“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval
[slum Editor’s note: I don’t know what you were up to at age 13, but I’m pretty sure I was locked in my bedroom, scribbling in my diary and waiting for my breasts to grow…]
There’s a new virtual world on the way and it is the creation of 13-year-old Irish software developer Jordan Casey and his friend in the UK, another teen coding prodigy, Aidan Blackett.
Casey, a member of the Waterford CoderDojo, became one of the world’s youngest iOS app developers around this time last year when his first game, Alien Ball Vs Humans, went on sale on the Apple App Store.
An article about Casey on Siliconrepublic.com led to him being invited to the Cannes Lions Festival for Creativity in Communications last June by JWT as a guest panelist.
It was while at Cannes a representative for Brazilian advertising agency Fabrica Brasil approached Casey and asked him to develop an Android game called ‘Save the Day’ to mark International Children’s Day in Brazil.
Since then Casey has been hard at work with Blackett develop what is one of the first virtual worlds to emerge out of Ireland, Food World.
Casey describes it as similar to Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters. He and Blackett have been alpha testing the virtual world and the site already has signed an advertising partnership with major Flash game portal http://mimogames.com.
The game is available to play now on: http://foodworldvw.tk.
The game is set in a giant kitchen and players can create their avatar and explore the landscape and talk to friends.
“What I plan to do with this game is make it into a ‘brand’ so we could have spin off apps, etc. As it’s in the early stages we are encouraging as many people as we can to play the game, look for bugs, and provide feedback. We hope to have most features ready for mid-February. But after all the essential features are added (registration system, etc.) then we will have weekly updates, like the weekly newsletter, or themed events like the Easter party or the Valentine’s party,” Casey said.
He explained that he came up with the idea two years ago and it took at least three goes to get the project moving. He enlisted the support of Blackett and the game is being built in Flash using an API called Smart Fox Server.
“We’re publicly beta testing it now and we hope to have it fully live by March.
“We think there are great opportunities for game play and building a community and ultimately opportunities to grow revenues through merchandising,” Casey told Siliconrepublic.com.
John Kennedy for Siliconrepublic.com, January 25, 2013.