Here at ZenFri we believe it is important to foster the community in which you live. We’re currently developing video games, so what better way of giving back to the community than to mentor an up-and-coming developer.

Twice a week, Jake a grade 9 student at Seven Oaks MET School comes into the office to fine tune his skills with the aid of the Corey and the Clandestine: Anomaly team. This highly motivated young game dev has already conceived and executed five functional games for a variety of platforms. I’ve been lucky enough to experience his latest two creations.

The first project of Jake’s that I saw is a fast paced, action combat, side scrolling platformer, titled Pandemonium. In this game the player is faced with ever increasingly difficult enemies as he or she hops from rooftop to rooftop. The player progresses to the next level after completing a challenging boss battle against a gigantic enemy with it’s own unique AI package. Pandemonium contains a beautiful sense of depth with it’s parallax backgrounds and depth of field.

Jake’s second project is a top down mobile shooter in the same vein as popular dual stick shooters. Although this game is still early in development, it features touch screen controls where the player assaults seemingly endless waves of enemies. It still has a few kinks to work out, but I must say it looks extremely promising.

With ZenFri Jake is gaining valuable on the job work experience in a field that he is truly passionate about. This practical involvement is exactly what his high school intends for their students to experience. Jake could have worked anywhere, but with the support of his parents and school, he chose ZenFri.

“We put a lot of trust into the students we bring into ZenFri” Corey explains. “We require them to push themselves if they want to excel. They lead their own projects, and drive their own success.”

Jake’s accomplishments and abilities are no easy feat. Each skill he acquires requires time, discipline, and practice in order to see them to fruition. “In terms of what Jake’s been able to accomplish here he’s working at well beyond a high school level, and if compared to where I was at his age, he’s totally putting me to shame” says Corey. “Jake has accomplished most of that himself, all we’ve done was offer the environment and try to guide him.”

Although Jake benefits from the guidance and feedback of Corey and the ZenFri team, we too benefit from his fresh perspective on our upcoming game Clandestine: Anomaly.