Jan. 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM ET
While most 14-year-olds spend a good bit of their time playing video games, one eighth-grader has been spending his time programming a game — a game that's now been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
Robert Nay of Spanish Fork, Utah, is the 14-year-old coder behind "Bubble Ball" — a game app that's taken over the No. 1 spot on Apple's top free apps chart.
You know who used to be sitting in that spot? Unstoppable app store behemoth "Angry Birds," that's who. In other words — a game made by a bunch of grown-ups was just taken out by a game made by a kid.
"Bubble Ball" is a physics puzzle game that tasks players with getting a ball past a flag by placing various objects in its path and by doing things like tweaking gravity to help it along its way. (If you liked "Crayon Physics Deluxe" you'll like this game.)
At this point, "Bubble Ball" has been downloaded more than 2 million times. And it's also available in the Android Marketplace. Not too bad for a kid's first app ever.
“I was pretty surprised by how well it was doing,” Nay told AllThingsD.
Nay did have some help — from his mom Kari Nay. Though Robert did all the coding, she drew some of the game's levels. And she handles the business end of things (she took care of submitting the app to the App Store and Android marketplaces).
Nay said that he has been into computers for some time and has done some Web programming. But he also does some "normal" kid stuff too. He told AllThingsD that he also likes reading science fiction, playing the piano and playing the trumpet.
And while it's true that "Angry Birds" is still sitting pretty at the top Paid Apps chart, you never can tell down the road. Nay said that he has some other ideas for games he’d like to write (watch out Rovio.) In the meantime, he plans to add more levels to the free game and eventually add more games as an in-app purchase (because hey, this kid should really be making some money off this).
But seriously, kids these days ... what are we going to do with them?
(Thanks to AllThingsD for the heads up.)
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