ROW 50, fourth table down from the center

Inspiration

While brainstorming ideas to keep our friend group from drinking on the weekends, we discovered a potential idea to improve the childhood game of Chinese Whispers (or Telephone for you U.S. kids) while involving every person in the group. phrasemoji aims to be a carefree, fun pastime for medium-sized groups.

What it does

phrasemoji is a web application game that has each participant in the group (limited to even-numbered groups) log in to a personalized, private unique game session. The first player receives a proverb-like English sentence, and he or she and each subsequent player translates the preceding message into a series of emoticons or back into plain English.

After the final person translates the preceding emoticon message back to plaintext, each participant receives the original and final messages as well as each step along the path of conversions. Hilarious laughter ensues and the game is finished, before each player clicks to play again.

How we built it

We call it the BEAN stack. BEAN = Bootstrap, Express.js, AJAX, Node.js

Frontend: HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Javascript w/ AJAX, jQuery Backend: Node.js + Express.js

Along with three computers running GNU/Linux and running vim/vis. Because down with Windows and emacs.

Challenges we ran into

Long story short, it was a pain.

Applied web development was a concept that we were mostly unfamiliar with, and JavaScript was not really the language of choice. But, we needed to learn Node and Express and so we persisted through it. Fortunately, Node makes it easy to get the server up and running quickly, but we ran into many challenges with integrating our mindset with the ideology of Node.

While the code itself was not (overwhelmingly) difficult to write, perhaps the most difficult portion of our project was planning the interface and organizing the structure of our codebase. But, we anticipate this challenge in every project we tackle anyways.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Building our first dynamic, web application. It just feels amazing.

What we learned

RESTful API calls, Node.js and Express.js, and a deeper connection with frontend technologies

What's next for phrasemoji

Deployment and scalability, obviously. Our code is distributed under the MIT License so our main focus is bring smiles to the world.

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