We love horror, aviation, old school choose-your-own-adventure single-image-per-screen games like Putt-Putt, and of course the lovely TSA. From this, we knew we had to create Laughing Stock, a clown comedic horror choose-your-own-adventure story.
What it does
You'll never guess what it does so I'll tell you. Laughing Stock is a choose-your-own-adventure game, with many endings. Our goal was to leave you upset and wanting to play more, trying for the best possible outcome.
How we built it
Good old hammer and tears
We began by setting up team roles such as project manager, head developer, script supervisor, and a GUI guy. Although we could all do these roles, it helped us get a general guide of who was going to do what, and allow us to play towards our strengths and manage our weaknesses as a team member.
There was a lot of dedication as well as some crying. We used excel to plan out the story and path which was really useful. We also used Java IDE's like NetBeans and Eclipse, with the support of Procreate for the artwork.
Challenges we ran into
Challenges? What Challenges
Sleep was our most difficult challenge. 2 hour naps would turn into sleeping for 4-6 hours, and grogginess reduced productivity. We tried our best to sleep in shifts, and take power naps when needed.
Communication was a challenge at the beginning, but after we set up a to-do/in progress/done board and personal deadlines, our communication became much more effective.
GitHub was our final challenge that we managed to overcome. Accidentally pushing to the wrong branch, dealing with merge conflicts, and pulling code from the wrong branches was a common occurrence at the beginning. But after we set up personal branches and added security to the main branch, we were off, cranking out code as fast as we could.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are incredibly proud of how we used resources like excel, to-do lists, note pads, and white boards to keep ourselves organized. We are most proud of our flow chart to keep track of the story because without it, we would likely be curled up on the floor, crying.
Hand drawn frames
Thanks to Liam Erickson, all of the artwork in our game was completely original. He cranked out so many images in such a small time frame. When he wasn't creating functions or working on integration, he was drawing new art for the panels.
Pete Jacobson always made sure that everyone was staying positive. He could tell whenever someone was getting upset or grumpy, and would make a joke to lighten our work atmosphere, or get them to take a break and relax. Even when his code would break, he always maintained a positive attitude not only for himself, but for our entire team.
Whenever we were unsure of where to go next, Sam Platt would step up and assign things to do. She consistently kept track of where we were and what needed to be done next. Thanks to her, we always had something to do and knew where we were in the creation process.
Although we all had worked with GUI's before, we needed a huge refresher. Ronin Ganoot was that refresher. Whenever we had trouble with GUI's and remembering how they worked, Ronin would step in and provide support. In addition, he also played the role as DJ, playing the perfect music for the team while we all coded.
What we learned
How to work with a team
Before this, none of us had really worked on a project with other people, and were a little nervous. After hackathon, we learned that not only is working with a team super exciting and a great learning experience, it's also incredibly fun.
The problems and solutions when using GitHub
As mentioned above, GitHub gave us so many problems. Overtime, we managed to overcome these problems and have a greater understanding of how to fix them in the future.
Creating a project from scratch
Every time we coded in the past, we at the very least had a prompt to build off of. This was the first project that we had to come up with an idea and create it from scratch. Now, we know that organization is the key, and whiteboards are your best friend.
What's next for Laughing Stock by Quartus Primates
After submission, we plan on expanding the game, doing some bug fixups, and making it even more challenging to beat. We hope to make it fullscreen and optimize it more.