Imagine Cup 2013: Passion + Creativity + Awesomeness = Amazing Hackathon @ RIT




Last Weekend I spent an amazing time with the students and faculty at the School of Interactive Games and Media at Rochester Institute of Technology.

On the 30th  of November to 1st of December,  RIT and Microsoft held an 18 hour Imagine Cup workshop and Game Hackathon.  I know 18 hours on no sleep, lots  junk food and plenty of coffee doesn’t seem like the perfect recipe but,  the students at RIT did an amazing job and demo great games !

The RIT Imagine Cup Workshop and Game Hackathon last weekend was  my very first event!  For those of you have read a bits of my blog, you will know that I just joined Microsoft at the beginning of October  after just graduating  this year. This  event was a BIG DEAL for me!   As you can imagine  being  a newbie I was nervous and excited about this workshop/hackathon. The turn out of this event was pretty amazing we had 49 students come out, and 28 participate in the hackathon split into teams of four.I couldn’t  have asked for a more amazing crowd.

The Challenge

The amazing teams  had to  create an app or game that fell under one of the three competition categories of Imagine Cup 2013: game, innovation, or world citizenship. The final results had  run on a  Windows:  Desktop(Windows 8), phone, or Azure,  with the teams using Visual Studio as their primary text editor.

The room was filled with amazing talent ranging from graphic designers, to musicians , and programmers. It was so exciting to see that even with such a tight time frame, this talented group were creating their own graphics, music and learning new ways to develop on  the Windows 8 platform.  A couple of the students had never used  HTML5 & JavaScript or XAML & C#  to  build an application, and I must say I was blown away by the  games that were created by the teams! 


createjsimageThe games I saw towards  the end of the competition were intuitive, beautifully designed, fun and highly addictive.  Each team had a great game concept and I hope see their final products at the Imagine Cup 2013; in the windows store; and as participants in Generation App 30 to launch.   Teams were highly resourceful utilizing Windows 8  code samples; JavaScript tools and libraries like Create JS; and cross development tools like Mono Game, and Unity.  The ability for the teams to develop such great apps in a short amount time speaks  highly to their  talents. The fact that the teams were able to develop using a variety of programming languages and tools shows the flexibility of  Windows 8 development to work with  a developer strengths.

I saw so  many amazing games last weekend, I would like to introduce you to the three winning teams. In first place was Dice Deluxe: Jason Mandelbaum, Christopher Chippero, and Brendan George. This Windows phone game allowed its players to access multiple dice at ago. By the end of the hackathon this Game was ready,  I can’t wait to see it in the Windows 8 store. In second place was Renu: Amanda Rivet, Adam Ettenberger, Nate Lemoi, and Josh Davis.  This Windows 8  application has been  designed not only as game but, as educational tool on environmental awareness. I loved how the team thought of creative way to keep their players engaged and environmentally conscious.Renu used  HTML5 &  JavaScript, and  CreateJs. Last but not least was Grid Lock: Daniel Jost, Timothy Reynolds, Sean Brennan, and Mike Nolan.  This Windows 8 game  is a fast-paced 2D shooter featuring both four player local coop and online multiplayer. It is cross-platform so players can partner up with their  friends using their favorite device. Grid Lock used Unity, XAML & C#. 


I would like to say a special thank you to Jennifer Hinton, David Schwartz , and all the faculty at RIT who made this  hackathon possible. A BIG thank you to  all the students who came out for the event.

A special thank you to colleagues and Microsoft Partners   Chris BowenEdwin Guarin, and Steve Maier.

Comments (2)

  1. Jenn Hinton says:

    Thank you so much!!!

  2. David I. Schwartz says:

    thanks! Looking forward to many more ImagineCup game jams!

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