I was sitting in my office at work one evening. Thinking back to my very first escape room at Omescape I did. In my opinion, it wasn’t the best game, probably because I didn’t know what I was doing, it was more like the concept of an escape room captivated my attention. On a whim, I decided to give escape rooms a true chance, I went on Yelp, looked at websites, and asked around, just to see which game ranked highest among the people I knew. It was almost a unanimous consensus, Sorcerer’s Sanctum from Omescape again was the one game that everyone endorsed.
I gathered a group of friends and decided to go and play it. Turns out it was much more fun than I could have expected, probably because I was a bit familiar with what an escape room was, and more importantly I went in with a group of people that I felt comfortable with. We had so much fun just working through the puzzles, that I decided to look over at Yelp again, and find another one that ranked well. On and on it went, either Yelp or word of mouth, and then we were already 20 escape rooms in.
I was hooked, escape rooms were so much fun, and some of them were so creative. I started to think that this is something I wanted to work on when I was in Las Vegas, doing some of the escape rooms there. In that weekend, we went to the Number 1 Escape Room in Las Vegas, and that was my first go against a thriller/horror type escape room. My adrenaline was heightened, it was like a scene from the movie, the lighting was on point, and the ambiance gave it just the right kick. My friend and I, scared to turn each corner, muscled through one of the best experiences of my life, not to mention that the room was well crafted. I was able to speak to the owner, and she was so enthusiastic that her love of escape rooms infected me.
I had come back to San Jose, with a lot on my mind. First, I wanted to find a room that gave me that adrenaline rush that I hadn’t felt for a while. I looked and found through word of mouth that one of the best rooms was The Basement. This time I gathered my escape room group, bought tickets, and booked both The Basement and The Study. Needless to say, neither disappointed. It was the first time I was able to catch actual fear in some of my friends' faces. When we were finished, they had informed us that their location only housed two of the three chapters they had open at the time. Once we realized Los Angeles had all the chapters, as well as a wealth of escape rooms, we all decided to take a weekend trip down to Los Angeles, and do a tour of about 20 in one weekend, and one of the most excited flights back home.
It was on the way back that I decided I wanted to work at an escape room to see the behind the scenes production of how escape rooms are run. I looked through the escape rooms in San Jose, and Off the Couch caught my eye, mostly because of the name. I sent my cover letter in, along with my resume. Almost immediately, I received a call for an interview, came in, they were surprised that I applied as I work a full-time job. I told them my interest, and about an hour in talking about games and escape rooms, they had hired me. The managers Nick and Thomas were more interested in me than what was written on my resume. They were even surprised that I supplied them with a cover letter. It was the most entertaining conversation I’ve had, and it felt like friends sitting at a table, more than an interview.
It wasn’t working there that inspired me to open an escape room, it was more the conversations I had with Nick. If there was a single person on earth who knew everything that you ever wanted to know about escape rooms, it would be Nick. The man is an encyclopedia of knowledge, and just an all-around great guy to talk with. It was mostly through conversations with him, that I decided I’d need to assemble the right team to open EDscapade Games.