Junction 2016

In late November last year I attended a Hackathon called Junction, which claims to be Europe's largest Hackathon. I had no idea what to expect when I joined, but the only reason I chose to attend was the virtual reality track they had. Some big companies were involved and sponsoring the event as well, so it couldn't really hurt to go see what was going on.

My initial plan was to just go hang around and not build anything serious. Maybe not even enter a competition. However, after walking around I met Eetu (another Houdini user, fairly well-known on Odforce) and we decided to work on a HoloLens project together. After some brainstorming we came up with a silly idea: Saving kittens using real-world objects in a Lemmings-style game. Because who doesn't love kittens? Everything was built using Unity and a little bit of Houdini. Some of the assets were found online. For example, the kitten rig was found on Unity's asset store. Whenever we tested our game in the open, an audience appeared and wanted to try it. As you can see from this video.

Our project was submitted to the VR track and to Unity's 'Unexpected Virtuality' challenge. We won the VR track and placed second in Unity's challenge. So because we won, we had to present our project on stage in front of approximately a hundred people. Well, as you can guess, wearing a bulky AR device on your head in front of an audience is no easy task. Unfortunately, we also had a little bit of a 'Demo Effect' while demoing and everything didn't work perfectly, but it was still fun. 

All in all, it was a very fun weekend and I loved working together with Eetu. I also really liked making a finished thing in just two days and it's something I will try to force myself to do more often on my own. 

Unfortunately, we don't have any good footage from the game itself because we forgot to transfer our recordings from the HoloLens. But, here's a video of an earlier version of the game: