Starting with a bit of research, we discovered a sprite sheet on itch.io that caught our attention. From that point on, we developed a light-hearted game inspired by what these little characters looked like to us and what their abilities would be.
What it does
The user plays as one of two robots (between which they can cycle). Each robot has its own unique abilities such as higher jumps or faster running. The objective is for the robot to run and jump over the obstacles to get to the end of the level while avoiding the lasers and jumping from platform to platform. A person wins by completing all the levels.
How we built it
We coded the game in Java on the Netbeans IDE and used paint.net and MS Paint to crop the sprites. We started out by creating the RunningFile, and as we developed more ideas, and with more testing, we created more classes that fed into our vision of the game.
Challenges we ran into
Being new to the realm of coding, we were having a difficult time finding the appropriate resources to develop our final product. Moreover, since all our team members were specialists in different fields, we had a hard time deciding on a single product that was realistically doable, considering our skill level. By dividing our work equally and communicating with each other, we figured out the basic codes we needed to develop a simple game. When coding the game itself, we had difficulty getting the robot to interact with the platforms. There were a lot of bugs and it took a lot of troubleshooting to iron out. It was also quite the challenge to get the custom text we used to work. It was tedious cropping out every letter and having the text type itself out was a big mental task. In addition, having the screen scroll left, right, up, and down was also quite tricky and took a lot of brainstorming to figure out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Starting out, we never thought we’d be able to actually finish the game within the given time frame. As the game evolved, the more ideas we developed, and weeding out a lot of the time-consuming ideas helped us complete on time. The ideas we stuck with helped us create a game we are all very proud of. The knowledge and experience we gained from developing this program have opened up pathways for future opportunities related to computer science, which is something we’re definitely proud of.
What we learned
With distinct backgrounds and interests, such as video-gaming, math, business, and design, an important thing we learned through collaboration is the connection between all these varying disciplines. We were able to teach each other what we know to develop our coding skills. As beginners in computer science and hackathons, organizing our ideas, dividing our parts, and navigating various new Java API together helped us develop our skills in collaboration and game design. Teamwork and diverse perspectives are vital in developing any program and truly helped us create this game.
What's next for Robot Puzzle Game Engine
We were able to code the game in a more general way such that it would be easy to incorporate new features in the near future. We plan to add more robots to cycle through, each of which would have more unique abilities. Of course, we would also like to add more levels, with new challenges, including moving objects to avoid and larger courses. Moreover, we would like to optimize the process for drawing the blocks onto the levels, since that proved to be a redundant, and time-consuming process.