Introducing the Buzzshot & COGS Integration

Posted in Escape Room Business Management by Mairi Nolan on Wed 18 October 2023

Running an escape room business brings with it a whole host of challenges. Here at Buzzshot, we get to chat to a lot of owners (that’s you!), and more often than not we hear of rooms using multiple systems to manage different tasks across the whole business. 

In the escape room business ecosystem, you need those systems talking to one another. Juggling systems and their friction points is a burden on your teams, not to mention the players too.

One of the reasons we created Buzzshot was to realise that word, an ‘ecosystem’. Buzzshot is a software that takes care of your players. From managing pre-game teams, waivers, to photographs, to post-game comms, and more recently emails. We take care of each and every player, so you can take care of the fun part - hosting brilliant escape rooms.

But what happens inside the room? Well, that’s where COGS steps in. This month in the Buzzshot Blog, we wanted to shine a light on one of our most useful integrations, and introduce you to COGS.

Okay, yes, we’ve had an integration with COGS for a little while now - and many of our clients are already using it - but what you might not know is exactly how it streamlines data from inside your escape rooms, into Buzzshot’s guest management platform, to complete the full circle of experience.

Introducing COGS. What is it?

In simple terms, COGS is a software and hardware platform for running interactive events. In fact, it’s used not just by some of the most popular escape rooms in the UK, but also immersive theatre too, such as Phantom Peak.

We sat down with Clockwork Dog’s director Tom Dixon to talk more about COGS. In his own words,

“COGS is a hardware and a software ecosystem for running any kind of interactive shows. It’s reactive to the player. COGS can react dynamically to almost any kind of input.”

Video by COGS

Whilst it’s now used for many different types of entertainment, COGS was built by a team of escape room designers behind Clockwork Dog, and specifically with escape rooms in mind. Tom explained,

“The whole reason we got started was because we wanted to run an escape room. This was back in 2016, when we ran a pop-up game. We built the game, and we built the tech. Then later, the tech was rolled out to many escape rooms across the UK, and COGS was born.”

COGS has come a long way since then, and today it offers a set of remarkable features that transforms an escape room into an interactive, responsive adventure. With COGS you can map lighting, sound, and video to respond dynamically to the audience - all without the need for writing code. In a nutshell, COGS is best used for:

Mapping lighting, sound, and video to respond to your players’ actions.

A button pressed here, an ancient statue moved there, or a specific floor tile stepped on. Your imagination is the limit.

Screenshot by COGS

Real time, live feedback from your escape room.

See what your players are doing, how they’re doing it, and exactly when. A button not working? You’ll see that in real time and be able to override it.

Test anything and override it when necessary

If something isn’t working in the heat of the moment, your GM can see what’s happening and respond instantly.

Your adventure, your rules

Customise each game with different difficulty levels with the click of a button, or create alternate rules and paths for different size teams and player configurations.

COGS own brand of hardware, or use your own.

COGS can be run on COGS-branded hardware, but it also works seamlessly with a few others you’re probably already familiar with, such as DMX, Arduino, or Raspberry Pi.

Image (c) COGS

Buzzshot's Integration with COGS

COGS brings a wealth of industry experience to the table, making this integration a natural fit. What does this mean for Buzzshot users? It means a host of enhanced features that are designed to make your escape room management even more straightforward and exhilarating.

With the Buzzshot/COGS integration, the flow of data between the two systems becomes seamless. You can effortlessly transfer important player and team information between COGS and Buzzshot. In one direction, this means team information like names, team names, previous win rate that can feed into the escape room. In the other direction, this means sending how many clues a player used, what actions they did, and the choices they made back into Buzzshot. When you try out the integration why not explore how you can:

Transfer data seamlessly between Buzzshot and COGS

Whatever types of data you’re collecting with Buzzshot, or with COGS - from team names to player statistics, use this to enhance the player experience from start to finish.

Select Buzzshot game info in COGS to customise the COGS experience

Team size, team experience, and even team name can be used to customise the COGS experience. Since the two systems operate intelligently, this can auto-choose based on time and location.

Have details from COGS such as hints used, or specific puzzle solved sent back into Buzzshot at the end of the game to personalise email or photo

If a team escaped with a certain amount of gold bars, or number in the in-game bank, you can have this appear on the end of game photo, or in the post-game email automatically.

Imagine a world where the actions your players take inside their escape room become real datapoints to build a relationship with them. Maybe they asked for a certain number of clues, or maybe they scored a certain number of points. If your game offers your players a choice, why not follow up on that choice later?

“Hey [Name], you might have escaped my secret lair [without a single clue] last Saturday and [chose to free my prisoner’s soul]… I’ll be waiting for you in [Sequel Name Here]”

It’s the little personalisations that make a team feel special, so whatever your particular brand of adventure looks like - our integration enables you to keep the adventure alive - so let your imagination run wild! Buzzshot/COGS takes care of ensuring that every detail flows seamlessly, creating a truly sparkling experience for your players.

Get Started Today

If you’re interested in trying out the integration between Buzzshot and COGS, it’s super simple to get started. But first, you’ll need a Buzzshot account, and a COGS account. You’ll be pleased to know that both are available to try out for free.

From there, head to the Buzzshot admin and select ‘Integrations’, then scroll down til you see COGS. Then it’s a matter of sharing the API key so that the two systems can communicate.

Any issues? Check out our Knowledge Base or feel free to reach out!

The escape room industry is changing, and that’s a fact. New technology, tighter competition, and players seeking out something even more special. We want to stay ahead of the game, and make sure that our software allows your escape rooms to shine brighter than ever before.

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