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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Imagine Cup 2012: It Begins

Well folks, it's that time of year again, the time to determine the finalists in the United States branch of the Imagine cup. Throughout the year, many people have been working on various projects for this year's competition. After 2 rounds of elimination, we have 22 team with a total of 76 people. Over the course of this year's competition, I will be covering windows phone game design. With that, let's meet the teams that I will be covering. To see the other teams, please visit (Please Note: you must have a facebook account if you want to access the link). Please also vote for you favorite team (use the same facebook link given above).

First, we have Pigmaster from University of California, Los Angeles with Word Hog. "Word Hog is a kid’s game about a group of pigs who need the player’s help to write a paper for a school project. The player controls a trampoline where pigs bounce toward bubbles to collect items such as letters. The second part of the game is a puzzle where the pigs can use those letters to create words, shift the letters around, or discard letters. "

Next, we have Panther Games Team Alpha from Santa Ana College and Chapman University with Children of War” (CoW). "The team created a game “Children of War” (CoW) that is based upon struggles in Africa between villages and rebel groups. The game puts the player into the shoes of a Ugandan child living in a village and the player must sneak past rebels and obstacles, rescue other children, and lead them all to safety in a race before dawn."

Then, we have Wasabi Ninja from University of Houston with Wasabi Ninja. "The team created an augmented reality based first person shooter game for Windows Phone 7. The player takes the role as Phagy, a nanomachine engineered specifically to destroy harmful materials in the water systems of developing countries."

Next, we have New Games Plus from University of California, Davis with RE-TREE. "RE-TREE focuses on the problems of deforestation. The player is a college student who decides to save the trees after an environmentally conscious professor teaches him about deforestation. The player uses weapons from the professor to defeat such enemies as loggers, scientists, lawyers, and a CEO, in the end coming to terms with the fact that the only way to cope with deforestation is to explore new and current technologies. "

Then, we have Team Mintrus from University of Louisville with Pandemic. "Pandemic is an AIDS-based tower defense game educating users about AIDS. The player plays as a specific character, and the unique setting – inside the human body. Each of the levels in this game resembles the story of an individual suffering from various methods of contraction."

Last, we have Drexel Dragons from Drexel University with Math Dash. "The team created the game “Math Dash”, a solution that helps students learn through game play. The game teaches students while engaging them in their normal activities and integrates learning with fun."

Last night started off with a keynote address from Major Nelson, a developer on the Xbox team. The point of his keynote address was that we are living in the golden age of software. Games are successful because they combine the elements of media with storytelling. It's the storytelling that really drives a game to be successful.

 I am curious to see how these teams will present the experience of their games to the judges and what the reception will be like. Anyway, stay tuned for more, as things are just heating up. I will be posting periodica1 updates on my Twitter acccount (@rctechgeek), so feel free to follow me to stay posted. Don't forget to vote for your favorite Imagine Cup team.

If you have any questions or comments about Imagine Cup, feel free to comment below in the comment box or e-mail me at

(quotes taken from project descriptions on teams' section on Imagine Cup Facebook page)

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