Yesterday, I participated in a 12-hour coding-binge competition. It started at
7pm Friday night and ran until 7am Saturday morning. It was fueled by Computer
Science House and Bawls, both sponsors of the event. Needless to say, I haven't
gotten much sleep today.
The competition website is here. Go there if you
want to view this year's objectives.
The Dream Team consisted of John Resig, Darrin
Mann, Matt Bruce, and myself. Darrin, Resig, and I are all quite proficient at
web development, so we decided this year we would represent ourselves as "Team
programmer, but I enlisted his graphical art skills because I figured with our
team doing some web-based project, we definitely needed an artist.
After reviewing all the objectives, we came up with a significant modification
upon the Sudoku objective. The sudoku objective was a problem that lacked much
room for innovation, so we went further and instead of solving Sudoku, wrote a
web-based version of an extremely popular game in Second Life. The contest
organizer approved of our new objective, so we did just that.
Resig worked on game logic, I worked on chat features, Darrin worked on scoring
and game generation, and Bruce worked on the interface graphics. Becuase our
tasks were all mostly unrelated, we could develop them independently. Most of
the game was completed in about 6 hours, and the remainder of the time was
spent fixing bugs, refactoring, and some minor redesign.
The backends were minimal. The chat backend was only 70 lines of perl, and the
score backend was 9 lines of /bin/sh. Everything else was handled in the
browser. We leveraged Resig's jQuery to make development faster. Development
went extremely smooth, a testament to the "Dream Team"-nature of our team,
The game worked by presenting everyone with the same game - so you can compete
for the highest score. You could also chat during and between games, if you
A screenshot can be found here. At the end of the competition, we only had one
known bug left. That bug didn't affect gameplay, and we were all tired, so it
didn't get fixed. There were a few other issues that remained unresolved that
may or may not be related to our code. Firefox was having issues with various
things we were doing, and we couldn't tell if it was our fault or not.
Despite the fact that I probably shouldn't have attended the competition due to
scholastic time constraints, I was glad I went. We had a blast writing the game.
We may get some time in the near future to improve the codebase and put it up
online so anyone can play. There are quite a few important features that need to
be added before it'll be useful as a public game.