As Joy of Painting host and ASMR missing link Bob Ross often said, “We don’t make mistakes. We have happy accidents”.
One such new convert to this philosophy is Elektri Co-Founder Steven Splint.
Elektri is a local video game developer founded by Steven and several friends from St. Clair College. They were all bound together by the same aspiration: to make video games. After graduating, the team all went in different directions, working day jobs in different fields. However, the need to create continued to entwine their threads.
“We always met up one day a week to work on different projects,” Steven recalls. “We started Elektri with the intention of releasing video games and being our own bosses.”
Over the last few years, Elektri has released two titles: Project: Blue, an endless runner made with Unity 3D, and Vagrant Sword, a top-down rogue-like action RPG made with Game Maker Studio.
And now, Elektri is proud to announce their third title: Captain Skyrunner.
Captain Skyrunner came about when the team was discussing their newest title.
“Elektri is run as a cooperative,” Steven explains. “Everyone who works at Elektri owns a portion of the company. Everyone gets voting privileges in our projects. Everyone has input in what we do. So we were discussing what engine we wanted to use for our new title.”
“We became aware of this little engine sitting on the sidelines,” Steven states. “It’s open-source—the source code for the engine is freely available. It’s maintained by a bunch of people out of Latin America. Our lead developer Ryan is a big fan of the engine. And I’m a big fan of open-source software! So we decided to use the engine for our next game.”
In order to familiarize himself with the application, Steven began tinkering with the software.
“I said to my team, ‘I want to take six months to make a small game, just to learn how to use the tool,’” Steven recalls. “During that time, I designed a little prototype. After showing it to the team later, they said, ‘You’ve got something here.’”
“I made a game by accident. A happy accident!”
Buoyed by his team’s positive feedback, Steven sank another nine months into the prototype that would eventually go on to become Captain Skyrunner.
In other words:
“I made a game by accident,” Steven laughs. “A happy accident!”
Captain Skyrunner is an endless runner where players navigate a plane through a randomly-generated maze of hazards. The game features multiple levels, secret powerups and 40 different playable planes!
“The game changed wildly mid-development,” Steven reports. “It was initially conceived as having four levels and four different upgrades to your plane. But then someone asked if the Avro Arrow was going to be a playable plane. I initially wasn’t going to. But after thinking about it, I decided to separate the different upgrades across all these different planes. That led to this avalanche of different skins.”
In order to help create all the different models, Elektri artist David Sokolowski and an independent contractor pooled their resources to design all the game’s different planes.
And thus far, feedback for Captain Skyrunner has been incredibly positive.
“It’s a lot of fun to play,” Steven states. “People seem to really enjoy their time with it!”
Which is all pretty impressive for a happy accident!
Captain Skyrunner is currently available for download on the iOS App Store, Android and Google Play. A browser version will also be available on elektri.ca.