Hero run: gaming to learn

hero-run-sviluppo-videogiochi
What do two talented young computer scientists on our team do so that they don’t get bored during their pandemic lay-off? They learn new technologies “for fun” and talk about themselves. We tell you how.

The background

“Yes, we’ll send the Carabinieri, but we’ll send them with a flamethrower.””

This was one of the most famous statements circulated during the Coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. In one of his live live social the governor of Campania, Vincenzo De Luca, talking about possible graduation parties of some university students, pronounced this sentence and it immediately went around the web, becoming so viral as to reach Naomi Campbell.

The story

Simone Pirozzi
Gerardo Salvati

Gerardo Salvati and Simone Pirozzi are two very young Java Specialists from our team, who have turned their passion for IT into their profession.

During the quarantine lay-off, so as not to get bored, the two colleagues had fun creating “Hero Run” and tell us how the story went in this interview.

Q
What is “Hero Run”?

Hero Run is a video game inspired by De Luca’s famous flamethrower phrase and has the president as the star.
Our governor is the hero of the story, armed with a flamethrower, who sets fire to people guilty of walking around the streets, heedless of the contagion.

Only by “burning” all the people who couldn’t care less can our governor save the world.
Our hero, however, must be careful of obstacles along the way. He must avoid being infected by the alien in his way.

Q
How come you linked the story to an alien?

We were forced to talk about an alien invasion because of the restrictions of the stores where the game was uploaded.
Apple Store and PlayStore in fact reject any application that has references to Covid-19 and this was the biggest problem we had to face.
The game was finished after 20 days of work, but we were not aware of those restrictions.

Q
What was the original idea of the video game?

The basic idea was to replicate reality. The enemy was supposed to be the virus and not the alien. The problem arose, however, when we tried to publish it on the stores and we were denied. We had to change the whole setting and eliminate any little reference to the situation our planet was experiencing.
That’s why we decided to talk about an alien invasion, even if, with a little effort of imagination, it is easy to bring the game story back to the global epidemic.

Q
What technology did you use to make the video game?

The game was developed in Unity, a graphics engine for video games.

Q
Why did you decide to try your hand at a technology in a development area that we don’t handle here at Nexsoft?

We felt challenged to make use of our free time by learning something new. We were starting from scratch, but we really wanted to make a video game and people around us encouraged us… so we were able to overcome all the problems and a month later we finally managed to release the game.

Q
Has this out-of-work experience given you satisfaction?

From the very beginning we got a lot of downloads, reaching over 1,000, but all our efforts have been especially rewarded by the many compliments received and the attention of the press.

Q
What will you take from this software development experience that is different from your usual Java programming?

What gave us most pleasure was the comment of a 14-year-old boy whose dream is to become a video game developer. He saw us as an inspiration. Two guys like us, just over 20 years old, making a game like this made him realise that he can continue to cherish his dream.

This story has made us at Nexsoft smile and feel proud. Long live the resourcefulness of our team – even in critical moments.💪


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