In the past two weeks there’s been a storm of ideas at Kwalee! We have some brilliant minds here but recently there’s been no limit for these ideas to fly thanks to our first hackathon!
Although everyone’s suggestions and feature requests to improve PlayPhoto are heard and seen regularly, we work to a dictated schedule of sprints, building towards fixing our immediate problems. This often leaves potentially innovative ideas behind in the dust.
Behind every amazing game there’s a lot of creative ideas from the members of an incredible team. That’s why at Kwalee, innovative activities like the hackathon are so important. We think they are a great way to lean on the creativity of the team to bring new and exciting ideas to our games.
For the hackathon, all staff were split into 5 teams with at least one programmer in each team. The teams were given one clear mission:
<<to prototype, within the existing PlayPhoto codebase, groundbreaking and brilliant new features>>.
All the teams were given 4 hours to brainstorm ideas and then 2 days to hack in the design.
Teams then had to present their ideas, talking through concepts that didn’t make the cut and then presenting a working build of their innovation. Everyone had time to play the prototypes to understand their potential before an internal vote to decide the winner.
After the people had spoken… the winning team was announced!
The champions will be awarded with a free lunch at a local restaurant and their idea has been the first to be evaluated for full implementation and…it’s going to be available in our next update! You can see how proud they are, right?
They gave an emotional statement when they received the news:
<<We’d like to thank our fans – without them we’d never have got this far. Thanks to our families for supporting us throughout the hard times. And Jeebus, for standing behind us when we do bad things.>>
We asked our Producer, Simon, why he thinks that the hackathon helps the creative process here at Kwalee:
<<We make the effort to employ intelligent, passionate and creative people. With this comes a responsibility to allow them to work outside of our planned workload to stretch those ambitious muscles. This not only allows people to step away from the sometimes tedious structure of routine sprints, but also realise potentially ground-breaking ideas that form whilst working on such an ambitious product.>>
And what about more initiatives like this one? Simon confesses:
<<We have more planned – we find ourselves getting excited about the following events before the first has even finished! Our next event will be starting in the next couple of months and will be very different. We’re keeping it under our hats at the moment, but we can say that we’ll be wanting the teams to let their imaginations run away with them with the reward for the best innovations being bigger than ever before.>>
You can see he’s very happy with how everything has worked out.
The first PlayPhoto hackathon has been a major success combining a lot of effort, creativity and teamwork. Here’s a selection of what people thought:
“I loved the creativity that came from it”
“There was a great atmosphere”
“Good to see everyone getting creative within the context of the game”
“A great experience”
“Worked very well…got people talking”
“We should do this once a week!”
“Amazing how many brilliant, really innovative ideas there were”
“Really good initiative and well organised”
“Really enjoyed it”
Do you want to join us and be part of this incredible team?
Check out our career website!
And if you can’t find the perfect role for you just send us your CV through our Talent Network, you never know when we’ll have some exciting opportunity for you!