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Judging Criteria and Prize Categories

QuackHack – Judging Criteria and Prize Categories




Your product must fit into at least one of three categories in order to be eligible to win: video game, physical game, or gaming tool.


Video Game: A game played with an electronic screen as its primary interface, most or all of which is defined using code.


Physical Game: A game played without an electronic screen as its primary interface. Varying between high-tech (using sensors and beacons) and low-tech (card or board game). May use monitors/screens, but they cannot be the primary interface.


Gaming Tool: A product that contributes to an existing gaming environment, either electronic or physical. Examples range from an eSports AI, tracking the most commonly successful pairings in Cards Against Humanity, or a physical product that makes a game better.


You are welcome to work on another project that does not meet any of these requirements, but it will NOT be eligible to win any major categories or the Best in Show prize.


Judging Criteria


Project Difficulty

: Were there real problems to solve? We're looking for a balance between the product's complexity, and the demand that places upon your execution, polish, and design.



: Does it work? It doesn't have to look pretty, but could you be convinced that the product is a minimum viable product, testable by real people?


Polish / Design

: Is it pretty? Is the interface intuitive? The product should feel pretty enough to show off: music, art, clean interface, or any combination thereof.



: Is it a unique idea? Is it just another Flappy Bird clone, or did they take an old idea and make it novel?


"Science Fair" Demo

: Can you demonstrate and explain what it is, how it works, and why it's cool? Wow the judges as they come by your booth and try your product!


Stage Demo (FINALISTS)

: Can you demonstrate and explain what it is, how it works, and why it's cool? Captivate the audience from the stage as a QuackHack finalist!






QuackHack – Prizes and Prize Categories


Prize Categories: Tier 1


Best in Show: The best overall product between the winners of the “Physical Game,” “Video Game,” and “Gaming Tool” categories. Additional cash prize: $500 total.


Best Video Game, Physical Game, and Gaming Tool: All three categories defined under “Requirements” section.


Top two overall teams who do not win their category will round out the “Top 5.”

Each member from all Top 5 teams will receive a Tier 1 prize ticket.


Tier 1 Prizes include:

            Apple iPad mini, Apple AirPort Base Station, RC Quadcopter Drone w/ Camera,

            Western Digital 2TB External Drive, Samsung Gear VR,

            Rowkin Bluetoooth Earbud Headset


Prize Categories: Tier 2*


Best Use of MLH Hardware: Most inventive use of the hardware provided by MLH.
Best Use of the HP Sprout:
Most inventive use of the HP Sprout. (Co-judge: HP)
Best Educational Game:
Best game driven by education, or with educational aspects.
Most Intuitive Interface:
Best balance between product complexity and ease of use.
Best Art / Design:
Most visually appealing product.
Best Audio:
Best use of sound effects, music, or other sounds.

Most Commercially Viable: Most compelling business case alongside the game.
Most Creative:
Best executed project that makes you think outside the box.


*Prize categories may be added or subtracted in order to properly reward outstanding projects.


Tier 2 Prizes include:

            Google Cardboard

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