Impressive: Mom Teaches Herself to Code & Builds Her Own Games

There’s an age old adage that states “If you want something done well, do it yourself”. Naomi Kokubo, a mum of 2 did just that 2 years ago when she wanted to build an iOS game. “You can’t build a truly great game unless you iterate like crazy,” said Naomi Kokubo, “And there’s no better way than to code it yourself.”

The only thing is she was a savvy businesswoman but had zero programming language knowledge; instead of hiring a software engineer to bring her dreams to live, she decided to teach herself. “I didn’t even know how APIs really worked,” said Naomi.  “I used to blank out when anyone talked tech to me.  I’d worked in the game business, but I was never one to code.”

She managed to not only teach herself how to code but also completed an iOS and Android title, in a span of less than one year. That’s actually pretty impressive considering seasoned developers would take around the same time doing that (trust me…I’m a software developer…ahem), and what she did included all of the game design, graphics, user interface, sound design, etc, etc. We’ve got a phrase in Chinese that defines her job scope: “One leg kick”

“The thing that helped me the most was the community.  I stumbled upon the computer language Lua and joined the Corona Labs community.  As soon as I plugged into the forums, I felt connected, and I began to suck up knowledge.  Whenever I got stuck, someone always posted something that helped me get over the hurdles.”

Naomi is now the one helping out other newbie/aspiring coders and she’s also about to release a new game called Beetle Bounce for iOS devices. Even though the game was earmarked by a major publishing label with a promise of a USD 100,000 marketing budget, Naomi walked away from the deal in order to publish the game under her label.

The game was just recently released on the NOOK, and was featured as a Top Game Pick. “I think the folks at NOOK loved Beetle Bounce because I put so much of myself into that game.  I created something I really wanted to play and worked to perfect every pixel.”

With so much dedication from her part, I can’t help but feel really impressed by her. She’s already working on her next game.  “I love coding. It gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility.  As a mother and creative person, this makes all the difference.”

For more info on Beetle Bounce, check out the site:

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