Hofer codes for all

By Olivia Niemi, Staff Writer

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     Not many students get to start their own business in high school; most assume it’s an unrealistic goal. Some may believe they don’t have the time, or they’re too young to begin their dreams of starting a business.

    Worries like these can be put to rest by Tigard High junior , Sam Hofer. Hofer began coding video games on Roblox, an online multiplayer game creation platform, at the age of 12 for him and his friends to play.

    “I learned you could make your own [games] and program them and I got into it,” Hofer said. “The fact I can make whatever game I wanted was kinda cool.”

    The games Hofer published soon got the attention of other players on the site and his newly made coding business, Silky Games, took off.

    “I learned to make better games and started making money off of them by selling stuff in the games,” Hofer said.

    Hofer has created over 10 games since then. Two of his games, “Destruction Simulator” and “Lucky Block Battlegrounds,” have grown incredibly popular with over 300 million play sessions combined.

    Roblox holds an annual award ceremony called the Bloxy Awards for developers on their site. This year, “Destruction Simulator” won the award of “Favorite Breakout Game” for his game becoming extremely popular in a short window of time.

    With such a large platform of players, Hofer has gained extra help to be able to create new games.

    “For a while I worked for myself but recently I’ve been hiring out some people to work on different aspects like artwork and stuff like that,” Hofer said.

Become a pro, absorb everything you are doing and just learn everything there is”

— Sam Hofer

    During the school year, Hofer focuses on maintaining his games and keeping them updated, while he leaves creating new video games for the summer. Recently, Hofer has added some new aspects to his games for the winter holidays which included upgrade boosts or exclusive item packs along with other components sold in his game shops.

    “In the beginning of January, I had a partnership with a Microsoft event where I had to update the game with some sale stuff for the holiday,” Hofer said. “It was pretty insane and a great opportunity; [Microsoft] had my game featured on the front page of their store.”

    Even though Hofer has created a successful company, not everyone he runs into takes him and his business seriously due to the fact that he is still in high school.

    “They think that it’s just some sort of hobby on the side because of my age,” Hofer said. “It’s definitely harder [to own a business] in that regard.”

    Throughout the ups and downs of developing games and running his own business, Hofer’s parents have always been there to support him.

    “[My parents] are always there for me, listening to what I have to say and helping me out if I need someone to talk to, or brainstorm [with],” Hofer said.

    Something that Hofer will always remember and carry with him is his dad’s encouragement. “He helped me to realize I’m not gonna get it all overnight and I have to start somewhere and keep going,” Hofer said.