Last year we reported on Flash game developer Ryan Creighton 's exploits at GDC , where he was accused of cheating in front of a room full of developers. Ryan is also attending GDC 2012, but this time he's doing a talk on Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure ; a game he co-created with his five year-old daughter. I think she did most of the art.
Ryan and his daughter Cassandra developed their game at a game jam. Then Ryan put it on a website and slapped a donate button in the corner. It's received $3081.12 to date, which will all go towards Cassandra's college education.
Within two days of release Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure was played by thousands of players. Ryan credits Flash technology with the game's rapid success, saying it's easily discoverable and easy to use. "Grandma isn't going to grab a .exe and install it" he said.
Ryan also highlighted the power of merchandise at the talk. The dev's wife designed t-shirts based on the most popular Ponycorn sayings on Twitter, along with badges and plushies. And people bought that stuff. Ryan has even received an offer to turn Sissy's Magical Ponycorn adventure into a TV series.
The indie dev admits he's taken criticism for introducing his daughter to the industry so young, but takes pride in creating the "world's youngest game developer." Here are his reasons for doing it in bullet-point form to reassure anyone concerned.
- "Kids should learn code from a very early age."
- "The industry needs more women. The women in the industry today love games and have the ability."
- "We haven't had two generations of game developers yet. If you own a hardware store, you expect your kids to work in the store. Why not our kids? Untold Entertainment is the family business."
- Ryan spends all his time at his business and the game jam gave him extra time to spend with his daughter
"Do something surprising, shocking, dangerous or downright insane because life's too short" concluded Ryan.
Have you played Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure? Was it any good?