New York, New York – When Ben Reynolds taught himself to code in high school, he never imagined the skills would land him in a job in New York City five years later with a name for himself in the industry. Heading into his junior year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in computer science, Reynolds is celebrating the launch of his first mobile game called Got Light?, published by indie startup company MakeGamesWithUs. The award-winning project, an interplanetary light, shadow, and color mixing puzzle game with over 70 levels, is now available for free download on the App Store for iPad and iPhone. An Android version is scheduled for release in the next few months.
For the past 18 months, Reynolds has been hard at work spending hundreds of hours polishing and adding content to Got Light?, which has been first released for the iPhone and iPad. The iOS version of the game is available for free download and offers 28 levels of free gameplay while the full 73 levels of gameplay are available for a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Got Light? offers a unique puzzle experience that blends striking artistic visuals and challenging, simple gameplay. As the game progresses, levels become more complex in design and difficulty, resulting in hours of engaging playtime.
Of course, the story of Got Light?’s development goes far back before this summer and has impressed many others. While still in middle school, Reynolds cut his teeth designing original games using MITng Scratch event-based programming language. Then as a high school student, he taught himself to code Flash games using online tutorials and first began posting his work onto Kongregate at the age of 15.
Eventually, Reynolds moved on to pursue developing iOS apps including The North Star Smart Stars Survey. He programmed & designed this educational app, which encourages megacognitive reflection in young students, in partnership with his uncle and NY Times #1 bestselling author and illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds. The iPad app is published by FableVision Learning.
Reynolds’ love of programming and award-winning art & photography served him well in his application for MIT. As it turns out, he was the only student from his high school class who was accepted to attend. And, it was at MIT that Got Light? was born.
As a college freshman, Reynolds entered the first annual MIT iOS Game Development Competition, a student competition in which over 25 teams of 1-3 students participated. The competition’s judging panel of industry giants included, among others, Gameloft, Entertainment Arts, and Zynga. Taking the challenge on as a solo effort, Reynolds created the first build of Got Light? in a matter of three weeks ended up walking away with the Grand Prize, which included a $6670 cash prize (a quirky nod to the MIT coursey with the Grand Prize,,) a new iPad, and several job offers.
Accepting one of these offers, last summer Reynolds went to work in New York City as a programmer at Gameloft, one of the most successful mobile game developers in the industry. All the while, development of Got Light? continued in Reynolds’ free time.
In late 2013, competition sponsor MakeGamesWithUs offered Reynolds a publishing deal for Got Light?, and were so impressed by his work he was offered a faculty position at the MakeGamesWithUs Summer Academy teaching iPhone game programming to young people. The MakeGamesWithUs Summer Academy gives high school and college students the tools and knowledge to build iOS games. After students develop the games, MakeGamesWithUs offers to handle the often-difficult production aspects, including providing professional art, graphics and music, and then splitting revenues.
MakeGamesWithUs co-founder Ashu Desai states, “This type of practical education is lacking from the traditional education system. Having built and shipped a product at an early age can really impact your outlook on life. We hope to inspire people to invest their time in both computer science as well as entrepreneurship.”
Reynolds returns to MIT in early September to continue his studies in computer science, and carry on his work doing undergraduate research at the MIT Media Lab.
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 38.1 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Got Light? 1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.
MakeGamesWithUs is an iOS game publisher that teaches high school and college students to build iPhone games. MakeGamesWithUs is funded by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and a variety of top tier VC’s and angel investors. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2014 Ben Reynolds. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.