Thanks to early exposure to robotics and Scratch in elementary school, 14-year-old Georgia Martinez of Chicago, Illinois is now an avid game developer. “I was immediately hooked,” she explains. Georgia’s game, Fractured Forest, won the Middle School Scratch category of the 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge. In Fractured Forest, players search for resources and battle monsters as they navigate 20 floors of colorful gameplay.
Georgia’s other hobbies include playing euphonium and piano, and her favorite subject in school is band. In the future, she hopes to strike a balance between her diverse interests with a career that involves computers and allows her to pursue music on the side. “If you want to make games you have to play other games first,” she suggests to aspiring designers. “Learn what makes a game great.” While she recognizes that challenges are inevitable when learning a new skill like game design, she encourages others to remain diligent. “If you’re persistent, you’ll eventually solve the problem,” says Georgia.