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Great Canadian Appathon

Largest Canadian ‘Hackathon’ to Date: Over 500 Students Code in the 48-Hour Great Canadian Appathon3

Students in 39 HUBs spread across Canada worked non-stop for 48 hours to develop 100 mobile games to impress judges and take home the $25,000 grand prize

Toronto, Ontario – October 2nd, 2012 – Over the weekend of September 28th, more than 145 competing teams gathered for a weekend of sleep-deprived, caffeine-fuelled, coding and creating. Mobile game developer XMG Studio, The Electric Playground and The Globe and Mail put Canada’s students’ design creativity and development skills to the test at the Great Canadian Appathon3 (GCA3): an intense mobile video game coding marathon, to develop the next hit mobile game.

Teams were comprised of up to 4 students specialising in everything from computer coding to visual arts and sound design. Game ideas ranged just as broadly from a two dimensional, space-themed tower-defense game, to a role playing game set in a high-school hallway, and a game of office chess. With only 48 hours to impress their skills upon the judges, teams needed to be focused, organised and to quickly distil their gameplay down to one addictive hook. Just like during the GCA2, and theGCA1 before it, sleep strategy was a common focus amongst every team. Hence most of this year’s GCA3-ers came prepared and coded through the nights sustained by only pizza and Red Bull. In the end, more than 100 games were submitted, but more importantly, almost every team pushed their own limits, accomplished more than they thought would be possible, put theory to practice, and got a crash course at game development.

“We are incredibly proud of what the GCA has become since we first hosted the competition in 2011,” said Ray Sharma Founder and President of XMG Studio. “GCA1 and GCA2 both went down in developer history as the largest ‘hackathons’ ever to be held in Canada and the GCA3 — with its more than 500 participants — did nothing less. To celebrate this and the great Canadian coding culture, we decided to bump-up the total amount of cash and prizes for GCA3 winners from $30,000 to more than $45,000!”

One thing all participants said they were looking to gain from the competition was experience, an opportunity to put their skills to the test and a highlight for their resume. The winning team will not only take home the game-changing $25,000 and Unity Pro 3.x licenses, but will also be invited to interview for positions at XMG’s Toronto office. In recognition of how prior winners used the money to start studios, the winning team will also get access to a full startup package to help set up their own shop sponsored by law firm Cognition LLP. The team taking home second prize will be awarded $5,000, and another 10 winners will each be awarded with a limited-edition Halo 4 Xbox 360s sponsored by Microsoft, for a variety of category prizes including the “Best Educational Mobile Game” sponsored by Desire 2 Learn.

The submitted 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. XMG will name top 25 games on October 19th and announce the category winners and three finalists on October 29th. The three finalists will be honoured on November 8th in Toronto at the Grand Finale event, sponsored by KPMG, Telus and Brick Brewery; and will compete live in front of the panel of judges for the grand prize of $25,000.

For more information about the event including supported platforms, visuals, rules and regulations, as well as a list of participating colleges and Universities please visit greatcanadianappathon.com.

About XMG Studio Inc

XMG Studio Inc. is an award-winning developer and publisher of mobile games. Founded in late 2009, XMG has developed a track record for innovation excellence in mobile gaming including the release of critically acclaimed games downloadable on your iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Based in Toronto, XMG is one of the largest indie mobile game studios in Canada. Named as one of the top global mobile games developers to watch by popular media, XMG is focused on providing creative expression through gameplay for all fans of fun.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail, through its newspaper, magazine, online and mobile platforms, is Canada’s foremost news media company. Each day, The Globe leads the national discussion by engaging Canadians in its award-winning coverage and analysis of news, politics, business and lifestyle. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, founded in 1844, Report on Business, Canada’s most influential business magazine, and globeandmail.com, the newspaper’s online and mobile media hub, reach a combined 5.7 million readers every week. In addition to being Canada’s most award-winning newspaper for journalism excellence, The Globe has received global recognition for breakthroughs in design and new media, including the Society for News Design’s prizes for World’s Best Designed Website and Best Complete Newspaper Redesign in 2011, the 2011 Digi Award for Best in Digital Publishing, as well as the Emmy Award in 2009 and 2010 in the New Approaches to News and Documentary category. The Globe and Mail is 85% owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family, and Bell Canada (15%).

About The Electric Playground

Electric Playground is North America’s only daily videogame and entertainment series on television and the web. Since 1995, EP has been covering videogames on location from around the world featuring developer and behind-the-scenes interviews. In addition to videogames, EP features regular reports on industry news and technology, movies and television, and comic books and collectibles. EP is your daily source for videogames, entertainment, and technology.