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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo

Freshman Brayden Gogis talks foundations, goals, puzzle games

Gogis utilizes talents of creativity, technology

Every puzzle piece connects.

It’s not always obvious, especially as the pieces are slowly sorted out, put together almost blindly. Yet as some partial image comes together, there’s peace found in knowing everything you need is already there.

There is a foundation already at hand.

In some ways, it’s not so different from how we assemble our lives. Connecting the pieces one at a time, trying to build a foundation, the future isn’t always clear from our present viewpoint — but for freshman Brayden Gogis, that foundation means far more than the individual pieces themselves.

A puzzle creator, programmer, app developer and escape room enthusiast, Gogis is a man of many hats — much more than any individual opportunity or test score he’s earned throughout his career can succinctly define.

As a literal genius, Gogis received press from Taylor early on after getting a perfect score on the ACT. 

“I know that I’m more than that, and my worth is not in what I do,” Gogis said.

It’s a point that has guided the trajectory of his career goals. Rather than majoring in computer science, Gogis decided to double-major in engineering and biochemistry, and chose Taylor in part because of its comprehensive focus on the liberal arts.

Gogis is constantly seeking to expand his horizons, searching deeply for that intersection of art, science, business and mathematics. 

Yet he also loves being a part of collaborations, often working with his father or uncle through their respective fields of graphic design and music. 

“If you’re trying to be like Jesus, then that end goal is other people,” Gogis said. “Just the connection aspect of it is fun.”

Yet the freshman also enjoys experimenting with new art forms himself. 

He’s written storylines for some of his escape games, and brainstormed the mechanics and aesthetics of the 3D solitaire game he invented — a free app called Solisquare, available specifically for Apple products.

Gogis has also determined how to integrate a sense of service and community into some of his works. Developing one app for children with dyslexia and another whose profits go toward ending human trafficking, Gogis’s aim has been to help others with his products. 

He simply doesn’t fit into one mold. With that, he’s learned not to have one set plan for the future.

“I really don’t know what I want to do,” he said. “I’m gonna keep making games and stuff as long as I’m alive. It’s fun for me, but I’ve already done that on the side with things. It’s like, why not do something else?”

Despite having his eyes fixed on expanding his horizons, Gogis recognizes that his education will aid him later down the road. Even as an engineering and biochemistry major, he’s laying a foundation he knows employers will value as much as he does.

It’s just like the puzzle games Gogis creates — he’s become a master at connecting the pieces.

“I do a lot of science and math, but what’s most interesting is when stuff connects,” Gogis said. “I’m using math, lots of math, computer science, all those types of things, but I’m also using language skills. I’m writing stories, I’m coming up with characters, and they’re in, like, the visual aspects. I get to design things and think about — I don’t know. I just love it. It’s a fun hobby.”

It’s a hobby he’s continuing to work on as his company, Chain Reaction Games LLC, grows. While Gogis is only developing one main project at the moment, he’s excited to explore some of his new ideas as he finds the time.

Dedicated to putting his own unique twist on every game he creates, Gogis has already combined creativity and technology to produce new iterations of old classics, continually pushing the boundaries of what a simple app game can become.

And as for the future? 

The final picture hasn’t yet come together. But Gogis is committed to putting together the pieces. 

“Maybe that’s the thing,” he said. “That’s kind of my story. There are so many directions and possibilities for everyone and I just think it’s cool to think of them and what your place can be in God’s story.”

It’s about fitting together not only the pieces of life as individuals, but as a parts of the greater image of the Kingdom of God — because everyone is a part of that final image.

The foundation just isn’t always obvious until the pieces fall into place.