Guide to creating videogame-style breakouts and escape games with Genially

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Written by: Ruth Martín
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I remember it like it was yesterday –  the day my dad brought home our first computer. I was 5 years old and I was playing in the living room like every other afternoon, when suddenly my dad appeared grinning from ear to ear and carrying a big cardboard box. Inside was that bulky, heavy machine; the latest technology. With its noisy keyboard, pixelated screen, and hundreds of cables, it was to be part of the family for the next 10 years.

Now, you can buy any technological device as if buying a loaf of bread, and even have multiple at the same time and upgrade every year if you like. But back then, buying a computer or PC was a big milestone in the family history.

What I remember best are the video games: Tetris, Pac-man… but the one I liked the most was Prince of Persia. Anyone else remember that one? It didn’t matter that the scenery wasn’t realistic, we couldn’t make out the characters’ facial expressions, or that the music had that robotic tinny sound. There’s something special about those old video games, and not just for those of us that enjoyed them all those years ago; even today they awaken the curiosity of even the youngest among us.

The good news is that you can bring the magic of those video games into the present and use them to promote learning and participation, as well as develop valuable skills in your classes. How? Genially’s interactive breakouts and escape games are the answer.

What are breakouts and escape rooms with video game designs and why are they so engaging? 

In Genially you’ll find a wide variety of educational breakouts and escape rooms, among which you’ll find the ones that capture people’s attention because they remind us of the most famous video games from decades ago.  As well as imitating their design; simple but colorful and cheerful, they also imitate their game dynamics; simple but super fun!

That is why breakout or escape room plus video game aesthetics is a winning formula with students. Interacting with digital breakouts and escape rooms reminds us of these primitive but highly addictive video games, which is why they are also a fantastic gamified resource for combining their entertainment value with their potential as playful learning experiences.

So, how can we create an educational breakout or escape room based on the aesthetic of our favorite video games? Read on to discover how to create a learning experience that’s more sought after than the long straight piece in Tetris!

4 key steps for creating your videogame-style educational breakout or escape room 

Let’s start with the idea that in order to create an educational breakout or escape room, we must fulfill certain design and usability criteria. If you use a Genially template, you won’t have to worry: they’re all ready to ensure optimal game structure and flow.

And here’s where our creativity and inventiveness come in: we can personalize our breakout or escape room to give it a unique touch and turn it into a memorable educational resource. Here are the keys to achieving this:

1. Create an engaging story in which they must achieve a final objective

Think back to the video game sagas like Super Mario Bros, where Mario had to rescue Princess Peach each time she was kidnapped by his archenemy Bowser. And why did he kidnap her? Well, because as well as being a merciless, power-hungry villain, he was also in love with her. He even made his son Bowser Junior believe that Peach was his real mother. Such drama!

What I’m trying to say is that it’s all about involving your class in an immersive story, with consequences for the characters of the breakout or escape room and in which passing a stage means achieving an objective.

2. Give each character a different personality

How boring it would be if everyone had the same personality and way of expressing ourselves, right? Well, it’s the same with game characters. With Genially you can create dialogues between them; take advantage of this feature to play with words and give each character their own tone of voice.

Check out this reusable breakout that’s ready for you to take to your science and nature class. Try interacting with its characters, but be careful! Don’t let the skeleton’s quips distract you from your objective!

This Genially don’t exists

Create your breakout

3. Make each stage a challenge for your students

Genially’s breakout and escape game templates already include different types of challenges for each stage, and you can add to this variety by also making it more and more difficult as they progress and resolve each challenge. Remember that in order for it to be an exciting learning experience, it should be a rewarding challenge that motivates your class to succeed in each of the tests.

4. Complete your new gamified learning experience with other equally impactful resources

If you’re reading this article it’s because you love the video game aesthetic and you want to make it a part of your classes. How about reinforcing what students have learned in your breakout or escape room with interactive materials that have the same aesthetic or similar elements? Students will identify them and relate them with the materials and knowledge they acquired in the breakout or escape game.

That way, all these resources will be part of a series that’s focused on a specific theme, topic, or skill. This will help students understand that the materials complement one another and they’ll know right away which resources and materials to go to if they need to revise or consolidate something in particular.

For example, you can put together a brief summary of what students have learned in the breakout or escape game in an interactive infographic.

And how do we get the infographic (or whichever resource you choose) to tie in with your breakout or escape game? Using a super quick and easy trick: copying the elements and images from one genially to another; in this case, from your breakout or escape room to an infographic. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Editor of your breakout or escape room, copy a character or element from one of its pages. Save the changes. 
  2. Go back to your main Panel, click on Create genially and then on Infographics. Select the template you want and you can start editing. When the Editor opens, paste the characters or elements you’ve copied from the breakout or escape room onto the canvas.
  3. And that’s it! In just a few clicks you’ll have a personalized infographic that’s a perfect match with your awesome videogame-style breakout or escape room.

Awesome templates for lending your gamified classes a video game aesthetic

Need more inspiration? Check out these ready-made templates your classes will love. There’s something for everyone!

For classic video game fans

Are you a fan of the classic but highly-addictive games? You won’t want to miss this educational escape game in pure old school space invader video game style. It’s super easy to edit and thanks to its design and sound effects it’ll keep your class motivated and entertained right till the end. Press play and enjoy!

Try it in your class!

Like this design and want more resources that are ready and waiting to be personalized? Well here’s a template for creating a presentation with the same classic video game aesthetic:

I want to create one like this!

For those who miss an old school graphic adventure

Ah the good old video games with pixelated scenery and tons of surprises in each level. The graphics and the complexity of their stories are very different from today’s video games, but we can’t deny that they’ve got their charm. If you remember these games fondly, you’re in luck. Check out this escape room, it’s got a castle, different battles, and a protagonist fighting for their goal: get all the pixel money and pay for their freedom.

Use this template

This is just one of the stunning breakouts and escape games you can create if you have a premium plan.

For those who prefer video games with a more current aesthetic

We love a game with an old school aesthetic, but we wouldn’t turn our noses up at an escape room like this one. The battle is about to commence! Are you ready? Level up and boost learning and skills to free each warrior. Let’s go!

I want that template!

Upgrade to premium and enjoy more great breakouts and escape games like this.

Genially makes it super easy to use video games to your advantage and create the most powerful and motivating learning experiences ever. Try them out in your class and watch participation reach an all-time high. Success guaranteed!

Ruth Martín
Ruth Martín
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