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Seattle VR Hackathon 5
Fri, Apr 21, 2017, 6:00 PM – Sun, Apr 23, 2017, 6:00 PM PDT
The Seattle VR Hackathon returns once again!
Come join us for a weekend of creativity, innovation, and learning! The VR Hackathon is an opportunity to learn about Virtual Reality and other immersive technologies, to meet new people, and to get hands-on experience with VR design and development.
What is a VR Hackathon?
A hackathon is a weekend-long event where people come together to work on project ideas and win prizes. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet awesome people and learn.
The VR hackathon focuses on rapidly evolving immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 3D User Interfaces.
The VR hackathon isn't just about technology, however - it's about design, creation, and problem solving. If you have interest in art, graphics, 3D modelling, film, education, sound design, game design, or business, the VR hackathon will be an event you'll enjoy.
Who can participate?
The VR hackathon is open to everyone. We welcome artists, enthusiasts, UX designers, sound artists, critics, researchers, film-makers, developers, game designers, testers, psychologists, industry professionals, and more. If you think VR and AR are cool, you are invited to attend.
You don't have to be an expert. The VR hackathon is a great introduction to working with VR, and our organizers and workshop presenters are all dedicated to helping you no matter what your skill level. We welcome everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background.
Younger attendees are welcome, too, but must have an adult present if they are younger than 16 years of age.
VR and AR are of great interest to many industries such as medicine, manufacturing, marketing, design, construction, and many more. If you have domain expertise in any field where immersive technologies might be useful, we would love to have you attend, as your insight is key in helping us to solve real problems, even if you've never worked with these technologies before.
How much does it cost?
Registration for the weekend costs $60 per attendee. All proceeds go to paying for food, the venue, and other expenses. Anything that's left goes into prizes and other stuff to make the event cooler.
When and where?
The Seattle VR Hackathon will be hosted at the University of Washington's Center for Education and Research in Construction, a 25,000 square foot facility at Sand Point. For those who have been to past VR hackathons, this is the same location as usual.
The event will run over the weekend of April 21-23, starting 6pm Friday and ending 6pm Sunday.
Our schedule, below, is tentative at this stage, but unlikely to change significantly.
- 6:00 PM - VR Mega-Mixer begins
- 7:30 PM - Hackathon Kickoff / Lightning Rounds / Team Formation
- 11 PM - Late Night Snack
- Hack overnight
- 9:00 AM - Registration / Breakfast
- 10:00 AM - Workshops Begin
- 1:00 PM - Lunch
- 2:30 PM - Walk Around the Park (optional exercise opportunity!)
- 7:00 PM - Dinner
- 11 PM - Late Night Snack
- Hack overnight
- 9:00 AM - Breakfast
- 12:00 PM - Lunch
- 1:00 PM - Hacking Concludes / Judging Begins
- 3:00 PM - Hacker Expo Begins
- 5:00 PM - Prizegiving
- 6:00 PM - Doors Close
Teams are welcome to begin work on Friday night or wait until first thing Saturday morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to know how to program to come to this event?
No! We welcome anyone with an interest in working on VR and immersive technology projects. People with skill in art, sound, and design are in especially high demand throughout the weekend.
Do I need my own VR headset?
No! That said, if you have one, you should bring it.
Many members of our community have equipment of their own that they bring and make available over the weekend. We will make available additional equipment as we are able, depending on what our sponsors are willing to provide.
Remember, though, simple VR applications will run on a smartphone with a Google Cardboard headset and can be quite compelling, and these devices are how most people are first experiencing VR. These headsets are very easy to work with and cheap to obtain online.
Note that certain VR equipment, particularly the Vive, has a tendency to interfere with other similar units nearby. As a result, we may be forced to limit the number of Vives deployed. Come prepared with an alternative if you think this might affect you.
What should I bring?
- A computer: If you have a gaming PC, this would be a good choice, as VR runs best on machines with dedicated graphics cards. If you don’t have one, don’t worry - you can achieve an awful lot with a regular entry-level laptop. Even if you don’t have a computer, you’re welcome to participate, as there are many aspects of design that don’t involve working on the computer. We may be able to provide loaner computers to those who need them.
- Computer mouse: Working in Unity or Unreal on a laptop trackpad might make you cry
- Headphones: Sound forms an important part of every VR experience, and if you want to listen to music while you work, you will need to use headphones.
- Extension cords and power strips: We will provide many of these, but it’s always helpful to have your own.
- Spare chargers: In case your friends/teammates forget their own!
- Pens, paper, and other drawing supplies: It's always helpful to have something write on while you're doing design work.
- Pillows/blankets/sleeping bags (if you plan to stay overnight)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant: Please, for the sake of everyone else, bring and use these.
Remember to properly label any equipment that you bring with your name. We will not assume liability for any equipment that is lost or stolen over the weekend. If you do lose something, though, let us know, and we'll do what we can to help you find it. If you find something, bring it to us and we'll try and find out who to return it to.
Is the venue ADA compliant?
Yes. The venue is accessible by ramp on the ground level, and by elevator to the upper level, though this elevator is not as convenient as we'd like it to be.
If you think that you may have special needs around accessibility, please reach out to us so that we can work with you to ensure that your experience at the hackathon is smooth and problem-free.
Do I need to have a particular project to work on?
No! You can just come along and see what happens. In fact, we encourage this.
There are always people with ideas for projects that you can join. Similarly, if you have an idea but need someone to help you with it, there will be people there with skills that you can leverage.
Can I bring a project I’m already working on?
Yes, you can. If you do, however, you won’t be eligible for prizes, as that wouldn't be fair to teams that are building their entire project over the weekend. Exceptions may be made if you’re working on a distinct sub-project that builds on something else you've built in the past.
Talk to the Organizers onsite if you're unsure. All of that said, a big part of the hackathon ethos is the collaboration that occurs when people come together to create something new, so we don’t recommend this approach.
How do I learn about developing for VR?
There are many ways to learn. If you’re a self-starter, there are excellent tutorials available online - you can pick an engine such as Unity or Unreal and work through their tutorials and examples to get a good entry-level understanding of development.
Another option is to participate in one of our workshops that we’ll be announcing soon. To learn more about these, join the Seattle VR Slack or Seattle VR Facebook. In the meantime, we strongly recommend checking out events and mixers that are happening in Seattle. You can find these on the Seattle VR website.
We'll have mentors onsite at the hackathon who can guide you through whatever problems or questions you may have.
What are the prize categories?
We’ll be announcing prize categories soon. Be on the lookout for a message from us!
What workshops will be available?
We are working with our sponsors and local experts to put on workshops and other programming both before and during the event. Look out for posts from us with more information.
How can I get more involved?
There are a number of ways you can get more involved in the Seattle VR hackathon and the wider Seattle VR community prior to the hackathon!
If you want to learn about other community events and mixers leading up to the hackathon, check out seattlevr.us for more information.
Specific rules for the hackathon will be announced during Opening Ceremonies, and are subject to change at that time. Further rules changes may occur throughout the weekend in response to questions and emerging issues. Such changes will be announced if and when they occur.
The following rules have been set at this time:
- Teams may have a maximum size of 8 members, excluding mentors and roving participants that assist multiple teams such as voice actors, composers, and other specialists.
- Teams may use content from third-party sources such as the asset store provided that the judges are provided with all details of this use during judging.
- Teams may use content from their own prior existing projects provided that they clear this use with the event organizers. This is to ensure that all teams have access to a similar pool of resources.
- Teams must register using the forms provided on Saturday evening in order to be eligible for prizes.
- Projects must be produced on-site at the hackathon. The organizers will make exceptions to this rule for teams that require other environments, for example, for filming a 360 scene outdoors.
- Announcements will be made using the event's Slack channel. Though attempts will be made to inform teams of any announcements in person, this is not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of each team to monitor the Slack channel for any important information.
In a change from previous events, we will allocate work spaces to teams on Friday night. Teams will no longer be able to claim spaces in a free-for-all as they have previously. We will be looking into pipe & drape dividers to help divide the main room and prevent interference between equipment.
Code of Conduct
We, the Seattle VR Hackathon Organizers, are committed to making the VR Hackathon a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or technical expertise (or lack of any of the aforementioned).
We will not tolerate harassment of any kind. Harassment may include verbal abuse, sexually explicit or derogatory language, offensive or sexual cartoons or materials, mimicry, offensive gestures, unwelcome sexual advances, and telling of jokes offensive to others in the community. In general, sexual advances of any kind are considered unwelcome by default and are not appropriate at this event.
Drugs and alcohol are not permitted on site. Individuals who appear intoxicated or otherwise under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave the event until they have recovered.
If, in the eyes of the Organizers, a hackathon participant is seen to have violated these rules, they may be warned, sanctioned, or asked to leave the hackathon without a refund (if applicable). In other words, just do the following: be aware of your actions and their effects on others; don’t treat the hackathon like a dating sim; and, in general, be nice to one another.
We will refund your ticket if we receive your request to do so at least five (5) days before the event. We may, at our discretion, give late refunds in the event of a bereavement or medical / family emergency if we are able to re-sell your ticket.
For more information about the event, or for any other questions, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you!
Date and Time
UW Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC)
7543 63rd Avenue Northeast
Seattle, WA 98115