A north-east computer expert has created a new online game, inspired by Dan Brown’s best-selling book The Da Vinci Code.
Calum Davidson, a father-of-three from Fraserburgh, says he spent more than 400 hours in bringing the project to fruition.
The 49-year-old, who grew up in the Broch and completed a computer science degree at Aberdeen University in 1992, has been involved in creating different programmes since he was a teenager and, as a massive football fan, enjoyed being involved in the design of an online game 4-3-3.com, which ran for nearly 10 years.
But he told the Press and Journal that nothing compared to the efforts he had put into his new Cryptical challenge.
He said: “It has been a big hobby of mine since the 1980s, but once I got married to Tania and we had three children – Chloe, 19, Kyle, 17, and Aimee, 15 – I no longer had time for these type of projects, so I stopped them and concentrated on the family.
“I work in IT for an oil company, but that no longer involves programming,
so the opportunity to do some again was appealing as it was what I loved
“About two years ago, I had the idea for a puzzle game, partly inspired by the Cryptex in the Da Vinci Code.
“It was a cylinder with a message hidden inside. To open it, you had to arrange the letters on the outside to the correct word. The thought of that device, coupled with some other puzzles I had seen, led to me starting work on the Cryptical.
“But it was tough. I had to design and test all 108 levels that are in there. They go from very easy to extremely difficult and I think they present a great challenge for anyone who wants to give it a go.
“I estimate it took at least 400 hours work in my spare time. It’s quite daunting looking back now, but I set out to do a little bit every day and eventually it all came together.”
Mr Davidson realises he has entered a hugely competitive market. But he believes he has produced something which will genuinely interest puzzle enthusiasts.
He added: “I’m proud to have created the game from scratch and have it available on the Google Play store. I know that more than 1,000 new games are released every month and most of them disappear without a trace.
“You either need to get lucky or work hard on promotion. Which isn’t my forte.
“But I hope people try it out and let me know how they get on.”