Rick Vanner, Financial Director of The Game Creators, laid down a challenge to Steve Holding, regular community member, tutorial author and founder of the App Developers Group (ADG). Steve took up the challenge – to create a game using AGK in the pressure pot of a Hackathon – and they both found themselves at the heart of the Digital Shoreditch Hackathon. Steve takes up the story from here:
Steve, What does a Hackathon entail?
A Hackathon is basically like a marathon but without the running and sweating… well maybe some of the sweating. You get a brief of what you are trying to achieve over the course of the Hackathon and then you have to sit and code. We had just over 30 hours to complete the task; In this case Cadbury’s (the sponsors and purveyors of fine chocolate-based snacks) wanted an app that summed up “Chocolate” and “Joy”.
How did you get involved?
I’ve been an active member on the forum for a few years now and have been heavily coding in AGK since its release. Recently I have been writing tutorials and working with The Game Creators on a few game projects since TGC advertised for people to finish some game ideas they didn’t have time to complete. Rick contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing the Hackathon (at that point I’d never even heard of a Hackathon), I thought it was a good opportunity to meet Rick and do something fun.
With 50 teams competing and less than 48 hours to have a great idea and then implement it, luck must play a big part in the process. Do you think that on another day you would have been the winners?
I don’t think luck had anything to do with it really, nor did writing a good game or app. The sponsors and judges already had in mind the kind of app they were looking for and I think we just didn’t make it. What we did make was a great and simple game engine which had some fun elements (and great graphics thanks to Peter Jovanovic) and it was finished enough to be fully playable within the time frame. That’s something to be proud of in my opinion! Could we have won? Yes, if we had chosen to make the app they were looking for, definitely. More to the point we were using the right tool for rapid development. With AGK we were able to display a fully working game on multiple devices within thirty six hours.
What is the future of the game you developed?
We would like to see it re-branded or re-designed and published. With some more work and a few more cool ideas added it has real potential.
Would you do it all over again?
Definitely, it was a fun experience. Making a game, particularly as part of a team is always an exciting learning experience. Pooling creative resources and talent is something that always gives me a buzz. Being in the midst of so many creative people was something I haven’t done for a while.
Here is the entry in question, entitled Journey of Joy.