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The Great Canadian Appathon

March 7, 2011

XMG Studios, a mobile game developer from Toronto, has partnered with The National Post, Telus, and a number of universities to present “The Great Canadian Appathon… a 48-hour hackathon where students across Canada compete to create the best game”.  XMG and Telus are offering $25,000, a Windows 7 phone, and an internship interview to whomever comes in first place, along with some almost-as-jaw-dropping runners up prizes.  You can find out more about rules and prizing on their website, http://www.greatcanadianappathon.com, or check the posters around the school for more info.

We looked through their information, but still had a few questions for them, which we’ve compiled along with their answers into a mini FAQ that you can see after the break.  The Great Canadian Appathon is scheduled to run from this Friday March 11th to March 13th at various Canadian universities, including the Davis Center fish bowl (the glass area) here at UW.

UPDATE:  XMG would like all participats to register for the Appathon on their website by noon on Friday.  Note that this is before the competition actually starts.  We know many of you may want to make teams with people you meet at the event, so we’re in talks with XMG to extend the registration deadline until after the competition has started.  Still, as it stands, the competition is only open to individuals or groups who register before the deadline.  We’ve also received word that, to encourage early registration, XMG is having a draw to win an Xbox 360 for all participants who register before Wednesday March 9th at noon.

These are our questions for XMG and their answers [updated Mar 9].  Note that these were questions we asked after reading through most of their website, so browsing through that is also a good plan:

What OSes are allowed?  iOS?  Symbian?  WebOS?  Blackberry OS?  WP7?
Windows Phone 7 is our official platform partner however any OS is available but publishing into their marketplace may not happen as efficiently.

Who owns the game if it gets published?  What if it doesn’t get published? What’s the split between entrant/XMG/Carrier profits for a published game?  Can a non-XMG-selected entry still be independently published?
The Top 25 games will be given a waiver that they will have to sign to move forward – the rest of the games maintain their rights to games. The top game will get published for sure on Windows Phone Marketplace but the other 24 games will have a period of time they will have to wait for before publishing their game. The split is to be determined.

One of the prizes is an interview for an internship; will this internship be paid?
Yes, it is a paid internship (we are calling it a mentorship).

Can it count as a co-op term for Waterloo students?
Yes – or it could turn into a hire.

Are the internship dates set in stone?
No, it’s flexible.

Will there be any additional software available for entrants to use (i.e.: a temporary Photoshop license)?
No – however we will have tools on our site.

[NEW – Thanks Colin] Will hardware be available for us in testing at the venue?
Yes – hardware will be available.  We are working to get two [Windows Phone 7s] per HUB.

[NEW – Thanks Matthew] Does the game have to be targeted towards mobile deployment?
Mobile games only.

There you have it.  Once again check their site for more information.  If you have any more questions, feel free to send them to us and we’ll try to get a response from XMG as soon as possible.  Also note that XMG will be available during the competition to answer any questions (they’ll be there watching ;)).

UPDATE: If you’re looking for team members, treat the comments section as a thread and try to find a good team that way.


Categories: Events
  1. Alex Hughes
    March 8, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Hey guys, total noob to the mobile game dev world here. I’m not as interested in going for any prize as I am in just making cheesy games and getting involved with a team. Not a skilled developer in any way, but motivated.

    I can make terrible chiptunes, as well.


  2. March 9, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Does the game have to be targeted towards mobile deployment? The website is a bit vague on this point. I see that the “official” platform is Windows Phone 7, but otherwise it doesn’t specify if web or standalone games are acceptable. I’d rather not develop for a platform I won’t have access to post-competition.

    • Jonathan Semple
      March 9, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      I’m pretty sure the games are meant to all be mobile targeted. I’m not positive, but that’s my intuition given the nature of the competition and the fact that XMG makes mobile games and are publishing/owning the winning game(s).


    • March 9, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      Updated the post with the answer to your question. Not surprisingly, they want this limited to mobile development, since, as Jon pointed out, they’re a mobile developer.

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