The download on Dirksen


MASON CITY, Iowa – Riley Dirksen’s office is no longer at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse but at his home, in hopes of making game developing, a career.

“It’s being dedicated, its realizing that it might take you five years to get it done and not a whole lot of people can stick with something for five years,” Dirksen said.

Dirksen has spent the past six years typing his fingers away toward the gaming world, but this past year something changed.

“At the end of the week I got an email from Valve saying I was green lit and I almost fell out of my chair,” Dirksen said.

In November, Dirsken put his game, Graveball, on a gaming platform similar to iTunes called Steam.  That same week, people from all over the world were asking to play his game. The requests started coming in, along with questions on how to play it.

It’s a multiplayer sport that takes place in a graveyard. The goal: to get your “skull” in the end zone.  He was getting questions from not just gamers but from those who market games like his.  So Dirksen had a thought, he decided to quit his job as a programmer at the area courthouse, and do this fulltime.

“I have a two year old and people would say, well you should stay at your job because you have to provide for your kid and to me it was almost the opposite.  It was I want to teach him that when an opportunity in your life you got to take it,” Dirksen said.

Now he’s headed south.  Dirksen got an invite to a gaming conference in San Antonio.

He was one of ten chosen.  The thing is, he didn’t submit his game, and they picked him.

Dirksen says it’s leaving him in a daze that this leap of faith, may pan out.

“I thought I was getting scammed, I was like someone is tricking me, sending out all those emails to small developers get some money out of it.  I did a ton of stuff to verify, looked up the guys information on the site, contacted other developers I knew,” Dirksen said.

Dirksen leaves for San Antonio at the end of the month.

If you interested in checking out the game you can visit

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