We got to Seattle! We went for a 5 day stay in Seattle in order to do our pitches for the judges at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.
There we got settled in at the University of Washington where we would be staying, getting ready for the week to come, still working on our pitch and getting very excited about everything around us.
We got our conference passes and met the filming crew. This day was full of filming and interviews for them, we got ours done fairly early on in the day and then got ready to do a dry run of our pitch and get some criticism. We took it all on board and got ready to restructure almost our entire pitch and even make a little teaser trailer.
This was the first day we got to visit the Microsoft Campus, but when we got there me and my team had no time to take it all in because we were the first games presentation of the day. We had to do a 10 minute pitch followed by a 20 minute Q&A plus demonstration with the judges. We took all the stress in our stride and had fun with it and with it all done we got to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the day. We took a look at as many of the other teams presentations as we could, seeing some really impressive stuff and later on some people (including two of my teammates) would get their chance to go to the HoloAcadmeny.
The big day, the top 3 in each category would be announced at the awards ceremony and the winners in each category would be spending their night readying a new 3 minute pitch for the world championship the following day. Unfortunately Hex World didn’t make it to the top 3 but it doesn’t matter because this whole competition has been amazing and took us to places we didn’t think we’d get to for years to come at least.
Later on in the day each team got a chance to expo their entries for a few hours at the Microsoft Field on campus. I missed a lot of this as this was mine and one of my teammates time to go to the HoloAcademy, where we got to play with the Hololens.
We were shown how easy it is to develop for using Unity to output a C# solution for Visual Studio to deploy onto the device and got to play around with the ready made assets and see the session sharing (I tried to get my AI running on the device but ran out of time before I could). We were back in time for the last 2 hours of the expo before heading back to the University of Washington to relax.
Final day, we went to Garfield High School for the world championship presentations. Afterwards we were provided transportation by Microsoft to go sight seeing in Seattle. In the evening a party had been prepared for all the attendees where we all had a blast and enjoyed our last day with the incredible people we had met out there before we would all be flying back out over the course of the next 24 hours.
All in all I’m amazed at how far we got and loved every minute of it, of course it was disappointing that we didn’t win but that is overshadowed by everything else. The only thing I’m upset about now is that I’ve graduated and can’t enter the competition again next year. But I’ll never forget this amazing experience.