Inspiration

Enders game was the original inspiration, a widespread field with multiple players fighting on a public field. Then it turned into an MLG style space-invaders game.

What it does

It's a simple space shooter showcasing cooperative/competitive gameplay in a public play setting.

How we built it

We setup the framework for the level in Unity, incorporating EA Games' Pathfinder's API, allowing for remote control of the game over a webapp. We designed the graphics using Pixlr's online image editing tools, Autodesk Sketchbook and Gimp and created the webapp using Node.js to communicate and Sublime Text as an editor.

Challenges I ran into

Neither of us had used Unity before and the interface along with C# (a new language for us as well) had proven worthy obstacles. Figuring out how scripts, models, and physics were run in Unity and incorporating a proprietary API provided several levels of complication over a single-platform project.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud that we finished the level design, and have a beautiful looking webapp. I learned the C# syntax and successfully squashed a couple nasty bugs. One of which involved gravity still applying to objects even though Unity was in 2D mode, which was confounded by a movement script that was less-than-optimal.

What I learned

I learned that programming a project requires both teamwork and communication to run smoothly, and version control that is simple can be a big help. Divvying up the work is useful, but can get in the way if team members aren't working on their strengths or have different levels of involvement, with one more invested and one less-so. Our two-person team was well-directed, but with our limited numbers came limited programming man-hours. We shot for the moon and landed amongst the space just around it, a great feat with many lessons, but not quite a finished product. One last thing I learned was to ASK QUESTIONS. I can't say how many times I visited the EA Games table. I'm on a first-name basis with Scott, MJM, Tom and Tucker and hopefully have some networks to develop and people to greet at my next hackathon. I learned more about my limits and my reactions in a group. I'm great at pushing the project and directing workflow when there's a challenge, but I'm not so great at slowing down and tinkering with the possibilities. I'd probably do well with a minor to medium coding responsibility with a larger creative directing role.

What's next for Crowd Control

Finishing it, playing it with friends and further along the line developing it into an Ender's Game clone with a commander directing other space soldiers against waves of enemies who use machine learning to become more challenging. We're not slowing down!

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