Meet the 12-year-old boy who makes games instead of going to school

Sam Smith is a 12-year-old game developer. That’s rather young, sure, but that’s not even the strangest part.

Sam makes games instead of going to school.

Spacepants is Sam’s latest game, available for $1 on iOS and Android devices. It’s a brutally tough “endless runner” — like Jetpack Joyride or Flappy Bird — set in a single room, which sees you avoiding lasers, space caterpillars, and other nasties for as long as you can while constantly moving.

My Spacepants record was 75.73 seconds when I spoke to Sam last week — although I’ve beaten it since — and he seemed reasonably impressed with my efforts. “It’s above average,” he told me enthusiastically, before sharing some background on his journey into game development.

Making Spacepants
Sam has been making games from his home in the south of England for “about a year.” He started out playing around with a programming language called Small Basic, a simplified version of Visual Basic, mostly making text-based adventures that are all words and no graphics.

It was Sam’s dad who introduced him to GameMaker: Studio, the creative resource suitable for programming novices that Sam used to build Spacepants. “He’s a programmer himself,” Sam told me. “He actually introduced me to how to make a game and how to read the [Game Maker] manual.”

As with many great ideas, Spacepants started out with a simple concept. “I wanted to make a game where you could walk up walls because walking up walls is fun,” said Sam…

*See the game here for IOS

*See the game here for Android

Read more here

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