Last weekend Pinewood Studios welcomed 150 eager coders into it’s famous corridors for the first ever GameHack.
GameHack was the first (we hope) of many game jams from TIGA and BlueVia. We got involved both to support independent developers and to introduce new people to our APIs (like the in-app payments API which is ideal for monetizing games).
37 teams formed with the aim of putting together a complete game from start to finish within 24 hours. As you’d expect there was plenty of wifi, pizza, energy drinks but not a lot of sleep.
Entrants picked a category to compete in from five options: mobile, web, cross platform, flash and procedural generation. There was hot competition but mobile was most popular in the end with half the teams entering the category (second most popular was web).
It was a great experience for the BlueVia team and Tom in particular, who worked closely with Nisha from TIGA to put the event together. Although they weren’t coding themselves they both stayed up through the night with the teams to make sure power, food and drink were plentiful.
There were a range of awards, based on category but also some special prizes from the judging panel:
- Adobe Best Flash Game for iOS Winner: The Super Flash Bros
- Antix Labs Procedural Generation Challenge Winner: Vegitects
- BlueVia Best Use of Mobile Winner: Lightwood Games
- Getty Images/Pinewood Studios/Centroid 3D Games Trailer Challenge Winner: Knightshade
- Marmalade Best Cross Platform Mobile Application Winner: Smoking Games
- Turbulenz/Mozilla HTML5 Games Category Winner: Hack FM
- Papaya Mobile Social Game Hack Winner: Placeholder Games
- SCEE Best Game Award Winner: The Super Flash Bros
- TechHub Most Innovative Idea Award Winner: Lightwood Games
- TIGA Most Awesome Game Award Winner: Team Coderunner
BlueVia sponsored the “Best use of mobile” award which was won by Lightroom Games.
As this was our first gaming event we wanted to have a flexible but testing category, the challenge was simple: Create a game that defies what we think is possible with a mobile device. This could mean integrating accelerometer, gyroscopic, light sensor data, messaging, location, WiFi or Bluetooth to enhance the gaming experience. There is huge potential for immersive games that go beyond what occurs on the device, which is why when we saw Lightwood Games submission Plasmafest we knew it was the clear winner.
Plasmafest is all about bringing people together and having a group experience and most importantly it was a beautifully simple idea ‘lights out’ for the mobile age. Players connect their device over bluetooth and then race against each other to touch all of the lights in their assigned colour. What we really liked was that the game board covered all devices, players are not restricted to their own screen making it a messy but fun tangle to touch all your lights on everyone else’s device.
We are incredibly excited that they are launching the game, now titled Plasma Party this week on iOS and is a testament to the talent within the UK games industry and the potential of hackathons to create amazing ideas. The guys also liveblogged the experience which makes for a fun and fascinating read after the event.
It was our first gaming hackathon and we wanted to say thanks to everyone who turned out to make it such a fun weekend and brought their amazing ideas to life.