The Dark Room

Success stories are created in the most unbelievable ways. And Amir Rajan swears by this fact.

The software developer quit his job to focus on developing his own software – and now an application created by him has reached the number one spot in the US and UK.

Rajan, based in Dallas, in the US, created an application for the mobile platform, specifically the iOS  called ‘A Dark Room’, the application is the first one he’s ever created.

So what’s it all about? It is essentially a text-based application centred on creating a story. So users will have to make certain decisions, and these would be used to push a story’s plot forward. The prose of the story will leave most of it up to the imagination of the person creating the plot.

The concept is based on the writing style of the American novelist, Cormac McCarthy. However, the story in itself portrays the darker aspects of thought put into words by writers like Frederich Nietzsche.

As part of the story, the user is put into an apocalyptic atmosphere, and they have to use the app to rebuild a society in that story. The entire storyline is estimated to take around four hours to finish, and while doing so, a user will encounter various characters that are part of it.

Rajan invested almost 2,000 dollars in licensing the game and for the laptop that he used to code it. The processes took over five months to work out. He then released the app on the Apple app store for download, and it is priced at a mere 99 cents.

Since then, the app has gone all the way to the top of the iOS app charts in both the US and the UK. In four months, UK generated almost 6,000 downloads of the app in a single day. In half a year, he US charts were also capped by this app. On the first day of its release in the US, it achieved approximately 23,000 iOS downloads and generated a princely sum of 16,000 dollars in profit.

In addition to this, the app has received rave reviews and reactions from its users, who are overwhelmed by the concept as well as its execution. According to Rajan, “It has caused quite a bit of visceral reaction. There are points in the game when it got so dark people literally deleted the application. I’ve had people who told me they have cried from it.”

Rajan is visibly surprised by the surge in reactions towards the app, and stated that he had no idea what had happened, or how it went viral with no prior indication.

What he does know is that unlike how it seems at the moment, he did not achieve this through quick work, but went through a long drawn out process. After he received a degree in software engineering, he worked full-time for various companies, managing software development and consulting.

After eight years of work, he realized that the jobs were wearing him out, and the lack of enthusiasm about work at the workplace made him determined to try something new. So he quit his job, and sold everything he had. Then he moved into a small apartment with his wife and limited belongings.

The money he got from selling these things would give him the funds required for research in creating his own products, and quitting his job gave him much–needed time to do so.

He then began to ‘reboot’ his life, and A Dark Room was just one of the products he developed. Since it happened to be extremely successful, he has received more funds, and hence more time to work on newer products.

Let’s hope this budding software enthusiast strikes gold once again.