04/16/2013 03:50 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

ChuggaBugga: Dad Doug Smith Develops Video Game App For 3-Year-Old Daughter (PHOTOS)

Alexa Smith knew how to unlock an iPad when she was only a year old, so it wasn't all that surprising when she went on to master all of the video games that were appropriate for toddlers. Lucky for Alexa, her dad, Doug Smith, happens to be a video game developer, and he decided to create a new game for her. Almost one year later, the game is on sale on iTunes for other little ones to enjoy.

"My amazing 3 yr. old daughter loves trains and bugs. She inspired me to make a game called ChuggaBugga," Smith captioned a post that rose to the top of Reddit Monday morning.

Smith told HuffPost via email that the idea sparked when his wife was pregnant with his now 8-month-old daughter, Annabelle. He and his family were waiting to cross a train track when boxcars started to pass, and Alexa suggested that there might be elephants or a swimming pool inside those cars. Her imagination got her dad inspired.

He then spent nights and weekends building a prototype, playing with ideas and developing ChuggaBugga. Smith told HuffPost that his family also took several family trips to the local train-themed amusement park for research purposes.

Smith's main goal for the game is simply to make his daughters smile. "I've worked in the industry for over a decade. It's been rewarding, but seeing Alexa, and now tons of kids all over the world smiling and laughing with a game I created is far beyond anything else in my career," he wrote to HuffPost.

Smith was employed at LucasArts, a video game developer and publisher, until the studio closed earlier this month. ChuggaBugga has been the silver lining to the challenging experience, he explained. "Who knows? Maybe I can turn this into a full-time indie thing," Smith wrote on Reddit.

Watch the trailer for ChuggaBugga above and view photos of the game being created below.



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