Fun at hackgeny hero

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Fun at HackGenY

February 17, 2015

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Make School rocked HackGenY with a stellar opening talk, packed workshops, and a Summer Academy alumnus taking 1st place!!

About the hackathon

Hacking Generation Y (HackGenY) is a 30 hour hackathon that took place over the weekend of January 24-25 at GSVlabs (formerly nestGSV) in Redwood City. Over 400 high school students from across the country attended.

Make School’s cofounder Jeremy Rossmann delivered an inspiring opening talk during the hackathon’s kickoff where he introduced Make School’s Two Year College Replacement Program.

During the hackathon, Daniel Haaser of Make School ran two iOS workshops where students learned how to clone Flappy Bird in Apple’s new programming language, Swift. He says that, “most students were new to Swift and eager to learn how to use the new language”.

Make School also provided a free photo booth where students could have a professional photo taken for their LinkedIn profiles, or capture hackathon memories with fun props.

Make School Winner

Teresa Ibarra, an alumnus of Make School Summer Academy 2014, won the hackathon with her team’s text-based adventure game. At this hackathon, Teresa worked with Zach Latta, Luke Wright, and Andy Fang to create a bot that interacts with Tinder and Omegle users to create an interactive adventure. Their bot, downtozork.js, or dtz.js for short, starts by asking: “Hey, if you could go on a deserted island, what would you bring with you?" Based on user responses, the bot takes individuals on a text-based adventure 100 possible outcomes. For example, in the middle of the conversation, the bot might say, "YOU ARE NOW KING OF THE ISLAND. DO YOU CHOOSE TO SAVE THE NATIVES OR BEGIN WAR?"

Teresa’s role in the project was to create the bot. To do that she had to learn Inform (a somewhat obscure language written in grammatically correct english and specifically used for making text-based adventures). Teresa wrote over 100 possible scenarios for users to go through.

In the first three days, dtz.js had over 20,000 conversations, with over 100,000 messages sent. Teresa reports that “the majority of people played along or were very confused”. This bot’s creative design won the hackathon, giving the team prizes of Misfit watches and 1StudentBody internships.

Teresa is also the creator of First World Problems: The Game, which won the 2014 ESA LOFT Innovation Fellowship Award - read more here

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