The educational game Robo Settlers developed by the Lithuanian Team SneakyBox was among the strongest projects from 15 countries at the annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Regional Finals. The Lithuanian project competed with another eight projects in the finals for the opportunity to vie for the top prize in Seattle, USA.
© Reuters / Scanpix

This is the 15th Microsoft Imagine Cup competition for students who pitch their games, applications, devices or other solutions to address the theme of the competition. The winners of the Regional Finals will compete for USD 100,000 cash prize at the World Finals to be held in Seattle, USA, this year.

The 2017 Regional Finals organised in Ukraine showcased the strongest projects from 15 countries[1], among which there was the Lithuanian Team SneakyBox with the educational game Robo Settlers. The principle of the game is that the player generates money and invests it into the construction of a tower. If sufficient money is raised, the player may travel to unexplored planets or create various intricate robots. The game provides an opportunity for the player to watch short educational films, which help carry out tasks and gain points. These films and tasks can also be used by teachers or parents to facilitate learning through game elements and serve as a good platform for teachers to provide complicated information in a fun way. The Lithuanian team, however, failed to qualify for the World Finals.

"It's very flattering that many journalists, investors and technology fans could see our game. This is a good way to be noticed and an excellent opportunity to obtain funding. Although we didn't manage to get to the World Finals, we competed against truly first-class projects and we are pleased to have taken part in the competition. We've received some useful tips and comments for further development of the game", Liudas Ubarevičius, co-founder of SneakyBox, said.

"We can be proud of our talents who represent Lithuania on the global scene. This is yet another proof that we not only have great ideas for games or applications, but also are able to realize them. There are no losers at such competitions – all teams gain priceless knowledge and advice, and make useful contacts. We therefore encourage young people to develop solutions in order to change how we live, work or play", Ainis Kavaliauskas, manager of Microsoft Lietuva, said.

Past successes of Lithuanians

In 2012, the Team LevelUp, which later founded the Team SneakyBox, participated in the Imagine Cup competition with its Never Future game about ecology. Lithuanians managed to get to the World Finals among 10 best teams in the world. Subsequently, the game was released for the Windows Phone platform. In 2004, another Lithuanian Team Nesnausk took the second place with its short computer generated graphics film in.out.side: the shell. In the following year the interactive 3D graphics work by the same team took gold in the Rendering category.

The Belarusian Team Scrawless has won this year's Regional Finals and will participate in the World Finals in July. The team has developed an online platform that helps children with cerebral palsy or with limited mobility to carry out tasks at school.

Students over 16 and teams of not more than three members can take part in the Imagine Cup. The team must register at the competition website and provide its interesting ideas or projects to the committee. Each year there is a general theme and the participants must demonstrate their talents and skills to address the theme.

[1] Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

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