“The first day, when they showed us the game, we were hooked and when they made our groups, there were about 30 people”, Rudra Lande reminisced as his teammate Shivani Firodiya seconded reminding everyone that Xodia was a new and isolated initiative of PICT-an exclusive Artificial Intelligence based gaming event which was just in its second year of generation.
Despite their earlier excitement, the new Xodia members were beginners at programming and the languages themselves were very unfamiliar, python and cpp, so they had to learn it from scratch.
“The head of Xodia at the time, Abhiraj Darshankar, sent each of us a program statement to code in python and submit by the end of the week”, another Xodia member added.
Parallely, it took around 15-20 days to decide the game alone. The first weekend after the main meet, their seniors Aditya Sarode, Ankit Bhagat and Vaibhav Tulsyan(VT) gave them a task – to create a tangible idea of a game, complete with point system and rules within half an hour!
After a lot of pondering, there emerged four ideas which were put to vote, namely Tron, Tourist, Camelot and Mod 3. Finally they decided on Enthronement, it’s maiden name being Camelot. Then their seniors divided them into front-end and back-end teams. That point onwards, everything became very technical and people automatically started leaving.
“They started to think it was impossible. Xodia was relatively new, thus there was no hype about it. The technical part wasn’t as understandable as it had been earlier”, Shivani explained.
The more the intensity and number of challenges, the harder they began to work.
“The amount of dedication the team had for Xodia, we probably didn’t have for any other thing in our lives at the time.” , Shivani exclaimed.
The coding of the sandbox continued for one month altogether on which Anuj Godase, Shivani and Rudra worked. Soon enough, the day arrived when they had to present the demo of their game to their seniors but they reached an unexpected roadblock. Bot management wasn’t working because the code was unfinished and Shivani was told to make the seniors wait for two hours.
“She was the staller”, Rudra laughed and continued,“We were at our teammate’s place to get everything finished.” Then, everything started falling into place, except as Shivani intervened…“I was in a spot! ‘When are they coming?!’ is all they (seniors) kept asking and I kept saying ‘They’re (teammates are) coming by 6.00’ ‘they’ll come’ “
Finally, they arrived but just before they arrived I told them I was extending the deadline and asked the seniors if we could. They allowed it and by the next evening, the back-end was complete. After that, a friend working in the UI was stuck at a point and it took almost two days to overcome the problem which they found out was actually very trivial. The amount of time they wasted on it felt very unnecessary but on learning their mistake, they immediately moved on to the next stage without any setbacks.
The server shifting was to be done by Pushkar Nimkar. Pushkar and Rudra worked nonstop for a week all night to finish with the server linking. Despite the bot management code running individually, the outcome was disappointing as the linking wasn’t taking place and the code wasn’t running.
“It so happened that once, around 5 ‘o clock, Shivam Gupta and VT forced us to get out of our chairs and sleep, this was one week before the page went live.”, Rudra recalled.
“When the site was finally live, Rudra and me told our close friends present in the IEEE room and were very happy. Then finally, sometime later, Ankita Malani, our senior announced it in the room and our pride knew no bounds!”, Pushkar added.
On the day of Credenz, everyone was present in the upstairs canteen trying to write bots and it was difficult. They had to change the existing code of validation, in the end and everything worked successfully.
Making the CTD Xodia became very easy for them because of their learning experience in Enthronement. In a matter of a few months, they had learned a lot.
“During Enthronement, we hadn’t thought of the game from the viewpoint of the player, but instead from that of the maker and it was a lesson learned in time.”
Soon, the existent perspective changed and Xodia got more of the recognition which it deserved; it wasn’t a side event anymore. When the time came for Ensquare to be ideated, their senior VT encouraged them.
“Make it reach its level, give your all to it”, he said. Little did they know they would be a team of seven members creating one of the most easily understandable, simple yet sophisticated game they’d ever made.
Their time during the first half of Xodia’s journey was tough but with many lessons which stayed with them for a long time. Each and every moment had been a new challenge, where nobody had trod, so they had had no prior intimation. However, that was exactly why Xodia being the one of the most self-made events, persevered and stood the test of time to give back Ensquare the next semester.