Backstage Pass Students Did It Again
50,00,000 downloads and counting…
Yes, that’s the number of downloads of the Avion Flight Simulator ™ game on the Google Play Store and counting.
Students of Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming & Technology, Satish Chandra and Asar Dhandala, are the creators of the Avionics Flight Simulator ™, 2015 game. Currently, the game is the 3rd most popular game in the world among similar games on Google Play.
Asar completed his B.F.A and Satish was a student of the PG Diploma in Game Design programme. Satish was a Systems Engineer at Infosys before he dropped out to pursue gaming while Asar turned an entrepreneur in his student days with Seven Summits.
Here is the making of the game, in their own words.
“While working on some project, we discovered that both of us have a penchant for aircraft. That got us both excited. We both started getting along very well and started talking more and more about the concept”.
“I already tried to make a flight simulator game and failed once. So, when I met Satish, I thought we could together build the game. Besides, he had already built two flight sim games through TeaPOT games with a million downloads each”, says Asar.
“Initially we were coding like 6 hours a day. On one of those days, we met in the coffee shop to discuss the progress. I came to know that I had to travel to San Francisco for Casual Connect USA, 2015 and we joked that we should finish before I leave for the conference”.
“Later we got serious about the jokes. We thought, why not?”, adds Satish, quietly.
“That’s when the real game started. From 6 to 7 hours of coding a day, we jumped to 20 hours of coding a day”.
Satish chips in. “Since we both liked flight simulators, we knew what to build. We took the most played simulator games at that point and analyzed each of them in our own way. Essentially, we were building our kind of flight simulator. Like kids who fancy a helicopter full of candy. We were no different”.
“Marketing? That’s the craziest thing in hindsight. There wasn’t any:zero marketing. No user acquisition. No spreading the word around the world. We just joined the Play Store and the Microsoft Store. All that we did was every mobile near us had the game running on it. Friends, family, neighbours, just about anyone known to us”. Both laugh heartily.
The Aha Moment
“The zero-day. That was a great moment. The zero-day retention was 30%. And that’s a winner. We knew it. After that, there is no looking back. The game took its own course. It has been totally organic”. A hush descends on the conversation, characteristic of experiencing something before the experience.
Asar breaks the silence, “I guess all the right elements were there. While we designed the game together, we stuck to our areas of expertise. Satish was programming and I took care of 2D Art and visualisation. Satish is a very professional coder. Trust me, it is extremely important to have the right team in place”.
“Besides meeting each other, at Backstage Pass we learned how to get into the game industry. This is a very important turn in our journey as entrepreneurs. And I went on to publishing my first commercial game. And, so did Asar”, adds Satish.
Recounts Asar, “Backstage Pass helped me with partly financing some of my trips to conferences, gave me the freedom to work on my games and they spread the word of Avion”.
“We are working on the next version of Avion and we are also planning to come up with a new game by mid-2017”.
“It’s perfectly OK if you are looking for a secure job. But to be an entrepreneur, you should fail fast, and fail early”, pat comes the suggestion from Satish.
“You got to build many games before you have a winner. I made as many as 14 games. So just make. Make as many as you can”.
About Backstage Pass
Backstage Pass Institute of Game Development offers various courses in game design, game art and game development. Backstage Pass has collaborated with JNAFAU, Hyderabad to offer bachelor’s and P.G. Diploma courses. Backstage Pass alumni include entrepreneurs, employees of start-ups and MNCs, and students of acclaimed universities across the globe.
For more information, please email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 040-800 800 2794/800 800 2795.