Computer Science
School of Engineering & Computer Science

Three Thing Game – May 2017, #3thinggame #fizzyo

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.

Some of the 32 #3thinggame teams 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: 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 for games.

Simon Jackson guest Monogame and Unity speaker

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 device.

Refreshments, lots of pizza

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.

Final judging

In the end a mixture of tired contestants and eager judges gathered for the final judging and there really were some great games made!

Fizzyo Games

1st place #fizzyo game

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 member.

Seedlings 2nd place Fizzyo

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 device.

DP's Meme Team 3rd Place 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.

Non-Fizzyo Games

Lunar Lander 1st Place Non Fizzyo

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.

hip, hip 2nd Place Non Fizzyo

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.

Oops 3rd Place Non Fizzyo

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.

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