"Blue Loves You" was inspired by our teams original idea to create a health tracker that helps both professionals and casual gamers alike keep track of their health; though we did not accomplish this goal, our game was born from our desire to create something that could be motivating and helpful to the average user, or in this case, player. We found that using Blue as the mascot and health & wellness for our focus worked well in the game environment we chose.

What it does

"Blue Loves You" is a visual novel style mini story game, where the player clicks through the dialogue options with Blue and is prompted to do various self-care style exercises with him. Blue prompts the user to do various activities (breathing exercise, stretch, and meditation).

How I built it

Our game was built using the Unity engine and C# language. We took some initial ideas from more traditional visual novels that included branching choice options, and a more in depth story. Our game simplified as the hackathon went on, and we decided to settle with the main key element of transitioning dialogue. This was done though Unity scripting, as well as basic button interaction, and music integration. We used Photoshop to create the art, BeepBox to create the music, and LeshyLabs to create the button click sound effect. The font used was provided by the Team Liquid style database.

Challenges I ran into

Challenges primarily arose from the idea generation standpoint. As mentioned, a game was not our original idea, and when we decided to transition into making a game due to lack of team experience, we found that there were just as many problems. Our ideas went from incredibly large-scale (multiple mini-games inside of a larger game), to our current more focused scope. There were some challenges even then, with regard to difficulties with some scripting, and because of that we had to remove our "choices" feature that we had spent a good deal of time building. This was a definite loss, because we had invested so much time into it, but in the end we ended up with a better, more polished working product because of it.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am very thankful that my team and I got to compete together to create this project, and I think it was a great accomplishment for us as a group. Each of us learned something new that we had set out to do (such as coding, game design, music creation, and more). We had some difficulties, and even considered giving up at one point due to frustrations, but I think we are all proud to say that we came together to create a finished, working product that we are all happy with.

What I learned

Planning was an incredibly important part of this particular hackathon, and the biggest thing we learned from this experience was to plan more, further in advance. We were a little overwhelmed by the time limit, and how to fit everything in to a 36 hour window while also assuming we got 8 hours of sleep each night. We didn't plan much in advance, and I think that ended up being our fatal flaw for a lot of our initial ideas that we wanted to move forward with. Creating strategies, outlines and plans is definitely the biggest takeaway from this hackathon, and we all gained a new perspective when it comes to teamwork and organization as well.

What's next for Blue Loves You

Although "Blue Loves You" is currently a simple text game, we would like to one day see it branched out into an app-style game, or a gamified health application. There are a lot of possibilities with applications that focus around a type of mascot, and Blue is incredibly popular; there are a lot of directions this game could go to improve, and I think by adding user input, choices, branches and a more customized experience, the game could reach some amazing new levels.

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