Our main inspiration behind Colexo was the increasing push for the colonization of new planets, with Mars as our reference point. We aimed to create an experience that takes the users through a journey of equilibrium and balance, forming a future home for humanity.
What it does
Colexo allows any user on the Internet to collaborate and slowly make changes to the planet on the website. Using custom-made assets, the planet shifts between phases depending on how its water content, flora levels, albedo, and oxygen content are changed.
Upon reaching the maximum habitation level, the planet is listed as complete, and a potential rocket animation will be shown.
How we built it
Colexo is made up of a few main components.
We also have over 30 base images that we created in order to display ever-changing water and flora levels. In order to create the assets used for the planets and logo design, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator were the main tools of choice.
Challenges we ran into
Short answer: Pretty much the entire project
Long answer: The main challenges we faced were related to updating the images and animations to match our database, and ensuring that the transitions to and from the animations were smooth. Getting the display to work in the first place was also challenging, but we managed to make it work given enough time. Another key problem that we had was getting the web-page to update universally, and unfortunately we weren't quite able to deploy that feature in time for submissions.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
Christina: Since I did a lot of the work on the back-end, I had to learn how to use p5.js, and it was an interesting challenge to link up all of the functions to get the desired animations. Almost every characteristic that we control is interdependent, so representing that in code was something that I had to learn/improve upon.
Altogether: We all learned about some of the key factors for making a planet habitable, and we gained a deeper understanding of how all of them are linked. We hope that we were able to create a unique visual representation of that through our website, and that others can learn just as much as we did.
What's next for Colexo
Currently, the global online features aren't fully functional for Colexo, and improving upon that is the natural next step. Additionally, the CSS responsiveness of the website is limited, so that can be developed upon. In general, we want to be able to leverage more advanced computer-generated techniques for our planet graphics, potentially being able to procedurally generate starting planets.
Currently, once the "Habitation %" reaches the maximum, the planet is reset to its original state. However, we would like to get it to a point where a random planet is generated at each iteration. Additionally, since there are unique ways to obtain higher and higher population capacities, we would like to keep some sort of leaderboard or record of progress.