Hunter Allis has always loved playing video games. But unlike some fellow 14-year-olds, Hunter's interest goes beyond simply playing the games. He dreamed of someday creating them.
Hunter was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which one side of the organ is weaker than the other. He's had four open-heart surgeries, which caught the attention of Make-A-Wish North Texas. Through the organization, Hunter got a chance to fulfill his dream of creating a video game. And now, unexpectedly, it's hitting the market.
In 2015, when Hunter was 11, he flew from Connecticut to Texas to meet the staff at the Addison software company Bottle Rocket. That's where he, designers and developers first got to work on Planet SRAM.
“I was part of the design process,” Hunter says. “I drew my ideas on the board, and then they put them in the game.”
His mother, Erin Allis, says her son has always been interested in drawing. “He had notebooks and notebooks of characters he would draw with their different qualities written underneath,” she says.
The team created the game within days, and the Bottle Rocket developers downloaded it onto Hunter’s dad’s iPad before the family left for home. But later, Hunter lost his game to an iPad update.
But in August, Bottle Rocket called the Allises to tell them they were publishing Hunter’s game. The company also improved the game, making it endless.
“We thought they forgot about us,” Erin Allis says.
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Planet SRAM is available in the Apple app store.
“Bottle Rocket treated Hunter like he was one of the gang,” his mom says. “They took him seriously and let him draw everything on the board. Bottle Rocket is a great, amazing company.”
Calvin Carter, founder and CEO of Bottle Rocket, says the company is honored to be part of Hunter’s wish.
“Looking back on our time with Hunter, it is still one of our proudest moments as an organization,” Carter said in a statement. “The fact that we were able to leverage our craft and passion to help him live his wish means the world to us. I’m so excited that the rest of the world can see Hunter’s imagination and creativity for themselves.”