Inspiration

Obviously the theme of Dragon Hacks is retro gaming, but as a group we all share an appreciation for gaming in general, as well as all aspects of computer science and engineering. Designing a game was simply an obvious choice, and something we had experience doing.

What it does

Running out of time is a game where a man, simply running away from an unknown force, dashes through the city avoiding all manner of trash cans, fire hydrants, and deadly robots. But luckily for our hero, he can control the passage of time and alter the speed of the world around him. However, this talent comes at a cost, and overusing this ability will lead to his unfortunate demise. Playable on controller or with mouse and keyboard, and available where ever there is internet connected, Running Out of Time is a game we think you'd love (and hate) to play.

How we built it

The game is run simply through Javascript, as well as HTML and CSS styling. The game is connected to the internet through a domain hosted by GoDaddy. The controller is composed of Arduino parts, cardboard, and sheer love and willpower. The inputs from the controller are sent to the game through Node.js.

Challenges we ran into

While we certainly didn't expect to perform perfectly well, we didn't expect the amount of hard work it would take to get this project done. The most challenging aspect of the project was definitely getting all the parts of the effort to work together. Connecting with Arduino with the JavaScript with the Server with the domain took us deep into the hours of the night. Working out the bugs in the code tested out limits of perseverance and attention to detail. Finding the right way to host our application and point the domain to the IP took far longer than we expected. And figuring out how to wire the darn controller took, as much as we hate to admit it, multiple times. All in all, this Hackathon was far from a perfect run, but it was one we were happy to experience.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite our challenges and roadblocks, some things did come out dare I say better than we expected. The game itself is crisp, fun to play, and a pleasure to look at. We have ultimate respect for those that produce the games that we often take for granted. Building the controller, after redesigning and redesigning again, ended up far cleaner and compact than we had initially thought. But our best accomplishment, is working together on such an ambitious project, and in our opinion, succeeding.

What we learned

We learned a lot of things. For one, integrating hardware into a coding project complicates it to levels we were nearly unprepared for. We can definitively say that Arduino is something we are experienced with after figuring our the controller mechanisms. Our challenges with hosting a domain and server also tested our knowledge to the extreme. Building applications from the ground up from nothing but a bit of code and taking it to the internet is no longer such as daunting task. But overall, we are leaving Dragon Hacks 19 with a deepened confidence in our skills, both on and away from keyboard.

What's next for Running Out of Time

Game development never stops, and right now our minds are filled with new features, mechanics, and environments. Stay tuned for updates!

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