An example of a game site aimed toward a female audience filled with dress up, makeup and romance games.
An example of a game site aimed toward a male audience with a variety of games that require critical thinking by puzzles and competitio.
Entrance page of our app
Beginning of Mulan's story
Example of a coding logic practice
Example of an informative pop-up
As a child we would play "girly" games that when we look back to, we realize that they were useless. They didn't require any logical skills, or critical thinking. Even today, most online games for girls are about dressing up, putting on makeup, painting nails, etc. We found that the games that did require ciritical thinking were mostly centered towards boys. We decided to create a game where girls will both have fun, both will learn something helpful to invest in their future. ## Inspiration
The Once Upon a Code App is an interactive storytelling app where elementary and middle school-aged girls can read popular and inspirational stories as they code along. As the story unfolds, concepts covered in an introductory college computer science course are covered. These topics were taken from UNC-Chapel Hill's COMP101 course and include concepts such as primitive data types, conditional statements, functions and loops. Empowering messages are sprinkled throughout the app to build confidence in girls who use it. We gave importance to making sure the game is inclusive and we considered everything from colors, to font sizes and types, wording, and the overall game experience. The app currently works on desktop and iPad. ## What it does
How I built it
We built a comprehensive prototype of the app through the collaborative interface tool Figma. We made our first story about Mulan. As the user moves through the story, they interact with it by responding to questions that help them understand computer science logic. The goal of the project was to make a game that develops understanding of coding logic without being overwhelming and filled with technical jargon. So, we included slightly more in-depth information on syntax and computer science concepts in pop-up messages. We also built a sample game. In addition, we used Swift to add music to the storybook and start preparing a mobile version of the app.
Challenges I ran into
Developing a game that was educational but also fun and understandable for young girls.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We’re proud of getting as far as we did in planning and prototyping the app and going to the next level by beginning to use Swift.
What I learned
Identifying and planning a project, implementing it, and thinking of how we can continue improving.
What's next for Once Upon a Code
Making a version with "real-life queens" such as Katherine Johnson, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Florence Nightingale.