Clarendon student’s app tops charts, surpasses one million downloads
Tuesday 4th April 2017 @ 16:06 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

A pupil from Clarendon Sixth Form college in Ashton has successfully launched an app that topped download charts for an entire week.

Brandon Sidebottom’s ‘Life Simulator’ app had over 750,000 downloads in its first two months of launching and has now had 1.3 million downloads to date.

The innovative and interactive app allows players to take control of their own virtual life. They can go to school, get a job, go to the gym, read books and complete challenges to earn cash bonuses to buy items for their virtual homes. The game also allows players to create their own channel to talk to friends and compete against each other on global leadership boards to see who can be most successful in the game.

‘Life Simulator’ has become a profitable side project for three Clarendon students after surpassing one million downloads.

Brandon, an animation and computer game design student, expressed his surprise at the success of the app. He said: “I’ve always had an interest in gaming from being very young and started developing my own games through RPG maker at the age of nine. Gaming has been a long-time passion for me so to be able to launch my first app and have it take off like it has is an amazing feeling and completely unexpected!”

Brandon, who is from Ashton and a former pupil of New Charter Academy,  also enlisted the help of two of his class mates, Victor Msimanga and James Butler to help him design the aesthetic of the app whilst he coded behind the scenes during the app’s development.

‘Life Simulator’ has been such a success that the team now work together to continuously improve and develop the app under the brand name, ‘Frozen Vortex Games’.  They are currently developing in-app purchases for the game and have started showing brief ads, which has turned, ‘Life Simulator’ into a profitable side project for the students.

Brandon added: “After college, I’m going to continue to work on ‘Life Simulator’ and further myself as a game developer. I’ve got lots of ideas I want to develop to make the game even more fun with more options and interactivity.

“I love coming to college because I get to work with people who have  similar interests and the same passion for game design as I do. Clarendon is the only college in the area that does this type of animation and game design course so I feel really lucky to be here, doing what I love to do and work with brilliant teachers like Andy King. He’s really inspirational and pushes us to be the best we can be.”

Andy King, animation and game design teacher at Clarendon Sixth Form College, said: “We’re really proud of Brandon for having such success with his first gaming venture. The Frozen Vortex Games team have done fantastically well with ‘Life Simulator’, developing their own ideas and using the tools we give them on the animation and games design course to apply to real-life game design. We’re expecting big things from Brandon and his Frozen Vortex Games team, he’s definitely one to watch!”

For more information on our animation and game design courses at Clarendon Sixth Form College, you can call 0161 908 6800 or visit www.clarendonsixth.com.