SA dev team snatches award at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2014


A South African team from the University of Pretoria recently scooped the Skype Award in Microsoft’s student technology competition Imagine Cup 2014.

The team, called Super Sea Dragons, had to compete against 171 teams from 76 countries. Daniel Esterhuizen, Gerhard Janse van Rensberg, Eleanor Harding and Emile Hay were awarded US$5 000 for developing a 2D action-adventure game called Orbit.

The award will help assist the team to get its project Orbit onto the Windows Phone Store and promote it.

Orbit is described as a planet platformer, with gameplay focused on the exploration and navigation of small planets, collecting weapons and upgrading these to fight for one’s survival. Players assume the role of Atlas the astronaut, Earth’s last hope for finding a new habitat to survive in.

“Year after year the Imagine Cup has proven that our students have unimaginable creativity. We encourage these young people to consider a career as a software developer. If we are able to channel these ideas, we can do a lot to help South African youth with potential realise a career in coding to export intellectual property or become entrepreneurs in their own right,” says Clifford de Wit, developer and platform lead at Microsoft SA.

“Last year’s local winners, Team SentiMeter, have gone on to form their own profitable and sustainable company, and now Super Sea Dragons have a chance of doing the same.”

From the 171 entrants who competed in the semi-finals, 33 have progressed and will be battling it out for top honours at the worldwide Imagine Cup finals in Seattle later this year.



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