Franklin Wright and Conveyor Belt (Credit: NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth)
Franklin Wright has been inventing games most of his short life, but in the near future, the rest of the world will get a chance to play one. The 8-year-old's board game -- Conveyer Belt -- will be published and distributed nationally later this year.
Franklin was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2013 National Young Game Inventor's Contest, which challenges kids from 5-12 to come up with their own game. Franklin bested 180 other entries to nab the honor, which yielded a $10,000 college savings bond, a $200 Toys R Us gift card and a trip to University Games, which will distribute Conveyor Belt.
The publisher has yet to formally explain how the game is played. About all we know is that players can place small directional cards on the board, changing the board’s pathway.
Franklin has a room full of games he's created in his Frisco, Texas home, including Monopoly Train Station, and Battle, a Pokemon-like card game he came up with by drawing on the back of business cards. It was the prompting of his mother that convinced him to enter the contest.
He's not stopping at board games, either. A skilled Cut the Rope player since before he could speak, Franklin has even dabbled in developing some video games via websites like Kodu, though he says that's harder to do.
That hasn't stopped a teacher at Frisco ISD's Career and Technical Education Center to invite him to come lecture at his class.
“Since he is a published designer, I want him to come in to explain how he designs his games and what his process is,” said Gerald Page, who teaches courses in iPhone and video game programming.
Franklin is a bit young for long-term ambitions at this point, but says he plans to continue developing games. His dad thinks the visit to University Games' San Francisco offices will help spur that interest.
“I think that’s one of the most exciting things about this,” Jim Wright said. “He'll get a chance to visit with a bunch of full-time game designers.”
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