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Great World at BeMyApp Game Hackathon San Francisco #bmagamessf

The BeMyApp WorldCup hackathon is dedicated to innovative mobile games and will take place in Berlin, San Francisco and Paris simultaneously!

- Roughly 400 people came to the opening night in San Francisco, Berlin, and Paris
- Over 80 game ideas were pitched
- More than 30 projects were voted in and built over the course of the weekend in all three cities
- 3 finalists were nominated by a a panel of judges in each city

I pitched an social good video game idea called “Citizenville” to validate if it was worth pursuing. Citizenville is a community building simulated game developed to generate donations for REAL nonprofits. I had been toying around with the idea for a while now and finally had the courage to pitch it. I was inspired by a speech by Peter Thiel about true innovation or lack there of in the few decades. I fully agree with him because it seems like only a small percentage of these ideas are recycled and they aren’t inventing something new and revolutionary. They are making something new of something old. I want to change that but there’s a bigger picture…stay tuned.

There were 26 ideas pitched, I was selected. We then formed teams, which was chaotic but at least the event organizers had coded badges which helped. We teamed up with Lane Allen-deisgner, Tim Sexton-story teller, Will Mason-developer and Gael Buchy-developer to become Team “Great World.” We changed our name b/c I only quick through it together when I registered for the event and signed up for the pitch on a spur of the moment. We assumed Zygna bought it. (more in next blog)

We noticed that even though we had a lot of good feedback about the idea itself, it wasn’t the most sexy latest tech project that attracts engineers. Something to think about when developing the product in the long run. My strategy was “Dream Big, build small.” So that’s what we did. We attacked just the game element of my full idea. Given the skills and team composition, we had to work with everyone’s strength, divide and conquer….for 48 hours!

The event started Friday evening and final pitches were at 7pm on Sunday. Six teams pitched to three judges. We appreciated the feedback and the ability to fully crank out an idea or a MVP in 2 days. Developers took on the challenge from sponsors’ new tech products. Interesting to see the innovation that comes out of that! 3 out of 7 projects in HTML5. Who said HTML5 isn’t for gaming?

In addition to the game itself, we built a nice RESTful API back end which was used to manage users, game state, notifications, and of course payments. Payments were support by Stripe, which was simple and easy to use, Twilio handled SMS, which was easy as usual, and Amazon did transactional email and platform with EC2, SES, and Route 53.

We won the sponsors prize from the awesome folks from Ludei  – $500 in gift cards for the top game developed using the Ludei APIs. Face’MPoker - bringing video to mobile poker! Voting is open only until tomorrow morning PST and it’d be great to get your help http://worldcup.bemyapp.com/ A shout out to all great teams who took part of the hackathon, you guys all kicked ass - Think Like a Doctor, BayWheels, DrawBeyond, FlyFar, Dino2, Scuba Bowl and Great World. We hope that all of you will continue working on your game projects.

The best part about the event was the feedback that was received. I were given a message that my idea is worth pursing but on a much larger scale and now is the right time and there are interested stakeholders out there since my idea has the potential for far reaching global good. “Dream big and buckle up,” is all my mentor had to say.