What problem are we trying to solve?

Right now, the world is more isolated and alone than it ever has been. To this date, it has been 21 months since this pandemic began. That’s 638 days, 15312 hours, 55123200 seconds. Of that, a vast majority has been spent indoors locked inside our own homes. In the four weeks leading up to the 25th of April 2021 alone, there were 82,000 calls to lifeline and 22,000 calls to Beyond Blue. This is unacceptable and we wanted to do something about it.

What does our product do/Who is it for?

We decided to try to make something to help people reconnect and find some happiness again. Introducing Drinky Bill. Drinky Bill is a library of online drinking games designed for use with applications such as zoom and skype. It is a game that allows for friends and family to reconnect without the need for awkward family zoom calls where your grandparents keep covering the camera on their phones with their fingers. Drinky Bill allows for people to have fun from the safety of their own homes whilst also integrating some light-hearted competitive spirit with the addition of a points tally. The target audience for our products is people over the legal drinking age who are still in lockdown and can’t go out and see their family or friends.

How did we make the prototype?

We took a modular approach towards prototyping, whereby we started our design at a high level, defining our application general control flow from the entry of the program to the exit using a control flow diagram. Once we had a unanimous agreement on the application’s high-level functionality, we defined our modules, being a module for each game. This allowed us to divide the work easier, where we accordingly could individually work on a module to get it working independently of the main program. Our low-level design for each module contains an entry function for the main program to access and pass objects through, and several other functions for each game to work. Once the low-level design of each module worked independently, we worked to integrate these with the main function, testing to ensure that each individual module had worked as intended. Beyond that, we tested our program at a high level to ensure it had the intended functionality and user experience. As a final touch, we designed plans for our future vision of the product to implement scalability and longevity of the product, researching innovative technologies to implement.

We made the prototype using GitHub and Visual Studio Code. We coded in Python as that is the language, we are the most comfortable in as first year students; it is also the one we feel is the best fit for what we are trying to do. The code consists of different files which define the functions for each game, while the main.py file brings all of these functions together and runs the platform smoothly. The prototype of the website was made on Figma.com.

What challenges did we run into?

Being first-year students, our greatest challenges came through a general lack of holistic experience among multiple languages and high-level coding projects. We attempted a number of new aspects of coding including front-end development which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Among these, the overall process of integrating multiple modules into one whole program was a difficult challenge to manoeuvre as first years. Despite these setbacks, we ultimately played to the strengths we had developed in our first semester, allowing us to produce a successful, harmonious, and enjoyable program.

Where can our product go in the future?

Our product has a lot of potential as an online web application, whereby we hope to integrate it with AWS Serverless Architecture as seen here, to increase its ability to handle user traffic on an online web app, without the costs and hassles of operating servers. Ideally, we will be able to integrate AI and Machine Learning into the architecture beyond that, so that we can use it for a range of applications, such as monitoring alcohol consumption without needing to manually input quantities and provide recommended games when we expand our games library. As we expand our games library, we will allow for community collaboration, whereby the community around the app will be able to develop and publish, which can be used and rated by the community to allow for consistent cycles of games. As lockdowns come to an end, we additionally would like to create a phone app so that users can easily use our platform on the go. This can be additionally implemented using AWS services so that it integrates with our online web app.

Despite Drinky Bill being initially targeted towards those in lockdown, the future of Drinky Bill is very promising. When the time comes we are allowed to visit other people's houses Drinky Bill can be used as a substitute if there are no cards available or people don’t know the rules. Additionally, we will continue to add more games and improve the front end coding in order to further enhance the appeal of Drinky Bill

The Drinky Bill team have considered Australian responsible service of alcohol laws in the production of the game and promotes the safe, responsible use of alcohol for all.

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