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Sam Smith: How I Made Spacepants

Sam Smith is a 12-year-old games designer, whose app Spacepants was named one of the “best new games” on Apple’s App Store.

Now running Boxface Games, Sam describes Spacepants as “an addictive burst of arcade action." Due to malfunctioning spacepants, the character Guy becomes an endless runner in a single room, able to climb walls and ceilings but unable to stop! If you’re brave enough to take on the game that’s “easy to play – hard to master”, check it out here!

We caught up with Sam Smith, to find out how he created Spacepants and to see what advice he has for other young game designers…

When were you first introduced to the exciting world of games?

I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember. I still have the Game Boy Advance SP which was my first games device, and still enjoy some of those games I played many years ago, such as Yoshi’s Island and Pokemon.

How did you come up with the initial idea for Spacepants and what software did you use to make it?

The original idea for Spacepants was to have a game where you could walk up walls.  All the individual design choices sort of fell into place in service of that single idea. I used Game Maker Studio to make it, ASEPRITE to draw it, and Audacity to edit the audio for it.

How long did Spacepants take to design and then complete as a fully functioning game?

In total, Spacepants took me 4 months.

Did you ever think you would see Spacepants named one of the “best new games” on the Apple App Store when you first released it to the public?

NO! That was totally amazing.

What difficulties did you come across when developing Spacepants?

I had a bit of trouble setting up and testing Game Centre and Google Play integration for leaderboards and achievements. Nothing that couldn’t be worked out with a bit of perseverance, though. There’s lots of great help material out there on the Internet.

Have you got plans to develop Spacepants – would you like to expand the game across more platforms?

I’ve been toying around with ideas for changing the way the character look on special occasions: Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. (Spoooooky Guy!) I also want to do a port for Windows Phones in the future.

Do you have any ideas for future games and have you been designing any?

Yes! I’m really excited to be working on the next one right now. It’ll be a game about a robot.

What advice would you give to somebody your age who’s thinking about making their first game?

Never give up! You’ll probably be dissatisfied with your first attempts, and you’ll certainly find yourself stuck at times - but if you just KEEP GOING you’ll get there in there end!