Them: An escape game is a room that has been decorated to look like a Hollywood movie scene (hopefully). There will be a series of puzzles that need to be completed as quickly as possible, and a countdown clock on the wall usually ticks down from 60 minutes to create a sense of urgency. The ultimate goal is to escape the room before time runs out.
You will have a game master who may or may not be paying attention to you, and they will communicate with you through a television screen or an iPad. You will be limited to 3 clues, and every other clue will cost you time off your game. Some puzzles won’t make any sense, and some drawers and cabinets will be left open.
Prototype: Prototype Escape Games specializes in Non-linear escape rooms. You will step foot into another world and utilize a tremendous amount of teamwork to complete multiple puzzles simultaneously – Nobody will be standing around twiddling their thumbs. You may not even be human – you may be a pack of puppies. There will be no countdown clock on the wall, but you will be timed in a way that correlates with the room’s theme. You will be interacting with technology, as well as padlocks and live actors during your stay with us.
Clues are unlimited and will not count against you. You may ask for as many, or as few, as you would like to. We will ask you if you’d like us to nudge you if you start falling behind or if you’d like us to speak when spoken to.
We will respond when you ask for help because, at Prototype, each game master is limited to monitoring one game at a time.
We check and double-check every room for accuracy before your group (and only your group) enters the room.
At Prototype Escape Games, we want you to know what an escape room should feel like.
Each game can accommodate different group sizes. Some games can hold 8 players, while others can hold 12+. Check the details for each game for a more specific answer, or give us a call at 904-240-4448.
Most escape rooms give you a series of puzzles to complete in 60-90 minutes. The ultimate goal in most places is to escape the room. The mission at Prototype is NEVER to escape the room. We give you objectives to complete within the room that leads up to an ultimate task. You can think of this as a video game, and each level brings you closer to fighting the boss at the end.
In addition to this, we utilize live actors to enhance your experience.
Prototype Escape Games is Jacksonville’s second and only other independently owned escape room. Everything at Prototype comes from the mind of our owner, Joseph W. Brazfield, who wanted to bring the escape game experience of Hollywood, CA, to Jacksonville. We have one location: Duval.
We put a lot of time and work into our games, and for this reason, we ask that you lock your phone in one of our secure lockers before entering the room. You will always have the key to the locker, and our staff will not be able to open it when you are playing. We do this as a precaution to protect our games’ integrity and to ensure you have to interact with each other and work together to complete the room the way it was designed. No calculators or flashlights unless we have placed them within the room for you to use.
In January of 2019, five girls aged 15 years old went out to an escape room in Poland to celebrate a birthday party. A man had set up an escape room in his apartment building, and the object of the game was to find the doorknob. There ended up being a fire, and all five little girls burned alive as they could not get out.
As a result of this horrific accident, Prototype Escape Games has decided never to lock anyone inside a room. You will never be handcuffed, blindfolded, or bound in any way. We do not have ‘green exit buttons’ or keypads on the exits.
In addition to this, we have gone above and beyond to ensure our building is up to fire code. This includes having fire sprinklers installed in our unit, alarms, detectors, and lights. This is for your safety. Handcuffs and blindfolds are gimmicks, and since we don’t use them, we need to be creative. We are Prototype Escape Games, not Prototype Escape Rooms.
All of our games are timed. Players generally have 60-90 minutes to complete the game. We prefer to use a countdown method that correlates to the theme of the room.
Let’s face it; a countdown clock doesn’t belong on a pirate ship, in a jungle, or a western-style saloon. It stands out, and it removes the immersive experience.
Just like blindfolds and handcuffs, countdown clocks are a gimmick. Countdown clocks are a way for escape rooms to induce a sense of urgency in their players. If we choose not to use them, then we are tasked with generating this same sense of urgency that players enjoy, but more creatively. That is the task we have decided to take on.
In summary, you are timed, but we prefer to make it immersive.
Believe it or not, we get asked this a lot. The answer is that it depends. Some games are more difficult than others but do not worry because clues are unlimited and do not count against you. We will always be available to help you out if you get stuck.
Prototype Escape Games does not have its own social media accounts. This decision has mostly come from a book entitled “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked” by Adam Alter. In this book, Adam exploits many of the tactics used by social media companies to keep you staring at your screen.
The majority owner of Prototype set out on this mission to get people to put their phones away and interact with each other. We have been approached several times to build a VR room or to utilize online virtual escape games. Our answer to this has always been no. We would consider ourselves hypocrites if we opened an escape game facility with the intention of getting people off their screens and then used screens as a means of making money or for getting you in the door.
In addition to our moral stance, The majority owner of Prototype does not have any personal social media accounts. This means a business Facebook page cannot be linked to a personal account. Having a business account on Facebook requires that it be linked to a personal account. This is an impossible request as the majority owner is unwilling to open a personal account.
If any social media pages are found online, they are not operated by anyone within the company.
There are only two escape rooms in the city of Jacksonville that are independently owned and operated. Prototype Escape Games is not a corporation or a franchise. This allows us more freedom to refine and perfect our games as we deem necessary. We think this is a significant advantage in the escape game industry. Let’s talk about some things that make us different than other escape rooms:
We have an intercom system.
You will be renting the room from us, none of our employees will be in the room with you. Using an intercom system allows us to implant an NPC (non-playing character) into our games. Every good story has a character that knows the lay of the land (e.g. Yoda, Dumbledore, Gandalf), this is our game master to you. Having the intercom allows us to give you a Yoda of your own (figuratively).
Clues are unlimited and do not count against you.
Your ability to complete the room is entirely in your hands. Ask for as many or as few hints as you would like. Many escape rooms portray an “Us vs. You” mentality, and we aren’t privy to that kind of attitude.
All of our games have [a minimum of] two rooms.
This SHOULD be an industry standard, sadly it is not and many escape rooms confine their guests to a single room. The scenery always changes during your 60-minute adventure with us.
We utilize lighting and automation.
We’ve noticed too many escape rooms that make you play in fluorescent lights. Not us. Lighting can transform a room from ordinary to extraordinary, so we invest a lot of time and resources into lighting and automation to make the room feel immersive.
The rooms have tech.
Tech is “magic”, so we utilize plenty of it in all our games.
We utilize live actors/actresses.
All of our games have actors/actresses to varying different degrees. This doesn’t mean that a member of our staff will be in the room with you, but they may pop in from time to time in character.
We pay attention to you.
If you ask for a clue, we will answer. Your game will have a dedicated game master whose only job is to help you, they will never be running more than one game at a time.
Our rooms are large.
Even our smallest room is bigger than most escape rooms. So you’ll have plenty of room to breathe.
All of our games are non-linear. “I hate linear games, so I do not build them.” – Joseph W. Brazfield, Owner/Founder.
What this means is that at any given moment there are 2-7 things that could be done at the same time. No one in your group will be standing around – everyone will have something to do, and most of our puzzles require more than one person to complete – This is by design. We want you to work together.
“I could have easily fit 7 games in my building and made a bunch of money – but I didn’t want to do that. I’m not just an owner, but I’m also a player. I love escape rooms, so the thought of sacrificing the quality of my product for more money is not something I’m willing to consider. If I can afford to feed my dogs good food, I’m happy. The most important thing is to build games that I can be proud of.”
Patric Young is an angel investor that has helped to fund Prototype Escape Games. He is a good friend and is on-site occasionally. Patric is also involved in the creative process when considering new rooms.
Cannibals In The Catacombs is a scary/horror-themed escape room with live scare actors. Blackout and Dog Days are not horror-themed games but do contain jump scares. Locker Room does not have any jump scares and is not scary.
Yes. You can book online and pay for the entire group all at once, or you may call us, and we can accept a non-refundable deposit for the cost of two (2) people to reserve your timeslot. The rest of your group can pay upon arrival. Call us at (904) 240-4448, and we can help you process a deposit.
Yes, we do, but we cannot reserve a timeslot for you with cash. You may place a deposit using a card, and we can process the rest with cash when you arrive. But we need to have some skin in the game to reserve a spot for you.
Still have questions?
Feel free to contact us today for more information about our unique escape games experience.