Top­ping the app charts

Ryan Cash’s snow­board­ing game has hit num­ber one in over 20 coun­tries by Nikki Gill

Thornhill Post - - Graduates -

When Ryan Cash met his best friend Jor­dan Rosen­berg at the age of four, nei­ther of the young boys had any clue they had just met their fu­ture busi­ness part­ner.

The pair, who are also Rich­mond Hill High School grad­u­ates, are the co-founders of Snow­man, a small Canadian soft­ware stu­dio based in Toronto.

The stu­dio is re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the wildly popular app Alto’s Adventure, one of the top paid in the Ap­ple app store around the world.

“It’s do­ing re­ally well in pretty much ev­ery coun­try in the world. We’ve hit num­ber one in over 20, and we’re in the top five or top 10 in most coun­tries,” says Cash of the app’s suc­cess.

Although Cash was al­ways in­ter­ested in com­put­ers, he didn’t spend his youth star­ing at a screen.

“I wouldn’t call us your typ­i­cal com­puter nerds,” he says of him­self and Rosen­berg. “We were way more into out­doorsy things, but we saw the power of the In­ter­net to have a big reach and as a tool to make money, and we saw that was the way the world was go­ing.”

That love of the out­doors led to their idea to cre­ate the snow­board­ing game Alto’s Adventure.

“When we looked around in the app store, there were not a lot of snow­board­ing games that stood out to us,” says Cash of the mo­ment they re­al­ized they had an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate some­thing the mar­ket was lack­ing.

Cash cred­its the suc­cess of the app to their de­sire to make a game that was more than just cool 3D graph­ics, plus mak­ing sure the game was also fun to play for peo­ple who loved games and snow­board­ing — and also for those who don’t.

“We care­fully con­sid­ered ev­ery last de­tail of the game rather than just mak­ing sure the game play looked cool,” he says.

Cash and Rosen­berg also teamed up with a U.K. artist and de­vel­oper whose work Cash had seen be­fore, Harry Nes­bitt.

“I con­nected our idea of mak­ing a snow­board­ing game with Harry’s art­work,” he says.

Look­ing back on his hum­ble be­gin­nings at Rich­mond Hill High School, Cash says it was more his in­ter­est in com­put­ers that led him to where he is rather than his tech­ni­cal train­ing.

“It wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily lessons we learned in class that I di­rectly ap­plied to what I’m do­ing now, but just be­ing around [com­put­ers] and fo­cus­ing on it def­i­nitely did help.”

Alto’s Adventure is the sixth app that Cash and Rosen­berg have cre­ated and is def­i­nitely the most suc­cess­ful to date.

The game was in devel­op­ment for over two years be­fore launch­ing in Fe­bru­ary. Now it is avail­able in the Ap­ple app store for $2.29.

“Hope­fully we can bring it to some more plat­forms. We’ve had tons of peo­ple ask us if we’re bring­ing it to An­droid, to con­soles, to com­put­ers,” says Cash. “We’ve had users from pretty much ev­ery plat­form ask­ing for it.”

It’s do­ing re­ally well in pretty much ev­ery coun­try.”

Cash’s lat­est app is one of the top

paid in the Ap­ple app store RE­PORT CARD

STU­DENT:

Ryan Cash

GRAD­U­ATED: Rich­mond Hill High School, 2005

BEST SUB­JECT:

Out­door Ed­u­ca­tion

WORST SUB­JECT:

Math

CUR­RENT JOB:

Co-founder of Snow­man

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