Week 5 Ultimate Coder Recap: Getting Down to the Wire

This week’s Ultimate Coder work from our Challengers was, as usual, fantastic. We saw several feature freezes in Week 5, along with unforeseen challenges and some hard decisions. Next week our coders will be at GDC 2013, so you won’t be seeing any formal posts from them or our judges, but you can keep up with them and what they’re up to at GDC on Pinterest or on Twitter: #GDC13, #ultimatecoder, or #IntelDZLIVE.  


Sixense show us a great new demo of their Three Little Pigs app, complete with the Big Bad Wolf and a sneak peek at the different pig’s homes. It looks like all we need is a bit of polish and graphics and this thing will be ready to go. Voice recognition is hooked up to the menu system now, so in order to control it, all you need to do is speak. Art and graphics have come a long way in just a few short weeks, but look for even more goodies in weeks ahead. You can read their entire post here.

Lee notes in his recap video that he accomplished his longest coding jag ever this week; 32 hours plus. I’d say it served him well, since his teleconferencing app is nearly done and at the “polish, polish, and polish” stage. Lee gives us several demos of this app in action, using the Ultrabook in “flip” mode as well as traditional desktop mode. He also talks about his troubles with voice SDK control and how he managed to wrestle it into submission. You can read all of Lee’s updates from this week here.

Code-Monkeys talk about adapting the GUI of Stargate Gunship to fit the input of the perceptual camera this week. They’ve also worked on integrating all input methods – voice, swiping, gestures, etc. – holistically to make the game play flow more naturally. Overall, it sounds like menu controls are firmly established. You can read their update here.

Simian Squared discuss the current state and future of perceptual computing.  They feel like right now it’s a bit of the “Wild West”, but it definitely won’t be for long, especially with how quickly adaptation curves tend to flow these days. They also walk us through a bit of SDK manipulation, and then show us actual footage of what the code looks like (first demo of the pottery app!). You can read their entire update here.

Eskil takes off the gloves this week and gives us a very honest review of the Perceptual Computing camera. He’s got a lot of very insightful opinions, and well worth listening to, as he’s someone who’s used this piece of equipment pretty extensively. Eskil also gives us the first look at his “Seduce” interface toolkit demo, and it’s quite impressive. You can read Eskil’s Week 5 update here.

Brass Monkey/Infrared5 had a good week with face tracking: they’ve upped the algorithm speed and they are happy with how objects are being tracked in Kiwi Catapult Revenge. They walk us through the solution they found: 3D position of a face within the tracking space, and how it affects game play. We also get another playable demo and AC/DC augmented flamethrower action. You can read their post here.  

Peter has made great progress on his image editor, Huda, this week. He’s finalized the core saving and loading of photographs, worked on filters, tweaked photo management, and dropped the carousel. The app is looking gorgeous. You can read his entire post (served up with a generous dollop of code!) here.


Steve “Chippy” Paine notes that Sixense is really starting to come together, and likes the tight connection between player and characters. He encourages Peter to keep going with gesture support, and agrees with Lee’s assessment that “one bug can eat a whole day”.  Simian Squared’s bullish stance on perceptual computing rings true with Steve, and he likes that the Code-Monkeys are tackling the thorny problem of revamping an existing app to deal with new input controls. Steve approves of Brass Monkey’s use of smart algorithms in order to make the data play nice, and he appreciates Eskil’s honest feedback. You can read Steve’s entire post here.

Chris Maunder is happy with Sixense’s puppet app, and at this point believes that the rest is just icing on the perceptual computing cake. Lee’s teleconferencing app is at the polish stage, and he agrees with Code-Monkeys’ rethinking the UI to better connect with users. Brass Monkey get extra points this week for a bit of Back in Black, and they get even more points for using actual math. He asks Pete to show more of himself in the video updates, actually using Huda, looks forward to more demos from Eskil’s interface, and agrees with Simian Squared’s assessment of where perceptual computing is right now. You can read all of Chris’s update here.

Nicole Scott appreciates that Code-Monkeys are attempting to rework their GUI, looks forward to seeing more of Simian Squared’s pottery demos at GDC next week, and while impressed with Lee’s progress is puzzled by the medieval background.  She loves the flamethrower action that Brass Monkey show off this week, and loves the new puppet demo from Sixense – it’s alive! Nicole answers Peter’s question in depth about file structure, and somewhat agrees with Eskil’s review of the PerC camera. You can read all of Nicole’s update here.

See you at GDC!

Our coders will be at GDC next week – will you? Stop by Intel Booth #106 in the South Hall to meet the Ultimate Coders in person, talk with Intel staff, grab some goodies, and much more!


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