Greenwich High School Junior earns $17,000 building a Roblox game


GREENWICH — Two years ago, Greenwich high school student Jacob Korff had more time during his winter break and turned his video game hobby into a $17,000 side job that still earns him money. the money.

Korff, now 16, had previously created a game on Roblox, a user-generated gaming platform popular with 9- to 15-year-olds. The platform pays creators when players with a premium account play their game.

So when a break from school allowed him to create another game, he decided to try something that would earn him some extra cash, he said. But this time, he looked at creating games from a research perspective.

For months before creating his game, he studied what kids played the most on the platform. It quickly became apparent, he said, that Obstacle Courses were frequently landing on Roblox’s trending page.

He tested popular games for inspiration and he thought about human nature when coming up with a plan for his creation, he said. Then he built Aio’s Wraparound Difficulty Chart, a 300-level obstacle course that increases in difficulty every 20 levels. He peppered the levels with some strategically placed challenging courses.

Korff theorizes that it’s the challenge that brings players back on his journey.

“Just because it’s a (platform) game for kids doesn’t mean kids will play anything – because they won’t,” he said.

To create the game, he hired a friend he met online with more coding knowledge to help bring his obstacle course to life, he said. Korff gave him directions and placed objects on a map while the friend used Roblox’s coding language to animate the objects.

Korff then modified the code and tested the game on multiple devices to ensure it was mobile-friendly.

Once the duo finished developing the game, Korff launched a social media campaign and took to Tik Tok to share short gameplay videos. In a space where player engagement is key to making money, he relied on targeted marketing to bring users to his game.

His strategy worked. One night in January 2021, he noticed that hundreds of players were on his obstacle course; at its most popular, 1,500 users were actively playing.

Friends messaged her, shocked by the popularity of her creation.

“I didn’t expect it to get this big, but I guess the methods I used to get players back worked,” he said recently.

Two years after the game launched, Roblox users are still coming back to the obstacle course, and Korff continues to make money.

He also kept an eye on Roblox trends; he has ideas for his next game and has saved $5,000 of his revenue to invest in another project.

” I have not finished yet. Honestly, I love making games,” he said. “If I cashed in all my money, it would be really difficult to get my footing for my next game.”

He said he plans to keep game development as a hobby in the future.

“Gaming will definitely be a side hobby, and I will definitely do that until Roblox stops working well,” he said.


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