Making Rice’s First Escape Room

A few weeks ago, an amazing thing happened. After trying for so long to get the CENHS department at Rice to let me build an escape room at Solar Studios, I was finally given permission to use the space. However, I only had one week to make a room, I only had $250 to spend, and it had to be mold-themed because one section of the space was infested with black mold. I immediately researched mold, designed the room, and worked nonstop to build boxes. I even got sick that week but spent every minute of my day thinking about boxes and building them until it was done. Building boxes takes way longer than you think.

After creating the boxes, I just had to set up the room in the moldy room. Sam and I worked for several hours setting everything up, and after a while we got a headache from inhaling so much mold. Looking back, we totally could’ve died from that. I made sure to make a lengthy waiver and bought gloves and masks so that guests would not sue.

At an environmental symposium, several groups actually played the game in the moldy room and enjoyed it.

After a few runs in the moldy room, Sam and I decided to move the escape room to the next door container, which was clean. I’m glad we did because the moldy room was definitely a health hazard and the new room had art installments that fit the mold theme.

The rest of the runs were in the clean room. I was so happy that we were fully booked after just two days.

Sam and I ran the rooms from 10am-12pm everyday for a week. Most of the feedback was very positive and many groups enjoyed the room. The escape rate turned out to be about 64%.

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