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TMCNet:  Northeast Pennsylvania natives create app [The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. :: ]

[August 24, 2014]

Northeast Pennsylvania natives create app [The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. :: ]

(Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 24--Getting from A to B is sometimes difficult enough.

But a new app, created by former Northeast Pennsylvania residents, takes the concept of moving from letter to letter to another level.

Jeremie and Angela Musyt put together the game AlphaMaze for iPhones and iPads, where players must choose a character to move from A to Z. It launched July 30.

"My husband called me and said 'we're coming up with an app,' and we threw around terrible ideas before doing a game," Mrs. Musyt said. "We knew it was a popular route to go." Apps for smartphones and tablets are fertile grounds for entrepreneurs, said David Hall, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. Entrepreneurs have the tools to easily create apps, but the area has vast competition, he said.


"There are a lot of apps out there and lots of people creating them," Dr. Hall said. "The challenges people face are to find a problem that needs to be solved and figure out a way to get the attention of people so that it could start to be used." With AlphaMaze, Mr. and Mrs. Musyt put emphasis on the game's concept to drive players' interest.

"The computer is like a pencil, and it could make everything look nice, but at the end of the day it's the creative idea that is actually going to make people want that product," Mr. Musyt said. "You have to step away and first come up with that 'aha' moment and then from there you can execute it." The game provides five characters, or typefaces, players can choose from to try to tackle a maze. Characters include Crazy 8, Odd Ball and Quotes McGotes. Each player has its own backstory. For instance, Crazy 8 is "Sweet 16's half brother" and "was the winning powerball once." "The idea conceptually was to take the emoticons that everybody knows and bring them to life," Mr. Musyt said. "It evolved into giving them their own little personalities." Letters line the walls of the maze, starting with A, and players have to work their way to Z in order to complete the maze. Scouring through the maze, players swipe the screens of their iPhones to slide their characters in search of the next checkpoint. When players reach the checkpoint, the letter B lines the walls in different fonts, or typographies. They are also met with a humorous and taunting message that pops up on the screen that centers on the letter the player reached. For instance, the checkpoint for B says, "Big deal, you've got a long way to go, Bub." "We wanted to make something that looks good and is fun to play," Mrs. Musyt said. "My husband came up with the typography, and we put our humor around it." Born and raised in Scranton, Mr. Musyt worked at DeLuca Frigoletto Advertising for eight years, and served as an adjunct professor of Luzerne County Community College, teaching advertising and graphic design classes.

Mrs. Musyt lived in Jermyn, and worked in Scranton at Sweda Advertising. She then returned to school to become a teacher.

Both moved to Pittsburgh for better job opportunities, as Mr. Musyt joined the CLC Agency as an art director, while Mrs. Musyt works in Pittsburgh public schools as a teacher in a few different grade levels.

The husband and wife duo wants to expand on its first app, and create an AlphaMaze 2, as they look to start a family.

"We both wanted to get involved in apps and finally just said this is the time to do it," Mrs. Musyt said. "We both have a creative background, and thought it would help with our future." Contact the writer: jbaress@timesshamrock.com Getting from A to B is sometimes difficult enough.

But a new app, created by former Northeast Pennsylvania residents, takes the concept of moving from letter to letter to another level.

Jeremie and Angela Musyt put together the game AlphaMaze for iPhones and iPads, where players must choose a character to move from A to Z. It launched July 30.

"My husband called me and said 'we're coming up with an app,' and we threw around terrible ideas before doing a game," Mrs. Musyt said. "We knew it was a popular route to go." Apps for smartphones and tablets are fertile grounds for entrepreneurs, said David Hall, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University. Entrepreneurs have the tools to easily create apps, but the area has vast competition, he said.

"There are a lot of apps out there and lots of people creating them," Dr. Hall said. "The challenges people face are to find a problem that needs to be solved and figure out a way to get the attention of people so that it could start to be used." With AlphaMaze, Mr. and Mrs. Musyt put emphasis on the game's concept to drive players' interest.

"The computer is like a pencil, and it could make everything look nice, but at the end of the day it's the creative idea that is actually going to make people want that product," Mr. Musyt said. "You have to step away and first come up with that 'aha' moment and then from there you can execute it." The game provides five characters, or typefaces, players can choose from to try to tackle a maze. Characters include Crazy 8, Odd Ball and Quotes McGotes. Each player has its own backstory. For instance, Crazy 8 is "Sweet 16's half brother" and "was the winning powerball once." "The idea conceptually was to take the emoticons that everybody knows and bring them to life," Mr. Musyt said. "It evolved into giving them their own little personalities." Letters line the walls of the maze, starting with A, and players have to work their way to Z in order to complete the maze. Scouring through the maze, players swipe the screens of their iPhones to slide their characters in search of the next checkpoint. When players reach the checkpoint, the letter B lines the walls in different fonts, or typographies. They are also met with a humorous and taunting message that pops up on the screen that centers on the letter the player reached. For instance, the checkpoint for B says, "Big deal, you've got a long way to go, Bub." "We wanted to make something that looks good and is fun to play," Mrs. Musyt said. "My husband came up with the typography, and we put our humor around it." Born and raised in Scranton, Mr. Musyt worked at DeLuca Frigoletto Advertising for eight years, and served as an adjunct professor of Luzerne County Community College, teaching advertising and graphic design classes.

Mrs. Musyt lived in Jermyn, and worked in Scranton at Sweda Advertising. She then returned to school to become a teacher.

Both moved to Pittsburgh for better job opportunities, as Mr. Musyt joined the CLC Agency as an art director, while Mrs. Musyt works in Pittsburgh public schools as a teacher in a few different grade levels.

The husband and wife duo wants to expand on its first app, and create an AlphaMaze 2, as they look to start a family.

"We both wanted to get involved in apps and finally just said this is the time to do it," Mrs. Musyt said. "We both have a creative background, and thought it would help with our future." Contact the writer: jbaress@timesshamrock.com ___ (c)2014 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) Visit The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) at thetimes-tribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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