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Student Inventor Goes Global With Volcano Game

Story supplied by LU Press Office

A mobile phone game invented by a Lancaster student is being downloaded across the world after he landed a contract with the computer giant Apple.

Lucas Gordon thought up the "Volcanic" game after buying an iPhone. It's based on islanders fighting back against greedy tourists by releasing molten rock from volcanoes to shoot down aeroplanes.

Lucas said: "I thought a game based on the recent volcanic ash cloud was topical so that would help sales. In the first three days, there were over a thousand downloads from places as far away as China, Mexico and South Africa."

The initial trial is free while he updates the game with improvements suggested by users. This experience has fed into his flagship game "Yomp" which is also now on the itunes site, and which has already attracted the attentions of investors. He said he always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur but it was only through the help of Create, which was set up by Lancaster University Student Union that he had the confidence to go it alone and found his own company called Nightleaf.

"I'm quite entrepreneurial but thought it was out of my grasp as a student. I thought I'd never have the opportunity of setting up my own business but now I have, it's a great feeling. I'm very new to this but Create gave me lots of advice and even desk space in their office."

He won £1,300 after appearing before Create's own "Dragon's Den" of businesspeople who had to decide whether his ideas was worth investing in. He learned about software development while doing a BA in Music Technology, while his current Masters in Management at LUMS provided him with business know-how.

Joe Buglass of Create said: "Lucas is very impressive. Not only has he come up with some excellent ideas but he's put them into practice and taught himself to make games. Alongside that he's managing to market himself very effectively. The games he's made and is in the process of making are highly addictive. I honestly believe he is one to watch."

"I'm still learning", says Lucas, "Especially how to promote the game because there are so many websites out there, but at the moment Volcanic is number 18 in the games charts in Jordan and 35 in Mexico. It's on Facebook and Twitter so the hope is it goes viral."

Tue 01 June 2010

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