"Reimagining the Future of Gaming"

May 31 - Jun 2, 2019

Kay Bailey Hutchison Center | Dallas, TX

Thanks for coming!



A gaming-focused hackathon experience like no other

Version Alpha is Dallas’s first gaming-focused hackathon hosted in the middle of DreamHack Dallas, a three-day event with everything gaming under one roof. Asterisk is proud to partner with DreamHack to bring together the best elements of hackathons and gaming in a high powered weekend full of building, prototyping, and epic gg’s.

Over the last decade, few industries have accelerated like that of gaming and esports. New paradigms are being introduced in every game that is produced. Technology has allowed us to push the boundaries of games and their development to new horizons. On the flip side, gaming has contributed a lot to the way we develop new technology. Version Alpha aims to push the boundaries of innovation: gaming and otherwise! For one weekend, a diverse group will collaborate on ideating, prototyping, and exploring the future of tomorrow.

What is dreamhack?

DreamHack is the ultimate gaming lifestyle festival. As part of DreamHack Dallas, all Version Alpha attendees get a three-day festival pass, providing access to the entire festival including all of its shows, speaking events, LAN and watch parties, and more.

+ Learn more about DreamHack


Innovating the Gaming Industry

Outside of games, a variety of software and technology exists for gaming enthusiasts. Platforms like Twitch or Discord provide streaming and communication capabilities to hundreds of millions of users across the globe. Shared marketplaces have made games available and more accessible across a variety of platforms. How might we innovate the products and services around games to make games more inclusive of and accessible to everyone?

Game Development

Developers, designers, artists, and playtesters all share a common interest in pushing the creative boundaries of game development. Whether you work on the biggest franchises or small indie games, prototyping is a valuable and important part of the build process. How might we prototype an innovative game experience over the course of 36 hours?

Gamification in UX

User experience is everything in games. Let’s see how we can extend that experience outside of the gaming industry. How might we utilize the rewarding aspects of gamification to improve product and service offerings?


Friday, May 31

DreamHack Doors Open
9:00 AM
V/A Registration & Check-In
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Opening Ceremony
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Hacking Begins
8:00 PM
Dinner Voucher Handout
8:00 PM
Hardware Lab Opens
8:15 PM
Team Building and Ideation Session
8:15 PM - 9:15 PM

Saturday, June 1

Quiet Hours
2:00 AM - 5:00 AM
Quiet Hours
5:00 AM - 7:00 AM
Voucher Handout
8:00 AM
Game Dev 101 - IGDA
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Twitch Emotes Bingo
12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Picture Scavenger Hunt
12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
How to Break into the Gaming Industry
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Intro to Gamification - David Fares
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Bob Ross MS Paint Part
10:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Sunday, June 2

Quiet Hours
2:00 AM - 5:00 AM
Quiet Hours
5:00 AM - 7:00 AM
Breakfast Voucher Handout
8:00 AM
Play "How to Submit" Video
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Devpost Submissions Due
9:00 AM
"How to Win" Workshop
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Hardware Lab Closes
9:45 AM
Hacking Ends
10:00 AM
Lunch Voucher Handout
11:30 AM
Final Pitch Briefing
12:30 PM - 12:45 PM
Final Presentations
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Closing Ceremony & Awards
1:45 PM - 2:15 PM
Hardware Return Final Call
2:15 PM - 3:00 PM


Click to Expand

Who can participate? >

All creators are welcome! This includes undergraduate students, graduate students, high schoolers, and professionals of all backgrounds and levels of expertise. There is no age limit for this event.

What if I don't know anything about gaming? >

No problem! Version Alpha is the place you can apply the skills you already have to push the gaming industry forward! We will have both mentors and workshops to level up your gaming and technical knowledge!


How much does it cost? >

Tickets to Version Alpha will cost $50. Version Alpha tickets include a 3-day DreamHack Dallas festival pass, with the same access as a normally priced ticket ($85 value), vouchers to cover all meals during the hackathon, and exclusive swag and goodies available only to Version Alpha attendees.

What can teams look like? How many per team? >

Teams are composed of 2-5 people. You don’t need to have a team before you come or one at all, but hacking together is more fun! We’ll provide time for attendees looking for a team to find one at the beginning of the event.

How do I get to Version Alpha? Parking instructions? >

Version Alpha will take place at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The address is 650 S Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202. The DART Convention Center stop, accessible via the Red and Blue lines on the DART light rail, is conveniently located at street level directly beneath the building. Parking is also available at the convention center. Find more information here on parking and transportation.

Eating… is that a thing here? >

Yes, you will eat. Vouchers for food will be provided during regular meal times for all participants that purchased tickets through Version Alpha. Standard tickets purchased through DreamHack will not come with meal vouchers. Vouchers are valid at any of DreamHack’s concessions stands.

What about hardware? >

Yes! We will have plenty of hardware including Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, VR headsets, various IoT devices, sensors, and electronic components. A more comprehensive list can be found here!

What should I bring? >

Please bring a valid, government-issued ID (i.e. driver’s license, passport, national ID card, birth certificate, etc). You will need that to get in. Laptops, chargers, cell phones, and of course passion are helpful. Other useful items include toiletries, a change of clothes, a pillow, some earplugs, an eye mask, a jacket, and... deodorant. Please, bring deodorant.

Knives, firearms, and other dangerous things are not permitted at this event. If you could win a round of CS:GO with it, you shouldn’t bring it. Please refer to the links below for more specific restrictions on what is or is not allowed.

+ DreamHack Security
+ DreamHack Rules
+ DreamHack FAQ

Are there travel reimbursements? >

Unfortunately, we will not be providing any travel reimbursements for this event.

What is a hackathon? >

Somewhere between 6 and 36 hours consisting of networking, learning, exploring, creating, eating, collaborating, winning, and so much more-ing. In layman's terms, it's a lot of time spent over a weekend in a safe space where you get to explore your wildest ideas with a bunch of resources right at your fingertips and a few (sometimes new) friends by your side to share the satisfaction of a breakthrough with, no matter how big or small.

Do we need to register as a team? >

You do not need to register as a team. You will list your team members when you submit a project.

Can I work on past projects? >

No, all projects must be created during the designated hacking time at Version Alpha. Projects can use outside tools, APIs, previous inspiration, etc. However, the use of those must be stated. If you’re not sure, feel free to ask us.

What else can I do at DreamHack Dallas 2019? >

There are a ton of other cool things to check out at DreamHack - check out this list!

What if I already have a ticket to DreamHack? >

If you've already purchased an equivalent 3-day festival pass, please send us an email before you sign up for Version Alpha with evidence of your ticket purchase (i.e. the receipt). We will provide you with a unique code to bypass the payment step of registration.

What if this FAQ doesn’t answer my question? >

Send us an email at hello@weareasterisk.com and we’ll get back to you!

+ DreamHack FAQ