Tag Archives: Imagine Cup

The Campus Coder Show #3: Ben Snyder and Zach Hoefler

The Campus Coder is a half-hour podcast series that features interviews with student developers who have made the leap into professional development with Microsoft tools. It’s intended to educate, entertain and enlighten aspiring student developers!

This week, Ed and Glen talk with Ben Snyder and Zach Hoefler, two students from the Rochester Institute of Technology in NY. In this show, Ben and Zach talk about the awesomeness of participating in Global Gam Jams and strategies for doing your best work in just 48 hours. They also talk about their experiences using the Windows Phone developer tools. Ben and Zach have also been judges on the Imagine Cup competition, so you get some great hints for what judges are looking for in these competitions. Our guests also weigh with their opinion on the future of mobile and social gaming.

Listen to the full podcast here!

The Campus Coder Show #2: Nic Colley

The Campus Coder is a half-hour podcast series that features interviews with student developers who have made the leap into professional development with Microsoft tools. It’s intended to educate, entertain and enlighten aspiring student developers!

Tune in as Glen and Ed talk to Nic Colley (@niccolley), Imagine Cup Game Design winner in 2010. In this show, Nic tells us how he networked his way into the gaming industry, what he did to create a truly compelling Imagine Cup game and gives advice for getting hired in game development/design. There is so much good advice here it feels like an hour show condensed to a half hour. Developers, designers and artists in the game industry need to hear this! As a bonus, you’ll also get to find out what James Cameron thinks of Nic’s Imagine Cup game!

Listen to the full podcast here!

US Imagine Cup 2012: People’s Choice

It’s that time of the year again: Imagine Cup People’s Choice Award!!! Yay!! The People’s Choice award is part of the Imagine Cup. You get to vote on your favorite projects and games. Here’s how it works: go to the People’s Choice Facebook page, check out the team pages and vote for your favorite. You can vote everyday (until May 19th), so vote often! There are prizes for the teams and the voters!

The Imagine Cup team with the most votes will win a an all-expense paid trip to Sydney, Australia for the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals this July.   Additionally, anyone who vote will be entered for a chance to win weekly prizes including Acer ultrabooks, GAEMS Xbox bundles, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and more!

There are three ways to vote

  1. Visit the Facebook page and click “vote” on your favorite team
  2. Send this tweet: “@mstechstudent I am voting for #<TEAMNAME> in #ICPeoplesChoice. Rules: http://bit.ly/H4vrRl
  3. Text your favorite team name’s code (listed on their team page) to 45444

You can vote every day, on each platform, for each of the teams!

Imagine Cup People's Choice

Imagine Cup 2012, There’s Still Time!

Still want to compete in the Imagine Cup for fame, fortune and a trip to Sydney? (The opportunity to change the world is assumed Smile) You might have missed the deadline for the Software and Game Design competition, but there are still FOUR Imagine Cup Challenges that you can enter! For Round 1, the barriers to entry for these challenges are low, so you have time to submit something awesome! You’ll be submitting a project plan (not a project) or taking a quiz. Which challenge is for you?

Kinect Fun Labs Challenge

Go beyond games. Build a prototype using Natural User Interfaces to change how we interact with technology. Submit your Project Plan by 23:59 GMT on March 6th. Teams that move onto Round 2 will receive a free Kinect for Windows sensor! Get started building your solution today!

Windows Metro Style App Challenge

Test your Team’s ability to design and build a Metro style app that takes advantage of Windows 8 features and design principles to deliver an experience that solves one of the world’s toughest problems and wows those across the globe. For Round 1 you need to create your team and pass the Round 1 quiz with a score of 50% or higher. The upcoming quizzes are February 28th and March 6th. Sign up and get ready to take your first quiz!

Windows Azure Challenge

Be a contributor to the “next big thing” in the technology industry and solve one of the world’s toughest problems at the same time. Get your smartest friends together, or work on your own and show how one idea can impact the lives of people around the world! Submit your Application Summary & SketchFlow prototype by 23:59 GMT on March 13th. Teams that move onto Round 2 will receive a 180-day Azure pass! Get started on your web application today!

Windows Phone Challenge

Take your ideas mobile! Create a Windows Phone app that helps make the world a better place. Make your app available to millions by listing in the Marketplace and make a difference right away. Submit your Application Summary & SketchFlow prototype by 23:59 GMT on March 13th. Get started on your app today!


Need a Little Inspiration? Not sure which one of the world’s toughest problems you want to solve? You can choose to address a global problem or something in your local community that inspires you. You can find some additional motivation through one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals. While these MDGs are not required to be in your solution, the Imagine Cup offers these ambitious challenges as a guide to help you promote change in your local community or around the world. You find additional inspiration from the great ideas in Nokia’s IdeasProject.

Get Connected. Follow the Imagine Cup Blog to gain access to new training and resources to help you with your project, read about past Imagine Cup competitors’ successes, and get tips from your Captain.

Global Game Jam: It’s on, we’re there!

This weekend is Global Game Jam! If you follow Andrew Parsons’ blog then you’ll know that this year Global Game Jam especially exciting. If not, you can head over to his post or you can read this telling excerpt:

And this year it’s even more exciting for me because Microsoft has sponsored a number of the GGJ sites in the East Coast of the US, and a bunch of us are going to be there. For example, I’m going to be heading over to the Jams at NJIT in Newark, NJ and NYU in downtown Manhattan. And because we love Windows Phone (and secretly I want to encourage as many students to find out how easy it is to develop for the Windows Phone and maybe enter Imagine Cup too), for those specific sites we’re at, we’re going to be coming with actual phones to give away to any teams that want to try their hand at building Windows Phone games on the weekend itself. Cool!

The East Region Audience Team is going to deployed all over the East Coast in the name of game jams and Windows Phones! If you’re going to a site on the list below, give some serious thought to a Windows Phone game. Just in case it didn’t sink in the first time, here’s why:   : )

If you create a Windows Phone game your team will receive a Windows Phone!

I’m going to be at the Rockville and Baltimore jams. I’ll see you there!


LinkedIn Veterans Hackday

On 11/11/11, LinkedIn and the White House are joining forces for the first-ever open Veterans Hackday. If you’re a student with technical skills or you want to build an app for a hackday, this is a great opportunity for you!

Here’s the mission:

  1. Find teammates or go it alone
  2. Build a project that helps veterans
  3. Present your hack to the celebrity judges for a chance to win prizes

It’s open to everyone. Veterans serve our country every day. Now is your chance to give something back. Grab some teammates, your laptop, a pot of coffee, and use your tech skills to put together a project that will benefit our veterans. [via LinkedIn]

Added bonus: Your Veterans Hackday project would make a perfect entry into the Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition that asks you to make the world a better place using technology. Have questions about the Imagine Cup? Let me know! I’d love to support your team!

Awesome Imagine Cup Games

This year I got to help judge the games for the Worldwide Imagine Cup Game Design competition. Andrew Parsons, WW Game Design Captain, has done a great series about all the games that made it to Round 2. You can find the 10-part 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase on his blog or by clicking here. (To see all the Game Design Finalists that will be competing in New York, check out these posts.)

Game Name: FireFighters
Team Name: Wicked Team
Country: Czech Republic
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 10

I L-O-V-E the graphics in this game! They are high quality and gorgeous. The tutorial level was really helpful and gave you paper trees to practice with. There’s a lot of good information within the game about fires, but it’s quite a bit for a user to read at once. I’m hoping they can pick out some key facts & tips and show them when you’re learning new firefighting techniques or when you’ve leveled up. Information is great, but making sure that it’s actually getting to the user and not overwhelming him/her is important too.

Game Name: Cohesion
Team Name: Team Cohesion
Country: Netherlands
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 9

I really like that Team Cohesion made a game trailer for their submission. Again, great graphics! One of the great features of this game is that it supports multiplayer and relies on your ability to work as a team. I hope they release this game because I would definitely download it and play it! They say that there’s the possibility of a Windows Phone 7 version of the game and I’m certainly looking forward to it! Check out Some GameStudio’s YouTube channel for a game play video.

Game Name: BioJam
Team Name: Team Nucleus
Country: US
Screenshots:   Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 9

Of all the games that I saw, I thought BioJam had the some of the greatest potential for future development. Getting students interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) subjects is one of my passions and anything that makes STEM subjects more appealing for students is fantastic in my book! Not only do I hope to see this game go multi-device (think phone, tablet, Microsoft Surface), but I’m also hoping they create more modules to make some of the drier areas of science fun. I can see a notebook for chemistry, physics, anatomy, computer science and eventually other typical subjects like English and history. Since the game takes place in a notebook, it might also be neat to see some OneNote integration. I’m really excited about this game and I hope they continue to improve it and enter it again next year!

Game Name: Nodes
Team Name: How We Met Your Phone
Country: Poland
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 5

Anyone who likes funny things should be hooked right away by this team’s name. For everyone else, you can get hooked on the game itself. I really enjoyed this game, nice interface and nice game play. I found this game very addicting and found myself playing until I lost a level three times in a row before I realized how much time had passed.

Game Name: Brainergy
Team Name: Geekologic
Country: France
Screenshots: Imagine Cup 2011 Game Design Competitor Showcase Part 4

If there is one game I want on my phone N-O-W, it’s Brainergy. SERIOUSLY. This game is exactly the kind of game I love to play! Puzzle-based, fun, colorful and it makes me feel smart when I complete a level. Here’s a short letter from me to Geekologic:

Dear Geekologic,

Please continue to develop Brainergy and put in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. PLEASE! I will bake you cookies and send them to you.

<3, Ed

The idea of the game is fantastic and so well-executed. Sustainable energy is not only a green practice for the environment, but I think it can be extremely profitable. The way Geekologic is helping people become aware of sustainable energy practices is great!

Digigirlz Tech Camp: Baltimore 2011

On Friday, May 6th, the Maryland Science Center welcomed 43 high school girls for the first ever Baltimore DigiGirlz Tech Camp. DigiGirlz is a national Microsoft initiative that gives girls an opportunity to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based careers through workshops and lectures.

The day kicked off with breakfast and a welcome from Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and led into the keynote session featuring Shireen Mitchell, founder of Digital Sisters, a non-profit that encourages girls in STEM subjects and nurtures their passion. Starting her interest in technology in an arcade in the New York projects, Shireen has a very inspiring story to share with girls everywhere.

The hands-on part of the tech camp was a team project that tied together both the Imagine Cup and Kodu Cup. Teams were asked to create a game using Kodu (a free visual programming language) that helped promote one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. To make sure this task was doable, the girls participated in the Kodu workshop to get used to the environment, work through several tutorials, and find out what Kodu can do!

After the Kodu workshop, I got the chance to speak about the 7 Life Lessons from the MangoBunnies. I loved sharing my Imagine Cup experience and the lessons that the MangoBunnies learned. Before dinner, the girls got to explore the exhibits at the Maryland Science Center. Highlights from the rest of the evening include working on their team project, an ice cream social, and getting to spend the night at the Maryland Science Center.

On Saturday, the finishing touches were put on the games and the teams got ready to present their games to the other campers, parents, and a panel of judges. All the games were fantastic. It’s amazing to think that coming into the camp these girls had no programming experience and by the end they were creating engaging games using Kodu. The winning team, Geek Girls, created a three part game that has the player complete a triathlon to win. With a foot race, swimming event, and cycling section, Geek Girls focused their game on a healthy lifestyle. Each member of Geek Girls received a Microsoft prize package and a family membership to the Maryland Science Center!

Congratulations to all of the DigiGirlz campers!

Huge thanks to the Maryland Science Center for hosting this event and to all the event organizers and volunteers! DigiGirlz events make a big impact and we couldn’t do it without you!

Want to be a DigiGirl too? Check out DigiGirlz Days and DigiGirlz Tech Camps!

Recap: Imagine Cup 2011 US Finals

One of my favorite events happened from April 8th-11th, the Imagine Cup US Finals! I could tell you that I’m blogging about this two weeks after the event to keep it on everyone’s mind as long as possible and that would sound really good. But let’s be honest, I haven’t been very good at blogging lately (and when I say lately, I mean the two months since my last post), so it’s really that I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about the Imagine Cup US Finals.

I didn’t blog the event in real-time, but I did get to host some really cool videos about the event. If you’re short on time, these are a great way to get a feel for the US Finals.

From Medical Breakthroughs, Social Challenges, and Green Sustainability, Student Competitors Invent the Future at the Imagine Cup

Today’s Competitors Will Likely Run A Start-Up. Hear From the Teachers Who Inspire These Entrepreneurs

U.S. Imagine Cup Winner Revealed


If you have a bit more time, check out the following blog posts from two fantastic bloggers did: Patrick Godwin, a Microsoft Student Insider that covered the event, and Alfred Thompson, the Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist for K-12 in the US. They each did a great series about the entire weekend.

From Alfred

Imagine Cup Stories: A pre-US Finals post highlighting some great stories from Imagine Cup participants and mentors.

US Imagine Cup Finals 2011– Up and Running: Read about the opening events for the finalists and some of the benefits of getting to the US Finals.

Final US Imagine Cup Teams Announced – 2011: Overview of some of the training sessions available to finalist during the weekend and the final four teams in each competition. 

Champions for The US Imagine Cup 2011: Winners!

From Patrick

2011 US Imagine Cup Finals–Day 1: Hobnobbing with Microsoft Vice Presidents, ice breakers to meet other competitors and getting some awesome swag, what to expect on the first evening of the Imagine Cup.

2011 US Imagine Cup Finalists Announced: Final four teams in each competition.

2011 US Imagine Cup Finals–Final Day Presentations: An overview of the XNA Game Design finalists and an interview with XozGaming.

2011 US Imagine Cup Finals–Keynote Speakers: A write-up of Bill Buxton’s and Jane McGonigal’s keynote speeches and interviews with Chris Pirillo and Bill Buxton.

Both bloggers spent time with the XozGaming Team. Check out Alfred’s post and Patrick’s post.


Want to get involved in the Imagine Cup? Now is a great time to start brainstorming for a project for Imagine Cup 2012!!