I decided to call my game “The Sun & The Storm,” for both a very practical reason as well as a more philosophical thought. First, my victory and punishment mechanics are a sunshine and thunderstorm, respectively; secondly, I believe that behind every storm lies a sun, but the sun cannot shine all the time without a few storms along the way.
I created the not-so-frightening thunderstorm as my punishment mechanic because I honestly do not want my game to be too intense. Candidly, I think that enough things already exist to highlight failures; thus, I wanted to create something cute. And even in the worst case scenario (i.e. you fail), “The Sun & The Storm” does not feature anything terribly detrimental.. except you do kill the tree.
I imported images of both the alive and dead trees, which I think both match the cartoon feel of the game. I, like Faith, used my animation for general inspiration to begin with. I love the outdoors and vivid colors, so the first features I added were bright green grass and an aqua sky. Because blue is my favorite color, I was also going to make the letter buttons blue, but then thought it may be too much of the same color. However, I don’t really like the color red, and the purple was too deep against the green grass. Therefore, to balance the intensity of the overly saturated colors on stage with my personal preferences, I chose a light pink — not too close to red, not too much blue, and easy on the eyes. The Kristen ITC font was chosen mainly because it had a light feel, thus keeping with the overall lighthearted feel of the game. Instead of standard black font, Kristen ITC is actually a very dark grey: another attempt to lessen the intensity of the game overall. Though my game is meant to be more of a pick-me-up than a highly pressurized experience, creating the code for Hangman did not come without problems itself.
The first problem I encountered was asking myself where to begin. I knew I needed some functions, importing events, and a couple of arrays. Beyond those few items in the code, I had no idea where to go. Honestly, if Grace hadn’t been in the lab, it would have taken me much longer to get the ball rolling. She helped me think about what I wanted the game to do and set me in the right direction in order to achieve those goals. Along the way, I also had problems getting the right amount of guess boxes to appear, which corresponds with the quantity of characters in the random word. This turned out to have a couple of issues behind it — not fully embedding fonts (which Kim helped me edit!) and what I think of as “if inception”. Putting “if” statements inside of “if” statements got very confusing and I ended up trying to do multiple things at the same time because I would declare one thing, have to begin the function, call a function inside that function, and was left with multiple haf-completed functions at times. To solve this, I literally made a list (at Grace’s suggestion) on the wall (via dry-erase marker) of what I had done and what I had not done. This helped relieve stress and create a game-plan so that I could logically write more code. My checkVictory function also threw me for a loop because it took a while to get my totalMatches to count multiple characters if they were the same letter. To solve this, Sam and I discovered we had to move our counters inside of the while loop itself. After finishing the majority of the game, one last issue arose: the restart button. After forgetting to hide and show all of the necessary features to restart the game (a process that took many tries), I was left with a couple of basic issues: the text boxes retained letters from the previous word and the opacity of the previously clicked letters remained at half alpha value. Despite the numerous while loops I created in the game, I had forgetting to loop through these last two problems. At Dr. Delwiche’s gentle reminder, I told the code to loop through the entirety of the letter array to reset the letter button coloring and the text box array to reset my initial “?” placeholder.
Coding is difficult, and it seems that it is the type of project to never really be finished — I came back to the lab and successfully added hints! The game can be found at http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~atayrien/hangman-stage.html . I do feel so accomplished at having produced something fun that I can show for my high amounts of effort. Though coding is not easy for me, I could feel myself learning throughout this project and I feel much more comfortable with it than prior to beginning!
thunder sound: http://soundbible.com/537-Mortar-Blast.html
victory sound: http://soundbible.com/1964-Small-Crowd-Applause.html