Adam Saltsman

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Adam Saltsman
Adam Saltsman headshot.jpg
Nationality American
Other names Adam Atomic
Occupation Indie video game developer
Known for Canabalt

Adam Saltsman, also known as Adam Atomic, is an American indie video game designer best known for creating the endless runner Canabalt. He is a founder of Semi Secret Software and Finji video game studios.

Career[edit]

Canabalt[edit]

almost no one in the industry ... hasn't taken serious note of its acclaim and wondered what magic formula there might be hidden in its design that can be replicated elsewhere.

Brandon Boyer on Canabalt in Boing Boing, November 11, 2009
Main article: Canabalt

Adam Saltsman, also known as Adam Atomic, made the endless runner Canabalt in 2009, where an anonymous runner runs in one direction and is able to jump and slide upon landing. Boing Boing described the game as a "one-button action-opus".[1] It was made in response to Experimental Gameplay's "Bare Minimum" challenge. The game's viral success was a surprise to him, and he later felt like he squandered the opportunity and audience.[1] When asked in an interview where he imagined the running man coming from, Saltsman stated "I used to have fantasies at my old office job of running down our long, long hallway just for fun. And to literally escape. I'd forgotten about that until months after Canabalt came out. There used to be an intro cinematic that I was designing, where the character receives an email, but it was all getting in the way of the main thing".[2]

Semi Secret Software[edit]

Saltsman produced an open-source game development library for Adobe Flash called Flixel. He has mentioned meeting people developing their first games in Flixel, and a development tool called Stencyl built atop Flixel.[3] Saltsman presented on "Time Until Death" at the 2011 IndieCade.[3]

Saltsman began to collaborate with Greg Wohlwend on Hundreds.[4] The game was Wohlwend's first as game designer, and he open sourced the game after online game sites showed no interest in purchasing it.[5] Semi Secret's Eric Johnson found the code and made an iPad port in a weekend, beginning the collaboration.[6] Semi Secret did not have the funds to begin a new game from scratch, so the project fit their company roadmap. Saltsman did not expect to work on the game himself, but became the primary puzzle designer.[5] It was released on January 7, 2013 for iPhone and iPad,[7] and on June 28 for Android[8] to what video game review score aggregator Metacritic called "generally favorable" reviews.[9] It was an honorable mention in Best Mobile Game and Nuovo Award categories of the 2012 Game Developers Conference Independent Games Festival,[10] and an honorable mention in Excellence in Visual Art at the 2013 festival.[11] Hundreds was also an official selection at IndieCade 2012.[12][13] In January 2013, Saltsman was working on an Android release of the game, an iOS update for Canabalt, and paternity leave in March.[4]

Finji[edit]

In March 2014, Saltsman re-announced Finji, a game studio that had existed since 2006 but was relaunched. Saltsman directs the studio, and his wife, Rebekah, produces and does game design. The company develops games internally and produces others. They announced four titles with the relaunch. The first, Portico, is in collaboration with Alec Holowka of Aquaria and was recently renamed from Grave. It is a 2D turn-based tactical survival game first announced in mid-2011.[14] Players use traps to stop incoming monsters from entering a sacred gate.[15] Finji will distribute Night in the Woods, a Kickstarter-funded project by Scott Benson and Holowka. They also sell Saltsman's survival game Capsule (in collaboration with Robin Arnott).[14] They also announced Overland, a "turn-based tactical survival game" in development with Shay Pierce of Deep Plaid Games, which Saltsman privately displayed during the 2014 Game Developers Conference.[15] In June 2014, Polytron announced that it would be co-publishing the "interactive musical landscape anthology" game Panoramical with Finji.[16] The company does not have plans to crowdfund future games.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Boyer, Brandon (November 11, 2009). "The Running Man: behind the sketchbooks of Adam Saltsman's Canabalt". Boing Boing. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ Courtney, Timothy (11 March 2016). "Game Talk: Developer of Games Like Canabalt and Overland, Adam Saltsman Interview with Timothy Courtney". timothycourtney.io. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Kumar, Mathew (October 10, 2011). "IndieCade: Canabalt's Adam Saltsman's Pursuit of the Infinite". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Rose, Mike (January 4, 2013). "Betting on style with Saltsman and Wohlwend's Hundreds". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Martin, Garrett (January 22, 2013). "From Flash to Touch: How Hundreds Came to the iPad". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (January 3, 2013). "Hundreds' metamorphosis from late night dream to addictive iOS puzzle game". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ Ryckert, Dan (January 8, 2013). "Hundreds - An Experience Custom Made For Mobile". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 28, 2013). "Semi Secret Software's Hundreds comes to Android". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hundreds Critic Reviews for iPhone/iPad". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ Plante, Chris (March 7, 2012). "Here are your winners of the 2012 Independent Games Festival". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ Staff (January 7, 2013). "2013 Independent Games Festival announces Main Competition finalists". Gamasutra. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "IndieCade 2012 Games". IndieCade. Archived from the original on June 8, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ McWhertor, Michael (October 7, 2012). "Hands-on with Hundreds, the addictive new iOS game from Canabalt's creators". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Sarkar, Samit (March 3, 2014). "Canabalt dev announces new collaborative studio, Finji". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Polson, John (March 3, 2014). "Adam Saltsman announces new game collab Overland, new studio Finji". IndieGames.com. UBM Tech. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (June 14, 2014). "Fez Developer Re-Emerges With Polytron Partners". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Adam Saltsman at Wikimedia Commons