Hack MCR Challenge

It’s nearing that time of the year again; Hack Manchester will be back for its 6th event on the 27th and 28th October 2018.

Hack Manchester is a hackathon that takes place over 25 hours, where teams go head to head in competing in a range of optional challenges, in a bid to win some pretty cool prizes! The mission of the event is to ‘showcase and benefit the tech community by promoting, celebrating and teaching technical skills through workshops and events for all ages’. For more info, click here.

In preparation for the event, we hold an internal hackathon with our new starters and Industrial Placements. In teams, they are given a brief to work to.

This year, the brief was to make a ‘travel game’. So, without further or do, let’s see what was created!

In third place we had…

The Monster Mashers

Game: Snakes off a plane (see what they did there?!)

After some discussion, they decided to make a parody game of “Snakes on a Plane”. This fits the theme of travel, because it’s a game where snakes drop down and the player must travel across the screen to catch them.

The simplest scope for the game was to make snakes drop from the planes at the top of the screen, and have a character at the bottom of the screen catch them. This evolved somewhat into having multiple snakes drop from the plane.

At the beginning of the game, you start off with 5 lives, which are represented by love hearts. Every time a snake hits the ground you lose a life; to try and avoid this, you move the character at the bottom of the screen using the arrow buttons on the keyboard, hoping to catch all the snakes.

Additional functionality was added in the form of power-ups, reverse options and ice slicks, as well as a “Replay” screen to allow users to play again after they died.

Feedback: The graphics were good, and the concept was great, however, the timings of the snakes dropping were very fast and unplanned. This made it a very hard, if not impossible, game to win.

In second place we have…

Team Meeeee

Game: Travel Clicker

Clicker/Interval games are becoming more and more popular, as they are an easy way to pass time and can be addictive to play. So, Team Meeeee decided to make a clicker game based on the concept of being able to upgrade the way you travel!

The aim is to become as rich as possible by progressing through different ways of transport. The game can be played infinitely, however an unofficial endpoint was created.

The player first starts with £10 in their pocket, and with that, they are only able to afford a bicycle. As the game progresses and more money is made, players can buy multiple bikes, resulting in an increase in their speed – generating more money. Then, when 6 bicycles are bought, the player can upgrade to buying motorbikes.

Every 6 vehicles on the track unlock the next type of transport. The speed, earnings and price of each type of transport varies, and the speed and earning upgrades only apply to the vehicle type selected – giving the user a choice on what they wish to buy!

When at least 36 vehicles have been bought, the ‘END’ button activates. When the ‘END’ button is pressed, another menu pops up allowing players to buy angels; from here the game is infinite!

Feedback: Other than a slight glitch, this game had ticked all the boxes. The graphics were good, the concept was clever, and the game was straightforward, meaning anyone could play it.

And the winning team was…

Team Neamash

Game: Spread the Ethos

Team Neamash wanted something that would be more challenging to program and push them outside of their comfort zone, but also wanted it to be successful… that’s how they came up with ‘Spread the Ethos’. In this game, you explore a map by clicking on different destinations.

The purpose of the game is to travel around the world and spreading the ethos to as many locations as possible. You are scored based on the number of locations visited and the total distance travelled – the further you travel, the better! The finishing location is where you are aiming to get, and it is marked with a red dot.

Once you’ve visited a location, you can’t go back; if you get stuck, then it’s game over!

Feedback: This game is enjoyable and original. It engages your game as you have to be strategic in your thinking and it is a simple yet effective concept.

Thank you to all the staff who took part – everyone did a brilliant job and it was a hard choice for our judge!

This internal hackathon was a success and now we are more than ready for Hack Manchester, where this year, we are proud to be headlining sponsors once again! This means that our Chief Exec., Craig, gets the pleasure of judging the Best in Show, and he is more than excited about it!

If you’re taking part and you want to know how to impress him, then look no further, because I can tell you exactly what he’s looking for:

Passion: It’s brilliant when you see a team that are passionate about what they do and the completion of a project that has been built with enthusiasm. Seeing a group of people that thrive in that environment, because they’re doing something they love, will undoubtedly make you stand out for all the right reasons.

Originality: It isn’t expected of you to do something completely new and that’s never been done before, but if you can make something that has elements of originality, is creative and unique, then you will be ticking some of Craig’s boxes!

Progression: There is no expectation there for you to be perfect and it is appreciated that you may not be professionals, so we want to see you develop and grow throughout the process.

We look forward to seeing you there! You can follow our social channels for updates on Hack Manchester and Hack Manchester Junior, including live-tweets from MOSI during the event, competitions, and more!