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Toronto, Canada — Mobile game developer XMG Studio, Electronic Playground, and The Globe and Mail have teamed up to challenge all Canadian students to compete in the largest ‘hackathon’ in Canadian developer history: A race against the clock to create the next hit mobile game in under 48 hours.
Over the weekend of September 28, students will gather at more than 40 participating university and college ‘HUBS’ across Canada. The teams will work around the clock and compete for a $25,000 first place prize, $5,000 second place prize, as well as 10 category winners who will receive a special edition Xbox Halo 4 Edition, generously provided by Microsoft.
“Video games have not only captured the popular imagination, they are true works of innovation and I am proud to say Canada is a world leader in this booming industry,“ says Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, and a member of this year’s GCA judging panel. “Canada is the third largest producer of video games in the world — trailing only the United States and Japan — and houses some of the world’s greatest studios and many of its most promising startups. This is something we should celebrate and I look forward to being dazzled by what enterprising Canadian students can create as part of the Great Canadian Appathon.”
Like the Great Canadian Appathon – the largest ‘hackathon’ in Canada to date – GCA guarantees its participants 48 hours of intense fun, the opportunity to learn all kinds of new code, and a chance to build a mobile game on their mobile operating system of choice. XMG will be sending its talented designers and developers to selected University ‘HUBS’ to motivate and mentor the teams. All others can rely on a 48-hour support line for questions and advice on how to work with the latest interfaces.
“We expect nothing less than the students to emerge from GCA with learning more about commercial software development than any other experience in their student careers,” says Bill Marshall, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Toronto International Film Festival, and a member of the GCA judging panel. “In my years of experience making movies, guiding the evolution of TiFF, and as an executive in the games industry there is one thing I can say with strong certainty – don’t underestimate the power of creativity. I challenge all student participants of the GCA to deliver the coding performance of their young lives.”
The GCA will start at 5:00 p.m. (local time) on September 28th, 2012 and continue for 48 hours, ending at 5:00 p.m. on September 30th, 2012. Following the event, the winning games will be evaluated on criteria such as the degree of innovation, the fun and entertainment factor, the level of art and design polish as well as stability. The three finalists, will be honoured on November 8th 2012 in Toronto at the “Grand Finale” event, sponsored by KPMG, and will compete live in front of a panel of judges for the grand prize of $25,000.
“We bring the guidance of the leading mobile games studio in Canada, the game-changing prize money and the talented judges to the table,” says Ray Sharma, Founder and President of XMG Studio “Add some wicked student smarts, sprinkle it with sleep-deprived craziness and you’ve got the basic recipe for an addictive mobile game. At XMG we know very well the explosive potential of ‘hackathons’. Cows vs. Aliens, built in 24 hours at an internal ‘hackathon’, has been downloaded over a million times in Android, over a million times in iOS, and won no less than the Most Innovative Android Game of the Year for 2011. We can say with strong conviction that ‘hackathons’ can results in impressive results. And simplicity is beautiful; one polished hook and 48 hours to code and create is all it takes to succeed.”
More information about the event including supported platforms, team registrations, rules and regulations, campuses already signed-on or information on how to get your campus involved, please visit www.greatcanadianappathon.com.