We were inspired by the current climate of things around us. We love nature and are grateful for it. However, as technology continues to take over our daily lives, we felt that people were getting more and more disconnected with nature; the pandemic all but broke the last connection we had with it. We built this game in order to express ourselves. We want people to download the game and realize what they are missing outside. We attempt to blur the line between the quarantine lifestyle and normality to help people get back to their day to day lives. We also wanted to simulate things such as farming and hiking to attempt to persuade people to attempt these things in real life.

What it does

It is a simulator which stimulates the character in an open environment. You can freely run around and interact with the environment however you like. You can do activities such as farming, exploring, hiking and swimming.

How we built it

We used the brand new Unreal Engine 5 to build the environment. We used the broad Megascans asset library to equip ourselves with the best assets for our game. We used C++ for the game logic.

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenge we had throughout this project was that we had 2 members who had never dabbled in hackathons before. However, with their due diligence, they were able to get into the rhythm of things quite nicely.

We also had struggles with Unreal Engine pausing frequently but mustering all the patience we had together, we were able to pull through and make it work. The landscaping layer by layer was also quite tedious up to the point where we had to take turns on doing it.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The game's graphics are absolutely stunning and the rush of adrenaline as the shaders complied on our first boot up of the game is a feeling we would never forget. We are very proud of our end result.

What we learned

For most of us, this was the first time creating a 3-d video game for a hackathon. We learnt learn a huge selection of things from learning landscaping in the 3-d world to carefully texturing each item. It took a lot of effort but we also learnt resilience especially with unreal engine slowing down multiple times.

What's next for Project Zen

We tend to work on the project and add more activities as well as extend the map further to give the players the taste of other climates. We also aim to add NPCs which the players can interact with. On top of that, we will attempt to showcase different cultures from all over the world in the future iteration of this game; we want to bring everyone closer together in this global age and the best way to do it is showcase each other's cultures.

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