Our inspiration first comes from a female member in our team where she shared with us a story about her experience in a case regarding gender inequality. To sum it up, our current society tends to view woman as incapable of solving problems regarding technology and take it as a joke when their opinion is raised. Like the metaphor “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, cases regarding gender inequality can’t be solve in a day but takes the hearts of everyone to overcome it.
At this age and time, our inspiration also comes from how gaming apps make their user enjoy using it while also becoming loyal customers of the app. From that, our team decided to make our app to be sort of a game where user can enjoy using it without the fear of being restricted. As for the concept of the game, our inspiration comes from how Dating Websites work. With stereotype being the biggest issue in fields related to technology, this inspiration strikes us on how people use dating website to find their soulmates regardless of who they are on the other side of the “screen”.
With all the inspirations combine, we finally sort it all out and created an application call TheFriendZone where user of any gender and age can join and have fun.
What it does
TheFriendZone relies upon the simplistic concept of anonymity. It brings two players together, anonymously, who must then complete a challenge by working together, complementing each other's skills. When the pair of players successfully complete the challenge, only then are their individual profiles revealed on the scoreboard and they can see their partner's picture, username, level, etc.
The anonymity and gaming aspect of TheFriendZone basically allows for a pure and exciting learning environment which is unaffected by any outside variables, in this case, gender.
How we built it
The development of the application is built using MIT app inventor.
Challenges we ran into
Gender Inequality is such a major problem that can't be solve in a day. The biggest challenge that we faced during the development of this application is the way that we and how the society can take the first step in getting rid this problem, because a wrong approach from the start will eventually backfire after a long run.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
Well "teamwork" and "bonds gained" is cliché but it is the truth. After 2 days at Penang Codeathon, we as a team got to know each other more on how we approach on matters or solve a problem. We might argue and even rage amongst each others at times, but all those just made us stronger and managing to release our prototype is proudest accomplishment that we could have ever achieve.
What we learned
Before this, we never had to come up with something from nothing, there was always a foundation and then we just played ball until we hit home run, but this time was not like that at all. We were amateurs (still are) so we were practically clueless about even starting, like where do we even begin? What are we supposed to fix? It was a huge setback for us in the beginning because all of the sudden, we all had differing opinions on what was the solution. Some of us were being really opinionated and stubborn while others just kept quiet and appeared indifferent. It definitely took us awhile to get our wits together and learn that the only way we were moving forward was if we confidently voiced our ideas and yet, be open to other member's rationale on why it could or could not work, what could be better.
One key thing that we picked up was how important it is to remain professional about it all. No taking things personally and then getting offended because it's really not personal at all. And there wasn't any time for arguments with the little time we had to complete our product. We had to learn to trust each other as tasks were relegated to each member of the team. Fortunately, things smoothened out and from then on, we simply focused on delivering our brainchild, TheFriendZone
What's next for The FriendZone
To be honest, we're not quite sure exactly what's next for our baby because, we just don't know how far we can take it. Developing it will need a good sum of resources that we do not have but let's say we do and all goes well, in that case, there's a whole world out there that we reach with TheFriendZone. We can develop a more sophisticated gaming style that isn't just, here's the question, now give me the answer, but more like, get the hero to escape the haunted castle, you know? It can be designed to be more interactive and engaging. Of course, we could host small competitions, akin to a 'big boss challenge', that will be collaborations with Tech employers out there looking for fresh innovative solutions, all the while building a stable platform for players all over the world to play together and learn from each other without being affected by discriminations, unconsciously or not.