We are a group of escape room lovers, and it is unfortunate how COVID-19 is impacting all aspects of our lives including our escape room fun. Inspired by other online escape rooms created by Google Forms, we decided to create a COVID-19 vaccine development themed virtual escape room as our hackathon project. By creating this project, we hope to provide another option of entertainment to the public, especially escape room lovers, during this challenging social distancing time.

What it does

The game incorporates steps similar to the actual vaccine making process. Similar to an “escape room,” in each step, the players will be presented a puzzle to solve for an answer to move on to the next step in the process. The puzzles also include information related to the virus and the vaccine for an educational aspect.

How I built it

We mostly used Google Forms to create the project, along with other image and video- editing applications.

Challenges I ran into

In the beginning, we aimed to make an app or a website that helps to motivate people to build good habits. However, in the process, we came upon obstacles such as coding skills, finding collaborative platforms on which to build the application. This was all of our first times participating in a Hackathon, so we decided to build a fun + educational game using a relatively simple-to-use and collaborative platform.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud of the diversity of the puzzles and presentation formats in our virtual escape room. In addition, we incorporated a plot into our escape room of developing the vaccine; the dramatic storyline will keep the players engaging and the vaccine development process is informational. We believe it will give the players a fun experience.

What I learned

We learned about the vaccine making process in general. Through making the different puzzles first hand, we also learned some basic logic behind them.

What's next for VIRUS HUNTER

Our final product can be used as a fun activity for children and adults, individuals or a group. It takes users through the long process of vaccine development, which was done in record time in the case of COVID-19. The project can also be a record of this recent history that has affected all of us, which makes it especially meaningful for the future. Interactive portions that involve coded mini-games can be added in the future in order to make the activities more engaging.

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