Northwestern University International Women’s Hackathon


On Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., I co-ran an event that reached 12 college students, ages 18-25, that were 100% women and 91.7% ethnic minorities. The theme of this hackathon was a Disaster Response Challenge: "Build a game to help organizations & communities prepare for effective response after natural disasters."

Microsoft provided personnel and prizes (water bottles, headphones, T-shirts, and a blanket). Adam Hecktman, David Giard, Tim Benroeck, and I were in attendance. Tim Benroeck presented on stage in front of the girls for an hour, teaching about Construct 2. We chose to lead the event in the direction of Construct 2 because games built in it can be exported to HTML5 for cross-platform functionality as well as Windows 8.1. This event was a solid relationship-building success for generating a positive perception of Microsoft for WildHacks and future events. 

There were two teams of 6 girls, both building in Construct 2. The results of the girls' efforts are online in the form of two fun games.

Team 1: "Disaster Fighters!"

Description: Natural disasters have increased a lot during recent years, and the sooner you can arrive on the scene, the more people you can save. 

The idea of our game is to find and fight the disaster as soon as possible. There is a city under attack from different kinds of catastrophes. The player is responsible for searching everywhere to help the city get out of the danger before it’s too late. The more disasters you find and defeat within the time limit, the higher your score will be. 

Team 2: "Shake 'n' Quake!" 

Description: * PHASE ONE: Your task is to collect items for your inventory. You must keep your health up by collecting items that may be useful in an emergency. You will gain health points by choosing correct items and lose health points by choosing unnecessary items. Get collecting! Hurry, in case something bad happens...

* PHASE TWO: Oh no, an earthquake has started! Good thing you are prepared with: 

Water - 1 gallon/person per person per day (min 3 days)
Food - non-perishables (min 3 days)
First aid kit Now, avoid the falling rocks to stay alive. Additionally, collect items to store in your inventory. Good luck! ----Upon Completion of Phase 2----

* PHASE THREE: The earthquake has passed. It’s now your job to avoid the hazards and safely exit the building. Be careful!

The object of this game is to help prepare the general public for what to do in earthquakes by giving them health points for collecting useful items and taking away health points for being hit by rubble or collecting unnecessary items.

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