Local gamer creating video gaming industry in St. Louis

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BALLWIN, MO (KPLR) – On most days’ you'll find Jeff Minnis, busy at Jeff's Computers in Ballwin. But more often than not, he's spending his time on another world.

'Yaarrgghh,' says Jeff Minnis, CEO & Founder of Plazsoft.  'So we had a little fun creating Yargis.'

Since he was ten years old, the idea of Yargis has been floating around in his head. But now the Parkway West and Webster University grad is bringing his game to life in the Gateway City.

'This mission you have to rescue all the ships,' says Minnis.

Minnis has been repairing computers since middle school, but recently came up with a Kick starter plan to launch Yargis.

'It's a 3D spaceship engine,' says Minnis.  'So you can zoom in on anything you want in order to make it bigger.'

Between bad guys and big asteroids, you can earn money to upgrade your ship.

It would take hundreds of servers for Minnis to do what he wants Yargis to do and this is why he's gone to the cloud.

'Our game servers will be hosted on Amazon servers and gamers will be able to join on those,' says Minnis.  'We're using the power of Amazon to be able to scale our game up to millions of gamers that way.'

Working with the St. Louis Science Center he's been beta testing his 21st century retro space shooter.

'So it uses real world physics so if you stop moving you keep flying in the direction you were before,' says Minnis.

Minnis included a level editor so you can go from space ship pilot to programmer and create your own levels. In the process he's created opportunities for 40 friends and collaborators.

'The music was created in St. Louis, the graphics were created in St. Louis, the game engine was created in St. Louis,' says Minnis.  'So everything was created right here.  One of my goals is to create a huge technology center in St. Louis.'

And why not shoot for the stars if you're going to dream big.