The teenage coder changing the rules of gaming

 
 
 

You have to be fast if you want to keep up with Brandon Kynoch. At just 17 years old, he is already breaking ground in the gaming industry. Before he started high school, Kynoch was teaching himself the ins and outs of game development and programming. This year, he released Torus. which has become his most successful game to date. It requires focus, speedy thumbs, and an instinct for puzzling action. Kynoch developed the game in a matter of weeks. “Most kids play computer games,” he says. “I create them.”

Kynoch displayed artistic talent from the age of seven with his detailed paintings. At 11 years old, he turned his attention to designing games. The only problem was that no one could teach Kynoch what he needed to know. Coding was a whole new challenge outside of his school curriculum. “Game development is extremely hard,” he says. “Learning to code is like learning a new language,” Kynoch took his education into his own hands. Using online resources and books to teach himself, he developed his first game, Blast: A Tank Game, in under two years. Looking to create something simpler, he made Torus. at the age of 16. Within its first day of release on the App Store, it was downloaded 100 000 times. It was also named game of the day in 137 countries. “I love that I was able to create something that could be shared with millions around the world,” he says.

Kynoch has his own one-man company, Hard Graft Studios, and is preparing to release his third game soon. His genius demonstrates the incredible promise young South Africans hold. Beyond traditional education, children and young adults can teach themselves what they are passionate about, and open the doors to new opportunities. “I believe that the youth of this country are filled with potential,” Kynoch says.