The Young Catholic Behind a Hip New App

Flipsquare may be your new go-to video game on your phone.

24.01.2014 // PRINT
Petros Media
At CES this year, an app called FlipSquare was attracting crowds to its booth. I decided to interview one of the developers of the app, Franciscan University of Steubenville student Matt Sich. Full disclosure: Matt was a former student of mine, and I’m pleased with what he’s trying to do with his talents! Fuller disclosure: I know his parents, too, and when I was invited over to the Sich residence one day, Matt showed me his FlipSquare app. I was delighted and decided to interview him to grant you a behind-the-scenes look at starting app development, and an insider’s sneak peek into the mind, vision, and faith of a young, successful Catholic app developer.


Tell us about your new app, Matt. What is it all about?

FlipSquare is a new and exciting puzzle game that really makes you think. It teaches you to plan ahead and find patterns. But that's just the campaign - the multiplayer, ShareSquare, brings together all the skills of the campaign and allows the users to create maps, comment on maps that their friends have made, and even compete for time.


What can players expect to see after the first 25 free levels?

The first 25 levels are just the beginning. The last two levels of square one (the first level pack) introduce the cross square as a teaser for what's to come. Square one familiarizes the player with the game and gets him ready for the special squares that then put a whole new twist on the game. The levels get much more interesting as you continue playing, and I really encourage people to give them a shot.


What inspired you to make this? How did you get the idea for it?

I always want to learn new skills. If I'm not learning something new, then I feel like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. My first programming class (C++), taken during my first semester of college, was not all that interesting because I already knew how to program given my experience using PHP and JavaScript for web development. The first week of the class, I made a tic-tac-toe game in C and then made the computer play against me, which quickly became boring. The second week, I made flipsquare. I didn't call it flipsquare back then - it was just "the puzzle game." It was all text-based, and the map would redraw after every move. I finally made a graphical version of the game for iOS a year later when I was traveling in Europe on a train from Milan to Genoa. I had my Mac handy and was tired of playing card games to pass the time, so I made the game and programmatically put in different maps for it to figure out. It in turn asked me to add functionality, which has led to all the special squares and sharesquare.

Interactive Connections

Previously submitted, we would like to have the following 2 websites listed in the Partnership: ACyberPilgrim - http://acyberpilgrim.org and Catechesis 2.0 - http://catechesis20.org

Aimee M. Cooper, MA

Aimee M. Cooper, MA is the Director of the Catholic Gospel Project: Evangelization Training and Spiritual Formation in the Catholic Tradition. She offers online classes that are great for individuals, small groups, parishes, and Catholic organizations, and teaches and gives talks locally in the Archdiocese of Denver, including in parishes and at the St. John Seminary for Priestly Formation.

KCBC Bible Commission & Kerala Catholic Bible Society POC

A Kerala Model for New Evangelisation It‰Ûªs just awesome! 560,829 are the participants this year for Logos Mega Bible Quiz to be conducted on 30th September 2012 in Kerala the great and ancient centre of Christianity in India. The interest in the Quiz has gone up steadily since it was initiated in 2000 the Great Jubilee Year by the Bishops‰Ûª conference. This year saw an increase of 25,000 compared to last year‰Ûªs registration (537,300). This colossal phenomenon, called ‰Û÷Logos Mega Bible Quiz‰Ûª, invites the keen attention of the universal Church at the dawn of the Synod on New Evangelization. The Aim The Logos Bible Quiz, which is organized by Kerala Catholic Bishops‰Ûª Council‰Ûªs Bible Commission, provides people opportunity to read and study the Holy Bible carefully. ‰ÛÏOur aim is to promote interest in Bible reading and to cultivate a culture of systematic study of the Bible in order to make a vibrant Christian life possible‰Û, says Rev. Dr. Joshy Mayyattil the chief co-ordinator of Logos Mega Quiz and Secretary of KCBC Bible Commission and Kerala Catholic Bible Society. The Mode The participants, in the quiz conducted by Bible Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, are divided into six age groups. People of all walks of life can participate in this popular Bible quiz. Many religious and priests too participate in it. The preliminary round of the Logos Quiz, conducted in parishes under the auspice of Diocesan Bible Apostolate directors, lasts for one and half hours in which the participants will answer multiple answer questions. Three toppers from each age category will participate in the written quiz conducted in KCBC headquarters at Kochi. Top ten from each age category from this round will be eligible for the final round which includes audio, video, written, oral and Bible verse recitation tests. Once the final round gets over, the winners in each category is awarded with gold medals and cash prizes. And the champion of the Logos Quiz (Logos Prathibha) will have a free pilgrimage to Holy Land. The possibility of introducing scholarship for Bible study for the Logos winners is under consideration. Last year the Logos Prathibha (i.e., Logos Champion) was Sr. Betty LAR from the diocese of Palai. Year before last it was Miss Reshma Pius a 16-year old student hailing from an economically poor family. This Bible lover has proved that her family‰Ûªs richness consists in their love for the Scripture. A Year-long Preparation for 35 chapters! People prepare themselves well in advance for the quiz. The syllabus of almost 35 chapters from the Old and New Testaments (the syllabus for this year: Exodus 25-40; the Gospel of Mark; II Peter) for the quiz is announced a year in advance so that the contestants can get ample time to prepare. Often people carry their personal Bibles during travels in order to read the portions. In many cases parents and children get ready for the Logos making collective study and preparing notes in the family. It is not a rare thing in Kerala to see members of the same family, especially children, competing among themselves to learn biblical verses by-heart. In some places, the participants of the Logos Quiz sit together after the Sunday Catechesis and revise the topics. Study guides are also available. Last year more than 20 various guides were available in the bookshops. In Future ‰ÛÏLogos Quiz has become a Herculean task for the conducting team. However it is also a pleasant task‰Û, says Bishop George Punnakkottil the Chairman of KCBC Bible Commission. ‰ÛÏLast year we introduced on-line registration (visit: www.logosquiz.org). In a few years we will be able to conduct on-line exam also. Thus the desire of numerous Keralites abroad to participate in the Logos Quiz would be realized‰Û. ‰ÛÏThe KCBC Bible Commission has plans to make this Bible Quiz popular in other parts of the world too. For this purpose, the Bible Quiz, which is currently conducted in Malayalam and English, will be made available in other languages also‰Û, added Bishop Punnakkottil. The e-mails that the organizers of the Logos Bible Quiz receive are evidences for the desire of the people around the globe for such methods and tools for Bible study. The great success of this Bible contest in Kerala could be a pointer for the universal Church ‰ÛÒ Bible Quiz, if culturally adapted, may be one of the best means for the new evangelization.

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