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backOut is a story game, inspired by black out poetry and the choose your own adventure, about emphasis and what redaction means. The protagonist is a young woman who has made a mistake and hopes to correct it, magically; to play, choose from the available terms what she should be focusing on.

check it out


Technologies used

Planning process

I planned to write a choose your own adventure, where particular sentences would be displayed as a result of a players selecting a certain clickable word -- and words would be redacted on the basis of that same choice, with the game's hope and wisdom stats reflecting consequences. To do this, I thought I needed to have sentences that owned words, with words having keys for their clickability and whether or not they were redacted, as well as a link to the next step.

Future Improvements

In V1, I was able to make all the necessary requests by having the application depend heavily on the backend. Though I was able to write the code to redact as it was, the free level of heroku can only make 100 requests per minute -- and I was making at least that when I was adding redaction to each word and removing clickability, then updating them all.

In V2, I shifted my emphasis to the front end. Though user's still own games, games only have a column of sentences expecting strings in an array -- rather than games owning sentences, which owned words, which referenced seeded steps, which referenced seeded sentences, which owned seeded words. (See? Much cleaner!)

In V3, I want to further refine the front end to make it more modular. Currently the game depends on an expansive switch case, which is difficult to track.

User stories

As a user, I can create a game. As a user, I can update a game by interacting with a game's sentences. As a user, I can delete game. As a user, I can show / 'load' a saved game. As a user, I can see all of the sentences marked as active at once. As a user, I can interact with games by clicking on select words. As a user, I can see a new sentence as a result of a previous click on a particular word. As a user, I cannot click a previous sentence's words. As a user, I cannot create sentences. As a user, I can view sentences that have been selectively redacted (blacked out). As a user, I can view my hope and wisdom. As a user, I observe as my hope and wisdom stats change on the basis of choices. As a user, I am notified when the game is over. As a user, I can change my password. As a user, I can sign out. As a user, I can sign in. Asa user, I can sign up.




  • Maria Ines, Naida Rosenberger, Sarah Burke, Kostant Stanton, Virginia Donaire, Kate Lindsay, and Rebecca Coras were key components in my mental health in building this.
  • Danny Kirschner and Nate Dunn were both excellent advisers on the structure of the database and the structure of the application.
  • Mike Finneran was of great assistance in tackling serialization issues.
  • Dan Soszynski graciously got me maple syrup upon request (as well as a lint roller!).