After walking home from a regular-old hackathon, you found yourself suddenly kidnapped and locked in a dark, mystical room! With only 10 minutes to spare, you'll need to use magic, potions, and your wits to explore and navigate through this intricate trap. Will you escape the witch's grotto?

What it Does

The chest contains a final key that allows the player to escape and win the game. In order to open the chest, the player must create three potions. A magma, ice, and acid potion must all be poured onto the chest to unlock it.

The escape room puzzle system takes advantage of a modular brewing system in which you can take any object, put it into the cauldron, and then pull a potion out of the cauldron based on the contents you put into it. Each asset has a value for three different attributes, and when mixed together, correspond to different potions.

With these combinations, a player is able to make a potion from a variety of combinations. For example, a player can make a fire potion by throwing a torch into the cauldron because the torch has the hot, rough, and red characteristics. Alternatively, the player could also make a fire potion using a red mushroom which is smooth and red, combined with a candle which is hot.

If the player makes the correct potion, the player will be able to pick up a potion that has either red, blue, or green liquid. If the player makes the incorrect potion, the player will receive a potion with black liquid inside. The green button next to the cauldron will allow the player to empty the cauldron and start over.

Our Team

  • Alina Christenbury is a computer science student at the University of Deleware. With over 2 years of experience with Unity, she leads an undergrad research project for VR/AR technology.

  • Dan Donato https://dvdonato.com/ is a computer science student with over 6 years of Unity experience. He's previously worked in quality assurance in the video game industry, and worked with multiple programming languages.

  • Michael Zhang is a business student at the University of Michigan. He leads a VR/AR student organization called ARI and also helps produce a weekly VR talkshow called TheHiveVR.

  • Mark Ma is finishing his masters in Design and Development of Digital Games at Columbia University. He's previously worked with Unity, JavaScript, and Java.

  • Chase Laux recently graduated from California State University Fullerton, and specializes in effects and modeling. He also leads the Orange County Houdini User Group.

How We Built It

Location: Vive Lounge, 3rd Floor, E15-335 Theme: Games and Learning Category: Videogame

We built our HTC Vive experience using the Unity Game Engine and C#. We built the witch's house in Google Poly, and imported several Creative Commons License assets, sounds, and visual effects. These came from the Unity Store, Google Poly, Free Sound, and Sketchfab. The list of assets used are below:


Table 1

Crystal Ball Clock

Table 2


Visual Effects

Sound Effects

Challenges We Ran Into

Due to issues with connecting to Github, our team was forced to create a new repository which also prevented several of our members from accessing the project. We pivoted to using Unity Collaborate for the majority of the hackathon as it served as a better platform for us to manage multiple iterations of our product. Our Github site shows a screen capture of the multiple commits we made using Unity Collaborate.

What's Next

We accomplished our original goal of creating a prototype of a witch-themed VR escape room. There were also several other puzzles that we wanted to implement but were not able to complete in the scope of the hackathon. We originally wanted to add missing potion recipes that needed to be found by using potions created by the player. For example, we planned to add a shrinking and growth potion that would allow the player to walk into a mousehole to find a missing page. In addition, we planned to make a crow in a birdcage prevent the player from reaching a page unless a sleep potion was used. These are all several additions that would add puzzles to the game.

Our prototype could be expanded into a escape room level-editor platform. Rather than users creating assets from scratch, adding colliders, and developing game mechanics, we can create these components so anyone can more intuitvely build a VR escape room in VR, and test it using their own VR headset.

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