Prodigy teen creates original arcade game for Ames bar


AMES – For many teenagers, graduating high school is the highlights of their young lives. For one Ames teen, his prodigious skills are allowing him to create and build his own video game. 

From the sounds of it, Time Out Ames isn’t just another bar, it’s an arcade gamer’s dream

There’s a new game inside that has grabbed everyone’s attention. 

One of the newest ones was created by a teenager. It’s called Boxman. 

“I programmed this game mostly in free periods or really boring classes like English,” said Nathan Paskach, a freshman at Iowa state University.

Paskach came up with the idea in middle school.

“(It was) in an English class where we were in a computer lab and I had already finished everything up and I pretty much had the whole period left. So, I said I want to try and make a game from start to finish that’s playable with the rest of the people,” he explained. “So, I came up with the concept on their is the boxes falling from the sky and you are the little guy who has the climb on them and get to the top.”

That idea born in 7th grade became a reality by the time he turned 17.

And now still only 18 years old, the freshman is studying computer engineering at Iowa State, and he has his own game housed at a bar right by the university. 

“Right now I’m just walking around in the beginning of the game my strategy is to keep things as flat as possible,” said Paskach. 

The goal of the game is to keep the green Boxman climbing higher and higher, all while avoiding being smushed by a falling box.

“At the beginning of the game is mostly strategy and it’s mostly strategy for a very longtime,” said Paskach. “But once you get to the point where the boxes are like fast then it’s mostly luck.”

Luck and strategy got Paskach this far, so it’s probably safe to say it’s never going to be “game over” for the ambitious teen.

His name goal is to make a pinball machine. He and his dad are working on it when he has free time from school.

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