Naomi Weisman is a 6year old girl just starting 1st Grade. She’s also the youngest known female video game developer as of this 2023 Alaska State Fair. Prior to Naomi unveiling her game “Find Lennix” that title went to Zora Ball who was 7 at the unveiling of her game.
Naomi began learning to code after finding a link in early January provided by the Anchorage school district to a nonprofit website called CODE.org. Anyone can learn using the site! She immediately got to work learning a block based coding language called Blockly. Soon, the lessons paid off and she had an idea. She wanted to create a game that put hide and seek on the computer.
She started with a short mini game where cute characters stated phrases suggesting how far you were from the correct one when you clicked on them. When you clicked the right character, the game ended. It was the right idea, and the game she wanted to make. Since she was just joining 4-h and coming up with her project idea to display at the fair, She picked a video game.
A few months later, her game was kind of ready. It was a pretty buggy due to the limitations of the development tools and code CODE.org offers 6 year olds. It was also using sounds that could be copyright. She did have characters and backgrounds drawn up just for her by her mom to avoid any copyright issues. It just wasn’t quite there.
Then, in late July someone suggested that maybe her age could be changed on the website to grant her access to higher level code development tools. With access to better tools and code, things really came together. In just under a month, she translated her original code over to the new language. She was able to add unique music and sounds created in GarageBand. She even fixed most of the bugs that had previously plagued the program and a friend of her moms provided the voices for the humanoid characters in order to improve the games accessibility. It was done just in time for the fair.
Now that she’s published her game, Naomi is working on more levels and challenges for her players. Although it is mobile friendly, In the future, she hopes to place the game on the App Store so it will be easily accessible to anyone who wants to play her new innovative game.
Naomi is interested in marketing Find Lennix and hopes to continue creating other fun games too.