The last few weeks of the course involved plenty of project development sessions facilitated by Phil. It was easy to get caught up on quizzing other people about their projects; their enthusiasm and excitement was infectious!

Rather than choosing a specific element to work on like a website Lauren set herself a project theme, which was “time” so she could create handy widgets based on this. These included a stopwatch, count-down timer and an application that calculates how many days you’ve been alive (which is pretty scary). Lauren was conscious of understanding the code behind the application, rather than Googling for pre-written code or an easy solution. It is amazing how much code is supplied by generous programmers on the Internet, so sometimes the temptation to “cheat” is high. Maybe when we are more experienced shortcuts would be useful, but we’re still learning.

Debbie wanted to make an exploration game using the game engine Unity, which allowed the avatar to be easily customisable to suit the player. Her aim was to connect the both gaming and IMVU communities in a dome-like world where you can visit different rooms and complete missions. Unity allowed topography and lighting to be easily altered on the platform, which was useful for Debbie when creating her world. One of the problems she encountered was incorrect shadowing compared to the sunlight in her game, luckily she was able to use the IMVU community to help her iron this out though this took a bit of time.

Nathan, David and I focused on creating websites that would highlight our skills and experience, whilst Alex made a website that would allow physiotherapists to check an appointment timetable and service-user contact information (available ten minutes before appointment times for data protection reasons). David does original artwork and tattoo designs which are awesome, I wish I had that artistic talent. He made a table to position images of his work in with thumbnails (for easy viewing) that expanded when clicked on using JavaScript. He also created neat links to his social media and Redbubble accounts.

Last but not least Anthony’s project was a puzzle game “Line Bound”, this involved a lot of JavaScript code, which I can’t even begin to get my head round right now. Once he established the template for the game he was able to edit this to create whatever designs he wanted. The aim of the game is to cross all the lines with your cursor, without crossing a line twice (which resets the game). Anthony does a better job at describing what he did than I do so here’s a quote from him:

“The process of creating the game was long and complex but became easier the further I was into the project. I began by creating a canvas followed by creating an array. This array continuously stored the location of the mouse cursor when the mouse button was held. Next, I created individual lines for each level. I was then faced with the most difficult problem I had encountered during the project; detecting when the aforementioned array passed through a line in the level. This took a good week to finally get working. I was still learning just as much during the project as I did during the first four weeks of the course. I feel like there’s still so much more to learn as I continue to update the game and proceed to other projects.”

After one of the sessions Lauren, Nathan and I ended up sat hunched over Anthony’s laptop obsessively playing this game because it’s super-addictive…

How far I got in the game before I realised I’m terrible at puzzles.

We are all grateful of the help and guidance Phil has given us during the course, especially when it comes to JavaScript (there are Bible-sized books based solely on JS, I’m not even kidding). It has been a brilliant opportunity.