Black ExperienceBusiness

Black Developers Create Gaming App

Remember the game Simon Says? Well, an Atlanta-based African-American male duo has brought that concept to the digital market with an application ready to be downloaded today.

Launched in December, founder Tremayne Toorie said that “Sasha Says” is a cross between “Simon Says” and “Bop-It” — two interactive games for children that grew to prominence in the ’80s and ’90s.

“It all starts with a vision,” he said. “And I had an idea that I wanted to create an experience on a mobile app and mobile phone where it would create a nostalgic effect of a game from our past that we use to play like Simon Says.

“Something that would keep the user entertained and engaged by using everyday gestures that you use on your phone like swiping, tapping and shaking your device,” Toorie said. “The innovative nature behind Sasha Says is why it has a sweet home on the app store.”

Partner and senior developer Adrian McDaniel’s job requires him to make sure the app runs smoothly and that the user experience is seamless, but also to inspire Black youth to look into development.

“We felt like it was very important for Black youth to be able to see a Black mascot, especially a Black female mascot, in games,” McDaniel said. “That isn’t something you get to see very often and we also thought it was important to inspire Black youth to maybe get into development.

“I don’t know if you know of any Black game developers, but I can’t even name any off the top of my head, so it’s very important to get that point across to show our community this is something they can explore,” he said.

Toorie, founder of Atlanta-based tech company Splash House Studios, started the development of Sasha Says in May, but needed some assistance.

“About two months into the development, I knew there were some aspects of this project that I would need assistance with and that there is more power in numbers,” he said. “I went on LinkedIn and searched for a iOS developer, I found Adrian, sent him a message and the rest is history.”

McDaniel said that the duo will continue to update the app to make it more universal, and they are currently developing a version for Android.

“Development and creating applications is the same as a writer,” he said. “You’re writing stories in code and the great thing is we get to see that story play out in the game. Most people will just see the game and the individual, but there is thousands upon thousands of lines of code that created that experience. To get to this point is amazing.

“We want the kids to say, ‘Hey,she’s got curly hair like me and this is a fun game,” McDaniel said. “It’s very simple and easy to use, no harsh language, violence or sexual innuendos — just a very simple game to play where people use hand-eye coordination and it can help improve your memory.”

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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