Sit down with Dan Suleski, Creative Director and CEO at The Escape Effect.
1. How long have you been with The Escape Effect? I’m the primary founder. It’s been approximately three years.
2. What is your official role here? Creative Director and CEO. I view this as three responsibilities: 1) Ensure the players are having the best time, 2) Ensure the team is doing the right things and is happy, and 3) The business is healthy to satisfy investors.
3. What did you do before working at The Escape Effect? I’ve worked in the software industry for 20+ years. Throughout those years, I’ve largely been a programmer, but have held roles in direction, project management, and quality assurance. The majority of my works are video games and include titles like Pokemon Stadium, Starfleet Command, and NBA Live.
4. What drew you to want to work at The Escape Effect? The Escape Effect was born from a desire to make dreams into a reality. Not just about the games, but about everyone who works here; enjoy what we do every day. I like to say that my previous job was 20% what I enjoyed and 80% what I dreaded. At The Escape Effect, my job is flipped around and it sometimes does not really feel like a job – it just feels great.
5. Do you have a favorite game? Because I’m the Creative Director, I have some bias. However, each game reminds me of my childhood in some manner. I’ll call out what that is and what makes the game special for players.
- “At Odds With The Gods” hits on my childhood fascination about Greek mythology. In fact, this was a subject matter my age used to learn about in school. The game also plays out like a game show – it’s bright, challenging, and large.
- “Sherlock Studies” takes me back to shows like “Murder, She Wrote”. Used to watch it with my grandmother. It has a fantastic and unique deduction puzzle that, when solved, has been described as very satisfying by players.
- “Encore” reminds me of my young time performing magic shows. The game is just the opposite of “At Odds With The Gods” – it’s a darker game where realizing there are puzzles is a part of the challenge.
6. Do you have a favorite prop? For me, it’s the A/V panel in “Encore”. Players use this prop throughout the game to help light their way through the theatre. Because it’s a new invention, it’s the first time players have opportunity to interact with such a game mechanic.
7. What are you most excited about for the future of The Escape Effect? From a Creative Director point-of-view, I am excited to watch players enjoy the unique aspects of games #4 and #5. From a CEO standpoint, I’m super-excited to see what new direction the company takes once all five games at our location are up and running.
8. Which Greek god or goddess do you relate most to? A significant part of my day-to-day work has to do with communication between team members. As such, I most relate to Hermes, the messenger of the gods.
9. Which Sherlock Holmes character do you relate most to? Some may describe me as a problem-solver and as a bit eccentric, just as Sherlock is.
10. Who is your favorite 1920s star? Any old-school magician. Magic from then reminds me of escape rooms of today – pretty amazing for it’s time and formed a basis for what was to come. On an side note, the posters are pretty awesome.
11. What are you currently working on? I’m reworking our technology for game #4 so that installation is more straightforward. The easier the installation, the more options we give ourselves. In this case, building from the bottom-up is advantageous.
12. Which Bob is your favorite? As players found Bob from At Odds With The Gods, he started to lose his teeth – adds character.