Developer of Canabalt, Founder of Finji
Adam Saltsman (aka Adam Atomic) is an indie game developer who’s been making games since 2006. He’s perhaps best known as the creator of the surprise hit endless running game Canabalt back in 2009. Most recently he relaunched his game studio Finji which he runs alongside his wife, Rebekah. Finji both develops their own games as well as partners with other developers to distribute their games. Their slate of upcoming games include Night in the Woods, Runaway Toad and Overland. Adam and Rebekah live in Austin, Texas with their children.
What is the first video game you ever played?
It was probably some super weird Atari thing, or maybe Space Invaders? the first game I think i went nuts over was the original Super Mario Bros. on NES though. it was just too magical.
What is your favorite game of all time?
holy crap. uuuhhh. there’s a few chart-toppers, for sure – by raw play time it’s probably Super Smash Bros. Melee. It’s been weird and fun to see the fighting game community finally embrace that utterly brilliant thing finally. But I mean shoutouts though to Symphony of the Night, the first Metal Gear Solid on PS1, Rocket Knight Adventures, Ikaruga, Streets of Rage 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Wipeout XL, Street Fighter IV, and so on… I’m not sure I even have a favorite genre at this point. I guess I would single out Kentucky Route Zero as being something really, really special – all the work I do as a game dev is informed by KR-0 in a pretty major way.
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
Genre film, books of all sorts, board games, running, and rock climbing, I guess, in no particular order! It’s been way too long since I climbed regularly though 🙁 running has been a weird / amazing hobby to get into, switching to minimalist running shoes was literally life-changing.
How do you balance gaming and family life?
I don’t haha. I don’t really play much anymore! every once in a while something really special comes along (most recently Firewatch) but… I dunno. When you have a family and a job your time is pretty limited (OBVIOUSLY) – so a video game has to be pretty straightup amazing to compete for attention with like the history of literature + cinema and the immediacy of family + cooking + all that good stuff. It’s not so much exactly an “I don’t have time for it” thing – it’s more of an “I don’t have time for most games anymore because they aren’t really earning it.” RPGs especially have been banned to transcontinental flights or really bad sick days only haha.