Three under 18 team also received special commendation

Virtual board game wins Raspberry Pi hack contest

A husband and wife team have won the UK’s first 24-hour Raspberry Pi hack competition with their creation of a virtual board game.

The winning team, Spooks, developed a board game offering customisation abilities, which encourages players to experiment with programming, a concept ideal for educational use in schools.

The software was designed by husband and wife team Shi and Kriss Blanks (pictured) alongside Chris Armitage and Rebecca Brannum, and included original artwork and music.

Runners up were three Yorkshire-based teams of under-18s, with an average age of 15, who worked independently of adult help.

Castleford-based Chris Leake, Adam Burnett, Scott Glossop and Ross Fletcher created a Pi operated synthesizer which used mathematical algorithms to generate music; Luke Horwell, Billy Beacroft and award-winning hacker 13-year-old Harry Merckel collaborated on a custom-built game in Java aimed at children under-11s; and Leeds-based duo, Yas Karunatissa and Jaspreet Dhajan, developed a Pi operating system to replace its standard Linux.

More than 50 hackers began creating new hardware and software hacks for the Raspberry Pi on December 1st from 12 noon, with 12 teams presenting their submissions 24 hours later to a panel of technology experts.

The judging panel consisted of Gareth Halfacree, co-author of Raspberry Pi User Guide; Alex Hudson, BBC Click interactive producer; Dr Simon Monk, author of Programming the Raspberry Pi; Barbara MacManus, associate head of the School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences; Dominic Hodgson, founder of LeedsHack and David Deventer, head of marketing at CPC.

Here are the six category winners:
• Best Overall Hack: Virtual computerized games master (Spooks aka Shi Blanks, Kriss Blanks, Chris Armitage and Rebecca Brannum)
• Best Hardware Hack: Semaphore to twitter converter (Martyn Ranyard, Paul Brook and Neil Pilgrim, all from Leeds Hack Space)
• Best Software Hack: Web-enabled grab machine (Jon Davies and Chris Dick from Maker Space, Newcastle)
• Best Game: Custom built game in Java (Under 18 team – Luke Horwell, Billy Beacroft and Harry Merckel)
• Best Team: Spooks – Shi Blanks, Kriss Blanks, Chris Armitage and Rebecca Brannum)
• Best Individual: Wi-Fi remote controlled car with webcam (Lee Barker)

Teams at the hack day were made up of various ages, from 13 to 60, with teams from the University of Leeds, LeedsHack and the University of Newcastle.

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