UNH Hack New Hampshire: Let the Games Begin!

The UNH Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) hosted its 6th annual Hack New Hampshire technology challenge in April. UNH students were invited to participate in teams and compete over the weekend for industry sponsored, cash prizes.

This year's challenge was to ‘Create a Game that must include a Leaderboard’. A total of 8 teams and 25 students from the UNH College of Engineering & Physical Sciences (CEPS)  competed for their chance to take home first, second, or third place and prize money totaling $1,750. This year's generous sponsors included: Alexander Technology Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and QA Cafe.

The rise of new technology including ChatGPT and the rapid development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI), put a unique spin on this year’s competition and games ranged from image recognition/generation to trash sorting to help with the NH waste management system. Congratulations to all the teams who participated! Teams taking home prizes this year were Parking Panic, ChatGPT Presents Team 4, and Diesel Dogs. 

This was the first year where all placing teams were made up of current IOL student employees! A very exciting year for the IOL and UNH CEPS! Below are the summaries of each team’s projects:

Parking Panic by Oliver Willis, Paul Gesel, and Jon Doherty

The game they created is called Parking Panic. Inspired by parking on UNH’s campus, users act as the parking police and drive a car around various parking lots and hand out parking tickets. The goal is to get to each car before the timer runs out and issue a ticket. To make the game more like real life users are fined when they run their car into any of the parked cars in the lot. The Parking Panic team utilized mySQL and Unity Engine C# when developing their game. 

Heatsweep by Nathan Chasse, Mason McDonald, Ronan Marino, and Ryan Skelly

Team 4 created a game titled Heatsweep using the recently trending ChatGPT, django, and python during game development. This game has multiplayer interaction, an ELO rating system, and a global leaderboard ranking opponents based on the time it took to complete the challenge. Once in the game, players must chart a course from a landing point to the hotspot faster than their opponent. Colors are displayed to the user identifying warmer or colder in relation to the hotspot location. 

Buckshot by Sam Muldrow and Will Gawron

Buckshot, a gun based action game, was awarded third place. This game featured three levels, sound effects, and a leaderboard using serverless architecture, which incorporates both drone shooting performance and time elapsed. Users navigate the world and shoot down cubic drones. If the drones hit the user, the user’s game ends. 

Additional participating teams:

Image Wizard AI by Brandon Kady, Austin Snow, Ryan Tobin, and Adam Vogler

The AI Ambassadors team created an Image Wizard AI game using HTML, CSS, and javascript where users must come up with a keyword or phrase that correctly represents the given image. All images are generated from Lexica prompt Image, a free public domain images tool. Users were ranked by whether or not they labeled the images correctly. It was exciting to see how image recognition was used in this game!

Waste Wizard by Faishal Yousef, Talha Siddique, Noushad Sojib and Mohammad Monjur 

After identifying environmental issues in the New Hampshire waste management system, the ShortCircuit team created a game called ‘Waste Wizard’. The object of the game is for the user to appropriately sort the trash. Users were then ranked on a leaderboard based on whether they correctly sorted the trash and recyclable objects in their designated bins before the clock ran out. Users could also have the option to upload pictures and be awarded additional points & rewards. 

Arcade Adventures by Sia Manna and Ezinma Nwankwo

Inspired by the choose your own adventure format of many games, the Arcade Adventures team created a fantasy subscription-based game where users are given a story and then must choose the ‘best way’. A user loses points when they stray off the linear path. To make it even more competitive, the team added a timer. This game will be a weekly series and include a more cryptic story to alter the adventure each time.

Cypher Chase by Jonayet Hossain, Sabby Clemmons, and Elisabeth Drakatos

Using python and MATLAB, this group created an interactive, competitive mystery game called Cypher Chase where players are given clues that were revealed as they completed puzzles. Each clue uncovered would reveal a piece of information to help find the suspect. The game also features a game clock and multiple game paths to choose from. 

Bucket Rush by Kevin Guzman Velez and Connor Marvin 

Bucket Rush is a virtual reality (VR) game where users are throwing a total of 9 balls into a bucket. The timer starts once the user throws the first ball into the bucket. The player leaderboard is gauged off the time it takes for the user to throw all 9 balls into the bucket. The quicker the player completes the game, the higher they are on the leaderboard.