The world's first dedicated Music Pack for Real Live Adventure Games
Last year a friend of mine started to run a real live escape game and asked me for some pieces of music that would nicely support the story of his exit rooms. So I picked some soundtracks from my repertoire, which would serve well for an escape room. This year I decided to go one step further and create a dedicated escape game music pack, designed for the needs of escape games.
After I released the first version in April 2016, I talked to a lot of owners of exit games around the world and collected their feedback to improve the music pack. Now version 2.0 is available and includes seven soundtracks and a bonus song for marketing videos, advertisement and trailers.
Why Music is a Plus in your Escape Game
A proper selection of music with the right volume setting will enhance the player's experience during the game. Like in a movie, the music is supports emotions in a subtile way and pushes the players motivation while working on the puzzles. Some escape room owners told me, that they do not use music because it is disrupting the game flow in general, but watching a lot of games, I found out, that this is either because of too high volume or because of the music style, which is often too intense and stressing from the beginning.
Key Aspects for Music in an Escape Room
Before creating the music pack, I watched a lot of escape games and figured out a handful of points that have been important during my process of writing music for exit rooms. Also I asked many local game providers and integrated their feedback into the latest update of the music pack.
- Music Style: For most games, a soundtrack from the cinematic genre will provide the best experience, because people are used to this style of music, e.g. from movies. In rooms with a special theme (horror, fantasy, etc.) it will be nice to bring in a few minutes of related music, but in large part the soundtrack should better underline the tension and emotions. As you can hear in movies like Gladiator, the soundtrack has some ancient references but is still cinematic and orchestral.
- Avoid distraction: While watching games I figured out that themes and melodies in the background music should not be too catchy that they take the players' attention and distract them from the game. In fact the music should smoothly integrate into the escape game the same way as a good movie soundtrack. It's also important to keep the volume on a moderate level!
- Arrangement: Music for escape games needs a steady progress but ascend slower than movie soundtracks because a live game usually doesn't have the same dramatic dynamic as a scripted action movie and each group of players will make another game, so you cannot sync the music for each little event. Here I wanted to find a nice balance between motion and restraint as a perfect fit.
- Coherency: An important feature is a golden thread that runs through all the music pieces and makes the pack a real soundtrack, that sounds well rounded. So I used some themes and instruments across the individual parts and put all of them in the same scale like a kind of symphony, which gives your escape room game a very professional impact.
The Phases of an Escape Game Soundtrack
Mostly at the beginning players will need some time to explore the room. At this point the music should generate some tension like the tracks 1 and 3 of the pack, but not extreme stress. Later, when players are working on the puzzles, I suggest to use a mix of suspenseful music and adventurous epic music as in the tracks 2 and 6. Towards the end, of cause the tension should rise and music may start stressing the players. For this phase it's nice to have a selection of different levels of tension as the tracks 4, 5 and 7 represent.
In addition to the game music, there is a bonus soundtrack in the pack which serves well for trailers and advertising spots or marketing videos to promote your location. Just check out the preview on the Download Page.
How to use the Escape Room Music Pack
The easy way to work with the music pack is to save a playlist from the songs that fits the duration of your escape game. This can be done with most music players like Winamp, VLC or even with a music CD. If you need help with arranging a full length game soundtrack, feel free to contact me.
The more interactive solution is to let the game supervisor switch songs, for example whenever players reach a certain goal in the game. In this case you can also use a playlist and turn on track repeat, so each song will be looped until the game supervisor skips to the next.
Are 25 Minutes of Music enough for a 60+ Minutes Exit Room Game?
Since the music in this pack is mostly subtle and unobtrusive, for most escape games it will be OK to have some repetition in the soundtrack. If you want to add some more variation to your Exit Room Music, you may also browse the Envato music packs and purchase more than one:
I also recommend to listen to my Cinematic Music Collection, if you are looking for more soundtrack music to complement your individual game or any other project.
The Escape Game Music Pack is a nice all-in-one soundtrack that will suit most exit room games from scratch. If you find something missing or just want to give some feedback, feel free to contact me and I will be very happy to assist you.