While we were deliberating ideas for our project at the beginning of the Hackathon, we kept coming back to game development ideas. We all enjoy playing games and have been interested in making one for a while. Also, we are on a quest to find a better ranking system than Rate My Professors.
What it does
Our game features two iconic UCI professors battling to see who reigns the ICS department as supreme leader. This game will inspire lifelong debates among students and this game will be a little time capsule, documenting the historic ICS 30 Python series, during its prime.
How we built it
We built this program using C# and Unity. Early on, we were able to find a collaboration feature that allowed us to upload and cumulatively share our work with each other. The initial process started by watching many tutorials about how to use the Unity game engine, in general, then transitioning to learning C#. For our program, we began with creating a base class for the character’s movements in C#, while using photoshop to create our program’s sprites, and using Unity to create the backgrounds. After we had the basics of the program down, we transitioned to adding extra additions to the game, such as the sound effects, transitions screens, and additional character attributes.
Challenges we ran into
We had many logistical issues at first, especially with our project ideas and what language we would be programming in. We did not plan our project ahead of time and when we signed in at the actual event, our fourth team member was unable to make it, throwing off our plans slightly. Our current team consists of two Computer Engineering majors and one Computer Science major, with substantially different skill sets. We did not know where to compromise on which language to use and we actually did not have a project idea until midnight of the first night. Our ideas spanned from a word association game to a program that takes a picture as input and returns a text picture, emulating the original photo. We kept gravitating towards creating a game and we eventually decided on making the game in Unity. The next few problems revolved around the fact that nobody on our team had prior experience with Unity or C# before HackUCI. We were unsure how to share our work with each other and how to pair program using Unity. We luckily found the collaboration mode on Unity, which allowed us to sync our program files with each other. There were further issues with the program. Sydney had many difficulties with the character’s jump capabilities, character collisions, and taking a sprite and adapting it to the C# code and the Unity environment.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team stressed the importance of team communication and realistic expectation setting. For our first hackathon, our team was able to realize which goals were manageable within the given time constraint and which ideas were better left implemented after the event finishes. Our team was extremely adaptable and we agreed to learn Unity and some C# during this project. We all were able to become comfortable within the Unity engine which is a common goal we had individually, before this event.
What we learned
Through this event, we were able to learn about C# and Unity since we had no prior knowledge of these programs. We learned a lot about Unity and components of game making we never really put much thought into, like sound or character animation. While we did not use many animations we all learned how to apply animations through the many tutorials we watched over 36 hours. However, we did add sound to our game and some small static animations. We also had the chance to learn about creating a user interface to begin the game. Most importantly we learned how to enjoy coding and testing.
What's next for SMACK UCI 2020
We intend to implement more professors with a character selection screen in the future, as well as create movement animations for each character. There is a lot of room to grow with game mechanics too since we can create more moves, such as punching, kicking, and coding in one line. Stay tuned for SMACK UCI 2030, our next iteration, featuring Boo Thornton.