On August 21st and 22nd, our team took a break from client work and diverted our energies to Barrel Creative Days, our annual two-day hackathon (here’s what happened in 2012 and 2013). Split into six teams, we built functional prototypes of games, apps and and even took a stab at home decor.
After two intense days of designing, coding, and refining, we presented our results to each other. Here’s a recap of what each team built:
Modal Citizen: “Sketchy”
Cindy Leong, Gary To, Jessica Su, Scott Polhemus
Sketchy is a collaborative drawing app with some neat twists. Users are prompted to draw weird and wonderful randomly selected scenarios–for example: a lazy robot or a doughnut in disguise. Apparently not a sentimental app, Sketchy then subjects each work of art to a cataclysmic fate, from sea monster inking to alien abduction brought to you by CSS animations and SVG vector graphics. A Wall of Fame lets users see each other’s masterpieces. A small back-end service on Node.js using Restify and socket.IO lets users save their submissions and keeps all the views up-to-date so you can sketch with friends in real time.
Ben Godfrey, Leslie Ye, Max Rolon, Sylvia Gacek, Yvonne Weng
Barrel used to have regular visits from Sidney, one of our founder’s dogs, but these days we don’t see much of him. TEAM aimed to fill the puppy-shaped hole in our hearts with Thingy, a virtual pet for the Barrel office.
Kwaba Squad: “Kwabaverse”
Angel Ng, Angela Hum, Betty Chan, Kevin Kneifel, Wesley Turner-Harris
Kwaba Squad went all out in creating a world for their theme, the adorable creatures they named the Kwabas. The mythical land of Wabak is the setting of this Tamagotchi-like game, which you can play on your phone or desktop, alone or with friends.
Users are randomly assigned one of five Kwabas–each inspired by a member of the team–and must feed, clean, and take care of it to help it level up and grow strong. Both Kwaba Squad and TEAM realized towards the end of Day 1 that they were working on very similar ideas. Kwabaverse is a Node.js web-app built using Express 4, MongoDB, and Backbone. Web-sockets were implemented using the popular Socket.IO engine, allowing your personal Kwaba to follow you across multiple devices. The Kwaba Squad used the Snap SVG library to show an animated Kwaba metamorphosize from baby to adult.
Hatch and play with your own Kwaba here.
Diane Wang, Marianne Do, Crystal Ellis, Shayra Kamal, Lucas Ballasy, Jenna Steckel
Team-I.S.H. delivered on the ’90s hope for the Internet as an “information superhighway” with Thrift, an app to let Barrelers, as the tagline says, “buy, sell, borrow, and lend all the things.”
In minimalist red, with a ’90s digital-inspired font and modern icons, Thrift is Craigslist with a facelift. Users can post pictures, haggle over prices, request items they want to borrow, and share the stories of the items they’re selling–including the history of some of the curiosities populating the Barrel office. However, on a technical level, Thrift is worlds away from the ’90s. It’s built on Ruby on Rails, using the CarrierWave gem for file uploads, and the MailForm gem for sending emails.
Peace Fingers: “Alley Kat App Races”
Andrea Horne, Aretha Choi, Jenn Roman, Zack Lerner, Ray Masaki, Nathan Hackley
Peace Fingers took to the streets with their bicycle racing mobile app. AKA Races, focusing on the Williamsburg Bridge, uses your GPS coordinates to find other riders nearby and allows you to challenge them to a race, measuring your time, top speed and average miles per hour.
3bps: “Himmeli Lights”
Peter Kang, Sei-Wook Kim, Boram Kim
Team 3bps decided to go (partially) analog for Creative Days, building a trio of handcrafted hanging lights with an e-commerce business venture. Through several iterations (and one trip to Red Hook for supplies and lobster rolls!), the members of 3bps discovered a few things:
- Iterate, iterate, iterate.
- Don’t skimp on materials. You get what you pay for.
- Hackathons don’t always mean digital.
Check out 3bps’ handiwork on their Shopify site.
To see more images from our Creative Days, check out our Tumblr created for the occasion.