It's the year 2050. The United States has been sending its extra trash to Mars because China now refuses to buy plastics from us. A spaceship carrying poorly sorted trash (unfortunately we never bothered to learn how to properly reduce, reuse, and recycle) had several payload malfunctions have caused the hatch to open, dropping trash from the the lower levels of the atmosphere all over the newly desertified Los Angeles area. It's up to YOU as a newly inducted member of the Solution2Pollution team to take up the challenge and start creating a new cultural climate of caring. Take up the helm and save what CAN be saved from the endless waste storm that has taken hold of the planet- one piece of recycling at a time.

Inspiration

Our inspiration for this project began with two goals in mind: to create a project to promote sustainability in our community and to work with technology we had never had the opportunity to work with before. As this is our group's first hackathon, we may have been a little overambitious, and decided that we wanted to work with Virtual Reality technology even though none of our group members had experience with VR. However, we were determined to complete our goals and decided to see what we could do. We began by brainstorming problems with recycling we witness on an everyday bases-- the NY times reports at least 25% of recycled materials are contaminated to the point where it has to be sent to landfills. We wanted a game that would promote sustainability by educating players on whether or not everyday household items are recyclable, and what makes containers "contaminated".

What it does

Our project is a virtual reality game in which the player aims to shoot recyclable objects out of several varied objects falling out of the sky. After correct objects are shot, they disappear and the player gains points.

How we built it

We built it with much help and guidance from Cassie Siljander, a Microsoft employee that had faith in us even though it was our first hackathon and our first time working with VR. She provided us with the platform to start building a VR game. We combined experimenting with babylon.js playground with our own ideas of what we wanted our project to become.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into several challenges when building our game. Coming as first time hackers with experience primarily in C++, it was difficult at times to deal with the syntax of a new language. There were also many problems in some of our features that we struggled with to make look like what we were imagining in our heads-- one problem in particular was we could no prevent the trash from falling through the recycling bin!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are incredibly proud to have fulfilled our two initial goals. Creating a game that has the potential to promote sustainability in our community while also learning about new technologies has made for an incredibly exciting and fulfilling first hackathon experience.

What we learned

This was such an incredible learning experience for all of us-- we all entered this hackathon only knowing C++, and by now we all have a basic understanding of javascript. We also learning much about coding for VR and game design that we had never had experience with previously.

What's next for Solution 2 Pollution

We have a lot of ideas to improve Solution 2 Pollution that we could implement if given more time. We would like to add compost, landfill, and recycling bins, and add a feature where you no longer shoot the items but you can drag and drop the objects into their correct bins. We would also like to add a wider variety of trash items that reflect common, everyday items that are commonly confused as recyclable, as well as adding helpful recycling tips as textboxes after each level (such as tips on how to make contaminated recyclable items uncontaminated) and facts about recycling to educate players on the realities of how our country disposes of trash.

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