Introduction: Portal Knights Escape Room Birthday Party
Hey guys! I'm finally back to planning out themed birthday parties. I took a break after having my youngest son. We missed out on Zander's 11th and 12th birthdays (we did the game truck, and then a video game party), and Kaiden's 8th birthday (we did gymnastics plus), as well as Kierian's 1st birthday. Although, I did actually plan a little baby bum theme party for Kierian with games for the older kids but it rained and we had to change to a jump house.
This year I asked Kaiden what he wanted to do and I offered suggestions like the skating rink, a video game party like Zander, the trampoline park, the local park. He said he wanted a party with games like before. Not gonna lie, that made me feel good, validated. That means all the former parties I did for him were appreciated and remembered. He chose MY party planning over all the typical fun place options.
So yay! Next question, is what theme? He chose Portal Knights.
I knew nothing about this game other than it is a game on the PS4 that he likes to play.
I love planning parties, especially when I know the theme. When I don't, it makes it less fun cause the research phase is longer.
ANYWAY, moving on with the party.
Step 1: Research and Planning
The absolute most important step of putting together an awesome party is the research and the planning.
This game is very popular and I've seen it referred to as Minecraft 2.0. The whole mining, collecting resources and crafting thing is present and the scenery is cubes like Minecraft. The characters and monsters aren't boxy though. There is a great resource of information on the Portal Knights wiki website. You can get images for almost everything in the game there. I also watched Kaiden play through the tutorial in the beginning of the game.
Since that first area and a little of the next area is all the game play I saw, that is what I based the party on.
I had, as I saw it, 2 options. The first is the obvious route, the kids would come in, choose a class, create a character, and get a stat sheet. We would play games to earn experience and level up. The other option, I thought would be an interesting interpretation. Kaiden has been wanting to do an escape room, so I asked him if he wanted to have his party be escape room style and he agreed.
For anyone who doesn't know, an escape room is when you enter a room with a group of friends and you are locked in. There are lots of puzzles to solve and locks to open to find the way out and you only have a hour to do so. Typically there is a screen or a phone that the staff can use to give you hints if you get stuck.
This option took extensive thought and planning to design. Portal Knights did lend itself pretty well to an escape room. Since you have to have certain items/resources to craft a new item, I could make the resources each part of a code to open a lock to get that item.
I took alot of notes and went through alot of paper trying to get it all straight. I've included here all my notes so you can see the convoluted craziness that was.
Step 2: The Plan
You saw all the notes and I'm sure it isn't easy to follow and catch all the information in the order it is needed to put this whole thing together. Here I will do my best to walk you through the plan in a logical, clear, understandable manner.
When the kids arrive at the party, they will choose a class to be: Warrior, Archer, or Mage. You must have at least 4 Warriors and 4 Mages. Our party has available 6 Warriors, 4 Archers, and 12 Mages. Warriors get a sword, Archers get a bow and Mages get a wand. Four of the swords will be different colors with numbers on them to use to open a lock and four of the wands will be different sizes all taller than the others with numbers on them for use in opening a lock.
In the room they need to escape from will need several adult volunteers. You need someone to play:
1. An old lady who wants cotton and gives gold in exchange.
2. A lady who will help to craft a Pickaxe
3. A man who needs help repairing his workbench and will give gold in exchange.
4. Mike the Miner who will sell copper ore.
5. Monroe the Knight who needs a pair of pants and will give gold in exchange.
And posted on the walls will be the recipe cheat sheets found in this step's images.
About the room will be 4 stones, 9 trees, 3 cotton plants, a treasure chest, a long box with a visible key at the back out of reach, a remote controlled mouse in a cage, a shut and locked punch board, and several locked boxes: Flame Ruby, Cotton Field, Workbench, Archer Station, Altar, Anvil, Fallen Soldier loot, Sand Shell loot, Portal Stones and Copper Bars, as well as a locked cover over the garage door button which is the way out. Hanging from the ceiling are 9 Bomb Gazers.
When the guests enter the room, there will be 4 options available to them:
1. Collect stones: there will be 4 stones about the room.
2. Harvest cotton: there will be 3 cotton plants about the room that will yield 3 cotton
3. Harvest Trees: there will be 9 trees that will yield 37 logs (6 groups of 4, 2 sets of 2, 1 group of 3, 1 group of 6) and 2 amber.
4. Open the cotton field: There will be a locked box that contains 5 more cotton plants. The lock on the box is a 4 digit code with different colored dials: pink, purple, green, and blue. Use the numbers on the matching colored swords to open the lock. Then harvest the cotton plants to get 16 more cotton (4 groups of 3 and 1 group of 4).
Then there will be 3 options available:
1. Give the 3 single pieces of cotton to the old lady who will give 16 gold pieces in return
2. Repair the workbench: give the man the group of 4 logs with no clue on the back and he will give a key that opens the workbench and 16 gold pieces. Inside the workbench is 2 more locked boxes: Leggings and cotton cloth.
3. Craft Pickaxe: give the 4 stones and a set of 2 logs with no clue on the back to the lady who will give a pickaxe in return. On the pickaxe is a code.
Now there are 2 options:
1. Craft cotton cloth: Use the 4 groups of 3 cotton which have colored backs to open the lock on the cotton cloth box and inside will be 6 cloth (3 sets of 2).
2. Mine flame rubies: Use the code on the pickaxe to open the flame ruby box. Inside is 4 flame rubies.
1. Smash rubies: Break the 4 rubies to make them into "dust" and inside each one is a clue that isn't usable yet.
2. Craft the leggings: use the code on the back of one of the cotton cloth sets to open the lock on the leggings box. Inside will be a pair of pants which are to be given to Monroe the Knight who will give 16 gold pieces in return.
Only 1 option:
Visit Mike the Miner and use all the gold pieces to buy 6 copper ore (one set of 4 and one set of 2)
Now there are 2 options:
1. Build the Archer Station: Use the clues on the back of the set of 2 copper ore, the set of 6 logs, and the set of 4 cotton to open the Archer Station box. All the clues are addition problems. Inside will be be 2 more locked boxes: Slingshot and Copper bow.
2. Build the Altar: Use the clues on the set of 4 copper ore, and 2 sets of 4 wood to open the lock on the Altar box. On these 3 things will be black dots that you count to get the code and on the box will be a written clue: an arrow pointing down to tell the order of the numbers. Inside will be 2 more locked boxes: Wand of Fire and Copper Scythe.
2 Options again:
1. Craft the Slingshot: Use the clues on a set of 2 wood, 1 amber, and a set of 2 cloth to open the lock on the slingshot box. All the clues are subtraction problems and a written clue on the box: an arrow pointing up, will tell the order of the numbers. Inside will be 3 slingshots and several tightly balled pieces of paper.
2. Craft the Wand of Fire: Use the clues from the flame rubies and the set of 3 wood to open the lock on the wand of fire box. The clues will have shapes: a star, a circle, and a circle with a dot in the middle that match the same symbols on the box which tell the order. Inside will be the Wand of Fire.
Only but 1 option:
Kill the Bomb Gazers: Use the slingshots and ammo to hit the gazers until they drop their innards: 9 coal, A paper with a code on it (the Mage code), and a portal shard. The code on the paper is a drawing of wands arranged by length. Use the drawing to order the numbers on the 4 special wands. Use that code to open the lock on the Dusty Maggot Lair (closed punch board). Open the lair and lay it flat on the ground to expose all 42 wriggly maggots. Punch through all the maggots and collect the "dropped" items: 5 portal stones and 37 copper ore.
1. Build Anvil: Use the clues on 10 copper ore to open the lock on the Anvil box. The clues are a riddle and the answer is a word to open a alphabetical lock. Inside will be 2 more locked boxes: Copper Long Sword and Copper Axe.
2. Craft copper bars: Use the clues on 9 coal and 27 copper ore to open the lock on the copper bars box. The clues are in color coded sets of 1 coal with 3 ore. Each set of 3 ore form a picture with a directional arrow on it. The coal have numbers that tell the order of the arrows. The lock is a directional one. Inside is 9 copper bars (1 set of 3 and 3 sets of 2).
And then there were 3:
1. Craft Copper Axe: Use the clues on a set of 4 wood and a set of 2 copper bars to open the lock on the copper axe box. The clues are numbers with letters A-C to tell the order. Inside is the copper axe.
2. Craft Copper Longsword: Use the clues on the set of 3 copper bars and a set of 2 cotton cloth to open the lock on the copper longsword box. The clues are in the form of tally marks with arrows showing the flow to get the order. Inside is the copper longsword.
3. Craft Copper Bow: Use the clues on 1 amber, a set of 2 copper bars, and a set of 4 wood to open the lock on the copper bow box. The clues are symbols (=, x, %) with numbers. On the box is a clue of the symbols in the correct order. Inside the box is the copper bow.
And then a whole slew of single options in a row:
- Kill the Sand Shell: Use the clues on the wand of fire and the copper axe to open the lock on the sand shell loot box. The clues are numbers accompanied with a number of dots. The dots denote the order. Inside is a verdant green emerald and a portal shard.
- Make Emerald Dust: smash the emerald and get the clue inside.
- Craft Copper Scythe: Use the clues from the emerald, a set of 2 copper bars and a set of 4 wood to open the lock on the copper scythe box. The clues are numbers accompanied by a frog, tadpole or eggs to denote order. Inside is a copper scythe.
- Kill the Fallen Soldier: Use the clues on the copper longsword, copper scythe, and copper bow to open the fallen soldier loot box. The clues are a number of hot glue dots on each weapon. On the box is pictures of the weapons to denote order. Inside is a key and a portal shard.
- Escape: Use the clues on the 8 portal shards to open the lock on the box covering the garage door button, press the button, and escape.
- Hunt for treasure first: Use the key from the fallen soldier to open the mouse cage and get the remote controlled mouse and use it to get to the out of reach key in the long box and bring it out. Then use that key to open the treasure chest. Inside will be party favors. THEN escape.
I made a separate instructable for the invitations. You can find it here:
Step 3: SVG Files and Invitations
For convenience, I'm just posting all the svg files for cutting these on a laser cutter here. That way you don't have to go to each step they belong to to get them all.
Here is a link to the 'ible on making the invitations. They are portals that are decoders to read the invite information.
Step 4: Weapons
Each child will choose a class when they arrive. Mages get wands, warriors get swords, and archers get bows. I made 6 swords, 4 bows, and 12 wands. The reason for having so many wands and few of the others is simply because the wands are easier to make and take less cardboard.
I made the files in illustrator and used the glowforge to cut them. Each bow is 3 layers with a string tied on through the holes. Each sword has a full layer in the middle and a handle layer on each side. Everything was spray painted white as a base and painted with acrylic and then the clues for the mage code and the warrior code were written on the swords and the 4 different sized wands.
The swords: 2 black and 1 each purple, pink, blue, and green. On purple write 9, pink write 1, blue write 3, and green write 6. (The locks I bought have colored dials of those 4 colors)
The wands: on the 4 wands all longer than the basic ones: on the shortest write 4, the next size up write 7, next up is 0 and the tallest is 2.
Step 5: Resources and Clues
There are a good bit of cardboard resources and weapons to make. Again they were made in illustrator and cut on the glowforge. Then the images were printed and cut out before being mod podged on their respective cardboard matches. All except the 5 weapons: wand, scythe, axe, bow, and sword, those were etched on the glowforge and painted.
The slingshot was bought on Amazon in a pack of 4. I didn't make the slingshot because the party needs a functional one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074XBQYK5/ref=p...
Most of the resources only have the image on one side but some are double sided: the coal and 27 of the copper ore.
Once the mod podge dries, the clues were written on with a sharpie.
COPPER ORE and COAL
* 27 copper ore are double sided, one side is a picture of the ore and the other is a piece of a color coded photo from the game with a directional arrow over it. When I printed these, it wasn't easy to see the images beneath the color screen so I had to outline the images with a pen to make them easier to make out. Those 27 ore correspond to the 9 coal. It takes 3 copper ore and 1 coal to make a copper bar so these make 9 sets to make 9 bars. The coal is also double sided. One side is the picture of the coal and the other is a color. On the colored side, number them 1-9 in this order: Blue, yellow, red, orange, green, purple, pink, light blue, gray. When you assemble the 9 picture puzzles, you will know which direction the arrow is pointing. The coal of the matching color tells you which order the arrows go in. This code corresponds to a directional lock. The code is Right-Left-Up-Down-Up-Down-Left-Down-Right. You can buy one here: Master Lock 1500iD Set Your Own Directional Combination Padlock 1 Pack Assorted Colors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002TSN4SQ/ref=cm_sw_r_...
* There are 10 more single pieces of copper ore that are going to be used to build the Anvil. On the back of the ore is a riddle to figure out the code to a alphabetical lock. The riddle is:
1. Rick's mom has 7 kids.
2. The 1st is named January.
3. The 2nd is named February.
4. The 3rd is March.
5. The 4th is April.
6. The 5th is May.
7. The 6th is June.
8. What is the
9. Name of the
10. Last child?
The answer is Rick but I made sure July is a possible combination on the lock to help mislead them. You can buy this lock here:
Master Lock 1535DWD Set Your Own Word Combination Padlock 1 Pack Assorted Colors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JTW84Y/ref=cm_sw_r_...
* There are two sets of copper ore. A set of 2 and a set of 4. These will be bought from Mike the miner. On the set of 4, put 5 dots ( for the altar). On the set of 2, write 1+4 ( for Archer station)
* There are 19 cotton: 3 singles, 1 set of 4, and 4 sets of 3. The 3 singles are to give to the lady in the beginning for the gold so they have no clue. On the set of 4 write 5+0 (archer station). That leaves the 4 sets of 3. These are to unlock the cotton cloth chest. Paint the backs of these. One purple, pink, green, and blue. Write numbers on the back: purple 0, blue 9, green 1, and pink 7.
* There are 6 cotton cloth: 3 sets of 2. On the backs write:
1. It's easy as 1,2,3! (leggings)
2. 8-1 (slingshot)
3. 5 in tally marks (longsword)
* There are 9 copper bars: 3 sets of 2 and a set of 3. On the back of the set of 3 write 8 in tally marks with an arrow pointing to 3 in tally marks and an arrow pointing off to the right. (longsword). On the 3 sets of 2:
1. B-8 and C-6 (axe)
2. put the picture of the frog eggs (scythe)
3. X 3 (bow)
*There are 2 sets of 2, 1 set of 3, 6 sets of 4, and 1 set of 6 logs.
-set of 6: write 3+2 (archer station)
- set of 3: draw a star and the number 7 (wand of fire)
- set of 2: no clue (give to the lady to make a pickaxe)
- set of 2: 6-3 (slingshot)
-SETS of 4:
- no clue (give to man to repair workbench)
- 7 dots (altar)
- 4 dots (altar)
- A-6 (axe)
- Frog picture (scythe)
- % 8 (bow)
* There are 2 amber: 9-4 (slingshot) and =7(bow)
* There are 8 portal shards. It takes 2 shards to make a portal stone. The shards I made are 4 different sizes. This is because I had the count wrong and thought I only needed 4 shards and the puzzle was going to go by size but my son informed me that I had it wrong and I needed to make 4 more. Instead of starting over and doing them all the same size as they should be, I just made a 2nd set of what I had already made. So in short, the size doesn't matter. The clue on theses 8 shards is a logic puzzle about the placing order of 4 racers: Jace, John, Carl, and Mike. On the 8 shards write:
1. There are 4 numbers to this code.The order can be known.
2. Carl is before John but after Jace.
3. Mike is after John.
4. John is third.
5. Carl 9
6. Jace 3
7. John 5
8. Mike 0
* There are 4 portal stones. On the backs write: 1st A pair, 2nd a half decade, 3rd a half dozen, 4th triple.
The crafted weapons:
Each of the 5 crafted weapons that were made need clues on them:
wand: 4 with 1 dot and 8 with 3 dots (to defeat the sand shell)
axe: 6 with 2 dots (to defeat the Sand Shell)
longsword: 3 large dots of hot glue (to defeat the Fallen Soldier)
bow: 3 large dots of hot glue (to defeat the soldier)
scythe: 2 large dots of hot glue (to defeat the soldier)
Step 6: Trees, Bushes, and Stones
The wood and Amber comes from trees and cotton from cotton bushes. So we need to make trees and cotton bushes for the kids to harvest. They also need stone for the pickaxe, so gotta make that too.
I used the glowforge to cut cardboard cube templates. Then just fold and glue them to make 4 cubes. Then I painted them using stone color spray paint. They will just collect the stones to turn in to the volunteer I have playing the lady in exchange for a pickaxe. No clues needed.
Trees and bushes:
I was originally going to make these like I did the stones but leave one side open to cover with tissue paper for the kids to punch through to get the wood or cotton to keep with the whole square thing. But that would take a good bit of cardboard and time. I already had a large collection of empty baby formula cans just waiting to be useful, so I used them instead.
Just peel off the label.
Put one cotton piece in each can that will be a cotton bush.
Glue a piece of tissue paper over the opening.
Glue a picture of the cotton bush on the side.
Do the same for the trees and wood. The 2 trees that are different also need an Amber.
Step 7: Bomb Gazers
The Bomb Gazers look like eye balls with bat wings. They drop coal and portal shards in the game. We will need 9 coal and 1 portal shard. I originally planned to have 10 of these but one didn't come out right so we have 9, which will suffice.
****** TRIALS! The idea here is to hang these from the ceiling and the kids will shoot them with a sling shot to get the coal and shard from them. I was treating it like a pinata and I thought if I made the paper mache thin, that it should be easy to bust it with a projectile. I even made the bottom of the ball only one sheet of tissue paper. That did not work! We tried and tried, even when we managed to actually hit it, the projectile just went into the ball and stayed. I didn't want to use stronger ammo because I don't want injuries. We were using lima beans. So I had to just make them with an opening at the bottom that the stuff inside will fall through easily when the ball is hit. And we switched to balled up paper as ammo to have a better chance to hit it.****
Brush up on your paper mache skills.
1. Inflate a balloon to the size you wish to have.
2. Paper mache:
I tried 3 versions: newspaper strips, paper pulp, and tissue paper. The paper pulp takes alot of material so it isn't a smart choice financially, it is too heavy when done, and it takes SOOO long to dry. The newspaper won't stay put on the rounded surface and keeps falling off, making it super annoying. The tissue paper is the easiest and fastest choice.
Mix up some school glue with a little water to make it runny and use a paint brush to paint the balloon in the glue mixture. Tear a sheet of tissue paper in half and lay one half of it over the balloon. Use the paint brush to apply glue over top the paper and to press it to the balloon. Repeat with the other half. Do this 4 times or so. Leave a small opening at the bottom of the balloon where you put no paper mache. The opening should be about a child's fist size.
3. Add the wings:
I drew the wing, cut it out, and used it as a template to draw and cut 18 wings. Cut a small slit, about a half inch or so up the middle of the end of the wing that will go against the body. Fold each side of the slit in opposite directions to make flaps.
I tried 2 ways here too. First I taped the wings to the balloon before I applied the paper mache over it. This works if you don't go heavy on the glue around the wings. Since they are paper, too much wet can make them rip and fall apart but when you finish and pop the balloon at the end, the balloon pulls the tape as it shrivels which deforms the paper mache along with it. The other way was to add the wings over the paper mache after it has dried and add some paper mache over it. This way turned out better.
Press the wing up against the body in place, and tape each flap down. Cut a sheet of tissue paper in half. Fold a half in half and cut it in half. Apply the pieces over each flap. Then repeat the cutting and folding and apply above and below the wings and over the ends of the previous pieces for extra hold. Let dry.
4. Make the eye:
Cut a sheet of tissue paper in half. Fold it in half again and again long ways until you get a thin strip. Apply a line of school glue in an arch across the front of the ball in the shape of the top of the eye. Lay the strip down along the line of glue. When you reach the end, cut off the excess. Use the remainder of the strip to do the same with the lower part of the eye. Let dry.
5. Paint step 1:
The method I used is similar to the method used to make the portal invites. On a paper plate or palette, squirt some red, yellow, white, and brown paint. Use a sponge to apply the paint all over the ball except for inside the eye. Also carefully paint the wing. Don't use too much paint on the wings or they will get soggy and rip. Use a brush to paint brown detail lines on the wings. Let dry.
6. Paint step 2:
Paint the inside of the eye white to cover any accidental marks from the previous step.
7. Paint step 3:
Paint a large yellow circle inside each eye.
8. Paint step 4:
Paint a small white circle in the upper left part of the yellow circles (a highlight in the eye)
9. Paint step 5:
Use a sharpie to draw the pupil and outline the yellow circle. Then paint the pupil black.
Use a sharpie to draw on the brick like designs on each ball.
11. POP! Pop each balloon and pull it out of the ball.
12. Clean it up: cut around the hole to make it even and pretty. Make sure the hole isn't too big. The coal and portal shard should be able to sit inside and not fall out if kept still, but easily fall out if bumped.
Cut two pieces of duck tape. Wrap one around the middle of the other. Then bend the strip in half and touch the duck tape together just under each side of the wrapped area to make a small loop. Stick the strip on the top of the bomb gazer. Then a piece of string or yarn can be put through the loop to hang it from the ceiling.
14. Draw the mage code: I just drew the wands on a small sheet of paper for the mage code. The code will go into the bomb gazers with the coal and shard.
15. Hang: Hang the Gazers from the ceiling out of reach of the kids and place the coal, portal shard, and mage code inside them.
Step 8: Dusty Maggots
For Dusty maggots, we reused the punch board we made for a party years ago. You can find the 'ible here:
This time, I used plain white tissue paper and I put it on the wood side. I need the kids to have access to the maggots only after unlocking and opening them. The punch board folds up with the wood side in, so I had to put the maggots on the wood side.
Also, to have each maggot drop either a copper ore or a portal shard, the other side of the board had to be sealed. I used 2 sheets of poster board on each of the 2 foam sides of the board. There are 42 maggots, 37 copper ore and 5 portal shards. So that makes one item for each maggot. So:
1. Glue on the poster board to cover the holes on the foam side.
2. Turn board foam side down and put one item in each hole.
3. Put white tissue paper over the holes on the wood side.
4. Then draw a lovely maggot over each hole.
5. Fold the board up and install a hasp to be able to lock it.
6. On the poster board on one side write "Dusty Maggot Lair" and draw a wand.
Step 9: Fallen Soldier and Sand Shell
The Fallen Soldier and the Sand shell are the other 2 bad guys to defeat. They aren't as fun as the first 2. They are mostly just for looks. The weapons that are crafted through the party will be used to defeat these 2 baddies.
There is a locked box for each of these for loot dropped. The Sand Shell will drop a portal shard and a verdant green emerald. The Wand of Fire and the Copper Axe will be used to open that box.
The Fallen Soldier will drop a key and a portal shard. The Copper Scythe, Copper Longsword, and Copper Bow will be used to open that box.
I just drew the 2 monsters, glued them on cardboard, cut them out, and added a card board stand with hot glue.
Step 10: Flame Ruby and Verdant Emerald
The Rubies and Emerald need to be able to be shattered and turned to "dust". The scythe needs emerald dust which comes from one verdant green emerald and the wand of fire needs 2 flame ruby dust which comes from 4 flame rubies. To make this happen, I made sugar glass. I have never before made sugar glass and I'm not entirely sure I did it correctly. It does work for my purposes, however, I wouldn't eat the stuff I made as it is way too sticky.
I followed the tutorial here:
To start, I drew out rectangles and triangles on paper, cut them out and taped them together to make a mock up of the gem to get the sizing right.
Then I traced the triangle and the rectangle on cardboard and cut them out. Cut out pieces of cardboard that are the length of each side of the 2 shapes. Hot glue those pieces to each side of the shapes at a light angle (see photos) to make molds
Tear out some strips of tin foil and cut into medium squares. Press the foil into the cardboard shape mold to shape it. Then remove the foil and set aside. I intended to make 5 5 sided gems so I made 25 rectangles and 50 triangles.
Make the sugar glass. When it is ready, pour a portion into a small skillet heated on the stove to keep it warm. Dye the small one green and the large one red. Pour the sugar glass into the molds. 10 triangles and 5 rectangles will be green, the rest red.
This whole thing is harder than it seems. We had some molds filled way too much and some not filled enough. When it was all said and done, we had enough pieces to make 3 sided gems not 5.
To make the gems, hold the edge of a piece over a candle flame to melt it a little and then stick it to the edge of the next piece. Be careful! Its hot. First do the 3 rectangles, then add 3 triangles to the top. Then put the clue inside before adding the last 3 triangles and sealing it.
The Clues: I drew the clues on foam paper.
Inside the emerald put the picture of the tadpole.
For the rubies:
On a small piece of foam paper draw a circle on one side and the number 4 on the other side.
On a second piece of foam draw a circle with a dot in the middle on one side and the number 0 on the other.
Then cut each piece in half to now have 4 pieces of foam. Be sure to cut through the symbols to make it a mini puzzle. Put one piece in each of the 4 rubies.
Step 11: Boxes
Now we need boxes for all the resources. There is a picture of the sheet of paper I made my list on, but I will list it here too:
1. Cotton field to hold 5 cotton plants
2. Flame ruby box to hold the 4 rubies
3. Fallen Soldier Loot box to hold the key to the rat cage and a portal shard
4. Sand Shell Loot box to hold a portal shard and a verdant green emerald
5. Copper Bars box to hold all the copper bars
6. Portal Stones box to hold the 4 portal stones
7. Cotton cloth box to hold all the cotton cloth
8. Leggings box to hold a pair of pants for your volunteer Monroe to wear.
9. Workbench box to hold the cotton cloth box and the leggings box.
10. Slingshot box to hold the slingshots
11. Copper bow box to hold the bow
12. Archer Station box to hold the slingshot box and the copper bow box
13. Wand of Fire box to hold the wand
14. Copper Scythe box to the scythe
15. Altar box to hold the wand of fire box and the copper scythe box
16. Copper Longsword box to hold the longsword
17. Copper Axe box to hold the axe
18. Anvil box to hold the copper longsword box and the copper axe box
19. Treasure Chest to hold the party favors
20. Rate cage to hold the remote control mouse.
21. Garage door button cover
At Hobby Lobby they sell a small wood box for $2. I bought 4 of them. For the fallen soldier, copper bars, cotton cloth, and portal stones. These are the only items that would fit a box that size.
Also at Hob Lob they had a medium sized treasure chest for $20 but using the 40% off coupon helped lower the price a good bit.
Michael's conveniently had a sale on their photo storage boxes. They were down to $2 each as well. I bought these boxes for everything else except the altar, anvil, workbench, archer station, cotton field, and the garage door cover. I believe that is 10 boxes. (**I had already made the bow and slingshot boxes before I found the sale so I only bought 8)
We made the altar, anvil,workbench, archer station, and cotton field boxes out of plywood and the garage door cover from cardboard.
Add a hasp to the small wood boxes, the treasure chest, and the plywood boxes to complete them.
For the cardboard photo boxes
1. Take off the lid and cut off the side on one of the long sides. (see photos)
2. Add small hinges to connect the cut off edge of the lid to the back of the box.
3. Add a hasp to the front to complete.
I bought the hasps here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DNRTCVY/ref=p...
They were the cheapest I could find for so many, but they don't come with screws.
I bought the hinges here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LTJ6Z9/ref=p...
When the boxes are made, Mod Podge the images on each box and fill the boxes accordingly.
Step 12: The Garage Door Button Cover
This work to make a cover can be avoided by just buying an extra photo box and cutting it in half but the sale was over and I didn't want to spend more money so here is what I did.
They had this interesting cardboard display box at Sam's Club and you know you can take boxes there freely. I tore off one of the 4 tower sections. It is double layered so I pulled the 2 layers apart.
One layer I cut in half then I folded the edge portion back to make a flap and glued it down to make a side. From the 2nd layer, I cut off a portion from one side to make a second flap for the 1st layer. Hot glue it on the edge, fold it back, and glue down to make another side. Now it looks like 2 quarters of a box.
I ran out of hasps so I made one from cardboard. Cut pieces of cardboard from the remains of the 2nd layer. One piece needs a rectangle cut out in the center of one side of it. For the other piece, fold in half, cut a circle out of the middle near the folded side without cutting through the fold, cut the corners off the fold to round it out a bit. Fold the bottom edges outward to make flaps to glue down. (see photos)
Glue the long piece with the rectangle cut out on the edge of the cut on one half of the box with the rectangle extending over the side toward the other half.
Align the piece with the hole in it by inserting it into the rectangle and laying the halves of the box together. Hold the piece with the hole down in place on the 2nd half of the box and remove the long rectangle from it. Glue the piece in place. Now you should be able to swing the long rectangle over the other piece and off again freely just like a proper hasp.
Then cut off pieces of cardboard and glue them on the bottom of the outer sides of the box to make flaps that will be adhered to the wall to make the box cover the button.
Step 13: Locks and Clues
Here are all the links again for the locks:
You also need 3 padlocks (locks with keys) I got one at walmart, one at dollar tree, and one at family dollar. These 3 go on the treasure chest, the rat cage, and the work bench
I marked each lock with sharpie or with pen on duck tape to know which puzzle it belonged to before I set the combination. Here is the list of the combinations:
The directional lock - copper bars - RLUDUDLDR
The alphabetical lock - anvil - RICK
The 4 digit locks: **change the codes for the cotton field and the cotton cloth according to the order of the colored dials! I didn't realize the colors were not uniform in order across all the locks until the party when the codes weren't working!**
Cotton field - 9361
Cotton cloth - 0917
Portal Stones - 3950
Maggot Lair - 7204
The 3 digit locks:
Altar - 754
Sand shell loot - 468
Archer Station - 555
Slingshot - 357
Copper bow - 738
Pickaxe - 592
Fallen Soldier loot - 323
Copper longsword - 835
Leggings - 123
Copper scythe - 960
Wand of Fire - 047
Copper axe - 686
Some of the boxes need clues written on them for the kids to be able to order the numbers in the combination correctly:
On the Altar draw a down arrow
On the slingshot draw an up arrow
On the copper bow write these symbols: =x%
On the fallen soldier loot draw a picture of the longsword, scythe, and bow. In that order
On the Sand shell loot draw a picture of the Wand of Fire and the copper axe
On the copper longsword write: 2 before 1 (this one isn't really necessary)
On the Wand of Fire draw a circle, a circle with a dot in the middle, and a star. In that order.
On the Cotton field draw a sword
Step 14: Rat and Cage
I bought the mouse here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F08935U/ref=p...
Simply super glue a magnet to the nose to prepare the mouse. Test it to make sure if you drive the mouse near the key laying on the ground that the key will be attracted to the magnet and you can carry it off.
To make the cage I used one of the photo boxes. I drew out wide bars on the sides of the box and removed the metal label holder from the side of the box. Then carefully cut out the bars. Leave a good bit of area near the top of the box attached so it doesn't weaken the box too much. Then attach the lid like in the earlier step to prepare the boxes.
Put the mouse and remote in the cage. Lock the cage with a padlock. The key goes in the fallen soldier loot box.
Step 15: Out of Reach Key
Now to make the contraption to hold the key out of reach so the kids have to use the mouse to retrieve it.
This one took trial and error. I wanted a box with a clear top to see through. First I spent a day designing files to be cut on the glowforge for a box that had a right angle a the back that the kids wouldn't be able to reach around. This way I wouldn't have to make a long box. I printed it out and assembled it only to discover that you can indeed reach the key very easily and on top of that, it was too narrow for the mouse to navigate. It would get stuck. It sucked to scrap that since I had put in so much time and used up some precious acrylic.
So I just made one from cardboard and hot glue , figuring it out as I went. I had the inside bit of cardboard from the bottom of a water heater box. This piece is cut off at the corners. I used it as the end of the tunnel as it were. I took a sheet of acrylic, laid it in the middle of the cardboard and traced around it. Drew an echo of the traced rectangle within it about a quarter inch. Cut out the inner rectangle. Glued the acrylic on over the hole.
Cut out pieces of cardboard to size to the be the sides and glued them on. Leaving the 2 longest sides for last. Do the same for one of the 2 long sides, the other leave open. On the open side glue on 2 long strips of cardboard, about an arm's length each, to each side of the opening. Across the top of these 2 long strips. glue down pieces of cardboard to be the top. At the end of the long passage, make a covering with a hole cut out for a doorway for the mouse to enter.
Last glue the entire thing down on a large sheet of cardboard to seal it. I let the backing extend out on all sides of the contraption.
At the back of this thing, far out of reach, will be the key for the treasure chest.
Step 16: Party Favors
For party favors, I decided on making some key chains and some iron-ons for t-shirts.
I made 5 phrases for the iron ons, seen here. Cut them out with my cricut and weeded them. Then taped them to freezer paper. At the party, for anyone who brings a shirt with them, I will use my easy press to adhere them.
The key chains:
I found several images from portal knights on the web and cut them out on draft board on the glowforge. Then mod podge the printed images on each one and added key chains.
I bought the key chains here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071NG8176/ref=p...
For anyone who RSVPs and plays portal knights, they can send me a photo of their character and I will make a key chain from it. I did this for my 2 older sons and our 2 neighbors.
I put all the goodies along with some candy in the treasure chest and locked it with a padlock. The key goes in the contraption for the mouse to get.
Step 17: Set Up
Now everything is ready to go. I chose a garage as my room to escape and the garage door as the means. We don't have a garage but some of our family does and they were awesome and agreed to let us hold the party at their house.
Scatter the trees, bushes, stones, and boxes about the room. Put the standee of the fallen soldier with his loot box and the same with the sand shell. Hang the gazers from the ceiling and insert the innards. Prop the dusty maggot lair against a wall. Get your volunteers in place about the room as well and give them the things they are to hand out:
- old lady who wants cotton: a bag of 16 gold pieces
- pickaxe lady: the pickaxe
- old man with work bench: the key to the work bench and 16 gold pieces
- Monroe the knight: 16 gold pieces
- Mike the Miner: the set of 4 copper ore and set of 2 copper ore
Give a brief run down of the types of locks in the room so everyone knows how to open them.
Give every child a starter weapon and let the escape begin!
Step 18: Party Pictures
The party was a success. The kids escaped with 20 seconds left on the clock! It was a real nail bitter at the end.
A couple notes:
* it was hot! if you use a garage, get lots of fans in place first!
* There were at least 15 kids participating, ranging in age from 3 to 16. There is a reason the real escape rooms have a limit for each group size. It is really hard to work as a coherent team with so many at once. If we do this again, we will limit the number of kids to make it more enjoyable.
* The stupid remote control mouse didn't work. I had tested it before the party and it was fine, but at the party it wouldn't work and a wire inside came loose and stuck out. This was the second mouse I got from that seller. The first one had the same issue out of the box so I sent it back and got an exchange. The second one seemed to work but ended with the same issue. I recommend finding a different brand if you do this.
* Be sure to have a list of all the codes with you in case any of them aren't working. We had 2 that were wrong. The 2 that went by color code were wrong because I didn't realize the colored dials were not in the same order on all 5 locks.
* Either remember the order things can be done in or bring the list of the flow of the room in order to provide hints on what to do next when the kids get stuck. I gave many hints to get them off of false trails and into the right one. It is amazing the connections they will make that you didn't see!
* Be sure to suggest that someone take up leadership if it doesn't naturally happen. At first, the kids were collecting clues and holding them individually. They weren't pooling them in a central location to figure them out. Nothing will get done that way. I tried to suggest that the birthday boy take charge, but he was not up to the task. Luckily we had an older kid (13) who was a natural leader and took it up.
* periodically call out how much time is remaining to keep them on their toes. It really puts the pressure on in the end when it's getting close! The tension in the room on that final puzzle was intense!
Participated in the