We were inspired by our current experiences with dealing with the pandemics and hearing about the difficulties kids face during COVID 19. There a certain precautions people have to take with dealing with the pandemic such as wearing a face mask, staying 6 feet apart, and avoiding social gatherings. These preventative measures might not be understood by elementary school age kids. They might not completely understand why they cannot hang out with friends or have to stay away from other people, and wear a face mask.
What it does
The game is intended to educate kids on the danger of COVID and what they need to do to stop the spread. Unfortunately, we were unable to accomplish a lot of the games functionality. We had intended for there to be 4 levels total. The first level is where the player has to walk to the bus stop while maintaining social distance from their neighbors. The second level the player must navigate a bus. The third level the player must navigate the classroom. And the fourth level the player must get their groceries and navigate a store safely. We were only able to accomplish the first level and some of the fourth level. The player was supposed to be able to navigate around and tips for staying safe during the COVID pandemic would pop up in text boxes. In what we currently have, at the start of the game the player is first introduced with some tips about staying safe. The player is then able to get a face mask item to help them stay safe. The player has to avoid the people or they lose their health. The player's goal is to reach the end without losing all their health.
How we built it
We built this project using the Unity Game Development platform. This platform allows us to easily use preexisting game rendering and physics software to build our own game. Starting with one of Unity’s templates, we built a 2D Platformer. From this, we built our own levels and created our own assets to make suit our story. We then wrote software using C# to add our own features, such as a health system and picking up masks.
Challenges we ran into
One main challenge we ran into was getting our idea into software. Since our team has not used Unity or programmed in C# before, it was difficult to understand how to implement the features we wanted. This led to a lot of research and testing for Unity to understand how to start building our project. This also led to a lot of bugs in our software, and we had difficulty tracking them down. Although we were able to have many of our planned features implemented, we were not able to implement all of them.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of many aspects of the game. Specifically, we are proud of being able to implement and display the player’s health and masks. We also had difficulty with, but were able to implement having a radius around enemies that would decrease if the player had a mask. Lastly, we are proud of getting text to display for the player to read and understand how to play the game.
What we learned
From this, we were able to learn much about planning, time management, and game development. We needed to plan who would work on which feature. This would help us be more organized and execute our plan more efficiently. We also needed to manage our time in order to get as much done as possible within the time frame. Lastly, we learned a lot about game development. We were introduced to Unity and needed to learn this platform before we could begin our implementation.
What's next for COVID Platformer
First, we want to finish our game concept by adding in all the features we planned, as well as making all the graphics needed for the game. Although we drew some graphics, we did not have enough time to make our game made without using some of Unity’s default graphics. These graphics will help make our game more unique and will help describe the story we want to tell. We also would like to implement more levels with more unique features that help show other ways you can protect yourself and others from COVID-19. For example, we planned a level that would make the player wash their hands before proceeding. This, along with our other planned core features, is what we plan on implementing next.