Now, here’s a chip off the old block if there ever was one. Obviously, 11-year old Noah has the same passion for developing video games as his father Tassilo Rau, a pixel artist and co-founder of indie studio bumblebee, who has been working in the games industry for several years now. Still, an 11-year old actually co-developing a game is rather unusual.
“I’m so fortunate I could create this game together with my son”, says Tassilo Rau. For 11-year old Noah this wasn’t his first venture into game design. As early as at the age of 4, before he could even read, he started taking an interest in the subject. According to Rau, Noah used Scratch, a free rudimentary programming language for children, to create his first interactive animations. Later on he discovered RPG Maker, which he has been using ever since to send his virtual alter ego and his friends’ off to adventures in fantasy worlds.
“When rokapublish sent us a request for an JRPG and my son offered me his support, I just couldn’t say no”, says Rau. And in fact Noah played an important role during the game’s development, both as the youngest assistant on the bumblebee team and in daily quality assurance. He also designed 2 levels on his own: a Sokoban-esque puzzle stage and a labyrinth for one of the side quests.
Noah’s grateful father surprised him with something special. The game’s illustrator, an Italian Manga artist, drew Noah and his best friend Luca as fantasy characters. That way, both boys were immortalized as Noa and Luke, the heroes of “In Vitra”. “I’ll never forget the smile on Noah’s face when he first saw his in-game alter ego”, Rau adds proudly. And, of course, Noa’s father bears a striking resemblance to Noah’s real-life dad.
The Sobokan-esque puzzle stage 11-year old Noah designed on his ownIn Vitra’s protagonists Noa and Luke – best friends even in real life
“To me ‘In Vitra’ is a very special game”, muses Rau. “The cooperation with my son was like a dream come true for me. And so far it’s the most personal game I ever worked on. Eagle-eyed players will discover many allusions to my favourite books, games and films as well as nerd culture and literature in general.”
“In Vitra” is available for PC (RRP: $7.99 or €7.99) via Steam:
Players who’d like to take a first hands-on look at the new JRPG can download a free demo from Steam here: