"Navigate the endangered animal through a series of environmental obstacles while collecting food and power-ups"

Savvy G., Kim L., Vivienne P.

In Extinction Evasion, the user plays the role of an endangered animal that must navigate through its habitat and avoid environmental issues like litter and air pollution while collecting food and power-ups. Currently, there are three levels: a turtle that must collect jellyfish while avoiding plastic bags, a falcon that must collect fruit while avoiding clouds of air pollution, and a panda that must collect apples while avoiding tractors. Before each level, a screen pops up with an image and fact about the animal the user is about to become. The rest of the website features more information about how users can get involved, the creators of the website, and a leaderboard that doesn't currently function while the website is hosted on Github.

Over 200 species go extinct each and every year. That extinction rate is believed to be 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. The current era is sometimes called the 6th extinction crisis, but unlike the other five, it appears that this crisis was caused almost completely by human action. Habitat destruction and hunting make it nearly impossible for vital species to survive. Adding on the effects of pollution and global warming, it really is almost a miracle that the species that exist have made it this far. Over 25% of the world’s biodiversity has been lost over the last 35 years alone - leaving lasting effects on all consumers of the environment - so, every living thing on this planet. Ecosystem services, such as the water cycle, soil formation, and recovery from natural disasters, have additionally generated a net worth of 33 trillion United States dollars every single year. That’s over 400 Bill Gates, or about twice the national debt. This is what we stand to lose, what we are actively destroying.

Many people understand the threats that the extinction rate and general harm to the environment poses, but just as many people don’t. And those that do don’t know how to fight against it. That’s where Extinction Evasion comes in. Extinction Evasion aims to raise both funds and awareness about environmental issues that the planet faces through a website that’s both educational and engaging. Viewers come to play the game, and in the meantime learn about the environment and ways that they can address the problem. Using Javascript as well as Phaser’s open-source framework, our group created a game in which users play the role of an endangered animal. They attempt to collect enough food to move on while avoiding common threats such as pollution and habitat destruction. Users learn about endangered animals before each level, and the website provides information on changes they can make in their everyday lives to help.

After a week of learning and playing around with HTML and JavaScript, we decided we wanted to code our game and website using that language. However, we knew that if we wanted to create a complex game, we would need a more sophisticated game engine. So, at first we turned to Crafty, which became too difficult to utilize after the game became more complex. Finally we decided on Phaser, which was much easier to use, and allowed us to do the things we wanted. We ran into some difficulty establishing game states and implementing the powerups that we wanted, but we eventually fixed those problems as well.
Another large challenge we faced was our leaderboard. Because our project was mainly local and hosted on specific computers, it was hard to make the database to store any users. When we finally set up a database and created a functioning leaderboard, we had to transition to hosting through Github, which didn’t allow for the use of a database.

"It sounds very Doomsday!"

Savvy and Kim, rising juniors, and Vivienne, a rising senior, all joined Girls Who Code with the intention of using the skills they learned to change the world for the better. It’s safe to say that they are well on their way. You can expect great things from these dedicated girls.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at Amazon (Bay Area).