We love playing and searching for indie games throughout the web, and we love using emulation to play games that aren't typically supported by most modern operating systems. For our MasseyHacks submission, we wondered "why don't we combine these two things into something cohesive?", and so, RetroStop was born!

What it does

Retrostop works as a store (similar to Steam) and platform for the .nes and emulating community to sell and purchase games that are not normally supported by the Operating Systems of today. Sellers can put their products up for sale, while buyers can access a multitude of various products being sold by sellers and purchase them.

How we built it

With the use of HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Azure, we developed our platform. On the front-end, we created mock designs using Figma to emulate how our website would appear, then translated those designs into several web pages. On the back-end, an API was developed that was capable of handling purchases, checkout, and sales for both sellers and buyers. We also used Mongo Database.

Challenges we ran into

On the front-end, all of our programmers weren't experienced with HTML and CSS, so there was difficulty for them in getting their web pages developed. As the hackathon progressed, however, they became more experienced and learnt much more in the languages, allowing them to settle in and more effectively design the rest of their respective pages. Additionally, there were issues in communicating at first with design choices such as font and colour palette, but these were resolved relatively quickly and easily.

On the back-end, using Azure was creating difficulties for our back-end, making us switch from using it. However, we returned to using Azure later on after managing a few of the bugs. Many bugs and inconsistencies in output plagued our efforts throughout the hackathon.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Actually coming together to create a website and see our efforts come to fruition was a wonderful experience for all of us. Since for many of us, it was our first time with multiple services and programs used to develop websites, it was incredibly delightful to expand our knowledge and apply it on a project we're all so passionate about.

What we learned

On the front end, we were exposed to the Figma editor for the very first time, and learnt how to use it effectively to create the mock designs we needed. Our front-end programmers also learnt HTML and CSS as part of our development process as the hackathon went on, expanding our horizons as we created our web pages. On the back end, it was our first time using Azure as well, so learning and applying our knowledge here was an interesting and exciting experience.

What's next for RetroStop

RetroStop needs some bugs fixed on the back-end to work better for our users. We'd like to add customer support options and profile management settings for users to have a more streamlined experience with account management. Connecting our website to a domain and settling in on a space on the web is a big goal. We'd like to develop a search function for users to find their desired products easier as well. Getting actual users on the site is also a priority.

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