Inspiration

We’ve always been drawn to classic Build Your Own Adventures and Science Fiction. We wanted to tie our interest in environmental sustainability back to these passions of ours and what better way than to shine some light on a real life invasion happening right now? Invasive species, possessing superior characteristics and adaptations, driving out native flora and fauna is essentially a scifi story already, we just needed to bring the drama and science together in a shared space in order to develop the best story.

What It Does

This project is aimed at increasing the level of awareness among teens and young adults in the threat and impact of invasive species on our environment while also exposing them to sustainable, responsible methods of combating invasive species. Our project achieves this through an interactive text adventure where they are cast as Earth’s chosen savior, using portals to chase the ‘alien invaders’ across the globe with their choices in how to address the extraterrestrial threats driving the flow of the story.

How We Built It

This project is aimed at increasing the level of awareness among teens and young adults in the threat and impact of invasive species on our environment while also exposing them to sustainable, responsible methods of combating invasive species. Our project achieves this through an interactive text adventure where they are cast as Earth’s chosen savior, using portals to chase the ‘alien invaders’ across the globe with their choices in how to address the extraterrestrial threats driving the flow of the story.

Challenges We Ran Into

Letting go of our own visions for the story and allowing our ideas to meld together rather than stand at odds allowed us to compromise and finish this project with a stronger story than we could have made separately. Another challenge we ran into was adjusting to the collaborative mode (Teletype package) within Atom, an application we worked with before switching to IDLE. While we pair programmed in our Introductory Computer Science course, we’d never collaborated on a real-time file using both our laptops. Using IDLE with GitHub instead provided us with the perfect intersection of privacy and collaboration for optimal productivity.

Accomplishments That We're Proud Of

In terms of addressing the needs of the program and maintaining the flow of the game, we implemented a straightforward main while loop. This simplified the debugging process. We also both take a lot of pride in the story as we put a lot of thought into creating our mini universe. We feel that it’s both intriguing and informative enough to expand on in the future.

What We Learned

The best idea is never the first or last you have, it’s somewhere in the middle so it’s essential to not limit your brainstorming sessions. The best ideas come from an unrestrained place! Furthermore, we learned how to adapt to one another’s design styles, sharing diagrams and lists to best get our individual points across. We compromised on design elements to best suit the needs of implementing our ideas in a restricted span of time. We reworked project ideas to produce a user-friendly experience and learned how to implement various APIs, such as AI Vision, in future programs.

What's Next For Build Your Own Adventure: Intergalactic Defense Force

In the future, we plan to implement achievement badges for each HEX villain that a user defeats. These achievement badges will display images and information about the real-life invasive species behind the game. By collecting all the badges, the user will advance to the next level- potentially consisting of either different continents or particular ecosystems. Such levels will have visual progress trackers in whichever form/style fits them best. We also plan to expand on the epilogue that occurs when the user loses. This expanded epilogue will showcase what preventative measures could have been taken to prevent the species’ initial introductions to new environments and what steps could have been taken to prevent these species from spreading.

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