Inspiration

This idea was inspired by Mackenzie’s now-six-year-old next door neighbor, Brianna, whom she babysits quite often. Brianna would constantly ask her, “You have games?” “Can I see your phone?” “What games do you have?” “Can I show you something? Here, give me your phone.” Each time Mackenzie saw her, Brianna would want to download the same kind of game: A makeover app. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of professional computing occupations in the 2015 U.S. workforce held by women, yet 57% of the overall 2015 U.S. workforce is women. Our team, We4We, believes that starting interest in STEM at a young age might make those startling statistics better.

What it does

Before you play the game, you’re given an eBook. This book follows Anita Jones (homage to Anita Borg), “the smartest girl in the world!” and her desire to find her “dream job.” Her mom tells her to “try everything to see what she loves,” so she tries being an astronaut, a businesswoman, a chef, and more. At the end of the book, it says that Anita Jones can do anything, “and so can you!” This is to give young girls with aspirations some validation that they can and will achieve anything they put their heart and mind to. After the girl closes the book, she’s ready to conquer the world. We teach her basic coding principles by letting her tinker with function values, while and for loops, and much more. The big picture is that coding can be fun, girly and beautiful too– the code she writes can be whatever she wants it to be. It’s time to drop the gender-based stereotypes and pick up making the world a better place.

Challenges we ran into

We originally started making our game using Unity, but as of Saturday night at 10:30pm we decided to start over and make it with JavaScript and HTML5. Overall it was the better call and we're all glad we made that switch. Another challenge we ran into was creating the drawings. Elly is an incredibly talented artist and we wanted to showcase her abilities with Anita Makeover!, but we didn't have access to a drawing tablet. After most of Friday and some of Saturday morning, we decided it was best for Elly to draw everything freehand on paper, take a picture of it, then upload that picture to Photoshop for edits. It was a somewhat low-tech way of going about things but it was the most efficient and we think it turned out well. Photoshop was kind of confusing at first, since none of us have used it in quite some time, but we got it working with some help from Rob Pongsajapan.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Aforementioned, we are all very proud of Elly's illustrations. We are also proud of the fact that we brainstorm well together. It doesn't seem like something to be all that proud of, but getting four strangers to come together and think as one was very impressive to us. We all listened to each other's ideas and opinions and the game really reflects that. We're also proud of our team's motivation, despite the hardships we faced. We built each other up, and no one was more motivating than Adam; he kept us focused and excited about our hack until the very end. We are also proud of Mackenzie's ability to communicate her idea to the team and take criticisms and suggestions.

What we learned

Most of us came to Hoya Hacks not knowing how to code in JavaScript, but Tim taught Mackenzie, Elly and Adam the basics. Quickly changing from C# with Unity to JavaScript was tough but we caught on quickly due to great teaching.

What's next for Anita Makeover!

Ultimately, we want to be able to make Anita Makeover! cross-platformed, which is why we initially chose Unity. We also want to add more models with different races, heights, and body types, each with a different story to tell. We hope to also make more stories and games for Anita Jones and continue to inspire young girls into pursuing STEM.

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