Learn about game development in Africa


Game development is on the rise in Africa. Just for example, the first-ever West African Gaming Expo was hosted in Lagos last fall, and an eagerly-anticipated roleplaying game made in Cameroon will launch later this year.

Polygon's Colin Campbell goes inside Kiro'o Games' Aurion, Legacy of the Kori-Odan, whose developers hope to express their heritage through a game with traditional RPG style and influences:

Wikipedia names 84 games that are set in Africa, including around 20 that are based on animals, hunting or wildlife, with a smattering of driving and touring titles. Most others feature visiting Westerners involved in combat. The heroic white man in the exotic jungles of Africa is an entertainment tradition that goes back to Tarzan, but in the special case of video games, most fictional visitors to that continent come heavily armed and in uniform. Kiro'o is creating a martial fantasy of its own, one that draws upon local traditions.

"There is not in fact one 'African mythology,'" says Meli. "We are really diverse. In Cameroon alone we have over 250 ethnic groups. But in Aurion you will find architectural inspiration inspired from West Cameroon tribes. Clothing of an African inspiration, but without making it too exotic. The lance of the main character, Urithi, was designed with the ambition to mix a lance and a Zulu shield."

Aurion was successfully greenlit by the Steam community, which means it'll release on that digital marketplace; you can follow its progress here.

This Metafilter post (thanks to Revision Path for the heads up) has lots more links and discussion on growing game development scenes in different parts of Africa. As one poster puts it, it "captures one of the typical blindspots of game culture, which is development for and by cultures that exist outside of the major dominant markets."