Youngstown father/daughter duo creates "Stranger Things" video g - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown father/daughter duo creates "Stranger Things" video game

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

If you have Netflix, odds are you've heard of the series "Stranger Things." A local father-daughter duo liked it so much, they created an entire video game based on the show.

Since "Stranger Things" is set in the 1980's, when Joshua Reichard and his 12-year old daughter Maria decided to make the game, they went all-in on the retro vibe.

"You could conceivably take this code and run it one a computer from the 80's," said Joshua.

Josh has a computer science background and they created the whole thing using the 80's program QBasic, which if you're a fan of the show is the same program Sean Astin's character Bob Newby used to save the day.

It almost has a 'Legend of Zelda' feel to it and you play as the show's main character, Eleven.

"You're trying to go through these mazes. There's survivors you have to rescue before the demogorgons get them. At the same time, you have to kill the demogorgons, get through levels, get all the power ups," said Maria. "It's really complicated, I guess."

Every image in the game they designed themselves, so the characters actually started out on graph paper.

"I started off with Eleven. Then we're like 'Oh we should make Mike.' Then we made Dustin... then we made Dr. Brenner and it just kept going and going throughout the game in what characters we needed," said Maria.

"In the end it's not the computer program that matters, it's the thinking process and the steps that got you there," said Joshua. "So creating those sprites with crayons on graph paper was really that application of creativity."

Josh had a little creativity of his own involved, trying to sneak as many 80's references as he could into the game.

"There were about 20 of them," said Maria. "He just kept adding them. I'm like, 'Dad no one's going to know who this is.' He's like, 'Their parents will.'"

Start to finish, it took them about five weeks to complete. You can download the game right now on their website.

As a dad, Josh is proud. As the VP of Academics at Valley Christian, he also sees this as a fun way for his daughter to use STEM-related concepts.

"The principles that Maria learned in creating this game for example are timeless. These are mathematical principles, these are thinking principles," said Joshua.

If you ask Maria, though, the educational aspect takes a back seat to what's really important.

"The best part was just doing it with my dad," said Maria.

And that might be the most important lesson of all.

Josh is already onto the next project, helping his other daughter create a video game. As for Maria, she's a big fan of the show so she's hoping that maybe one of the cast members sees the game and lets her come meet everyone in person.

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