Three Thing Game – May 2017, #3thinggame
Last updated on 5/16/2017 Print this page
For those not in the know, Three Thing Game is a programming
Game Jam run over (approximately) 24 hours. This time, 32 teams of
enthusiasts (that’s students, as well as me and my ‘kind’) gathered
to challenge themselves to create a game based on 3 random words
that they were given. At the end of the 24 hours the teams
subjected their games to a thorough Judging against various
criteria like: adherence to the Things, how complete their game is,
and how much money is slipped to the judges discreetly.
Over the years, teams from all years of
study have made some great stuff, some of which has even been
published in various app stores. This is an excellent opportunity
for the participants to put their skills in to practice, and to
hone their craft. This is also one of those ‘extra-curricular’
activities that help to distinguish students in the eyes of
potential employers from the 300 other people that will be
graduating from here at the same time.
This time we ran a competition sub-category for games that make
use of the #fizzyo device: https://github.com/Fizzyo/fizzyo-challenge.
In summary, it is a device that measures breath output, and is used
for Cystic Fibrosis patients as part of their physio programme.
What does that have to do with a game jam you may ask? Well, I am
glad you asked, because these devices can be represented as a
single axis joystick (plus button) and so can be used as a control
input for games. There is a framework and examples to allow you to
use the devices with Monogame or Unity. The idea is that we can
make games that encourages (in particular) younger physio patients
to complete their physio and using the correct technique. Lee Stott
from Microsoft gave a great talk on why it is so important to do
things to help cystic fibrosis sufferers and the #fizzyo project
We also had a guest talk from Simon Jackson, a professional
software developer with long time experience with Monogame and
Unity and intimate knowledge of the workings of the #fizzyo
This mountain of pizza was sponsored by APD Communications, a
local employer of our students. They also sent a team of developers
(former graduates of ours) to relive the glory days and take part
in the hackathon.
In the end a mixture of tired contestants and eager judges
gathered for the final judging and there really were some great
In first place is Llama Dash created by a team called ‘Bob’.
With the words llama, octopus, and duel Connor Kerwin created an
infinite runner game that gave real consideration to the
physiotherapy routine of young cystic fibrosis patients and how
that fit in to the game. Extra impressive for a team with a solo
In second place, the pair of programmers in the ‘Seedlings’ team
created the Blossoming Bakery game using the words blossom, pie,
and procedural. Their game is a multiplayer turn-based procedurally
generated board game that is designed to allow both cystic fibrosis
patients and their friends and siblings to play together. Clever
mechanisms in place to encourage the correct use of the #fizzyo
In third place, DP’s Meme Team, a developer quartet, created
Dragondoom inspired by the words dragon, magic, and apocalypse.
Their game has #fizzyo users embodying a fire breathing dragon
defending itself against swarms of malevolent wizards.
In first place is Lunar Lander with their game A O. Using their
words ASCII, ambient occlusion, and psionic, they created a
visually impressive procedural world. It reminded me a little of
the retro classic Gauntlet, though it looks nothing like it.
In second place the team called [“hip”, “hip”] (hip hip array –
programmers’ joke) made a charming multiplayer space invaders-esque
game called Condimental where the ships could move freely on a
circular track and shoot the centrally spawning tomatoes to fill
their ketchup bottle. Ketchup, race, and psychedelic were their
words and it is all the more impressive that these are A-level
students that were only introduced to games development using
Monogame a few weeks ago.
In third place the team called ‘Oops’ created a game of two
halves called Gorilla Gauntlet using their words ape, surfing, and
arena. In their game an obstacle filled race on surf boards
culminates in a one on one battle arena.