Bethlehem

The story behind Time-Traveling Jen

"Hehehehe...!"

A woman's voice emanates from a cracked-open door as it begins to close. "I hope they like some practical pranks, because this one might be my best!"

Jen, an entirely normal human being who happens to have an incredibly rare one-of-a-kind time machine, has a knack for playing practical jokes on her friends. Her latest number involves taking very excited groups of people to the past and promptly leaving them behind in time, much to the overall dissatisfaction of the groups involved. The trick is even more insulting since the time machine is fully accessible from the past, but its door happens to be locked.

Being that Jen isn't an entirely evil person (only partially), she makes the decision to leave clues and puzzles in the past for her unsuspecting "friends". These clues typically lead them to figure out the code to open the time machine door to come back to the present. As you can imagine, she still has "friends" stuck roaming around in the past.

However, this time Jen has made a crucial mistake with your group. She forgot to enable the Time Vortex Disarticulator, which prevents the space-time continuum distortion field from changing the rate of speed of time when traveling to the past. This means that your group is now experiencing time at a rate 1,000,000 times faster than normal.

Given the current rate of technological advancement, your team only has 60 minutes to open the time machine door and make the journey back to the present before the world that you live in becomes a dystopian future ruled by robots.

Can you do it?

NOW HIRING - Awesome Human(s)

Hi.

Are you comfortable talking to other humans? Would you consider yourself a high-energy individual? Are you a fast learner and a go-getter? Are you, yourself, a human?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then we would like to invite you to apply for our 'Awesome Human' part-time position at our escape room business, Human vs Room. Things that you'll likely find yourself doing:

- Greeting and hosting awesome people that are coming in to play our games

- Answering questions regarding our concept to new and experienced players

- Being ridiculously good at Customer Service

- Speaking on the phone with awesome people

- Being an awesome Game Master by giving clues, monitoring progress, and giving groups a top-notch escape room experience

- Learn a bunch about what it takes to start a business and making sure it doesn't burn down to the ground

- Helping out as needed

We are an owner-run business that is growing very quickly, and we can use your help as soon as possible. We will have 4 rooms up and running this year and the two of us don't have enough human replicators handy, so hiring help is a big must! We consider ourselves nice people that will help you gain very valuable experience in the work force for all your future endeavors. We also have bathrooms (required by law but figure we'd mention it).

If interested or know someone that could be, send us your name, phone number, and a short description about your previous work/school experience and why you would be fit to do a really good job to info@humanvsroom.com with the subject line "Application for Awesome Human".

If you are looking for more information about exactly what the heck we are talking about, feel free to visit our website at www.humanvsroom.com

It's going to be so much fun - and you'll get paid!

Get ready for The Witch's Lair

A 4,000 year old being has been living in a random building in the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Her magical powers have allowed her to remain hidden from everyone, but higher Musikfest ticket prices have eaten into her invisibility budget causing her lair to suddenly appear. In a moment of panic, the Witch runs out dressed in plain clothes to work out a deal for her invisibility shield with a local provider.

As luck would have it, you and a group of friends accidently stumble upon the Witch's lair, but are suddenly and magically locked in due to a foreign person being sensed by the room. A spell that will turn you and your team into sandwiches begins to take effect, and you only have 60 minutes in order to escape before you are turned into lunch for the Witch.

Consider bringing some mayo for your potential life as a sandwich.

The story behind Doomsday Bob

"Bob - hurry up! We don't have that much time left!" An anxious voice emanates from Bob's walkie-talkie. "Are the TPS reports ready or what?!"

Bob, a typically mild-mannered Senior Reactor Operator quickly going mad, is sweating with frustration. "30 years I've been here. All it's been is TPS this, TPS that. I've had it with these people". Bob's last 3 decades have been nothing but long nights keeping the reactors at the facility from melting down. His constant stress from preventing the world from utter destruction have gone seemingly unnoticed, and yet all he's had to answer to is his timeliness on his TPS reports.

"If only they knew what would happen if I actually stopped caring" Bob whispers to himself as his brain quickly begins to snap. "30 years, and no praise for keeping everyone alive by preventing a nuclear meltdown. Not even a damn thank-you note. You know what? It's not worth it anymore. You can all screw yourselves!"

Without any hesitation, Bob initiates the 60 minute sequence that will trigger a nuclear meltdown, which will end in 59083778723 trillion Gigawatts of energy being released into the world, assuring total world-wide destruction.

"How about that TPS report now, huh?!" Bob yells as he runs out of his office, maniacally laughing as he makes his way outside the facility.

The Meltdown Prevention Taskforce (you and your group) have been summoned to stop this catastrophic event. The code needed to stop the meltdown from happening is somewhere in Bob's office, but due to his madness Bob has made a game out of saving the world by creating puzzles and clues that will lead to the solution.

Does your team have what it takes to undo Bob's inexplicable act?

What makes an Escape Room enjoyable?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if all fun things weren't fun anymore? Roller coasters? Movies? Video games? Pizza?

It is no secret that humans require an incentive to do an activity or action. This ranges from visiting a brand new country to deciding if lifting your pinky while drinking tea is super cool (pro tip - it depends on the setting). Escape Rooms are no different. The beauty behind the concept that we've found ourselves in is that the possibilities are nearly limitless, but with one caveat - it needs to be fun.

As owners, this is our number one priority. Our usual nightmares of being eaten by a giant ant or being pooped on by Superman have been completely replaced by a group of people not having fun at one of our rooms. We have lost a couple pounds of water weight from the pool of sweat we wake up in, but even that is little reprieve for creating a non-enjoyable escape room.

These are the things we think make an Escape Room enjoyable:

It needs to be challenging, but it needs to make sense

The toughest thing about making an escape room fun is how tough it needs to be. Make it too easy and groups will feel unfulfilled. Make it too difficult and people might go insane and burn down the place. The area between these two is where we want to live.

Most of our effort when creating our puzzles goes into making sure it's 100% solvable without any logic leaps or outside influence. This means that every pieces you may find are all the pieces you need to generate the proper code, key, or combination. Once we have verified this, we work on tweaking the difficulty so that it gives the group a challenge but is eventually solvable with a proper amount of effort. We try to have different levels of effort required thru the game to introduce some ebbs and flows with a couple climaxes here and there.

In the end, we believe strongly that an escape room experience needs to be challenging, and carefully thinking about the toughness and how it should come across will make a big difference on the overall experience for the group.

Clues are probably more important than the puzzles themselves

Every escape room needs a clue system. If a group gets stuck, has a tough time figuring out a specific scenario, or is simply going mad, there needs to be a help mechanism to get them back on track. However, give too much and it removes the fulfillment of figuring out the puzzle. Give too little and the frustration will only get worse.

When designing our puzzles, we spend as much effort making sure the clues that can be given behind each component strike a balance of getting a team on track vs. not giving away the answer to the puzzle. We think of clues as puzzles themselves, but at a lower difficult than the puzzle it's paired with. It's a puzzle within a puzzle (puzzleception). Once a group is ready for a clue, there's usually 2 or 3 hints that we can give at any given time, and it's our job to ensure that we give the one that generates the best possible outcome, which in this case is being able to solve the puzzle all on your own without being frustrated.

Yes - it's just as hard as it sounds.

Unexpected cool moments are awesome

By far the most fun - every escape room gains a lot from having moments that the group will talk about for a long time. Most of the time it's the action of being able to solve the room or coming close, but having very unique or wow-inducing puzzles that take a group by surprise are just as effective. We look to implement these as often as possible, and spend a lot of time thinking of different ways we can introduce new concepts or very unique situations within the theme of the room.

In the end, our ultimate goal is to blow everyone's mind by giving a challenging, unique, and satisfying experience, and the things we've outlined in this post are a very small portion of what goes into creating a great escape room experience. As we continue to learn from all our amazing customers we will constantly improve upon the puzzles, mechanics, and overall experience that are present at our facility, as well as all experiences in the future.

Happy Escaping!

The benefits of Escape Rooms for businesses

Let’s paint a picture, shall we? Imagine a building filled with people, all of whom are so overjoyed with life that a frown hasn’t been seen in 17 months. Everyone gets along with each other. Emails have ceased to exist due to the discovery of the telephone and communication through talking in person. Sales have grown 187% in the last quarter due to customers absolutely falling in love with customer service, quality of the product, and services provided.

Sounds impossible, I know. That’s because it is. The reality is most companies are significantly removed from this ideal (and unrealistic) culture that I just described above, but there are clear benefits in getting a business closer to this reality. Escape Rooms, a new trend that’s taking the United States by storm, offer a unique platform that helps facilitate a team building atmosphere that businesses can benefit from.

For those not familiar, an Escape Room places a group of friends, family, or coworkers in a room for 60 minutes. The group of people will dig through clues, analyze objects, use team work and communication, and race against the clock to find the key to solve the room. Not only is it incredibly fun for all of those taking part, there are three key takeaways from the Escape Room experience that directly benefit the health and profitability of a business.

Team Building

Teamwork. Communication. Collaboration. Three nouns that make a business person scream with glee or weep from heartbreak, purely driven by the existence (or lack) of these three words in their business environment. Escape Rooms fundamentally require all three things be present for a group to be successful in their mission.

A majority of the puzzles and challenges that exist in any given room require people to work together to decipher codes or make sense of set pieces. It also requires them to constantly keep each other updated on progress made, as well as checking in with each other to see if help is required (and making sure everyone is aware of the time that is left).

This setting is very close to a project environment in the work place, both long-term and fire-drill in nature. The experiences that the group will feel and witness in an Escape Room are directly translatable to a wide array of situations in the business world. Having a team work together, communicate, and collaborate in order to solve a room will set a strong precedent and foundation for everyone involved, and the experience can be pointed to as a successful result of working as a team.

Morale and Motivation

A happy workforce is a happy customer. This notion has been proven millions of times over in every imaginable industry. It is no surprise that an employee who feels treated right by her company will be driven to do as good of a job as she can. Luckily, Escape Rooms offer a great way to improve morale in the work force.

It is human nature to feel a sense of pride when accomplishing a major task with a group of people. Escape Rooms not only offer that feeling to all that can conquer the challenges (and those that can’t), but is always followed by a tremendous amount of fun. The feeling of camaraderie is a powerful one, and a very beneficial one for a team of people working for a common goal, which is the purest definition of what a business ultimately is.

Identifying Leaders & High Performers

Every mission requires a leader. Every department requires a manager or supervisor. Every company requires a strong CEO that will point the ship in the right direction. These traits are very often part of a person’s personality – something that is written in their DNA. Escape Rooms allow these traits and characteristics to surface in a clear and obvious manner.

Companies will be able to clearly see who is acting like a leader, or identify someone that has a high ceiling. This person will often delegate tasks to others and will play a key role in solving the most complex puzzles in the room. He or she may also be a constant point of contact for all other people in the group (every office has the person who seemingly knows everything). This helps companies identify employees who are respected by their peers and have a lot of value to bring to the business.

In conclusion, a business’ key mission is simple – maximize the value of every dollar invested in the company. Escape Rooms offer an ROI that is hard to beat by offering a great platform for team building, improving morale and motivation, and identifying leaders and high performers.

And it’s fun as hell. What’s better than that?

Isn't the suspense exhilirating?

Yes - we love to tease.

As we approach our grand opening we wanted to give an update on our progress and how much longer until you all get to experience the greatest hour of your lives (or less if you and your group are super humans). We're so flipping excited to share all the awesomeness with you, but at the same time, we want to make sure we have all our 't's crossed and our 'i's dotted before we spill all of the beans.

Do you have a location yet?

Yes we do. We are working diligently on a daily basis to make sure everything is up to par. Once it's up and running to our very high standard (and looking nice and pretty) we will share our location with all of you.

When are you opening?

Sometime between today and the end of time (but in reality, very soon). We want to take our time in our room designs to give you the most amazing escape room experience. Also, we want to make sure we have enough coffee for our coffee machine (which all of you will have access to - very important).

When can I book a room?

We expect reservations to open 2-4 weeks before our grand opening, which will line up with the communication of our location and date of opening. Once this happens you and your friends/family/coworkers will be able to pick a room, date, and number of people in your party. We will release an FAQ page as well so that you can be well versed and super prepared for your experience.

What if I don't like to be scared?

None of our rooms will be made to scare anyone. Our primary focus is to make sure you have the best hour of your life, and there's a ton of different themes and concepts we are super excited to share with you. The only fear you may experience is finding one of us that ugly.

-

As always, make sure to follow us on all our social media platforms to stay up to date on our progress, as well as sign up for our Newsletter to receive news about our opening, updates, and other cool stuff.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Add us on Instagram

Give us a +1 on Google+

And look us up on Snapchat @ humanvsroom

May the 5th be with... ah, crap.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!
 

Social Media is cool

It is the year 2050. Humans spend 99% of their time inside a virtual reality world. They all wear Haptic Overalls that stimulate skin in order to replicate the human touch. Everyone wears devices on their heads that can send waves into their brain, replicating human emotions such as love, hunger, anger, and confusion (similar to what you feel right now probably.)

One thing that is uncertain in the year 2050 is what the heck kind of social media platform we are all going to use. So, to make it easy, we've put all of ours in this neat little post so that you can follow us on every single one and experience the awesome side effects of Social Media overload, which may include:

- Exclusive discounts and packages for our Escape Rooms
- Awesome content about our opening and day-to-day funtivities
- Witty comments on a non-regular basis

If you haven't done so already, give us a follow, like, +1, add, and whatever other silly name is used nowadays. Know that in return we will love you forever (and follow you back most likely.)

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Add us on Instagram

Give us a +1 on Google+

And look us up on Snapchat @ humanvsroom

Get ready - it's about to get real awesome, real soon.

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-The team at HVR

Our Name and Logo

HVRNameandLogopic

Not bad, right?

As with any Human at the time of its birth, we thought it would be appropriate (and frankly necessary) to give our company a name and logo. The priority was simple - to distill the essence of an Escape Room to its fundamental minimum, and attempt to communicate that as quickly and efficiently as possible to your gorgeous eyes and faces.

And yes - we did spend more time than we'd like to admit on getting this part right. Let's try and break down our thought process on how the name and logo came to be.

The Name

We started with a simple question - at its core, what is an Escape Room? Is it some sort of game? An exercise? A race? Self-inflicted mental abuse? Although 'yes' is the most likely answer to all those questions, the fundamental aspect of an Escape Room become clear. In our eyes, it is a race between two entities - a Human (or group of Humans) and a Room. At its core, each entity is attempting to one-up the other in the span of 60 minutes. It is a tussle of intellect, wit, and cleverness (pretty sure that's a word,) with the winner of the duel having the distinct honor of being forever immortalized in Escape Room lore.

And thus, the name Human vs Room was born.

The Logo

We wanted to approach our logo in the same vein, so we took the name and attempted to give some depth to each word.

When thinking about 'Human' we asked ourselves this - what do all Humans share in common? How can we graphically show this in a logo while keeping it dead simple? Sticky was born pretty quickly after those questions - and yes, we named the stick figure on our logo (aw.) All humans share a head, a torso, two arms, two legs, and have the capacity to stand upright. Monkeys do so as well, so we made sure we gave Sticky a big ol' head to show its brainpower, which by the way is one of the most fundamental needs for an Escape Room. And see how his/her arms are pointed upwards? That's a pretty universal way for Humans to display happiness or victory (I'm sure there's a study somewhere that proves that.) Our goal is to do everything in our power to ensure one of the two is an experience that you encounter at our establishment. The other one is up to you.

The word 'Room' was a little tougher. We thought about showing a square, but were concerned that most people would think of it as a box. Human vs Box; the heck is that, right? We do think that name has potential in the cat demographic though. Ultimately, we thought using a door is the best way to capture the essence of a room, since most rooms require a way in and out. We wouldn't want to be anywhere near a room that doesn't have a door, and would never put any of you in that situation either. This enabled us to use color to show the mystery and intrigue of entering an Escape Room for the first time (entry way in black,) and the use of red to create a nice contrast which makes the logo pop (mainly for marketing purposes.)

To wrap up the logo, we drew a line at the bottom of Sticky and the door to prove that levitation was still a work in progress, and included the name to ensure clarity and association between the two objects. We carried the color combo of red and black to bring the same pop and contrast to the name, as well as keep the color scheme intact. And yes, there's correlation between the colors on the words and the graphics, but we will save that for you guys to decipher.

It has been a pretty neat experience for us to get to this point, and we are incredibly excited to show all of you what we've been working on.

As they say - the hype is real. Stay tuned.

<3

A little history on Escape Rooms

Let's get you caught up on how it all started

Before we dive in - a very big thank you for signing up to our Newsletter. You have joined an exclusive group of people that will reap the amazing benefits that come from following a new company from the very beginning. If we could give each of you a free car, we would. Instead you'll be the first to learn about our opening date and location, with an extra surprise to go along with it. Just as good, right? No, it's not.

As our subscriber base continues to drastically grow, we wanted to say hi to all the new signees, as well as give all of you a little bit of history on how Escape Rooms came to be, where they are now, and why we think Human vs Room will be a big destination for the residents of the Lehigh Valley.
 

The Beginning

Although there isn't a specific time and place that anyone can point to, the most well-documented Escape Rooms began their life primarily in Eastern Asia (China and Japan.) These games were mostly born out of an attempt to bring point-and-click adventure computer games to real life. It all started by placing a person or group of people together in a room with a common goal. Through the years, this concept became what most of us refer to as an Escape Room or Room Escape Game, and quickly spread throughout the world (especially in the US in the last year or two.)
 

The Now

What makes the Escape Room concept so much fun is that the common goal can literally be anything. Although a lot of establishments call themselves Escape Rooms, the goal can range from finding a key to a locked door in order to escape, to stopping a device from functioning within an allotted time without the need of unlocking a door. Each establishment can have a very distinct experience unique to its owners or the history of the location. The possibilities are truly endless. It's as if a brand new genre of games are starting to become available in real life, and that's making us have a pretty material nerd freak-out.
 

What this means for us

Human vs Room is our mission to bring this brand new experience to the people of the Lehigh Valley. The owners of HVR are long-time LV residents (one of them happens to be writing this silly letter,) and we see this as an opportunity to bring a revolutionary form of entertainment to the area. We have always viewed the valley as a place with great people and so much potential for fun things to do. Yes - the Sands is a fun place, and Costco is going to be fun too (if you really love buying in bulk,) but we think our experience will be a special kind of fun. We want our patrons to walk into a Room with a smile, and leave with a bigger one. And no, we won't pump laughing gas into the facility.
 

Anything I can do?

Start spreading the word.

As we near our opening date, we want to see as many of you as possible when we first open our doors. We want to infect you with our excitement, and give you all something to talk about for a long time. Tell your friends the greatest thing of all time is coming to town, and the world will end if they don't join you as soon as we open. Tell your coworkers that the greatest team building exercise ever conceived is going to be available nearby, and that you want to synergize yourself so hard. Tell your family that you want to show them how much you love them by bringing them to the most fun place in the universe.

We would turn down the hyperbole a bit but it's becoming pretty difficult. We simply can't wait to share what we've built with you.

Crucial details to come. See you soon.

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A shout out to Dr. Scott Nicholson and Wikipedia users for some of the information that was used in this letter.