We do the things we do not because they are easy, but because they are hard.Towards the end of 2015 my co-founder Evan Banyash and I started working on a piece of free, open-source software called Ulterius. The goal in our mind was simple, create an all-in-one solution that enabled us to manage any computer from a web browser.
One of the key features of Ulterius was its remote screen sharing capabilities. During development we were unhappy with the performance of the VNC protocol and the leg work required to get it in the browser wasn’t at all worth it, so we designed our own.
One of the first prototypes for Ulterius screen sharing was tested using games
The majority of our 2016 development was consumed by feature bloat. A lack of understanding what users really wanted lead to us creating software that tried to do everything and at times, not necessarily well. Two things were clear to us though, our screen sharing technology was evolving and people wanted to use it.
An Ulterius Demo at Steam Dev Days 2016
In early February of 2017 we had to be honest with ourselves, Ulterius wasn’t getting the traction we had hoped for and it likely never would. We needed to decompress and figure out our next step, so we headed to Boston for PAX East. If you’re not familiar with PAX here is a quick description: nerd heaven.
PAX is the place to go for all things gaming. You get a chance to get hands on with exciting new titles, meet developers and tons of interesting people. While standing in line for a panel I struck up conversation with someone playing Batman: Arkham Origins on their phone. They expressed a lot of disappointment with how dumbed down it was compared to the PC version and wished they could play that on their phone instead. By the end of our trip, we had clarity on how we needed to pivot.
So we hit the ground running. Within two weeks, I packed up my apartment and moved to Atlanta to be closer to my co-founder, and to build the foundation of what would soon become Rainway.
Early Rainway Prototype
Passion can drive a lot of progress and at Rainway we have a lot of it. For as long as I can remember I’ve had this burning passion for video games. I’ve spent weeks saving the planet, storming castles and braving the elements of uncharted worlds. So I see video games as more than a hobby, they’re an escape to worlds with many stories that have left a lasting impact on my life.
Setting out to build Rainway our vision was to amplify that experience, giving you the ability to carry and engage with those stories no matter where you are. That passion is what kept us going during the early days. I would be lying if I said it was all fun. We struggled early on and at times didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off. We sacrificed holidays and spent countless nights without sleep. Nonetheless we persisted and thanks to the combined efforts of our talented team, we managed to go from idea to open beta in just 11 months.
Batman Arkham Origins playable anywhere via Rainway
You never know where an idea might take you, every line of code you write or friendship you build has the potential to impact your future in ways you couldn’t imagine. In just two years we went from remote administration to game streaming, carrying with us all the knowledge gained from our mistakes and success. Where will we be in another 5 years? The sky is the limit.