PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) – Speeding through the desert on a motorcycle and killing mutant alien bugs may seem like a strange way to help a Southern Colorado church buy a building, but it’s now an option for gamers.

Five Rye teenagers and an accomplished game developer launched “The Exterminator” on Apple’s App Store on Aug. 17 and hope to use the proceeds to help raise the $200,000 Table Mountain Church needs to buy the old Rye High School building and turn it into a community center.

The video game can be played on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Phil Hassey, 32, who had tinkered with writing video games while working on health care websites, turned a hobby into a business about three years ago with his version of Galcon, a space-oriented, multi-player strategy game for the iPhone.

The sales of Galcon have enabled him to become a full-time game developer. He’s also a youth leader at Table Mountain.

During a recent retreat earlier this year in Winter Park, he said, a speaker challenged the youth groups attending to take $100 in seed money and turn it into a fundraising project.

“We talked about a number of different options,” he said, and when he pointed out that the fee to become a developer of applications for Apple mobile products was $100, it seemed made to order.

The group got together on a Friday, “and we talked over the different options. Did we want to make an iPhone game or a flash game? Everyone pitched different ideas.”

He said that Wes Chadwick, son of Table Mountain Pastor Rob Chadwick, was interested in a motorcycle game.

“Shamoa (Krasieski) was interested in a game where you’re blowing up mutant bugs. Everyone thought those were good ideas.”

So they put them together and “The Exterminator” was born.

Each of the boys, Wes and Shamoa, along with Shamoa’s brother, Shadrack Krasieski, and Matt Schuette and Cameron Randol, brought skills to the project in design, art and music.

Because they didn’t have experience writing the code, Hassey said, “as the music and the artwork came in, I incorporated it into the game.”

It took about a week for Apple to OK the game for its store, where the company takes 30 percent of the sale price and the developer gets the rest.

The only change Apple wanted was to ensure that buyers don’t think they’re making a charitable donation, even though the developers’ cut of the 99-cent price goes to the church. Even though the developer is a charity, once purchases pass through the Apple Store, they are not tax-deductible.

Rob Chadwick said that the church’s goal is to turn the gym area of the old high school into a large multipurpose community room where the church would meet on Sundays and other groups could use during the week.

A portion of the building, Chadwick said, would be turned into a coffee shop with wireless Internet access for young people to visit, network and do homework. There also are some garage bays where he envisions offering young people classes in car repair.

In the Rye-Colorado City area, he said, “The community center is the missing third space. Most people have a first space, which is their home, and a second space, which is their work or school. The third space is a place for people to meet up, hang out, play and chat.”

– By John Norton, The Chieftain

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

LINK: Table Mountain Church


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