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Inspiration: As we sat brainstorming for ideas at the beginning of this hackathon, we, at one time or another, began playing a word game on our phones. At this moment, we realized the practicality of a word game to help with a childs education; to nourish their interest in learning. And so, the idea to create Ghost was born.
What it does: Ghost is a interactive website where you can play the game 'Ghost' with up to three other friends in real time. Each player will type in a letter during their turn, having a word in mind that they want to spell. The first person to complete a word loses, and you are able to continue playing for as long as you want.
How I built it: We used a combination of HTML, CSS, and Java to create this game and website. HTML was used to display the text on the webpage as well as visual images, and CSS was implemented to change certain colors and layouts on the website. For example, we used CSS to make a navigation bar going through the top of the screen. As for the programming aspect of Ghost, we used Java to make a game using an assortment of GUI's, arrays, and other data structures. Through many trials of playing the game ourselves and finding flaws, we were able to make an accurate point system and a library to check whether or not the characters in play made up a word. Finally, we converted all of the Java Ghost programs into a jar file, and were able to use a Java Applet to integrate the code onto our website.
Challenges I ran into: The biggest challenge our team ran into was finding a way to upload the Java programs onto HTML. We struggled with ClassNotFoundExceptions and NullPointerExceptions while trying to run our code through the applet, and were at a standstill on how to fix this problem due to our minimal knowledge in HTML. However, we continued trying various methods and debugging our code, eventually finding that our problem lay in our constructor and ultimately fixed the error. Besides this, we also faced problems at the beginning of this hackathon trying to find a good idea base our project off of, wasting some of our time merely brainstorming.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of: It was extremely rewarding to be able to successfully use an applet to combine our code from Java with the HTML code for our website, a problem we had combatted with for the majority of the hackathon. In addition, we are proud that we were able to create a fun game and take away the knowledge of new programming languages from this hackathon. We are especially proud of our game being interesting and one that we enjoy playing ourselves as well.
What I learned: The main thing our team can take away from this experience is to be more prepared for future hackathons. We easily could have finalized an idea prior to arriving at TJ, as well as brushed up on our knowledge of HTML by researching about the language online. However, with that being said, we definitely learned a lot more about the languages of HTML and CSS in general, even going as so far as to taking an entire Codeacademy course on HTML during the hackathon.
What's next for Ghost: We plan to create more fun word games to put on our website. Some include a typing test where players compete to type the fastest and most accurately, as well as a spelling competition where players also compete for speed and accuracy.