Raj Sidhu had one of the most coveted design jobs in New York City — and then he left it all to play board games.
The 23-year-old's first project, Code Monkey Island, teaches kids the logic of computer programming through the playful dynamic of monkeys competing over bananas. The game teaches you all of the logic of basic programming under the guise of the game: Instead of dice, it's governed by cards that work in tandem to impact how many spaces (if any) you may move per turn.
Raj has taken faith in his idea and run with it. After quitting his job at Quirky, an invention company, he put his full energy into creating board games, seeking funding in the playground where ideas and amateur venture capitalists roam: Kickstarter.
After a chaotic month of donations and lack thereof, some last-minute publicity allowed Code Monkey Island to meet its stretch goal and then some.
After a chaotic month of donations and lack thereof, some last-minute publicity allowed Code Monkey Island to meet its stretch goal and then some. Raj spoke with Mashable about life after Kickstarter; funding is always an encouraging step, but many of Raj's contemporaries have fallen prey to the pitfalls of perk fulfillment, lack of preparation and failure to find the right industry support.
Raj said that he was able to learn a great deal about board game creation and marketing almost entirely from online forums. He mapped out a game plan and struck a deal with a manufacturer, and now, he's on track to ship out the first wave of the game later this summer to Kickstarter backers.
"This has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life," Raj says. “I couldn’t imagine not doing this again." You can preorder his game, which is for both kids and adults, here.