11yr old boy creates games for kids with cancer

BElieve is new non-profit game development studio which specialises in making games for children – with all proceeds going to charity. What sets this one apart: Founder, Conner Haines, is just 11 years old himself.

Conner Haines wears his allegiance on his chest

Conner Haines wears his allegiance on his chest

Conner’s family life was touched by cancer at a young age – his older sister Lauren was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was just two years old. Now, the BElieve project is a family affair, with Conner calling in his seven siblings as a QA team to playtest the apps, while Dad helps out with some of the “tech stuff” and Mum lends a hand when it comes to “typing stuff”.

Conner explains that he has always wanted to make games, and was devastated when he recently missed out on a video game development camp. Frustrated, he did a little research and discovered the camp was using a development tool called GameSalad, which uses a drag-and-drop user interface to create projects, and exports them in browser-playable HTML 5.

After some trial and error, plus support from members of the GameSalad community, Connor created his first mini-game, quickly followed by his second and his third. His most successful release, That Chipmunk Bob, popped up on the App Store in late November.

Now, Conner would like to share his gift, helping other young people’s dreams become reality through video games.

The BElieve website spells it out: Budding game designers simply “Pick how you want your game”, and draw out a simple plan. Conner will then work on developing the game as designed – and within 2-3 months, he hopes to release it on the App Store.

You can choose if you would like the app Free or Paid. If it is Paid then all the profit will go to

Children between the ages of 5-12 are invited to take part in the free program, but Conner explains that he will need proof that the designer is actually a cancer sufferer.

The young developer does have one final request: Please don’t make your game ideas too hard – “I’m only 11 years old thanks”!

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