Joburg teen scores on App Store: His game picked for Game of the Day

07 June 2018 - 13:51 By Timeslive
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Sixteen-year-old self-taught Johannesburg game developer Brandon Kynoch is celebrating after the App Store chose his game Torus as its Game of the Day in 137 App stores worldwide.

This is the first time that a South African game has achieved such broad coverage on the App Store globally‚ he said in a press statement. 

Torus was downloaded 100‚000 times during its first 24 hours on the App Store. It has snagged the number one spot in Free Action Games‚ number two in Free Arcade Games and number five in All Free Games.

It is described as an action game that builds on the player’s instinct to connect dots‚ through a series of obstacles. The App Store refers to it as an "arcade game with addictive gameplay and simple controls".

He developed his first game called Blast just under two years before working on Torus. “I became interested in game development‚ programming and graphic design at the age of 11. Since then I have taught myself absolutely everything I could by using free learning resources on the internet and computer science books that I bought on Amazon.

“Initially I was more interested in digital art and graphics design‚ especially 3D art and photorealistic renderings. This grew my skills in terms of the graphical side of game development. “At the age of 13 my interest shifted back to game development. Now that I was skilled in computer graphics and art I focused on programming. . . . I also spent a lot of time studying computer science‚ again through online courses and various books. I have a huge interest in algorithms and algorithm analysis‚” he says.

Kynoch is now working on his one-man company‚ Hard Graft Studios‚ which he plans to develop into a game-development studio after he finishes school at St Stithians College in Johannesburg. “I plan on releasing a few more games similar in scale to that of Torus this year. The number of apps I will develop depends on how successful they are‚ what profits I can generate and‚ unfortunately‚ how busy school will keep me.”

Kynoch would like to move to America after matriculating to study computer science.