£5 App Xmas Special Write-Up

We had a lovely night!  50 or so enlightened souls joined us at The Werks in Hove for Aleks and Barry‘s talk on the development and launch of SpaceShip! followed by 4 excellent gamesy-themed 10 minute demos.

As Richard says:

“I mean, how does this sound: I turn up at The Werks, icy cold, to be handed a lovely hot mulled wine by the Ribots, directed towards the mince pies, and then entertained with a range of funky technology stuff. Mmm.”

See additional write-ups by Ribot, Mark – thanks chaps.  Short write-up by Emily at robochick.  Longer write-up by Richard at lastminute labs.

For the first hour (video, slides) Aleks talked about the inspiration and development of SpaceShip!, a text-only adventure set in the mold of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy and other Infocom adventure games.  Barry then picked up with a look at the Inform programming language behind the game.

We then had 4 great demos (sadly our 5th, Dom with the iPhone game, couldn’t attend due to illness):

  1. Eye-controlled Pong by Ben Rubinstein (CogApp) (video – thanks Ribot)
  2. Fighting Mini-sumo robots by Emily (video)
  3. Lightsaber mobile phone duelling by Richard and Russ (Lastminute.com Labs) (video)
  4. Flash 3D Snow and Xmas games by Seb (PluginMedia) (video)

Ben led the way with a fun look at eye-controlled Pong.  Emily followed with line-following and fighting mini-sumo bots.  Russ and Richard did a great two-part demo showing Nokia N95’s with Python controlling 2-player (across 2 phones) Pong and lightsaber-fighting using accelerometers and bluetooth.

Seb finished with some super-neato demos of particle physics, webcams and augmented reality (see a demo here).

The wonderful Ribots sponsored the night, they provided piping-hot mulled wine, mince pies and beer.  John brought some extra beer (which, um, we finished about midnight) and ginger cake, everyone got a taste.  We also had some announces about The Werks and Ribot’s new office (see video – thanks Ribot).

I was very happy to see some ex-MSc students and Inman Harvey (Sussex Uni’s MSc supervisor for the EasyMSc) – I’m keen to forge more links with my old Uni to get more students involved with local companies and perhaps start some collaborative projects in motion.

John finished by announcing the 5k Competition (rules: still evolving – talk to John or post in the google group), pencilled in for some time next year.  Contact John for more details.

For past events see fivepoundapp.com.  Join our low-volume google group to discuss what you saw, put up new ideas and follow new announces.  See all photos under the £5 App tag at flickr.

Ian is a Chief Interim Data Scientist via his Mor Consulting. Sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London and to hear about his data science thoughts and jobs. He lives in London, is walked by his high energy Springer Spaniel and is a consumer of fine coffees.


  • alanpike
    Great night from the little I saw (arrived late, had to leave early) that 5k competition . . . wasn't there something similiar about 7/8/9? years ago . . . I just remember there was a lovely flash thing . . . which i used to find very theraputic . . . it was just a page with lots of coloured flashing dots in a grid . . . and short lines between the dots . . . and the lines would change direction as you rolled over . . . and it would make a lovely clicky sound . . . or was that just me? anyone remember?
  • Yeah, there's been loads of those 5K types competitions. Got a few listed on the wiki page. Just figure it be a fun thing to do, without requiring too much time for everyone involved.