Screenshot of the "Crackathon" game.Engineering students’ topical Rob Ford game wins ‘Funniest Hack’

In just 16 hours, third-year Systems Design Engineering students Chris Ngan and Nick Mostowich created an online platform game, “Crackathon featuring embattled Mayor Rob Ford. “The development process consisted of a lot of Red Bull,” Nick said of their experience at hackNY’s annual spring hackathon.

Not only were the two awarded  ‘Funniest Hack’ at the close of the hackathon, but their hastily developed game also reached larger audiences than the two ever expected. Chris and Nick were both surprised by the level of feedback, especially when they were quickly contacted by major news organizations right after their demo at hackNY.

This was the first time Chris and Nick worked together on a project, and it was Chris’ first time making a game. “I’m glad we did it, because it was a lot of fun!” said Chris, who was also happy that “people saw it as what we intended it to be: something fun and humorous with no political agenda.”

Nick and Chris accept their award for Funniest Hack.Chris has been recognized for several previous projects, including at MHacks where he and his team created MediData, a prototype of a system for third world communities to quickly report their health conditions through text message. He also won first place in the Communitech DATA.BASE challenge for We Cook, an app that assesses personal cooking skills with a series of quizzes using big data from Health Canada to make learning how to cook less of a chore.

Nick has also been working on several side projects and looks forward to participating in Canada’s largest hackathon, Hack the North, this fall in Waterloo. Nick would like to work at a video game company during a future work term, and suggests, “if Ford gets re-elected, maybe we’ll push an update or two.”

You can read more about Chris and Nick’s success on CBCnews and BlogTO, and of course, you can also play their game.

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