How hackathon ideas can turn into real products

DaftMobile

DaftMobile is a part of DaftCode that was created in 2013 with an idea of creating awesome and entertaining mobile games and apps for iOS. During that time we’ve managed to release quite a few products to the App Store, and we’re continuing to grow bigger and better.

Hack days

As part of our daily work we continue to invest in self development. Hackathons are a perfect example of a way to boost productivity and engagement.

The idea behind a hackathon in DaftMobile is quite simple. Each developer is supposed to come up with a game / app idea. Then we strip that idea down to an MVP which can be implemented in just one day.

A well done MVP is a perfect way to test a product idea. The key to a great MPV is preparation — it’s simply not possible to implement a complete product in one day. You have to fake most of the functionality, thinking about your main goal — to reproduce the final project’s core loop.

Here are some projects that started as hackathon MVPs, and then turned into real products.

Lopp

Lopp is our short and lightweight Christmas game project. Your goal is to drag your Santa around and collect gifts, elbowing the other Santa. The real fun in the game appears when there are two players playing on the same device. At first it seems to be a game drawback, that you try to hold your fingers on one screen, but after a while turns out to be very funny and entertaining.

Celebrate Pride

Do you remember this time when US Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage is legal nationwide? We do, it was crazy. People (including me) were changing their profile pictures all over the world to include a rainbow filter. I have to admit, even being from Europe, we felt part of it. We were doing a hackathon around that time and we started wondering if we could somehow become a part of it all.

And there came an idea that it should actually be quite easy to create a nice rainbow effect on iOS with CoreImage APIs, event though we’ve never used them. After just one day of research and a few days of development, Celebrate Pride was ready, waiting for review on the App Store.

Finger Hero

If you’ve ever heard about DaftMobile, you’ve probably heard about Finger Hero as well. It’s by far our most popular game out there. What you most likely don’t know is that it also started as an MVP project during a hackathon.

After that hackathon we sat down to do a retrospective. The idea of Finger Hero had been very simple at first, but after giving it a good thought it began to grow on us. We came up with many ideas such as unlocking multiple heroes, referencing other games, movies, comics, and culture elements in a cheeky way, adding game missions, specific hero characteristics and features and more.

Having a successful MVP and a product roadmap in mind we began to develop Finger Hero. After countless hours of brainstorming, coding, designing, and going back rethinking everything, we finally released Finger Hero on March 31st 2016.

The game got featured on the App Store worldwide in Best New Games, Enhanced with 3D Touch category for many weeks. It turned out to be a great success, engaging and entertaining players for quite a while now. You can check out Finger Hero here.

Next Steps

These are just some of the products that we’ve made in the past few years. We’re constantly improving our creative processes and we’re very excited to see what the future holds for our new projects.

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