ll need to be unlocked, or perhaps a manager’s office full of important files and documents? What puzzles lie inside? These are all the right questions to be asking yourself when choosing the most engaging puzzles for your game!

Step Seven: Build!

All that’s left now is the build! Whether you’re simply putting padlocks on doors or conducting a large-scale construction effort, we wish you all the best of luck in the process. Remember to stay safe – it's up to you now!

We hope you enjoyed this step-by-step Lucardo guide on how to build your own escape room, and that it helped inspire you with your own creative puzzling endeavours.

Good luck, and be sure to let us know how you get on!

To book your next escape room adventure in Manchester or Rawtenstall, visit For any queries, you can call us on 01706 551600. Be sure to also stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram, as well as the blog, for many more fun insights, news, giveaways, and more!

Featured Image: Shutterbug_Luke1991