Escape Academy devs talk creating puzzles and tuning difficulty

If you thought solving puzzles was difficult, try your hand at designing them. We talk with Coin Crew Games about Escape Academy.


Escape rooms are all the rage, offering players an opportunity to put their logical and lateral thinking skills to the test. Escape Academy gives users another avenue to experience the thrill of puzzle solving, but this time in the more accessible medium of video games. Shacknews recently had the pleasure of speaking with Coin Crew Games founders about Escape Academy where we touched on designing puzzles and testing their difficulty!

Mike Mohammed Salyh and Wyatt Bushnell, founders of Coin Crew Games, spoke with Shacknews about designing a game like Escape Academy. Given that this is a video game, the team wanted to ensure there was a low barrier to entry and it sounds like they had non-gamers in mind when designing controls. “We wanted it to be about solving puzzles, not fighting with controls or weird, kooky systems,” Bushnell said.

On the topic of designing puzzles and testing them, the team had to constantly playtest and monitor players. “While we were building Escape Academy we were constantly running playtests. We ran up to four groups a week through the puzzles throughout all of the development,” Salyh said. “By watching the players and seeing what they get stuck on and what they enjoy we were able to tune the difficulty and get a natural balance.”

Ozzie Mejia recently previewed Escape Academy where he commented on the fusion of real world escape rooms and video game mechanics. “A lot of the Escape Academy experience is faithful to real life escape rooms, but you'll occasionally find a few sequences that work better in a video game setting.” It’s the video game medium that allows unique experiences that would be far beyond the scope of real world activities.

Be sure to take a look at GamerHubTV for more exclusive developer interviews as well as the Shacknews YouTube channel for gameplay videos and guides!

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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