IVRC’s Second Immerse-a-thon!

By March 23, 2017Uncategorized
A judge tries out the "Song Samurai" experience.

A judge tries out the "Song Samurai" experience.

It’s official, the IVRC has its second immerse-a-thon under its belt!  It was held in conjunction with Hackfort on March 11th and 12th at Trailhead.  We decided to let participants work through the night making it a 33 hours straight event.  (Alright, if you factor in daylight savings which occurred early Sunday morning it was actually only 32 hours).  Participants were not allowed to do any coding prior to the event.  The theme “Musical Mischief” was advertised with the event as a nod to the main “fort” - Treefort.  It felt like teams came in with a pretty good idea of what direction they were going to take their projects.  We had a fantastic time and the feedback from both the teams and the judges was that everyone really enjoyed themselves.  We were also pretty amazed at the high caliber of the experiences on Sunday.  The judges selected a top team from both the Community and Student division and the Grand Prize winner will be announced at Hackfort on Friday, March 24th at noon.  We thought we’d give you a little insight into the semifinalist teams and how they came up with their experiences.

Community Division Semi-Finalist - Boise Codeworks


A dragon throws a fireball that you have to hit with your katana sword.

The Codeworks team created a game they call “Song Samurai.”  They said their inspiration came from playing games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.  To best fit the music theme of the event, they wanted to stick with classic songs (since none of them are musicians and they didn’t want to create new music) and build a beat matching game.  As Codeworks put it best, “the game can be mostly summarized as Guitar Hero meets Fruit Ninja.”  The player essentially uses two swords to slice through beat driven fire and ice balls that shoot out from a flying dragon.  The swords were a critical element in their ideation process as they wanted the player to use Katana swords.  From there they landed on the name “Song Samurai” which they felt was the perfect fit and the rest of the theme built on these elements.  They knew it would be important to make a fully structured game with a starting sequence, a scoring aspect and an “end goal” so the scoring system was slowly built around that idea.  

So how’d they build it?  When they arrived on Saturday they dove right into the code.  They had planned ahead for this project and came into the event with a Trello board of tasks and each member had been assigned a first task to complete.  From there it moved quickly.  “By breaking up into teams of two and partner programming each piece, switching partners in-between parts, we were able to ensure everyone knew a little bit about each of the parts that interacted with each other”,  remarked Jake Overall, Sr. Instructor at Codeworks.  They were tired by Sunday, but felt like they had accomplished a lot.  “My favorite part of the event was watching other people try our game for the first time”, said student Aaron Kim.  Trust me when I say that Song Samurai didn’t disappoint!  

Student Division Semi-Finalist - Claeo and Zena


Merry Structure by Wassily Kandinsky


Elements from the experience.

This dynamic duo took a different approach to the theme and created an abstract art and music experience.  Their inspiration was the abstract expressionist, Wassily Kandinsky, and his middle and late period works.  They used elements from his pieces Merry Structure and Yellow Red Blue within the experience.  The theme was that certain colors and shapes are associated with certain sounds and elements of music.  Manipulating the visual components would change the auditory output. Upon entering the world, your hands are shapes from the paintings an you can then use them to touch the other shapes, triggering a visual and auditory reaction which builds on the background music.  The music in the experience was composed by Claeo!  Their project was such a unique and creative way to express the theme.  I personally found the experience fascinating and loved being able to touch elements of the painting and trigger different musical elements and movements of the piece.  Another awesome experience!

We wouldn’t have been able to have such a great event without the support of our partners and sponsors.  A HUGE shout out to Hackfort, Trailhead, NVIDIA, Perkins Coie, GDC, Unity, VR1 Virtual Reality Arcade and Treefort

We can’t wait for the next one!

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