A bitmapped image of Edward Shturman

DEPLOY/23

The first hackathon hosted by my computer science club compsigh, and our biggest event of the Fall 2023 semester. An entirely student-bootstrapped, three-day event, bringing together the best minds in CS, design, and engineering to hack on a project for a weekend.

Story

A hackathon is a life-changing experience.

For three days, you put yourself through hell, make lifelong memories with friends, and feel like a rebellious group of misfits, trying to make the world a better place. And when you get up on that stage, and you give it your all, you become the main character, sharing your Hero's Journey.

Despite the fact compsigh is one of the more chill clubs at the University of San Francisco, we knew we couldn't skimp on quality. Cyberpunk vibes. AI-generated trailer. Custom-built platform for participants. DEPLOY/23 was about delivering that life-changing experience through pixels & prose.

Trailer

For a hackathon with a cyberpunk vibe, I felt it'd be appropriate to make an event trailer using AI. In collaboration with our friends at Game Design Club, we wrote up some lore, and crafted a storyboard.

A picture of the DEPLOY/23 trailer storyboard, drawn out on a whiteboard

We drew inspiration from games, aesthetics, and stories we'd all grown up with. Those included:

I used Midjourney to create each shot as a static image. Then, I used Runway to give it life. Finally, I upscaled all outputs using Topaz Labs.

Watch the DEPLOY/23 trailer on YouTube.

Platform

If we're going to up the quality, Devpost and Google Forms won't cut it. I set out to design-engineer a custom platform for participant registration, team formation, and project submission. We also needed it to accommodate our logistics and workflow for the event, which was in Notion.

Here's the result, written in React & Next.js, auth via NextAuth, forms via Tally, and logistics via Notion API:

A gif of the DEPLOY/23 landing page
A screenshot of the DEPLOY/23 Console, where participants can register, form their teams, and submit their projects
A screenshot of the DEPLOY/23 project submission form

You can read the technical breakdown on our GitHub repo.

All in all, it was exhilerating putting this event on, and I look forward to DEPLOY/24.

A picture of the DEPLOY/23 presenters on stage