RussBuilds joins The Escape Roomer as our new Video Game Features Writer!

So a little birdy told us you folks like video games, eh? Well in that case, we’re super pleased to welcome our brand new video games features writer to The Escape Roomer: RussBuilds! 👏

RussBuilds joins the team from up North (though perhaps not quite as far North as as Escaping the Closet and Rebecca), in Birmingham. This isn’t the first time RussBuilds has been featured on the site however. You may also recognise him as the indie escape room designer behind the tabletop experiences ENDGAME, AIRLOCK and CITIZEN.

We know him best as a video game super-fan and we’re so excited he’s joined the team to cover all things escape room on consoles, mobile and PC!

Keep an eye out for RussBuild’s first feature a little later this week, but in the meantime here he is to introduce himself!

About RussBuilds

Hi I’m Russ from RussBuilds; an independent escape game designer. 

I have created a total of 4 escape games, 3 of which were avatar-based and playable over zoom during the lockdown periods. If you want more information on them, here are reviews for ENDGAME, AIRLOCK and CITIZEN.

Currently I am working on escape game number 5, that will be non-avatar based and playable at anytime. I’m using Unreal Engine 4 to build this one and hoping to release it during Winter 2021.

What got you interested in the world of puzzle games?

The greatest TV show ever to grace the 1990s – The Crystal Maze!
Watching this tour de force of puzzles and immersion got me hooked. Having escape rooms now exist, is essentially the closest to feel what it might have been like, to have been there.

Russ Builds
Photo (c) Russ Builds

What was your first escape room?

The Heist at Escape Rooms Cardiff on a stag weekend in 2018. There were 8 of us so we split into 2 teams; my team did The Heist, whilst the other team did the Zombie game ERC had at the time (I forget the name – sorry!). We succeeded with under 5 minutes left whilst the other team failed! Bragging rights secured for the rest of the weekend!

What has been your favourite escape room type experience?

I don’t know if I have a single favourite type experience. What I do have, are little bits of experiences from a plethora of escape games that stick with and impress me. Most recent was the assignment of individual characters for players in The Mad Pharaoh by Hourglass Escapes in Seattle. Each character has different strengths and individual information to solve specific puzzles, making teamwork a mandatory factor to succeed, and allowing no-one to dominate the playing experience; everyone had their chance to shine, a really inclusive mechanic.

What are some of your favourite video games of all time?

I had a chat with two friends not so long ago about this!

Top 3 of all time (all genres):

  • Final Fantasy 7 (PS1)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (Mega Drive)
  • Bioshock Infinite (PS3)

Some puzzle/adventure video games I like a lot are:

  • Bust-A-Move 2 (PS1)
  • Portal 2 (PS3)
  • Monument Valley (Mobile)

What consoles do you use?

Current owned consoles include:

  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • Mobile 
  • Playstation 2

I also have a raspberry pi, where I can emulate the majority of games up to the Playstation 1 generation.

If you were given a blank cheque to create your dream game, what is it like?

My crazy, infinite budget idea would involve a time machine mechanism, and a series of rooms that pinpoint a specific time period each. Also, however I would need about 10 assistant GMs working with the main GM, to create changes to the rooms based on actions from previous rooms. Players would have to move around different rooms or “time zones” to try and get home to the present day, but their pathway has to be executed in a certain way, otherwise props/puzzles can change, resulting them in going back to a “time period” and correcting their previous steps. I’d call the game Butterfly Chaos.

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If you’d like to keep up with RussBuilds, you can follow his articles here, or keep up with his latest escape room design projects over on Twitter or Instagram.

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