Rocks, Lasers, Profit! NASA Space Apps Challenge 2014

Super happy, over an exhausting 30 hours straight we (4) came out victorious winning first place in the Waterloo Regional NASA Space Apps Challenge, for our educational game, Rocks, Lasers, Profit!

We’re now moving on to the finals against even tougher competition. You can check out the current build on Github, but it needs a lot of bug fixing and feature enhancements before it’s ready for prime time.


I have updated this article as we are ready for the national submission.


You can see more of the 2014 NASA Space Apps Challenge at these links.

Bricktastic Official Release

Update: I ended up winning first place in the games category for this contest, which is especially awesome because this is the first game that I’ve officially published. Thrilled.

Here’s the official release of Bricktastic for a game competition. It’s a full start to finish game with more features to come and more work to do.

You can download it directly here or find it in BlackBerry App World or Google Play soon.

I appreciate feedback and bug reports. I’m currently chasing a real nasty bug where the ball/paddle colliders get stuck in a “death loop”, it occurs rarely and I can’t seem to identify why it’s happening in the code. Very hard to reproduce.

Brick tastic is now public as of v0.9.4.

Download: Windows Linux Mac Android BlackBerry iOS OculusRift

This the status of my work log: (deprecated)

Bricktastic – Beta 2

Thanks for all the feedback so far. A lot of it was a great help. I have a new version up, and I didn’t address all of your concerns in time, but it’s in the works.

I’ve added a title screen seen in this video. It’s changed since, but I’m pretty happy with how good it looks for how little I had to do. I mean, I spent 6 hours tweaking it, but it’s basically looked the way it did from the start.


Windows Mac Linux BlackBerry Android - OculusRift

Issues Fixed/New Features:

-Added main menu(most functions dont do anything)
-Changed ball color to be more easily visible
-Disabled rotation on the ball
-Changed lighting for paddle
-Added sparks to the ball for better visual queue
-Added onscreen debugging/console
-New brick animations
-New brick model with smoother edges.
-Increased FOV
-Added logic to prevent the ball from endlessly bouncing at boring angles. 10 bounces at less than a 10 degree change invokes a nudge.

Known Issues:
-Highscore and Help menus drift because I’m animating them poorly
-OSD is fake
-Colliders of wall drift over time. I know why I just have to rewrite the part. So as you progress in the game, the greater chance you’ll lose your ball off the playing field.
-Completely broke lighting effects in levels. Bricks and ball should reflect colors on walls
-Bad Bounces between levels sometimes

To impliment:

-Persistent sound options
-Graceful New/Continue game animation and death animation
-Bonus level to gain lives
-More levels
-Power ups, time permitting for contest.


“Disco con Tutti” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Millennium Fountain Bricks – Photo by Annette Gendler,

Bricktastic – Beta 1

Ok, the time has come. I need beta testers.

I created this game over the weekend for a competition at work. I chose the game category. I have until March 1st for final submission.

Currently it’s in full test mode which means:

-No death (god mode)
-No score
-Endless play (recycle)
-Endless accounts of your ball flying off into no where

Please leave feedback in the comments. If you experience things like the ball flying away, that’s an issue with a collider. It’s very been very difficult to track everything down, so the more detail the better. Thanks!


Windows - Mac - Linux - BlackBerry - AndroidOculusRift


“Disco con Tutti” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Millennium Fountain Bricks – Photo by Annette Gendler,

vrTrek for Oculus Rift

3rd Update:

I’ve added functionality to the control panel.

The idea is you use a gamepad to pilot, and you you glancing at buttons on the control panel followed by a button press to execute functions. I think this is pretty cool because in star trek, they do everything by touch panel. So being able to fly around, and just look down to do other things while you navigate kind of plays pretty well.

2nd update:

This game is very much not finished and very much not a game. I’ve added a skybox since this vid.

All 3D models are courtesy of

1st Update:

So I got this running on the Rift. And of course it plays so much better. Feels good. I recommend a proper game pad.

This isn’t really a game and it’s very premature. Just putting it out there. I hope to make some sort of small, basic game where you run quests within our inner solar system. Scan planets, deliver cargo, assist in repairs.

Download for Windows: