It really is quite amazing how easy it can be these days to make a video game and make it available to people all over the world who want to play it. You might say that the tools for game development are so easy to use that a child can make a new video game and sell it. And you would be right – one determined 7-year-old from Asutralia did exactly that. She created a game called Answer the Question and put it on Steam.
Meet Penny. As you can see, she was hard at work making her video game when this image was taken. She is reportedly a lifelong gamer who was struck by the sudden urge to make her own video game after watching her developer work on his own project. “Can I make a game too one day?” asked young Penny.
Benjamin Franklin once shared a great rule of productivity – never put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Penny sat down at an old PC which ran Windows 98 and had QBASIC installed. With the help of an old programming book given to her by her dad, Penny wasted no time getting to work putting the lessons into practice. After a while Penny had completed her first game, Answer the Question.
It is a simple game. The player is presented with an endless supply of arithmetic problems; specifically, addition problems. Every correct answer results in a point for the player. I would suggest challenging your children with this game and encourage them to beat their previous high scores.
“I tried to make an action game, but I wasn’t ready, so I made a different game,” Penny reflected in an interview with the fine folks over at Kotaku.
After Penny had finished the game it dawned on her that others should get to play it for themselves. “I thought that, if my family can have this game, why not other people?” she wondered.
Some developers lament the difficulty of getting their games noticed on Steam but that was not the case for Penny. In fact, Answer the Question was the 10th highest rated Steam game for the week according to a tweet from Penny’s dad. That is very close to some notable recent releases such as the VR edition of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and La Mulana 2.
The game is the 10th highest rated game on Steam this week. pic.twitter.com/FebpWmX8iL
— Lance McDonald (@manfightdragon) August 4, 2018
That is not to say that there weren’t any bumps in the road. Answer the Question was originally blocked from a Steam release by Valve due to the game’s original logo. Rather than give up on her project, Penny worked hard to create a new logo for her game which Valve found to be acceptable:
Now Penny is enjoying great reviews for Answer the question. I have read through the reviews and most of the players seem to have realized that this game was made by a young child.
But what of the future? Will one of our newest video game developers continue to make new titles for us? “Yes, I do want to make games, and until I learn how to make an action game, I am going to make a game where you can think about the game in your head while you type what you want to do,” Penny replied to Kotaku. Her father stepped in to explain that Penny is talking about making a text adventure game.
We here at The Inner Circle wish young Penny and her family all of the best in their future endeavors. With that said, I am struck by the fact that Penny has accomplished far more than I ever have when it comes to independent game development.