The inspiration for this project came from the personal experiences one of our team members who watched a close family member grapple with issues of economic inequality after re-entering society following time served in prison. After discussing the daily struggles that people in less fortunate economic situations go through, the goal of our project was to raise awareness about these difficulties by creating an educational experience through vicarious, interactive decision-making.

The initial idea was to have a text-based game modeled around Oregon Trail, hence the “Trail” part of the name. Alpha refers to the financial part of the project. Investopedia defines alpha as “a term used in investing to describe a strategy's ability to beat the market, or it's ‘edge.’...The excess return of an investment relative to the return of a benchmark index is the investment’s alpha.” The outcome of the decisions made in this game is our alpha. Sometimes the outcomes are greater than what is expected for a person in their current financial situation (taking a low-skill/low-wage job that quickly leads to a promotion) and other times the outcome is worse than what is expected (suffering a crippling illness). Markets can be unpredictable and so can life. Sometimes no matter what decision we make, we find ourselves on a path that feels like it spirals into despair.

What it does

A decision based game simulation to provide users with real world scenarios of choices posed to people in less fortunate socio-economic situations.

How we built it

Challenges we ran into

Deploying (Vue.Js Compatibility with Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Appropriately implementing usable data structures

Distributing workload

Implementation of GraphQL APIs

Maintaining clean source code management workflows

Accomplishments that we're proud of


Coming together as a team and working through issues with creative solutions in order to work within the timeframe provided

What we learned

Whether it was learning about the development process, rebooting a crashed computer, or developing in a new language, each member of the team did something that was new to them.

Just because it sounds simple, doesn’t mean it is.

What's next for AlphaTrail

Built With

Share this project: