Quagga is the newest answer to the age-old icebreaker question! There’s no better way to bond than through some good competition and fun factoids. Create questions to ask one another, answer them, then guess which answer belongs to each player. By exchanging lived experiences, no matter how trivial, through personalized trivia you’re now able to feel more connected to your community than ever!


At the start of each quarter, we are hit with an enormous amount of icebreakers, most of which never seem to actually break the ice. The deepest connections we do create seem to come from getting to know fun facts about our classmates, even the most trivial of things. We also noticed that the most successful icebreakers and social apps involve some type of competition to create memorable bonding moments between players. Thus, we combined competition and fact-learning to create Quagga, a trivia-esque icebreaker hosted on the web!

What it does

Quagga is a web game designed to help people connect through personalized trivia! Players join a ‘room’ or group where they take turns writing questions, then subsequently answering those questions and guessing which answers belong to which players, with the goal of becoming THE QUAGGA, the person who guesses the most players’ answers correctly. Quagga gamifies the process of getting to know someone, making it easier and more fun to learn about others and form genuine connections.

How we built it

We designed our interface in Figma, and drew our own art assets using ProCreate and Figma vectors. We wanted a playful design that encourages everyone to relax and have fun. Through prototyping, we were able to plan and define a clear cut vision for our app and ensure that it solved the problems we wanted to address.

Using a React frontend and a Google Firebase backend, we developed a website that allows users to synchronously add custom questions, answer questions, and then try to guess who gave each answer as a way of getting to know each other.

In order to make sure that all the players are always on the same stage of the game, we used Firebase’s Realtime Database, which allows us to instantly send data updates to all clients. We also utilized Firebase to generate unique links for each game and store the information relating to all the players, questions, answers, and votes. Ultimately, all of this information leads to determining the QUAGGA, the person who had the most correct votes.

Challenges we ran into

It was a challenge to think of an innovative web app that could help facilitate connections between people with varying levels of familiarity to each other. We were able to think of an idea we liked by brainstorming and discussing the limitations of existing icebreakers and social games.

On the technical side, most of us were new to backend development and didn’t have much React experience, so there was a lot to learn in order to implement our project idea. We ran into a few bugs that stumped us for long periods of time, but through debugging techniques and isolating the problem, we were able to push past and accomplish more than we expected.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We’re proud of the gamified web app concept, and we’re also proud that we were also able to come up with a design and Figma prototype that fulfilled our original vision for the app.

What we learned

Through ideating Quagga and then realizing it, we learned that it’s always good to have ambition, but that we should be realistic with our time and resources. We overestimated the extent to which bugs and debugging would impact our overall timeline. However, through looking for solutions to these issues, we were able to become more fluent in the technologies we utilized. Additionally, as Quagga is at its heart a game, we also had a game development learning process where we had to switch our perspective to be more player-focused.

What's next for Quagga

We would love to expand Quagga in a multitude of ways, such as more customization, more game modes, and support for larger game parties. Many of our initial ideas or desired implementations to add were eventually turned into ‘potential features’. To be able to expand upon our original ideas and create our original vision would be next up on our roadmap!

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