For the third year running, the Mints descended on Corfe Castle, Dorset for four days of drinking, feasting and robe-wearing. Oh, and we also split into three teams and competed to build web apps. The brief was "create something cool with Hemlock".
Hemlock is a new framework from Mint, due to be released, open source, in late March. It facilitates building real-time, multi-user web applications. Hemlock is also the driving technology behind Football3s, our exciting new game.
Here's what we built:
Team M: What The Tweet
What The Tweet is a guessing game built around Twitter. Random tweets from celebrities are pulled in but have a word missing from them. Players get points for guessing the missing word. The game also features power-ups, so you can mess with other players' game screens.
Team N: Go With The Flo
Go With The Flo is a rhythm game that maps keystrokes to videos. In theory, it can be used to turn any video into an interactive game. For the weekender, the concept was applied to an '80s aerobic video. Players emulate the moves of the aerobic video on their keyboards and compete for the most points.
Team P: Juked.it
Juked.it is a jukebox with a difference; whether you're sitting in the same office or halfway across the world, you can listen to music simultaneously. Users upload tracks to the playlist, vote tracks up or down and chat about the music they're listening to.
Teams presented their apps on Sunday night to judges Alexis d'Amecourt (19 Entertainment), Jemima Kiss (MediaGuardian.co.uk) and Paul Fisher (Advent Venture Partners). After the unmissable spectacle that was the presentations, the Mints and the judges headed down to The Jolly Gardeners for the wrap party and the winner announcement. The best app of WebApp Weekender 2009 as chosen by the judges was...
Congratulations to Team P; André, Andy, Dean, John, Kejia and Thomas.
As well as being a great bonding experience for a company that is split across two continents, the WebApp Weekender is a showcase of Mint's technical capabilities. The quality of the applications to come out from just four days of work is incredible. This year was also a credit to Hemlock, proving it as a platform for rapid development. If we can build three applications in four days, imagine what you could build with it.
We couldn't do the WebApp Weekender without these people. Thanks to the judges for joining us on a school night, we hope you had a great time. Thanks to Imane, Safia and Amal for looking after us for four days. And thanks to the inimitable Belinda and Peter Bell for having us at Scoles for another year.
Watch this space for screencasts and more about What The Tweet, Go With The Flo and Juked.it. We look forward to seeing where we can take these applications. After some sleep that is...