Coworkers Develop Winning Facebook Game App At Photo Hack Day 3

By Justin Lafferty 

At the fiercely competitive Photo Hack Day 3 in San Francisco (a Facebook-sponsored event), a trio of coworkers may have developed the next big mobile game in one weekend.

The Photo Hack Day, this time hosted at Dropbox headquarters in San Francisco (and presented by Aviary), calls for developers to create a photo-based application from scratch in just one weekend. Competition for the cash prizes becomes intense as developers brainstorm, work, and test around the clock. This year’s event brought together 300 developers, who submitted 70 apps using 21 application programming interfaces (APIs for short).

Artur RivilisParashuram Narasimhan, and Sean Ren brainstormed the idea for their game — Pics with Friends — the day before the competition. They wanted to tap into the social power of Draw Something and Words with Friends, but with photos.

In the game, a player takes a photo or uses a photo already on their phone and gives it a caption. Their opponent then has to guess what the photo is — essentially Draw Something, but with the fun added twist of pictures. For their efforts, Rivilis, Narasimhan, and Ren claimed first prize at the Photo Hack Day, earning $7,000. They also won the Facebook category, taking home $2,500 in Facebook ad credits and Facebook sweatshirts.

Rivilis told AllFacebook about the motivation behind Pics with Friends:

The idea basically came out the day before the hackathon, and we talked about it, and presented a few ideas … We wanted to do something that was practical and something that was fun. A closer connection, I thought, was something like Draw Something, but to make it about photos. I think we were very surprised (to win). Even if we didn’t win, we were going to continue working on it and polishing it.

The team is still fine-tuning the game, but you can sign up to be notified when it’s ready to be downloaded.

Chris Faulkner, Joey Hiller, Elliot Lee, and Mohamed Mansour claimed second place (and $2,000) with Sizzly, an engaging social photo-editing platform.

Jeff Kiske, Ben Perez, Eric Berdinis, and Ayaka Nonaka earned third prize ($1,000) with Just a Second, which captures one-second videos to share the beauty of a single moment.

Readers: Does Pics with Friends sound like a game you want to play?

Images courtesy of Artur Rivilis.