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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Educators Summit: Why My Students Design Escape Rooms

Samuel Liberty  (Visiting Lecturer for Game Design, Northeastern University)

Date: Tuesday, July 20

Time: 2:40pm - 3:10pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Educators

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: I acknowledge GDC 2021 is an all-digital event and commit to participating virtually.

What makes escape rooms one of the ideal forms for teaching key game design concepts? How can you incorporate escape room design into your syllabus? At Northeastern University, all new game design majors are required to take Foundations of Game Design as one of their first learning experiences. Sam Liberty co-wrote the syllabus, which includes a unit on escape room design. In this talk, you will learn how designing escape rooms can help students master essential game design skills like brainstorming, rapid prototyping, iteration, and fine-tuning. Plus, exactly how to plan an escape room lesson or unit over multiple weeks with a full, live escape room as the final deliverable.


Attendees will come away with a clear understanding of how different elements of escape room design map to specific, practical game design skills. The talk also contains clear steps and lesson plans that instructors can adapt for their own classrooms to add escape rooms to their syllabi.

Intended Audience

Talk is intended for game design instructors at college or secondary school level, and assumes teaching for a class of 10+ students. No specialized knowledge is required. The talk has the most value for instructors who are already familiar with the escape room genre. Game design students may also benefit from this talk.