Monday, October 13, 2008

Adobe Flash Camp: Screamo Ball wins Best Game

Hackathon Contest Winners for Flash Camp

First, let me just say that if you could have gone to Flash Camp this last weekend and you didn't . . . you made a huge mistake! On Friday, the camp started out with Adobe giving everyone a free copy of Flash CS4. There was a little drama as we realized it was only a trial version, but apparently they didn't have authentication codes created so we'll be getting them emailed to us soon. Almost immediately I met a couple guys from the Mochi Forum, including Edgar Miranda ( who ended up working with me on Screamo Ball. We all grabbed a table and started brainstorming ideas. The main goal was to pick up on the new features, so I messed around with sound generation all day making random beeping sounds based on an objects position. The others played with Pixel Bender, 3D modeling, and some new tweening techniques. Programming wise the entire first day was unproductive, but the networking, free food, free drinks, free Flash CS4, and free MUNI (the machine on our bus was broken) made it pretty much amazing!

We eventually came up with the idea to use the microphone as a control set for a game. The original plan was to create a first person shooter, where you would fire a laser by going "pew pew" (high pitch) and fire a machine gun by going "dadadada" (low pitch). This didn't pan out since Flash doesn't give you access to the sound properties of the microphone input (Feature Request!!!). The concept had to use amplitude (using the microphone activity level) rather than pitch, so the next idea was to take the basic helicopter game and change it so you used your voice to propel upwards. Thus, Screamo Ball was born. Since the game didn't really utilize any new features, we decided to make the walls 3D. I spent the whole next day developing the physics for the game while Edgar worked on the 3D aspects.

The deadline to present on Sunday came so close that I was actually exporting the final demonstration file as we walked to the stage. Presenting the game was fun, making random sounds in front of 300+ people. The crowd had me beat box to the game, a technique I would hardly recommend.

After we had presented it was really awesome to see what others had done. I felt the quality behind most of the projects reflected how great the Flash Camp environment had been.

Later they announced Screamo Ball had won Best Game! This was pretty exciting as we may get Screamo Ball featured on the Adobe website. They also awarded each of us $25, a noble prize for any poor college student. I've uploaded the game to my website if you would like to give it a shot below!

Screamo Ball
Play Screamo Ball

(Note: You must download Flash 10 Beta)

Overall, I have to say, "Go Adobe!!" They really did a great job of putting this together on short notice and making it a rich experience.

1 comment:

Garnet Chaney said...

Congratulations on your win! I was one of the judges, and I can tell you that we did not have an easy time deciding among the entrants!

I posted some Flash Camp notes on my wiki, including the code for my entry "Race To The Bottom".