Mobile game developer XMG Studio and the National Post tested Canada’s students at the Great Canadian Appathon2 (GCA2) mobile video game coding marathon, on their design creativity and development prowess. Over the weekend of September 30th, more than 125 competing teams gathered in 21 hubs for a sleep-deprived, energy drink-induced and pizza-fueled weekend of creating the next hit sports game app.
Each team was comprised of up to four students specializing in everything from computer coding to visual arts. Game ideas ranged from a two-dimensional fishing game, to a tower-defense game, and a game of pool in space. With only 48 hours to impress their skills upon the judges, teams needed to be focused, organized, and quickly get to the heart of what makes a game fun. While sleep strategy was a common focus amongst every team, what these teams were able to accomplish in such a short window of time overshadowed whatever effects sleep deprivation had. In other words, every team pushed their own limits, accomplished more than they thought would be possible, put theory to practice, and got a crash course in app game development.
“I visited 7 HUBS over the weekend and was impressed with the creativity and energy of the teams,” said Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio. “The first Great Canadian Appathon delivered games way ahead of our expectations and I am eager to put all 85 GCA2 games to the test and help the top three teams polish their games for release in an App store.”
The number one thing all teams said they were looking to gain from the competition was experience, although the $50,000 in cash and prizes was what kept them coding towards the end of the 48 hours. The winning team will not only take home the “game-changing” $25,000 and Unity Pro 3.x licenses, but will also be invited to interview for positions at XMG’s Toronto office. The team whose game takes second place will be awarded $10,000, and another 10 winners will each be awarded with $1,000 for a variety of category prizes including those sponsored by Microsoft, NOS Energy Drinks and Telus.
The submitted games will be evaluated on criteria such as the degree of innovation, the fun and entertainment factor, the level of art and design polish as well as stability. XMG will name the top 25 games on October 11th and announce the category winners and three finalists on October 25th. The three finalists will be honored on November 2nd in Toronto at the “Grand Finale” event, sponsored by KPMG, and will compete live in front of the panel of judges for the grand prize of $25,000.