Posted on 30 April 2012

Gamehack was a 24hr hackathon put on by various sponsors at Pinewood Studios. I went along with a team of past and present colleagues, and spent 24hrs cranking out code to procedurally generate content & behaviour. It was great to see so many creative people there working on some really ambitious projects (multiplayer peer-to-peer games on any mobile platform? why not?!). Watching everyone present their efforts after 24 hours was hugely inspiring and really brought home just how mature the web has become as a games platform. My team mates and I did rather neglect the game aspect, so it got turned into a rolling trailer at the last minute (but game hacks used to be demo parties anyway, so I figure its all good).

The game demo was built on Antix Labs framework, which cross-compiles code to multiple platforms. We chose to target the late 2011 MBA, on account of it running the game at the quickest rate. We stuck to OpenGL ES 1.0, for old school fixed function lols but spent most the effort on making content rather than lighting it all beautifully. We were lucky enough to win the procedural content category, which I like to think was due to the breadth of techniques involved and the polish in terms of camera sequences, background music and so on. More important than that, we had a great time and saw lots of cool ideas!

In terms of things we could have done better: we did end up switching from Mercurial to p4 half way through the event on account of not being able to get our heads around DCVS on the day – lesson learnt, understand your CVS before you turn up!

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