Since the age of 11, Aventura, Florida resident Samson Simhon, now 15, has been fascinated with game design. After mastering the basics of the Scratch platform, he taught himself increasingly complex code that allowed for 3D visual effects and advanced game mechanics. “I’ve created over thirty different projects,” says Samson, “including an iOS app called Jealous Bird.” Samson’s game design Prism won the High School Scratch category of the 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge. Prism is an updated take on traditional platformer-style games, in which players navigate around obstacles, avoid enemies, and change colors to sneak around challenges.
“I’ve always been fascinated with adventure-themed games,” Samson explains. “And when I decided to create an adventure game for the National Stem Video Game Challenge, I wanted it to have a unique aspect that would make it stand out from all the others.” After extensive brainstorming, he decided to combine an adventure theme with critical thinking puzzles, requiring players to be strategic and thoughtful in their gameplay. When he’s not designing apps and games, Samson enjoys running, creating stop motion videos, and making original comics. After high school he hopes to pursue a degree in physics or computer science. He encourages other aspiring designers seek out feedback from family and friends along the way in order to create the strongest design possible. “Put yourself in the shoes of the player,” Samson suggests. “And organize your game’s story before starting to build it.”