Inspiration

As a group of international students, we struggled in learning English, as it is not our main language of communication. Hence, we decided to develop this app in order to assist fellow international students who face a similar difficulty like us, and allow them to have a better experience in learning the English language.

What it does

Virtual Pets is a web app game with a digital pet genre that allows players/users to adopt their own personal pet, which they will feed and take care of, by feeding them new English words that they have learnt in their everyday life. Feeding it new words frequently will prevent it from getting hungry, and also allow the pet to gain experience/relationship points and 'level up', thus incorporating the idea of your own fantasy pet. Users can also play mini-games with their pets, which mainly involve games training your English vocabulary and skills.

How we built it

We incorporated a dictionary API to display the meaning, usage and details of the words you 'fed' your pet, and also a translation API to create a feature that allows you to translate the words that you know in your native language, but not in the English language, using Node JS.

Challenges we ran into

  1. Learning new languages, such as Node JS, Angular JS, Typescript & Firebase
  2. Integrating the Node JS APIs in our back-end code
  3. Applying and connecting our back-end code to the interface/front-end code
  4. Miscommunication

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. Learning a new programming language and applying it to develop/create an app
  2. Applying APIs into our code to apply different features and functions

What we learned

  1. We learnt various new programming languages, and how to connect them together to create something.
  2. The importance of teamwork in developing an app
  3. How important time management is, especially when the deadline is short

What's next for Virtual Pets

Although the features in our Virtual Pets web app may seem really limited, we have considered a lot of other features too for implementation, such as an independent feature, where your pet can then 'hunt' for words itself when it reaches a certain level, instead of you always feeding it, and instead provide a mutual relationship with the user where the pet will also provide new vocabulary daily to the user after hunting. Other features we considered are the email notifications for when your pet is hungry/dying, a mobile app version of the game (in order to improve accessibility and ease of gameplay), and also a multiplayer fight system, where players can fight against each other in real time in a 'synonym battle'.

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