This 17 Year Old Developer From Pakistan has Over 1.5 Million Game Downloads

Pakistan is brimming with talent. We hear it every now and then but it is still extremely awe-inspiring to hear about teenage prodigies, showing off their talent at the local as well as the international stages.

Meet Shahmeer Chaudhry, a 17-year-old game developer from Pakistan that has managed to rake up around a million downloads on Google’s Play Store alone.

Shahmeer

Shahmeer Chaudhry

Shahmeer has been developing games for more than 3 years now. He started when he was only 14 and has now developed around two dozen games on Android. Most of these have pulled in thousands of downloads, while one in particular, has even been downloaded around a half a million times.

When I asked him how he learned all the skills, he says he did it all by himself, using tutorials and guides on YouTube.

“My love for games started when I was 12 years old,” said Shahmeer. “I got interested in 3D modelling I made simple models till the age of 14.”

However, he didn’t make his first game until a few years later. It was in 2013 when he decided to give it a try.

“It all started in grade eight, in summer, when I and my friend were just talking about what we wanted to do in our life,” he said. “He was more interested in law but I was more interested in video games and business, so I brought both the aspects together and created a video game company.”

Shahmeer formed INeedPlay and released his first game called “The Lost Town”. Apart from the artwork for it, he did all the programming and publishing by himself.

When he started making games, he barely got a couple of downloads a day, but he didn’t give up. “The biggest thing is never stop trying”, says the little genius, and he kept true to his belief. He also hired a few freelancers and coders from time to time to cope with the load but made most of the games himself.

After a while, more and more people started to play his games and money started flowing in. While most of his games are free, he uses ads to earn from those games.

A time also came when he was getting more than ten thousand downloads a day from the Google Play Store.

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Shahmeer’s skill at game development also opened a lot of new doors for him. In 2014, he was approached by Microsoft for making games for Windows Phone as a part of their push to bring more apps and games to Windows Store. They even gave him a Windows Phone, a tablet and a $1,000 coupon to promote the apps he would make for them. His games on the Windows Store have racked up around 200k downloads as well.

Developing a Game for Steam

Having proven his mettle at mobile game development, Shahmeer then stumbled on to the global hub of gaming and one of the world’s largest game distributors, Steam.

For one whole year, he worked on the concept of a horror game called “Apartment 666” and in 2015, his game was accepted by Steam. That his when the real work started.

shahmeer-steam-development

He started working incredibly hard on the game. A student, he balanced his studies alongside game development by using his summer vacations to work on the more complicated bits like programming with other coders. On school days, he focused on the story, concepts and found audio files for the game.

This month, Apartment 666 finally launched on Steam. Currently available for $2.99 (approximately Rs. 320), it has already been covered by some popular gaming streamers and downloaded hundreds of times.

My grades aren’t the most spectacular in the world but I have found the perfect balance of time management— which is the key if you are doing any such projects,” he said.

Shahmeer’s work as an independent game developer is an example for all Pakistanis. He didn’t wait till he was old enough or had gotten a higher education from expensive institutes. He effectively utilized the power of the internet and made his own way, fueled by pure passion and his love for games. Not even old enough to get a driving license yet, he is already more successful than some people even twice his age.

Lastly, I asked him about what advice he would like to give his fellow Pakistanis, and here is what he said,

“Never stop in doing what you love. A lot of people told me that I was too ambitious and a lot of people told me to stop. Yet, I kept going on and have made it so far.”

Image Credits — Globalo


  • LostMind

    amazing. we should learn unity as well with anroid.

  • MaliCk JD

    WELL DONE BRO !

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you :).

      • Muhammad Yasir

        holy SH*T

      • Moazzam Niazi

        Really Impressed by u shameer, I have also on this journey…need ur guidance bro..will u plz?

        • Shahmeer

          Never give up. I started from 1-5 downloads a week and get on going and doing more and went to over 10K downloads a day at one point so keep on doing what you do and don’t stop and trust me IA you will get there.

  • Rana Jahanzeb

    This kid is really an inspiration for all the young ones and the grown ups as well. Best of luck to you boy, keep touching the heights of invention and success as sky is the limit. Two Thumbs Up !!!

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you.

      • Muhammad Yasir

        dat 5 nights at freddy ripoff tho :p

        • Shahmeer

          Make stuff that people want :P

  • Fact

    Pakistan will become the sole super power in the world one day. Illegal america days are already numbered.

    • Nawaz Arshad

      That will indeed happen when the most important priority will be education at every level of our life :)

      • Fact

        For making education no.1 priority we have to stop supporting dajjali (Antichrist) system aka Democracy and root for Sultan/King/Khalifa system. We should learn from Sultan of Brunei, one of the best country in the world to live. Brunei doesn’t have this so called western style democracy and see how much wealth, peace and prosperity is there.

        • Nawaz Arshad

          My main argument is emphasis on Education which is the key to success and emphasized so much in Islam. Compulsory to get education but Western countries have excellent education system regardless of Political system. Talking about democracy, apart from Dajjali system stuff, it is a weak system and easily to manipulate and very fragile but you have Socialism like China which is Communism and Socialism with Chinese characteristics working great and Cuba with the best health system in the world.
          The Islamic Political system is a great system with lots of Pros and can produce great results with it’s economic model but you need great leaders for a system to work!
          e.g Umar Ibn Khattab

          • Ktest

            Haha.

            • Nawaz Arshad

              Did I said anything Funny???

          • Fact

            We have lots of good people in the Muslim World for example, Dr. Zakir Naik, Orya Maqbool Jaan etc…. Dr. Zakir Naik’s IRF school business model is really good. Main thing is that we have to merge Islamic studies and World studies (Geography, History, Maths etc..) into single entity. Orya Maqbool Jaan even said in one of his program that he is going to make a university. The problem is these desi liberals so called ambassador of Democracy not gonna do anything worthwhile whether its economy related or education related, they don’t have the will. Education standard should also be the same all over the country.

            • LostMind

              yes and 1 of them is Dawn.com and another one tribune.com.pk. I posted a comment there to use Indian occupied Kashmir instead of Indian held Kashmir but they didnt publish my comment and they will always promote Indians and indian culture and you can check most of the the commentees are Indians. Same with Tribune. Post vulgar news/post and I am surprised if there is Pemra to look after these liberals. They would take notice of PTI and co but never these.

        • LostMind

          that is not the model to follow. Look at the wealth amassed by that king. He wastes money on buying cars and other items which can help the poor Islamic countries.

  • Sarmed Malik

    very misleading article title as the writes points out that the this person has only racked up million on google play.lemme remind you steam games cost shit ton of money even a legendary skyrim can only be bought on a sale .so please amend the title. 1 million cant be 1.5 million.do the math

    Thanks

    • Mirza Moazzam Baig

      Yar koi to is bande ko samjhaye a kar

      • Aly Sher

        Lmao ni aisay hi rehnay do

    • Rehan Ahmed

      Hi Sarmed. INeedPlay’s account has over a million downloads while his Windows Store apps around 200k. That, combined with a few other games that got acquired by another company make up the 1.5 million figure.

  • Radz

    This is very inspirational, very happy about your success, best of luck for your future.

  • JIC

    That’s my best friend that’s my best friend!! YYYaaayy Well done Shim.. You made it!!

  • Muhammad Yasir

    very inspiring and quite the news !

    keep it up !

  • Ajwad Imran

    As an game AI programmer and game designer I would say A for effort but you need to work more on games to make them better especially the artwork. This is the general misconception in Pakistan that you need to publish shitloads of games in a specific amount of time. I realized this when I joined a NY based game studio. They are willing to spend years on a single game but they would never compromise the quality.

    Secondly downloads don’t matter what matters the most is the player engagement and retention not just 1 day retention but 7-day, 1-month retention.

    • LostMind

      yes I also notice that in UI. That needs improvement but considering he is just 17 he will surely improve with art work.

  • Fact

    Well Done Shahmeer congratz. I always wanted to play a C&C game from Pakistani perspective. We need more such developers so they can finally make a game which I always wanted to play. A game like C&C in which u play as an ISI agent and kick out illegal CIA and illegal US army from Afghanistan and this Asian region, in a RTS game setting. Those illegal americans show themselves heroes even in games, so we should use same strategy and tactics and show ISI and PAK Army as heroes in games. I will recommend Shahmeer to create a game on ISI and show them as heroes and good guys and kicking illegal raw and illegal CIA. These are very good ideas for making games if I knew how to make one I would definately make one on ISI, our heroes.

    • LostMind

      that wont be published. Playstore is run by those guys.

  • Thinker

    wo jo hum ne B.Sc. honors ki degress li hain 4 saal khap khap k wo bekaar ho jayen gi kya anay walay waqt main, jb matric pass log android games banana shuru ho jayenge 1 maheena youtube dekh k?

    • LostMind

      No man. There is always difference between you and uneducated/ less educated person. But you know the state of education in Pakistan. You have to be good in programming to get a job. I remember working in unrelated job and with good programming knowledge I wasnt able to get a job until I tailored my cv to job needs and then I did get a call for snr developer job but I had only 3-4 months experience but I got the job and doing very well.

      • Thinker

        I agree with you, brother. knowledge and skill always helps, no matter in what stage of life one is.

    • Oman Jabbar

      This is where you are wrong! You can’t make even a simple video game by just one month experience. It takes more time, months and years. You need to learn programming as well as designing.+B.Sc kar k sirf number degree hasil karna bat nahi apne seekha kya hai aur ap kis qabil hein ye asal bat hai.. For me, degree is just a paper which shows you attended BSc classes. It shows nothing about your skills and knowledge.

      • Ali

        No!
        A man ragging himself 4 years to Do a degree worth a grind!

      • Ali

        Also, anyone having just beginner knowledge about C# can easily make so called game!
        Yeah that’s because of gaming engines like unity!
        A man having game from scratch worth it!

  • Kazim

    Wish U Good Luck Shahmeer Chaudhry, in future endeavor. Masha Allah.

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you :).

  • Hannan Ali

    @INeedPlay:disqus This is an inspiring achievement. Well Done bro! I wish you good luck for your future endeavors and keep making rad games.

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you!.

  • Muhammad Abrar Ali

    ShahMirr More to come Dude

    Loot lo Dunia k Dillon ko

    Happy Days to you forever

    You are one of our proud Man

    :D

  • Mohammad Ahmad

    Hey shahmeer very inspiring Goodluck also I am a big fan of horror games as well.I also am a 16 and making games, I published my first game on android and ios when I was 15, it is not much popular but how would you rate it yourself?

    Search coder blitz on play store

  • aqhammam

    O bro!! I appreciate you..Keep up the good work and also support others for the same.

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you :D

  • Mohammad Africawala

    Which software you used for game making and this is really an inspiration to all of us I love to play games my dream is to make one game

    • Shahmeer

      I used Unity/ Android Studio for the Android games. For PC Unity / C++.

      • LostMind

        Just a question. I have heard when you create a game in Unity there are three files created. One is ios game, another apk file of android and 3rd one is for PC. Is it right?

        • Shahmeer

          Unity actually publishes for many platforms. For my computer game it’s both for Mac And PC. The PC version builds an exe file and Mac version build a .app.

      • Mohammad Africawala

        Can you tell in detail how to use

  • Khurram Kz Rajput

    Excellent Shahmeer Well done, Keep it up :))

  • Abdul Momen

    It’s really impressive work done by Shahmeer. You will become beacon to the Young’s.
    I hope my kid will do like you in the future, for Pakistan.

  • LostMind

    yup. I myself Csharp developer in wpf and winform have learned android in last two weeks and created an app from the Udacity tutorial. Its good tutorial and instructors are Kunal Chawla and Kathryn. Link is https://classroom.udacity.com/courses/ud837.

  • DevilHunterX

    A bad clone of Kojima’s Silent Hill P.T.

  • Mohib Alvi

    Really inspiring journey by Shahmeer. Keep up the great work man !!!!!!!

  • Tahir Javed

    amazing boy having great skills about time management, keep glowing young boy!

    • Shahmeer

      Thank you

  • Hamza Riaz

    did you used the free version of unity 3d or the paid one ?

    • Shahmeer

      I paid for Unity it’s a suscribtion now so it’s pretty affordable.

  • Fauxen

    Truly inspiring.

  • MIS

    this is paid. any other better resourse? or to get free udacity lectures?

    • Burhan Nasir

      There nanodegree programs are premium , other tutorials are totally free.

  • Sheeraz Ahmed Khan

    Shahmeer bro .. pehla step kya tha game kesy bnai ap ne kis app me?

  • Faizan Shaikh

    Well done brother and congratulations for the success :)

  • Ahmad Jutt

    I am so inspired and said If you have a talent then you can do every thing.No body can hold you.
    Amazing work boy…

  • Syed Zahid Mehmood

    Hey bro which app or software have you used to make this game?

  • mikail usman

    that kid should learn to make an original game! Ripping off FNaF with “night at buddy” is bad, as well as ripping off P.T ! and he’s selling them for 2.99?? wow……….

  • Usman Tariq

    Can anyone tell where i can find best tutorials of 3d modelling like blender 3d??

  • basit

    Excellent