Escape Academy interview: The art of building optical illusion puzzles

Escape Academy Art Director Michelle Huttunen talks to Shacknews about the use of art in enhancing many of the game's puzzles.


For those who are unable to step out into an escape room, Escape Academy has proven to be one of the next best things. The debut effort from iam8bit Presents and Coin Crew Games captures the essence of the escape room experience, challenging players to solve lateral thinking puzzles in a limited amount of time. A lot of that is enhanced by the game's art style, which also utilizes a handful of optical illusions. To learn more about how Escape Academy's art enhanced its premise, we recently spoke with Art Director Michelle Huttunen.

Huttunen talks about the making of some of Escape Academy's most memorable puzzles, including the series of sculptures found in Escape Artist, one of the game's early escape rooms. She discusses the importance of designing visually appealing (as well as visually distracting) art assets, putting together creative escape sequences, and also adding in a handful of humorous references and easter eggs. She also talks about combining her experience in the VR space with the experience of other team members who have operated in the escape room world.

We recently had the pleasure of playing through Escape Academy and found it to be one of the best puzzle games of the year, as well as an engaging cooperative experience. You can learn more about it by reading through our review. For more interviews just like this one, make sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHubTV on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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