The negative persona surrounding gamers never influenced or hindered 15-year-old Shenal Santhush Kotuwewatta and 11-year-old Sithija Abhishek Kotuwewatta. Whilst studying at Royal College in Colombo, the two brothers were able to fuse what many in Sri Lanka note as a ‘waste of time’ with an educational factor to create Two Digit – a mathematical puzzle game.
With an interest in game design, Shenal had been researching, understanding and learning about gaming for many years. On the other hand, his passion for mathematics has led him to win Gold & Silver in International Mathematics Competitions.
“The inspiration for Two Digits came from a math problem I encountered in a competition” states Shenal.
It took a while, but the game was completed. The coding, art and marketing was entirely done by the Shenal and Sithija brothers with encouragement from their family. Despite schooling full time, both brothers ensured that they spared enough time to make Two Digits a reality.
Two Digits is essentially a puzzle game involving numbers. The rules and objectives are simple;
You get a 3×3 grid, filled with 9 numbers, each between 1 and 99 inclusive. Each number can have three states, blue, green or red. Every number is initially blue. Clicking a number cycles it through green and red and again blue. You need to make the sum of the green numbers and red numbers equal. And that is it!
You can watch this video for a better idea.
Full Steam Ahead
Steam is an online gaming platform where one searches, installs games such as Counter-Strike, DotA & Mortal Kombat and allows you to play with your friends and other players around the region. As you can guess, Steam is really popular worldwide. The Steam Summer Sale is considered to be one of the best/worst times to be a gamer, where at the end of the sale you have all the games you wanted and no idea how you’re going to make time to play it. Also, the credit card bill comes by at the end of the month.
To get a game on Steam it has to be presented to the Steam Community and in true democratic fashion, needs to reach a certain number of votes for approval. Two Digits was green-lit in just 12 days with a lot of praise and criticism and is now available on the Steam Store. The $100 distribution fee to place the game on Steam Greenlight was remade in the first 6 hours, stated Shenal.
The Brothers are not stopping there. They launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise capital to start development of the game on Apple IOS and OSX platforms. The development of Two Digits gave birth to Cleverweek, an independent game development studio that runs investor-free and aims to release more games in the future.
Having learnt all their programming at such a young age via online tutorial and videos, Shenal and Sithija show promise for great development and apps in the future. We can be certain to hear their names sooner than later.
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