Ladies and gentlemen, the house is open.

With all the lessons learned from our tests in Cleveland, we returned to the ETC to share our experience with the extended Carnegie Mellon community, who wanted to check out what goes on here at the ETC.

We were making small changes and fixes all through this week and right up to Friday. The version of the experience we presented at the CMNH was set inside the CMNH, so we were presented with the dilemma of how to adapt the experience for an audience that was unfamiliar with the previous 14 weeks of our project work. We ultimately decided that with a few not inconsequential tweaks, we could set the experience right here at the ETC, but instead of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, we’d be working for our very own Carnegie Museum of Natural History (we didn’t even have to change the initials).

Additionally, the room here at the ETC is about 1/3 of the size of the space we were using in Cleveland, so we had to figure out how the experience worked in a smaller space. While it definitely was more cramped here, there were some advantages as well—our control room was right next door, which eliminated some of the technical difficulties we encountered in Cleveland when our control room was 150 feet away.

With these changes made, we opened to a curious public eager to see what was going on behind our “escape room” signs, and had a fun time demonstrating our work over the course of a few hours.

We even managed to collect some useful feedback about how to further improve the experience, and we’ve already begun implementing these changes before we share it with the ETC faculty on Monday. The rapid iteration on this project has been one of the most delightful elements of working on it, and we’ve found that despite being a physical experience with significant inflexibility in some areas, little changes go a long way and we’ve been able to make them to great effect.

Thanks so much for following our story as we worked on “Evolve.” Special thanks to Jessica Hammer and Ruth Comley, our fearless advisers who always pushed us to deliver the best work possible.