We expected to hack with a senior programmer to guide us, but after unforeseen circumstances he couldn't make it. That couldn't stop us, though! Using the limited skills we had on hand in coding, and the extensive skills we have in visual art and audio, we set out to make the best game we could while knowing nearly nothing. What we ended up with may be simple, but it's something entirely new that none of us have done before. The inspiration was truly to merge all of our creative talents into a final product we could be proud to be a part of.
What it does
It's about as simplistic as a game can get. You click your way through a title screen, navigate our character, Benjamin, to his box, and the game is won.
How we built it
Since we were a completely rookie team without our senior, we wanted to tackle something accomplish-able, yet challenging for our level. Our visual artist and musician created a simple concept along with graphics and music/sound effects. Our junior programmer (3 months into learning to code), used the skills he already had in Construct2 to make the vision come to life. It's off from our original plan to use Unity, but we adapted to the circumstances and made the best of it.
Challenges we ran into
Obviously, being without the leader of our group posed major challenges from the start. We struggled on finding an accomplishable idea, operating unity, and overall having to teach ourselves how to bring our idea to fruition. Once we simplified our idea and changed programs, we thrived as a team.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The fact that three completely inexperienced creators like ourselves could come together and make a cohesive project in one weekend honestly astounds me. It may not be, as someone said in opening ceremonies, "world changing," but it's our first step towards creating something that is. Every great world-changer starts somewhere, and who knows? Maybe we start here. I'm proud that we can all leave VandyHacks knowing we learned, and have something to show for it.
What we learned
Overall, we learned to adapt to new challenges in the field of group work and game production. Our programmer learned to create a product in an unpredictable situation, our artist learned to create art suitable for game-play, and our musician branched out to a new genre of music production. After this last 36 hours, we know significantly more about this industry, and how to work as a team, even with such differently talented people.
What's next for Benjamin and the Box
As we all develop our skills, we would love to revisit Benjamin and the Box and truly make it into the game we see in our minds. There's a long way to go, but this hackathon pushed us to take a massive step in the right direction. Perhaps one day in the future you'll see little Benjamin in the app store! Until then, he'll be a marker as the first game creation collaborative we've ever been a part of.