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Senior creates video games, seeks to make career out of it

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Kyle Friesen, ’19, started creating video games in junior high, when the technology was used by most of his peers.

Tinkering with electronics and technology as a child, senior Kyle Friesen finds his passion in video gaming, while also creating a career out of the hobby.

Friesen has attended FCS since kindergarten, making him a ‘lifer’. He enjoys the socialization, apart from video productions and history class, at school and feels it is necessary for later on in life and helps people become more well rounded.

The video game creator first became interested in computer games in junior high, when most of his peers widely used the technology. Friesen then started coding soon after. Coding interested him because it was a way to communicate his ideas to a computer and have it output what he was thinking.

“I like being able to envision something and then be able to make it,” Friesen said. “I love it because I am able to create whatever I want and have it become what you imagined. Also the only limit in your way is your productivity.”

His parents discouraged him from playing video games, but eventually gave in and bought him a PS2, which sparked his passion for gaming. Then five years ago, Friesen started creating them himself. Games such as Star Wars: Battlefront, Minecraft and Halo Reach played a hand in his realization of games as a medium and fueled his drive to create.

Video games intrigued him so much; he started looking up how to make games and used online tutorials to learn. Eventually he created a profile for his games where people are able to go and play them. His newest game is named Tournament: Blood and Steel.

Austin Peterson, ‘22, enjoys playing games in his free time. He started playing Friesen’s games because he wanted to support him in his work. Peterson describes his favorites part of Friesen’s new game.

“I enjoyed the combat in the game,” Peterson said. “My favorite part of Kyle’s game is the difficulty level. It’s very simple but it is definitely impossible to beat it when you don’t block right. The game is pretty challenging and unless you use your weapons in the correct way it is hard to defeat enemies.”

Making games is critical thinking and problem solving all the way until you can declare your game finished and as such is incredibly rewarding with each hurdle. — Senior Kyle Friesen

Friesen also competes in programming tournaments, such as the Ludum Dare and several Game Jolt tournaments. These tournaments give the competitors 48-72 hours to make a new game from scratch in the parameters of the tournament rules. Friesen has been in competitions with famous Youtube sponsors, such as PewDiePie, Jacksepticeye, and Markiplier. These YouTubers play the top five games from the tournament on their YouTube channels.

Robert Foshee, history teacher at FCS, has seen many talented students come and go. Friesen introduced Foshee to his love for creating games one day during class. Since then, Foshee plays games that are thought up by Friesen.

“I think they are simple but very creative and make you want to play them to get a better score,” Foshee said. “I don’t play video games often, but when I do I choose Kyle’s video games. When Kyle was a freshman in my World History class he showed me one he created and that was the first time I knew he created video games.”

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Friesen created a website where people can go and play his games for free.

Although game playing and creating brings Friesen joy, challenges arise when trying to come up with coding. But after finishing a particularly tricky set of code, and being able to see that it works, Friesen feels confident and is ready to take on the next challenge. He explains a little about how making a game works. 

“Making games is critical thinking and problem solving all the way until you can declare your game finished and as such is incredibly rewarding with each hurdle,” Friesen said. “When making a game, you face the challenge of building a working, playable, and interactive world from scratch. You must build your own systems and solve the problems required to make them work. The hardest part of making games for me is working out complex issues with your code. Problems can often halt progress and can be discouraging.” 

In the future Friesen would like to use his current game as a building block for future titles and success. He released it in early access to be purchased throughout it’s updates in order to receive feedback and fund his development expenses. He updates frequently and plans to release it to Steam. Friesen plans to continue to support the game and improve it even after version 1.0 is released.

To find out more about Friesen’s games, check out his Game Jolt profile. For more articles, read Kareem Abdul-Jabbar proves leadership on and off the court and College Corner: Clovis High hosts FAFSA workshop, Oct. 15.

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