Great Canadian Appathon Great Canadian Appathon

A Hell of a Hackathon: 500 Students Code for Fortune and Fame at Great Canadian Appathon4

Fuelled by Big Macs and McFlurries, students across Canada worked non-stop for 48 hours to develop 100 mobile games that they hope will blow the judges’ socks off

Toronto, Ontario – January 21st, 2012 – Once more, award winning mobile games studio XMG challenged students from coast-to-coast to test their talent and carry on the legacy that is the Great Canadian Appathon (GCA): a crazy, intense and exhaustingly wonderful hackathon to design the next hit mobile game in just 48 hours. Over the weekend of January 17th, 500 participants raced against the clock for their chance to win over $35,000 in prizes. In addition to some cold hard cash, students were also competing to get their hands on one of the 60 highly sought after VIP tickets to participate in Canada’s first national Open Data hackathon – the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE). These tickets will give students access to the invite-only CODE hacker-hub in Toronto and includes travel and accommodation.

“The GCA4 has really kicked expectations for national hackathons up a notch: it is the first Appathon to receive sponsorship from the Canadian Government, the first to include digital art schools using a custom-built matching tool that links up developers and artists and the first appathon to feed its participants thanks to our generous food sponsor McDonald’s,” says Ray Sharma, President and Founder of XMG Studio Inc. “All the while maintaining it’s status as the largest competitive hackathon in the country!”

As a result of the specially developed matchmaking tool on the GCA4 website, team members’ specialties were more diverse and well balanced than ever before, including expertise from computer science and digital arts to sound design and physics majors. The fantasy themed game submissions ranged just as broadly from a two-dimensional tower-defense game fighting angry vegetables for supremacy, to a card game with the goal of destroying dragon eggs before they hatch, and a simplistic scribble app exercising the players own fantasy. Gathered at one of the 18 physical HUBs or coding from the convenience of their home, the 135 teams of up to 4 participants gave their all in hopes of winning big and kicking off their young career with a bang.

For many participants, the number one thing they were looking to gain from the competition was experience, although the $35,000 in cash and prizes and the potential to get VIP access to the CODE HUB helped keep them coding towards the end of the 48 hours. 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 the top 25 games on January 27th and announce the category winners, three finalists and CODE VIP ticket winners on February 6th. The three finalists will be honored on February 13th in Toronto at the “Grand Finale” event and will compete live in front of a panel of judges for the grand prize of $25,000.

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.