Oculus Rift use during Substantial's first hackathon

On August 6, 2015, we paused our client obligations (giving appropriate notice of course) and hosted our first all-company hackathon. We were excited to give our employees free rein and see what teams would come up with when given the flexibility to create their own teams and define projects. To help them along we created a “Choose Your Own Adventure” theme generator that most teams used in their brainstorming. Other than that, we provided the space, time, and food, and let people loose.

From reimagining presentation creation to illustrative soundscapes to 3D VR updates of party games, the results were all over the map. The diversity showcased a variety of skills, techniques, and approaches to each of the concepts. Additionally, many teams took the opportunity to learn something new, accepting the risk that this might impact their progress.

Here’s a breakdown of the day’s results:

  • Reinventing Love - A suggestion box-like app for where you live
  • Discovering the Future - A 3D, motion-capture wall installation for Substantial HQ
  • Exploring the Serendipity of Sports - Building a digital version of Eschaton, the complicated sport described in Infinite Jest
  • Hallucinating Animals - A dreamy flower-generating landscape using a real-world custom controller
  • Hallucinating Reality - A Rift-enabled game of Celebrity
  • Reinventing Video Games of Privacy - An experimental mashup of Rift, GPS, and other data sources
  • Simplifying Plants - A landscape management app
  • Gamifying Compassion - A card game emphasizing the importance of diversity on teams in client services
  • How can we re-think “journaling” - An exploration on improving the capture and presentation of design inspiration

Below you’ll find a selection of pics from the hackathon. The full set of images can be found on Flickr.

Simplifying Plants Simplifying Plants

Hallucinating Reality Hallucinating Reality

Discovering the Future Discovering the Future

Hallucinating Animals Hallucinating Animals

Gamifying Compassion Gamifying Compassion

Hackathon Project Presentations A funny moment during project presentations

All photos by Chona Kasinger.