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Fifth-grader Dylan Viale has a blind grandmother. So the 10-year-old made her a game that uses audio cues according to a story in Kotaku.

Viale attends Hidden Valley Elementary School in Martinez, California. He figured out how to make a game by using the free starter version of design app GameMaker. He is part of a growing number of fans who are taking matters into their own hands and using simple tools to create their own video games.

His grandmother Sherry has been blind for decades, and that meant that Dylan couldn’t share his favorite pastime with her. So he decided to make a game for her called Quacky’s Quest. In it, you play a duck which is based on a cartoon that Dylan’s father, Dino Viale, created when he was a kid. As Quacky, you weave through a series of mazes to find a Golden Egg. Sound cues help you find your way.

If you pick up gems, you hear a cash register “ka-ching” sound. If you hit a wall, you hear a deep unpleasant noise. If you go the wrong way down a passage, you hear spider noises. If you go too far down that passage, you set off dynamite. Dylan needed assistance with the game, browsed GameMaker’s message boards for help, and figured out how to prevent his grandma from getting lost. As her duck traveled through passages, boulders dropped to close off where she had already been, so she couldn’t accidentally backtrack.

After a month, Dylan finished the game and entered it in his school’s science fair. He won first place.

[Image credit: Kotaku]


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