Inspiration

We came up with an idea for a web app that would compile a packing list and recommend things to do when you input a place in the world. After realizing this idea had already been fully developed by several companies, we branched off from it. In brainstorming among ourselves we reached the idea we have now while still holding onto aspects of our original idea.

What it does

Speck is a service for interested computer video game players who aren't sure where to start. You begin by searching game titles you maybe have heard being thrown around or ones you are already familiar with. After selecting the games you would like to play, the site automatically selects parts and creates a compatible system based on the highest minimum specifications required by the selected games. We try our best to accommodate the needs of your provided budget as well as meeting the required performance specs of the chosen games.

How we built it

We pulled a data set of 13,000 games on steam and gathered a ton of component specs in .csv format. Using these data sets we compiled a MySQL data set. We then created an interface for Specks using HTML5, CSS, and javascript. All of our graphics were creative commons or created with GIMP. The back end is all done in PHP. We implemented a search feature, session-based games lists, and a full functional, data driven, hardware recommendation system based on the user's selected games and a user-defined budget. All of the software and hardware data is all stored in a MySQL database on either a local or remote server, with working functionality for both. PHP also allows us to change elements on webpages based on database-supplied parameters, such as the Operating System compatibility section on the game information page.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into quite a few challenges along the way to success, but there were hardly any that got the best of us. We had to do a lot of bug squashing at the end but that was the worst of it. Drawing specific parts of data sets we created and found was another large issue that required quite a bit of time to figure tackle and get working. Much of this process was trial and error and perseverance in getting through the minor problems that every developer faces along their path to getting their project done.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We tackled many feats in this project. We successfully got a read/write functionality working with the mysql database, a very responsive website, compatibility with mobile devices, as well as the intended service this project was to provide. We accomplished what we set out to do in creating a PC build according to a users chosen games.

What we learned

We learned just how valuable previous experience is to a time-sensitive project like this. Not having to waste time researching was a huge plus in getting everything working as we planned in the beginning.

What's next for Specks

Live price updates with improved game library, improved recommendation algorithm, Guide on how to build your PC after you purchase the parts. Guide is specific on your selected parts.

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