Meet the Winners: Ronan Boyarski

by Katy Svehaug
November 14, 2016
Ronan Bokarski

Ronan Bokarski

When 12-year-old Ronan Boyarski first started playing Minecraft, he quickly became curious about how video games were designed. The Locust Grove, Virginia-based student started investigating the process using Scratch before taking classes in Minecraft Modding, app making, and programming in C and Swift. His latest game design, Hungry Black Hole, won the Middle School Open Platform category of the 2016 National STEM Video Game Challenge. In Hungry Black Hole, players navigate a maze feeding stars into a black hole and avoiding penalties. “It was initially a game about shapes,” Ronan explains. “But I kept changing what I didn’t like—it eventually ended up very different!”

Screenshot from Hungry Black Hole

Screenshot from Hungry Black Hole

Ronan’s favorite subject in school is inquiry-based physics, and his favorite games include Munchkin, Destiny, Minecraft, and Dungeons and Dragons. “I also like to design apps, modify Nerf guns, read, do Taekwondo, play piano, hike, listen to Hamilton, and play video games,” Ronan says. He plans to major in computer science and minor in drama in college, ultimately becoming a video game designer. “Don’t get married to your first idea,” Ronan cautions aspiring designers. “Work hard, be creative, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”