Microsoft selects UH Hilo computer science students’ pitch video as best in world competition

Team Hōkū from UH Hilo has won the 2015 Imagine Cup Pitch Video Challenge in the Games Category. 

By Susan Enright.

Brian Hall
Brian Hall

A team of computer science students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has won the first challenge in the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup, a global student technology competition.

Team Hōkū from UH Hilo has won the 2015 Imagine Cup Pitch Video Challenge in the Games Category. This was the first challenge in the national 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup and required students to produce a three-minute video presentation for their project. Judges from Microsoft selected the Team Hōkū video as the best in the world competition.

“Team Hōkū made the video in conjunction with their senior software engineering project,” says Keith Edwards, associate professor and chair of computer science at UH Hilo. Their game is entitled reForge and is “a casual 2D online scifi sandbox game where players command highly customizable ships in tactical battles. Players will collect resources, trade in a player-driven economy, and team up to competitively control various parts of the game universe.”

Casey Pearring
Casey Pearring

Team Hoku are Brian Hall, Theodore DeRego, Lucas DeRego, and Casey Pearring. UH Hilo students Kristin Pederson and Kelli Yamane work on the documentation aspects of the game as part of their efforts in the software engineering course, but are not part of the official Imagine Cup Team.

From the Imagine Cup website:

Meet the Pitch Video Challenge 2015 winners!

The judges have watched all the videos, reviewed the judging criteria, and made their decision. We’re pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions for the 2015 Imagine Cup Pitch Video Challenge! The competition was extremely fierce this year, with many high-quality pitch videos submitted in all three categories. In some cases, the scoring was almost too close to call.

In the Games category, our winner is Team Hōkū from the United States. Their project, reForge, is a clever synthesis of the sci-fi Roguelike hit FTL with the base construction and customization of Minecraft.

Theodore DeRego
Theodore DeRego

Team Hoku won $3,000 for their efforts in the Game Challenge. They will now move on to the Blueprint and User Experience challenges for the 2015 Imagine Cup contest.

Read about a different team of UH Hilo computer science students who had a national win in 2013: UH Hilo computer science students win national Microsoft competition, Chancellor’s Blog, June 2013.


About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.