Rescue helicopter earns from game

02:07, Jul 03 2012
Peter Vullings
PIXEL THIS: Peter Vullings with the iPad App his company developed for the Rescue Helicopter in Auckland.

People will be able to help save lives with the swipe of a finger thanks to a Palmerston North software developer.

Rescue 1: Lift Off, a game created by Pixelthis, is based on the television show Rescue 1, which follows the exploits of the Westpac Auckland rescue helicopter.

In the game, developed for smartphones and tablets, players control a rescue chopper and try to save people from danger. Points are given for flying long distances and rescuing people along the way.

Points come in the form of coins which can be used to upgrade their chopper, which starts as the first model used by the trust in 1970 and can be transformed into a yet-to-be introduced helicopter which the trust will have delivered in 2015.

Pixelthis chief executive Peter Vullings said the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust approached the company to develop the game as part of the trust's annual fundraiser.

"In previous years they had run a text campaign, where a text cost $3 and you got a ringtone.


"But that sort of thing is outdated now, so they wanted something worth a bit more for their donators."

The game was developed for free for use on Apple and Android devices, with proceeds from sales split between the trust and Pixelthis.

Though the game was quite simple, Mr Vullings said it started out complex.

"We had people flying along and having to get to locations and then winch people into the chopper."

But it was stripped down to a much simpler, easy-to-play style because the company only had six weeks to put it together, he said.

There were plans to create payable add-ons.

Since Pixelthis was established eight years ago, the company had grown to four employees and developed more than 400 programs for about 100 clients, Mr Vullings said.

Manawatu Standard