This is what Programmers do During Lunch

At our Belgian office, you won’t see members of our team partaking in a dull and lifeless lunch break. During work hours the crew prototypes with game technology, and during lunch they fine-tune their gaming skills with each other.

It all started when the team began playing a few local multiplayer games from the Humble Hooked on Multiplayer Bundle during the break. They played through many of the games, but once they landed on Ultimate Chicken Horse, they stuck with it!

Ultimate Chicken Horse, by Clever Endeavour Games, is a competitive platformer game with level-building mechanics embedded into the core gameplay. Players compete to get to the goal flag while constantly building the level around it, adding traps to kill the other players and platforms to pave their own way to victory.

Not Just a Game

Playing the game started as a more fun way to spend lunch breaks, and quickly turned into a competitive team bonding routine. Each team member named their own game character, and the scores were kept on a Trello board.

Matthew‘s spare time project puts the Trello API and Google Charts at work, in order to show how the UCH pie is shared at lunch. Matthew is “the Greedy Raccoon”, Domien “the Deceptive Sheep”, and Jannes “the Bunny Trap-Master”.

Adding a Personal Touch

Soon the co-workers turned into competitors, each striving to gain bragging rights at the end of lunch with a victory. They aimed to perfect their craft and improve their skills by learning the “1-2 turnaround”, how to “control the panic”, and conquer “THE SWERVE” – life saving techniques devised by the team after countless hours of gameplay (see comments).

Domien, Matthew, and Jannes enjoying a game of UCH in their character’s shirts.

In order to make things even more interesting, the crew started making their own rules for the game when they played:

  1. No bombs unless the level is “impossible”
  2. The Dance Party level can only be voted for once per day
  3. The winner gets a score handicap of 20% – losers decrease handicap by 10%


PreviewLads enjoying a game of Ultimate Chicken Horse.

One thought on “This is what Programmers do During Lunch”

  1. PreviewLabs Matthew says:

    1-2 turnaround: Jumping out from underneath a two tile wide platform and wall-jumping onto it

    Controlling the panic: We would get into a panic and not be able to stop jumping from platform to platform (often leading to our deaths!), by controlling the panic we learned the key skills of standing still and taking stock of our environment

    THE SWERVE: This travesty led many a carefree animal to their doom, when falling from great height and mistakenly swerving to avoid any safe platforms on the way down… (Because controlling your character as they fall is hard)

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