2 Belgian teams made it to the Imagine Cup worldwide finals. Within this blog, you can read about their daily adventure.

JULY 10 - D-DAY

Follow the award ceremony online in the live streaming - 8.00-11.00 Belgian time : http://icsocialmediateam.com/live-stream/

JULY 9TH - CULTURAL DAY

Catching up some sleep or going out for sports to destress and take some time to enjoy the city. Team Make a sign went to the taronga Zoo  (as they had the bidge climbing on july 8th), team Hotfix went for a Bidge Climbing, followed in late evening, not by karaoke but a good West-European drink..Fun part got started !

JULY 8TH - GAMING DAY

8.30 : Waiting at reception desk for Stijn - team hotfix : they had the birght idea to ilustrate in next round the effect of positive gesture ' giving a flower' on jury. So desperatly looking for flowers in a big city on an early Sunday morning, but we made it right on time.

10.00 : To judge the games, all 4 jury members passed by on the showcase booth. An amazing experience - you could see the excitement grow on their face. tTey definitely loved playing the game and they were so impressed that the comments already got implemented in such a very short notice : upon good strategic choice more points where earned, there where popups related millenium targets.. so much fun to play.

12.30 : Lunch time or should I say, time to recharge batteries.

15.00 : The announcement for game design. Stress all over the place, but the captain of the team kept the message short.  % teams would make it to the big final. First name : Iceland. Second name: Japan and then the YES feeling : TEAM HOTFIX. Running on stage, proud with the Belgian flag. We are in ...

15.45 : I prepared the students for the feedback of the judges. Typically you would expect quite some negative comments but no, our feedback just contained a few constructive remarks, that they proactively tackled in the new game and updated presentation. The hard late night work payed off ! Self confidence grow. A last and final dry run in the corridor with so some great tips of coaches..This would work.

16.45 : Presentation for the finals. This should be top. A camerman recording the session - judjes looking even more severe than ever before, stress could be noticed in theh voice until the moment they showed the game : this was their work, they mastered it so well - explained all features, tackled all open questions and remarks that came up before.. and there were the flowers, fully unexpected and it could charm the audience. What a creative and fresh approach. And rather then getting the judges into the Q&A, Stijn, Kasper and Xavier, kicked it off very nicely. Questions could be answered - nothing more could be done. Great work.. but that was not it yet. As from presentation up to press, that finaly did not show up and then straight to the video shooting - zhich was real fun. Although we would have loved to see some breakdance, they cameraman got them into crazy vipe "10 yearsimagine cup, 10 times the fun!" You should qll see the final result. It will be top too. 22.30 - end of a long and hard working day, to be ended with an australian drink around the lovely darling  harbour.

 

JULY 7TH - A DAY ON STAGE

 

8.00 : After breakfast in conference center, all students headed to the main audirotum to get in a  indepth insight in the organisation of the competion : finding out the precise ti;eof their presentation and the teams in their pool. In software design. At 9.30 everyone was well off for a busy day full of preparation and dry runs - and we were lucky as all teams were to go on stage in late afternoon- so plenty of time left for final dry runs.

10.00 : First dry runs in hotelroom - with mentors and Belgian Acedemic Developer Evangelist playing the horrible role of severe judge. Starting over and over again to get the presentation for a modest  belgian style to an amazing american way ... although we called the stage in between : canada. We had lots of fun, and yes, even very tired after the long trip a smile came up their face and they really got into the winning mood !

16.00: Team hotfix ready to get into the room - only judges and mentors and some MSP reporters. you could feel stressin the air. One hour later the monent of truth: judges presented themselves very calmly  and brought trust in team. They gave the best of themselves and with the improvised demo on a Windows 8 tablet, they could get the judges excited... it all worked out as planned, although I have to say that the questions where quite tough : zhy is there no scoring system in the game ? how is it linked to imagine cup millenium target ? seeems to be cliccking to colour it green? What is the game play behind? How did it got implemented? Within a big room with native English speaking business professionals, not always easy to answer straight away.. but countdown counter stopped the questionning.  Food for thought, but first up to the Make a sign presentation.

17.30 : Team make a sign waiting to get in. with little of delay they could get started, and it turned out that one of teh judges had a deaf person in family. she seemed to understand the issue and importance of the application.Nicolas, Julien and Antoine did a great presentation with a very smooth  live demonstration. Also here a series of questions though mainly related to the comnmercialisation of the application.

19.00 : Dinner time and first discussions on the feedback. Would they make it to the next round ?

20.00 :The next 2 hours a showcasing for press was organised.In a very crowded room all imagine cup finalist, for all categories have presented their application. Also the moment to check th strengths and weaknesses of competitors. New plans were made by team Hotfix : we send one designer and one programmer back to hotel to improve the game.. the tthird one stayed at showcase to join the teammembers as fast as possible.

22.00 : A late announcement for all software design finalist.. which 20 would make it to the next round ? Big suspense, a silent room, everyone waiting for the news.. but the more teams were called on stage the more you could read the fear in their faces. Unfortunately team make a sign was not called on stage. big disappointment. we had to find a way to get the spirit back into the team.. thanks God it was just Saturday evening -  and Down under it is as partying time as in Brussels.

3.00 : team Hotfix still working on their game.. it would be a long night but a very productive one!

JULY 6TH - OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE COMPETITION

8.30:  All 6 students and their mentors travelled from Brussels to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Signapore and Signapore to final destination Sydney. No need to say that this was a long and intensive trip. Those who could catch a good night sleep in the plane where full of energy, for others though a struggle to keep awake and get fully prepared.

10.30: Heading with team Make a sign to the conference center for registration and testing. After having received badges, shirts and some first pictures, we were ready for a first test which turned out to be a challenge: with all rooms being closed. We managed to charm the organization: was it our smile or the project or our persistence?  Thanks God we could get in as there seemed not to be enough daily light to run well the Kinect, but a friendly  technician could get in an extra spot to have perfect performance.

 

14.30: Also team Hotfix arrived in conference center. After a first drink we came up with the bright idea that having the game up and running on a fancy Windows8 tablet would be great. And we started immediately: additional DreamSpark downloads, install of game and intensive testing. We all got excited about running game “influence” on Windows8 - a fantastic experience! This could impress jury!  Stopped by cameraman, Stijn, Xavier and Casper have been interviewed. Horror or perfect exercise, I leave that in the middle..but we had great fun and it certainly increased team spirit (as you can see on picture)

16.30 time for team hotfix to set up a dry run. Still some work to do, though guided well by their coaches they gonna make it.

17.30 official opening, a great an exciting show, full of surprises:

  • Australian prime minister talking to us
  • And an emotional speech of Jessica Watson, on how to make as a youngster your dreams come true
  • And as special, 3 lucky teams could make it to next year worldwide developer conference. Guess who won: team Hotfix. For first time we experienced what it is like to hear your name, rise up, scream and get a warm applause.  The great feeling of victory was overwhelming, and we definitely gonna go for more! Cross fingers that luck stays at our side.
  • And for all finalist a brand new, fully installed Nokia Lumia800!

    19.30 networking dinner - It was great to meet other students and mentors and get the first steps a strong partnership. Portugal, Finland, France, Algeria, Germany, Brazil,… 

    21.30 Heading back to hotel for a good night rest.. or closing the day with an old fashioned game in the lobby of the bar. A perfect ending of the first Imagine cup day as it all went down to the key elements of what this competition is all about: team-spirit and winning!