We recognize that identity is a major part of people’s lives and we believe that being able to express yourself and your identity in a safe space is crucial.
Our team was inspired to create a gamified online network to connect members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. Since the pandemic started, meeting and interacting with people online has become our new normal. We noticed a lack of safe spaces online for members of the LGBTQ+ community to socialize in. With a little inspiration from childhood games like club penguin and new games such as VRchat, we decided to create a network with several servers and minigames where members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies could connect and interact.
What it does
Rainbow Connection is a gamified online network designed to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members to interact. Users can take a survey with questions about their identity and their intentions, which will match them to a specific server of likeminded people. They will then be able to interact with others through voice and text chat, as well as visit fun rooms such as the museum, the dance room, and the movie room.
- Select your Avatar
- Fill out your Profile (Pronouns, gender, love/friendship)
- Get Matched to a Server based on your profile preferences
- Interact over an online network through text chat
- Use 3D voice chat to communicate
- Visit the cinemas to learn about the history of pride month
- Dance the night away at the club and listen to music of your choice
- Learn more about LGBTQ+ terms and flags at the museum
- Peep Blahaj in the central hub
How we built it
We developed Rainbow Connection using Unity and C# for our game engine and coding and Photon as our online network host. We used Photon Voice API and Libraries to facilitate a 3D voice chat function. For aesthetic purposes we used Canva and Adobe After Effects.
Challenges we ran into
Hosting a multiplayer online network comes with a range of complications that we weren't prepared for. It required a lot of scripting and APIs which we weren't very familiar with. We also chose to include a voice chat feature that created another set of problems as microphone connections differ through photon and unity.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating a gamified online network that allows members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to connect and have fun online in a safe space. It took a lot of learning and adapting, so we are pleased to have a functioning outcome.
What we learned
We had no prior experience with creating a voice chat and hosting multiple servers. This required us to learn a lot about intermediate unity features like web assemblies. We also learned a lot about integrating APIs and libraries into the project and rewriting to minimize errors. Net code was required in order to synchronize different events and scripts which were all different than regular c#.
To use voice chat: Hold down the 'p' key when you would like to speak, and release the key when you are done speaking.
To use text chat: Type a message in the input box and end the message with a '.' (period) to send it.
To move: Use the arrow keys or 'wasd' to control player movement.
To dance: Use key controls 1,2,3,4 to dance