We were inspired by the global pandemic and the overwhelming desire to get vaccinated and go outside. Many people are starting to get vaccinated and we thought that we could create a game that would encourage this in a fun way. We decided to gamify the vaccination process, creating a game where the player is the hero and overcomes the pandemic by using vaccinations. We hoped to encourage and educate users on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations by making this fun game for them to enjoy.
What it does
Our game was intended to give the user the ability to fight the coronavirus visually using vaccine syringes as ammo that they could fire at coronavirus enemies. The user would have 3 health points that would decrease with each collision with a virus. They could also collect items that would protect them against viruses if they got hit. Each level of the game would be a different COVID-19 inspired environment (outside, grocery store, hospital, school, etc.) and would increase in intensity by increasing the number of viruses, obstacles, etc. By attacking viruses with vaccinations, this encourages vaccinations and protection against the virus.
How we built it
We used Java in Android Studio and libGDX as a framework to build our 2D scrolling platformer game. We wrote our beginning framework of our game by using Brent Aureli's tutorial on building Super Mario Bros as a guide. We found sprites and background assets to use to make the characters and the stage levels for our game. The level backgrounds were compiled together using Tiled Map Editor by Thorbjørn and static gameplay was compiled putting all resources together.
Challenges we ran into
We had difficulty navigating Android studio in conjunction with libGDX and had trouble understanding the issues that arose. We also found it difficult to share these files with each other and getting them to run on everyone's computer. Problems with computer storage made it difficult to switch to another game-making platform. Ultimately, we decided against a fully coded implementation in favor of a fully fleshed-out design plan using the resources we also made.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although we were not able to make a working game due to problems with libGDX running and sharing between our group, we had made assets and coded the basic structure of our game that we used to make a static version to present in the low amount of time we had left. We learned a lot from this process on both coding and designing aspects of game development.
What we learned
We learned about designing and coding aspects of game development by using Android Studio with the libGDX framework. This was an unfamiliar platform/framework for our team so we learned how to troubleshoot issues in our code as well as the basic foundations of game development using this platform. Many of the members also learned the ins and outs of a hackathon and how to use Github to share code.
What's next for Coronavirus Game
Add more functions: Players can record their score with their username to get put on a leaderboard (stored in a database) More Items: Hand Sanitizer, Different Masks (more protection), etc. to add shields, restore health, or other bonus traits for the player Reload system for vaccines for higher stages to make it more difficult for the player