Just twelve years old, this protégé is making his mark in the unique industry of video game design. The Young Dream Maker or YDM is taking over the Middleburg area with his game design business, ManHamCo.
It all started in YDM’s 7th grade coding class when he was asked to design a video game for the first time. After coding a game that featured a small fish that collects coins, YDM discovered his love for game creation.
“I put many interesting sounds and sound effects into the game. I did a lot more in that game than what was taught in class,” says YDM.
All Summer break YDM and his father have attended conferences such as the STEM Conference at UNF and the Gamerz Expo. He finds these conferences to be enlightening and educational.
“These trainings are to expose me to the current operators in the video game industry and to the probable direction of advances in the industry and technology, in addition to teaching me some technical skills,” says YDM.
After much practice, YDM put his skills to good use. He plans to debut his 2-D shooter game later this year. He wants people to know that it’s a family, friendly game of course.
YDM also wants his gaming experiences to reflect his African American background. Since his mother was born in Luanda, Angola and his father was born in Miami, FL, he is very fluent in both English and Portuguese, which plays a key role in the production process. “This has proved a tremendous advantage in our business because our model is to sell our games world-wide as digital downloads from our website, says YDM. “Our support from Angola and Brazil has been tremendous. In the near future, I plan to make versions of my games in Portuguese.”
YDM and his father enjoying themselves. Photo courtesy of YDM.
Many children YDM’s age are creating their own businesses and it is incredible and empowering to see the fruition in the African American community. More than just a video game, ManHamCo. is on a mission for something greater.
“We, (African Americans) are extremely underrepresented in the video game industry from everything that I have seen and read. I intend to change that, not just with the games I make personally, but by getting others in our community involved,” says YDM.
What’s even more exciting is that former United States Ambassador (to eight different countries in the South Pacific), Bernard Fennell, has agreed to head their global outreach initiative as the Chief Brand Ambassador.
The creators of ManHamCo. are looking forward to some great things. They plan to take over the Middleburg area, then take over the world. The Jacksonville community is more than honored to be apart of YDM's vision. After all, we are his village.
Please give them a like on their Facebook page. Also, click on the link in the About section and follow the journey on their website. The Facebook page is Facebook.com/ManHamCoVideoGames.