There’s a skyjacking epidemic happening right now. Over the past weekend, 3,981 flights were commandeered, diverted and landed at airports all around the world, earning players huge sums of cash and notoriety. The new augmented reality game, Skyjacker, is now in Beta and game testing is in full swing.
We caught up with Porkrind, who has been topping the leaderboard for (very nearly) the whole time, and asked a few questions!
1. Porkrind! How did you hear about Skyjacker and become part of the Beta program?
Because I thought it would make me popular with the ladies*, I set up a Raspberry Pi to function as an ADS-B receiver, tracking the identification and location signal nearly all aircraft transmit these days. I don’t recall exactly how I heard of Skyjacker, but it would have to have been in one of the various support forums for people building similar projects (Reddit, ADSBexchange, FlightAware). Someone posted a link to the signup page, and I am nothing if not a sucker for beta software and a good bug tracking tool. I believe the guys at Skyjacker HQ must have been amused by my blatant lies and pandering when reviewing my application. The $20 I attached to my file must have helped too.
*It did not. My wife was especially displeased by the new antenna clipped to the front of the house (made of half a beer can, no less).
2. Are you into airplanes, games or augmented reality?
Yes! I am a perpetual student pilot (got some helicopter time last week, was not pretty) and spend a lot of time on aviation related pursuits. A good chunk of my career to date has been in the gaming business, both traditional board games as well as iOS gaming. I’m currently doing program development work for clients in the VR-MR-AR space, so you could say I have interest there as well.
3. Everyone wants to beat Porkrind! What’s the story behind your Skyjacker name?
Who doesn’t love pork rinds? Way back at what now feels like the dawn of the internet (it wasn’t), ‘porkrind’ seemed funny, was available as a username everywhere, and was quick to type. I only regret not getting porkrind.com when I had the chance.
4. Which of your skyjackings has been your biggest earner so far?
I diverted a flight to PVG, Shanghai Pudong for a whopping 887 points, or $44,350 Skydollars. Also was a new airplane, a 787-9. I ‘grabbed’ it right after takeoff from LAX so I had to wait 14 hours for the result, but it was worth it. I got up I think at 2am my time just to see.
5. What feature are you itching to see in Skyjacker?
I very badly want to be able to take over a flight that’s already been skyjacked. My nemesis on the scoreboard, Venom, lives about 50 miles closer to LAX than I do and as such, I see his flights go overhead all the time. I’m also looking forward to hiring spotters in other locations. I’ve nearly exhausted all the local flights, and many of the high-scoring long haul flights from LAX pass too far to the south of me.
6. Anything else you’d like to mention for the record?
I have a layover at Heathrow next week. Venom had better watch out.
Skyjacker Beta testing continues and you can sign up on playskyjacker.com today. New skyjackers are invited to test on a weekly basis with an expected full release into app stores in May.