[This is a sponsored article with Breakout.]
After almost two years of restrictions, Breakout has finally officiated the launch of Breakout The Curve, alongside Breakout Melaka at The Shore Shopping Gallery on April 23, 2022. Both outlets come with four themed rooms for players to experience.
Among the four themed rooms, the Breakout team also unveiled their brand new game concept, called the Spy Game, which made its debut at their new outlets.
It’s a monumental moment for the team, as not only did they pull through countless lockdowns and tight restrictions without closing any Klang Valley outlets, but they’re even expanding beyond the area.
So, how did they achieve this feat, and more importantly, what did it take to do so? We brought our questions to the team.
Adapting to adverse situations
It goes without saying that Breakout’s main business model of providing physical entertainment to the masses suffered immensely during the periods of long lockdowns.
Needing to innovate and adapt to survive, they took some drastic measures. One example was pay cuts, with the directors having the highest pay reduction among all the staff in the company.
Other than that, Kelly Low, Breakout’s Head of Business Development, stated, “During the lockdown period, we worked with our talents to continue our marketing and R&D efforts.”
“We believe that constant brand exposure will help to boost customer confidence in our brand, and when we re-open, we will be part of their choice of entertainment,” she added.They also experimented with their creative team to create Enigma puzzle boxes and online escape games over the pandemic, the latter of which we’ve tried out ourselves.
But it didn’t stop there. In order to not stagnate during the lockdown, Breakout’s Head of Experience Design, Johnny Ong, mentioned that the team also took the time to evaluate their existing outlets, and see how they could improve the player experience further.
The result of the evaluation was that they’ve developed a system where players can interact directly with the game master via their mobile devices, negating the need for physical interactions.
During the two-year lockdown, the team also noticed that people were more concerned about hygiene, and preferred touchless systems whenever possible.
Catering to this change, the Breakout team now ensures all touch points are sanitised before and after each game, and they provide online payment and multiple e-wallet options too.
Flexing their creative minds in new ways
The themed rooms in Breakout outlets located in Avenue K and Nu Sentral would usually last around 45 to 55 minutes and offer a mixture of puzzles.
To solve them, players must engage in physical activities like crawling and climbing, which keep you on your toes and immersed in the game.
For the Spy Game concept which is exclusive to Breakout Melaka and Breakout The Curve, there are a few puzzles involved.
Instead, players will roleplay as a spy, where they are tasked with infiltrating a secured room to finish their objective, while avoiding detection by non-player characters (NPCs).
The Spy Game is made for players to feel as if they are part of a Mission Impossible-esque game, giving them a surreal experience equivalent to being immersed in a movie.
When we asked Johnny why this new game concept was created, he said, “Our vision is to create a variety of unique and immersive experiences. We do not want to be bound by our previous success.”
“We want to keep creating new and unique experiences to bring a variety of immersive experiences and entertainment to the public.”
Though the team is best known for their ability to create engaging and challenging yet fun puzzles, they’re also aware that some people prefer to play mission-based games instead.
Thus, to cater to both audiences, the new outlets will offer the new stealth and mission-based game alongside their usual puzzle games.
Breaking out of the mould
Since they were creating the Spy Game from scratch, the team needed to take a different approach.
Johnny mentioned, “It was hard as different experiences required our game designer team to think differently but yet create an immersive and unique experience for our players, which is our main goal.”
Because individual players behave differently, they have to take several factors into consideration while coordinating with the NPCs during the design phase.
On top of the Spy Game, the outlet in Melaka will also feature several exclusive escape rooms that range in themes from horror to time travel and even fantasy.
Upon Breakout The Curve’s launch this November, it will only feature the Spy Game, with other puzzle games to be added in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Breakout