Written by Emma Pay, University Journal, and Samantha Burfiend
Scott Chapman, a senior majoring in business management from Hemet, Calif., revived a teenage hobby and started a game design business as part of his EDGE project. The business has given Scott the opportunity to not only gain a scholarship to SUU through EDGE, but develop three games that are internationally downloadable through the iTunes App Store.
After experimenting with game design in high school, Scott said he dropped the hobby after serving a two-year service mission and beginning his studies at Southern Utah University. All that changed, however, when he came across an old game file on his computer and showed it to his brother.
“The inspiration to start a mobile game company came when my brother, in an effort to get on the top-10 score list, stayed up until 5 a.m. playing my game,” said Scott. “This got me thinking that, perhaps, I had stumbled upon an idea that had potential.”
Combining a personal interest with his major, Scott developed Goofball! Mobile Games as a way to learn more about business start-ups. The process has required him to purchase licensing for the software and an Apple developer membership to distribute his games on the iTunes App Store. He has also registered as a sole proprietorship, gained a “Doing Business As” license, started a business checking and savings accounts, signed up for Google mobile advertising, and created social media accounts for the business.
To launch his business, Scott produced two games named Goofball! Drop and Goofball! Pop. In Goofball! Drop, players earn coins, hit targets and dodge spikes through each level to reach the goal at the bottom. The levels feature different themes and obstacles ranging from alien space ships to hot lava. The game also includes a “challenge mode” which offers the original game he created in high school.
Goofball! Pop requires the player to protect a cluster of balls by shooting down mines as they move toward the group. The game uses bright colors and alluring sounds to engage players. He has since developed a third game, called Light Dash Colors. All three of these games are available for free download on the iTunes App Store.
Though Scott has limited experience designing games and running a business, customers from all over the world have viewed and downloaded his app from iTunes. According to statistics from his business’s Facebook page, teenage males from England engage the most with his company. Overall, Scott has had 162 downloads for his apps since last year, and around 3,000 app views in the past 30 days.
Scott said he has learned a lot while completing his project, and plans to continue developing games whenever he has time.
“I am proud of my work and think it’s something that I can bring up in job interviews to set me apart,” he said. “I learned a lot about how small business works, about social media and Google advertising. A lot of things that will be beneficial.”
SUU has given Scott many opportunities to take risks in a controlled environment. His confidence, creativity and motivation flourished over the last four years, and after graduation he hopes to continue to live his life in meaningful ways.
“I want to have a career and a lifetime of experiences that will allow me to develop myself, to spend time with my family, to live my faith, and to live without worrying about money,” said Scott. “I want to create a future in which I can genuinely and honestly live happily, and if I can do that, I don't think I could ask for anything more.”
Learn more about SUU's business management program.