Inspired by the prize category of Best Domain Name from Domain.com, we came up with kaasta.net as a play on the word castanet. What we initially planned to be a simple Cookie Clicker-like game eventually evolved into a story in the style of text adventure or interactive fiction. We wanted it to be not only fun but also meaningful. While it starts off with a humorous tone, it takes a twist to end with an anti-bullying message that the ripple effect is present in our everyday lives and that we should be mindful in our interactions with others.
What it does
Kaasta.net entertains. It touches hearts. It inspires. Our site presents the narrative we wrote as a visual novel. It delivers a powerful message in an unexpected way. Who would've thought it all started with the name for a handheld Spanish percussive instrument?
How we built it
We built with Twine, which is self-described as "an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories." It presents a workable storyboard where we used HTML and CSS to write each panel with background and character illustrations from the Spriters Resource. Our domain came from domain.com and the website is hosted using DreamHost.
Challenges we ran into
We faced the challenge of figuring out what purpose we wanted our project to serve as well as generating ideas that would be feasible to accomplish with our limited project experience and technical expertise. Before settling into the path we ultimately decided upon, we spent our first night bouncing between various ideas and trying to implement different hardware. Once we figured out what we wanted to do, the rest of challenge was actually implementing it and using our resources to teach ourselves how to go about implementation. Specifically, our group lacked extensive experience with HTML and CSS, a key component of our project.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to capitalize on our creative abilities to come up with a concept that is out of the box. Using our storytelling and Photoshop talents, we've taken an artistic approach to tackle the issue of harassment by hopefully appealing to the emotions. By approaching the prompt from artistic angle through a web medium, we are able to utilise our prior knowledge with new knowledge gained from mentors and workshops together.
What we learned
What's next for Kaasta.net
Under a larger time frame, we would like to expand our story line to be less linear and more interactive. As it stands, our visual novel gives the illusion of choice. The user faces many opportunities to choose between lines of dialogue, but in the end they all lead to the same outcome. A long-term goal would be to allow user input and text commands for a true text adventure. In addition, the artwork at this moment in time is at the courtesy of another artist. Without a time constraint, we would create the illustrations ourselves.