Apps the way to do it for games whizz Michael, 15

A SCHOOLBOY from the Highlands has become one of the country’s youngest app developers after his first attempt at creating a game was accepted and made available worldwide by Apple.

Michael Lawrie, of Camaghael near Fort William, began developing Atomic Dodgeball – a touch screen game for the iPhone where players try to win as many points as possible by avoiding atomic, bio-hazard and toxic balls – in May.

The 15-year-old has had no formal computer training and created the game after reading an applications development manual and fixing mistakes in his code by doing research on the internet.

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The game was Michael’s first submission to Apple, and he was stunned to hear that they had accepted it as even proposals from seasoned computer game experts are often rejected. He will receive 35p for each app sale.

Michael said: “I thought it was a good game, but I never imagined it would be accepted.”

Michael spent the summer months working on the app before sending it to Apple on 10 November. All 18 reviews on Apple’s App Store have scored the game five out of five with some describing it as “addictive” and “fantastic”.

It has been downloaded by users in Australia, Japan and the US, and even Michael’s headteacher is counted among the game’s fans.

Michael’s mother Lyn said: “As you can imagine, we are very proud parents. The children here in Fort William do not have the same opportunities as children in cities do so it’s great that with the help of the internet he has been able to achieve all of this from his bedroom.”