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Published on Feb 28, 2014
1st place entry to the Numenta GAME challenge back in 2008.
Doug and I spent about a week on this during our winter break from Olin, working in his bedroom and sleeping in his tiny bunk beds.
The first place prize was an Xbox360 and games, which we brought back to Olin, much to the enjoyment of our hallmates.
The other contestants' entries were much more interesting. 3rd place was a multiplayer game where you try to pick out the computer player amidst a group of humans. 2nd place had a physics simulator that let you create interactive objects by drawing them to life. Looking back, it reminds me of a cross between Crayon Physics and Scribblenauts.
Our initial idea was novel and interesting, but way too complicated, and probably would not have been much fun anyway. Time pressure forced us to abandon it in favor of just adding game mechanics to the existing NuPIC pictures demo. I really enjoyed playing the finished game with my Wacom tablet, but I was embarrassed by how simple and unoriginal it was. I feared we would be out-classed by more fully-featured games. Had I known what they were building, we would have lost by trying to build something more complicated than we could realistically achieve.
This was one of the first times I realized that polish pays off.