Fuzzy Logic is one of many businesses that Studio21 Architects has had the opportunity to work with over the years. They offer clients a unique escape room experience with five different games in Downers Grove. With the issuance of the Illinois Stay at Home Order in mid-March, the owners needed to find a way to keep their business viable without welcoming people into their physical space.
As a non-essential business, Fuzzy Logic had to shut down operations beginning March 21, 2020. Prior to Covid-19, they would run 20-30 games per weekend at their Downers Grove location. Participants would generally be families or groups of friends with the occasional scouting troop thrown in. The weekdays were typically lighter but they’d take their portable escape room games to local companies to add a fun element to team lunches and meetings.
The business remained closed for the first month and then the announcement came that the governor had extended the stay at home order. Once that happened, the team at Fuzzy Logic knew they needed to pivot and figure out how to keep their business afloat during this uncertain time. Through their membership in an on-line international group of escape room owners, they learned that several such businesses outside the U.S. had turned to virtual escape rooms.
A couple of weeks ago there was a familiar voice and face on the WGN morning news. It was Jayson Mamaclay one of the Fuzzy Logic owners, on WGN’s Ana Belaval’s “Around Town” segment. He was discussing and demonstrating the changes they made to their business in order to survive, the virtual escape room.
The current business model involves a video conference meeting with participants tuning in from their homes via Zoom. They provide their game master with verbal instructions and the game master provides them with a first-person view of the physical escape room. Players can see the items that are collected or the puzzles that are found along the way. The game master is the eyes and hands, almost like a robot, while the players are the minds solving the puzzles toward completing the story-based quest before time runs out!
The new business model has some benefits. They are now able to bring groups of family and friends from different parts of the world together so it helps participants to bond not just with local friends, family and colleagues but also those who are located outside of the Downers Grove area. The type of players they are seeing has changed as well. Escape room enthusiasts now seek out the different games whereas pre-Covid-19, the majority of consumer players visiting Fuzzy Logic were community players who did not have much experience with escape rooms.
The majority of the virtual escape room games are offered on the weekends but they are occasionally held on weekdays. The owners spend most of their time on weekdays researching small business relief options, attending webinars with subject matter experts on relief topics, and continuing to evaluate business strategy.
This new business model has helped them to stay afloat and more importantly, allowed them to help people forge stronger connections with each other in this time of social distancing. They plan to see how they can integrate virtual games with in-person games once they become an allowable option. By having yet another revenue stream, it augments and diversifies what they are able to deliver to the market, and combines well to expand their services portfolio to include in-store, at-location, and on-line!
While the team at Fuzzy Logic is glad that they’ve found an option that is able to still generate some revenue to offset what remaining costs they’ve been unable to reduce, they look forward to returning to previous business operations and levels sooner rather than later! When that does happen, they will make sure that they emphasize customer and staff health and safety to help everyone feel like they can be safe when coming through their doors.
Studio 21 Architects is happy to have worked with such an outstanding team to create their amazing facility located at 130 Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove. We’re also inspired by how they were able to pivot during these uncertain times. If you are interested in participating in a Fuzzy Logic Escape Room game, you can find them at www.fuzzylogicescaperoom.com.