Local developers launch Emoji game

(From left) Brent Garner, Kurt Wojda, and Mark Zorn. The three created the concept and development of an Emoji-based charades game called "Emoji with Me."

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Emojis have quickly become a second language for smart phone users.

From the thumbs-up, to the classic smiley face, and a handful of food pictures, it’s a fun and easy way to get a message across.

“It seemed like something that wasn’t going to go away, they kept releasing more, people started social media campaigns to add emojis, so it just seemed like something that was a good fit,” said Brent Garner.

The Canisius College graduate reached out to his Kurt Wojda about cashing in on our love of these characters.

The outcome?

“Emoji with Me,” a type of charades game that uses emojis to communicate between users.

Kurt helped develop the game with Mark Zorn; they two have worked on various gaming projects for years.

“Mark and I starting toying with it, thinking it would take us about a weekend or two, and then six months later we’re finally putting it in the store,” Kurt told News 4.

It’s been out for just a week, and already 1,500 people have downloaded it. You can find it for free in your smart phone’s app store.

“The game is ad supported, so we’ll make money off ads. If people would like to, they can pay $2.99 for a pro-version that gets rid of the ads, and also there’s expandable categories coming in the future,” Kurt said.

Movies, tv shows, and common phrases come standard, but you can buy the expanded categories like music and video games.

The biggest challenge in developing the game was the emojis themselves, Mark said.

“A smiley face on an Android phone might look different than a smiley face on an iPhone, so we had to develop our own keyboard.”

Their target audience is, of course, young people who often use emojis, but they say it’s an easy game to learn and one you can play for just a few minutes at a time.

And making it for mobile devices means it will reach more people.

The group hopes the game sparks interest for more mobile development in the Queen City, which they say until now, has been more focused on PC and game consoles.

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