LETI ARTS 2.1

leti-revamps

After months of hard work between our Kenya and Ghana team, we are really excited to unveil our new branding and website today. Leti Arts has undergone a total brand makeover to reflect its current position as a successful game development studio in Africa. This rebranding was spearheaded by our Creative Director Jake Manion with input from the rest of the team. Even though it had become necessary for us to rebrand, it was really important that we retained our established values and goals but at the same time develop a new identity that was very relatable. This exercise is also to communicate our growth level in the rapidly changing game development scene in Africa.

WHAT’S NEW?

LOGO ELEMENTS

The first thing you notice that both our logo and colours have changed from yellow, white and black to orange, white and black. It also comes in red and grey. The “A” in arts has also changed significantly. It is now shaped like a rocket that is launching. This reflects our position as the guiding light in the game development and entertainment ecosystem in Africa. The launching rocket is also there to show that Africa is taking control and settling into its rightful place in the global technology space.

OLD LOGO

340fd9d

 

 NEW LOGO

 

logos

 icons

NEW WEBSITE

Our website http://www.letiarts.com also got an upgrade. We’ve improved the structure of our content, so you’ll get more of a quick read. There’s a whole host of smaller but impactful changes, all to make your experience of the site much better. It comes with quite a number of surprises. You get to have a sneak peek into our new game Africa’s Legend (AL) Reawakening which is the phase two of our existing Africa’s Legends game. This game is based on characters from our history, folklore, culture and heritage. AL Reawakening introduces new characters into the AL Universe with a captivating storyline. We have included a production diary so you can join us on this exciting adventure as we make the best game to ever come out of an African game studio. It gets even better!!! You can be one of the first to know when AL Reawakening goes live. Simply sign up here.

 SCREENSHOT OF OLD WEBSITE

old-site

 

SCREENSHOT OF NEW WEBSITE

new-site

SNEAK PEEK OF AL-REAWAKENING

al-shot

 

 

We hope you like the new makeover. We look forward to getting your feedback.

You got Uncompromising Passion Yet?

uncompromising-passion-book-covers

Hey Leti Friends, guess who has been a busy bee? Our CEO Eyram Tawia!!!!! To add to his tall list of achievements, he authored the book Uncompromising Passion, The Humble Beginnings of an African Video Game Industry. The book tells the story of how he grew up on Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology campus in Kumasi, how he taught himself to develop games and how Leti Arts was formed. He strongly believes that with passion, any  dream can be accomplished.

Be richer in passion than in money, for passion is what we have when all is lost. – Eyram

_mg_0036 2nd Lady of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Mrs. Matilda  Amissah-Arthur at the launch of Uncompromising Passion.

This book was written to motivate young Africans and to prove to them that everything they seek can be achieved in Africa with the right attitude. Having had all his education in Ghana and being one of the pioneers of the African video game industry, he believes that it’s time we started documenting our success stories as Africans instead of always looking up to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and  Steve Jobs. They are great men no doubt but it’s time we started paying attention to the success stories on the continent.

Eyram has repeatedly said:

This book is not a motivational book. It was not written to tell you you can. It was written to tell you you are already doing  it.

Uncompromising passion is available on Store Foundry for GHS 50 and Amazon for $15.

PRESS RELEASE!!!

uncompromising-passion-book-covers

Uncompromising Passion – The Humble Beginnings of An African Video Game Industry is a book that tells the story of a young man who chose to pursue his dreams with unwavering focus. This young man is Eyram Akofa Tawia, the CEO of Leti Arts and one of the most accomplished, celebrated young entrepreneurs in Africa. This book tracks Eyram’s journey from Buroburo Road on the KNUST Campus to the present day, putting Ghana on the world map of video game development through the amazing creative work being churned out at his company, Leti Arts. The book will be launched on November 4, 2016 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. It will bring together important players in the Ghanaian startup ecosystem, distinguished guests and important role models and supporters of Eyram’s entrepreneurial journey. Uncompromising Passion – The Humble Beginnings of An African Video Game Industry is a great example of documenting an African success story in a way that will educate, inspire and even entertain readers. Co-authored by Samson Ojo, it chronicles Eyram’s journey but also sheds a lot of light on the support (from friends, family, acquaintances) to grow a company and more. The book talks about the entrepreneur ecosystem and the education system engendering it, which will make great reading and provide great insight to interested parties. In the book’s foreword, Ato Ulzen-Appiah, a longtime friend of Eyram, wrote: “Journeying through this book, aptly captured by Samson Ojo, is like experiencing a comic from Leti Arts .The book has the jovial DNA of Eyram, it can be likened to an entertaining and educative road trip from Accra to Ho and back
”.

Eyram talked about his inspiration and motivation in the book’s introduction, “I believe Africa needs to accept new directions to grow; and Gaming is one of the major directions we can take. I am inviting you to share in my journey so far. The highs and the lows, the laughter and the tears; the unfolding story”. The book launch would be chaired by Mrs Jane Kwawu. Jane is an independent international consultant and a gender activist with a great reputation in the UN. As a relative of Eyram, she would shed light on the family support that shapes such an awesome success story. The event would be emceed by Winston Amoah of 3fm Sunrise. In attendance would be a number of distinguished guests such as the Netherlands Ambassador H.E Mr. Ron Strikker, Bright Simons (mPedigree), executives from Telcos amongst others. Some important people who have been part of Eyram’s community growing up would be present, including Prof Kwesi Adarkwa, Dr Rudith King and Prof Mrs Victoria Dzogbefia. The event on November 4, 2016 would be a celebration of African ingenuity and innovation. The dress code is appropriately African in addition to white. The event would start with arrivals at 6pm and it would run for 3 hours. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

eyram-tawia-leti-arts

Eyram Akofa Tawia will present some excerpts from the book and lead a slide show presentation talking about the Leti Arts journey and the African Video Gaming industry. After a Q&A session, some invited speakers would give short speeches. This book launch is also a fundraising event. 1000 copies of the book would be distributed to educational institutions in Ghana for reading, motivation and inspiration. The book would also be launched briefly at Barcamp Ho 2016 on October 29 in Ho since the Volta region is dear to Eyram.
For more information on the book launch, contact Abena Addai Boakye @ 0245900458 or Bernard Kelvin Clive on 0244961121.

The god of Thunder

The son of Yemaja and the mother goddess, protector of birth is Shango the god of thunder who is one of the popular worldwide acclaimed legends from West Africa to be precise Nigeria. He is referred to as Chango or Xango in Lantin America and also Jakuta. Like most Yoruba names and their meanings, Shango means to strike (Shan = strike). In Brazil, Shango is worshipped as a thunder and weather god by the Umbandists and also In Santeria, Shango (Chango) is the equivalent of the Catholic saint St. Barbara.

Magic, thunder and lightning characterized his reign as the fourth ruler of the kingdom of Oyo. He was known to be very mean and strict on his subjects that even in his palace he had enemies. Like most kings in ancient times it’s allowed to have multiple wives and concubines and Shango was no exception. Among his numerous wives was Oya, who stole Shango’s secrets of magic; Oschun, the river goddess was Shango’s beloved because of her gastronomic abilities; and Oba, who always offered him ears to eat in other to win his love but was in anger was sent away by Shango.

Folklores has it that in one of his angry moments he caused thunder to come down to burn some of his children and wives. In regret he left his kingdom to Koso were he later hanged himself. After his death his enemies decided to attack his subject but before they go to the palace a potent thunder struck them and killed them all, from that day he attained the honor of a god.

It is believed that he can eat fire and has special dances that he performs, Shango comes down and strikes with his head and gives three rounds down to the drums. He flaunts his axe and touches his testicles and make threatening gestures. Like lover, he tries to demonstrate the size of his penis, bends and make winks to the women. The dancers imitate his movement. No other orisha will give higher jumps, dance more violently or make stranger gestures. The dances of Shango usually are erotic or warrior like. Commonly Shango is portrayed with an axe (the symbol of thunder), and his favorite colors are red and white, which are regarded as being holy.

1325142128_shango-concept-art-2

Lore. credit: smitegame

tumblr_n2doofcq2i1tsuocfo1_1280

Pataki credit: Unknown

shango_by_afromane-d8z3trl

Shongo Credit: Leti Arts

I can’t but agree with the many that Thor by Marvel is Shango. Take a look at is outfit and cape and tell me if am lying.

chris-hemsworth-thor-art-by-pc-designs

Thor. credit: Marvel

 

 

THE YORUBA TRIBE

yoruba-ritual-face-painting-by-laolu-featuring-dapperafrika

One of the biggest ethnic groups in sub-Sahara Africa is the Yoruba from Nigeria. It’s believed that the Yoruba people descended from a hero called Odua or Oduduwa. The Yoruba territory was known as the slavery coast during the slavery era. Their language belongs to the Congo-Kordofanian language family. Yoruba has many dialects, but its speakers can all understand each other. The popular folklore of the Yoruba’s is the creation story that tells of how the gods came to live among man. Also Yoruba’s are famous for their magnificent terra cotta works throughout the 12th and 14th century; artists also earnests their capacity in making artwork out of bronze.

Commonly the Yoruba still practice the traditional religions of their ancestors. Yoruba traditional religion holds that there is one Supreme Being and hundreds of orisha, or minor deities. The worshipers of a deity are referred to as his “children.” Among the three deities is Orolo, the sky God he high god, the Creator, Eshu (also called Legba) is the divine messenger who delivers sacrifices to Olorun. Everyone prays frequently to this deity and lastly is Ifa the God of Divination, who interprets the wishes of Olorun to mankind. Shango mostly pronounced as Sango is the God of thunder and Ogun the god of war. It is believed that Shango has four wives and each represents a river in Nigeria. Yoruba’s are also noted for their food. Fufu, chicken and okro stew are their common delicacy.

There is a lot of interesting stuff to learn about the Yuroba especially with regards to their deities. Don’t miss out on the part two next week as we delve more into it.

THE ARTIST ROLE IN GAME DEVELOPMENT

The term Game Artist seems pretty self explanatory . Sure, they take care of all the artwork involved in creating a game but it’s a whole lot more than just creating art. Next to playability, the look and feel of a game is unparalleled. Their work includes detailed creation of the characters, scenes, surfaces, environments, textures, concept art and storyboard. The type and quality of art created also depends on the platform on which the game will be played and the game technology. Some games demand the artwork to be as realistic as possible while others do not. Either way this demands a high level of creativity.whatsapp-image-2016-09-13-at-10-49-56-1

 

There are several types of artists in game development. Let’s just take a look at a few of the popular ones

Concept Artist : His specific task is to imagine what the item will look like and sketch out preliminary designs for it based on the script. The subsequent artwork by all the other artists is based on the concept art. Their work literally determines the visual direction of the game.

3D Modeller : He develops the concept art with more detail. He also balances the visual richness based on the game’s desired feel.

2D / Texture Artist :He creates the appropriate textures to environments and other game items to make it as realistic as the game requires. This involves a high skill in lightening, perspective and visual effects.

whatsapp-image-2016-09-13-at-10-49-56

Drawings and creations are fleshed out in 2D and 3D using computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Auto desk Maya. Game artists use programs such as these to handle texture, animation, modeling, and rendering in order to create game on-screen worlds and populations. Although this is a computer graphics focused process, you still use traditional hand sketching in the beginning stages of things like character development and background layouts.

whatsapp-image-2016-09-13-at-10-51-35

Bigger companies tend to have specialist artists working on different aspects of the same game (3D modelling,environments, textures etc). These people are all under the supervision of the lead artist. For up and coming game devs like Leti Arts, it’s usually one person doing all of these things.

The Ashanti Kingdom

flag_of_ashanti-svg

The Ashanti kingdom consist of 38 small states in the 1950’s and was formed by Osei Tutu I and Okonfo Anokye his advisor. By 1965 the number was reduced to nine but by 1700 they reunited again to form a confederation with Kumasi as their capital.

The name “Asanti” meaning because of war, this was formed when a kingdom was need to fight the Denkyira kingdom. The then colonial masters corrupted the name for the present Ashanti, which has now come stay with us.

A durbar of clan heads was held by Osei tutu to strategize a plan of self-liberation from the Denkyira kingdom and at this durbar the advisor of the Osei Tutu, Okonfo anokye conjured the golden stool from heavens onto the laps of Osei Tutu signifying dawn of unification and Asantehene. Following their union they waged a war against the Denkyira and defeated them.

940841316_266157

Following the death of Osei Tutu I, King Opoku Ware I (1720–1745) succeeded him who later engaged in further Akan territorial expansion. Then came King Kusi Obodom (1750–1764, Asante king Osei Kwadwo (1764–1777) imposed administrative reforms that allowed the Ashanti Kingdom to be governed effectively, King Osei Kwame Panyin (1777–1803), and King Osei Tutu Kwame (1804–1824) continued the Ashanti Kingdom’s territorial consolidation.

The kingdom came into contact with the British in the 19th century, on 15th may 1817 when Thomas Bowdich entered Kumasi. The book, Mission to Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee praise of the kingdom was disbelieved as a contradiction to prevailing prejudices. Thomas and Joseph Dupuis the first British consul in Kumasi secured a treaty with the Asantehene on 23rd march 1820 but the Governor, Hope Smith, couldn’t meet the Ashanti expectations.

The Ashanti kingdom were actively involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade since slavery was a tradition of the Empire with typically taken as captives from enemies in warfare. São Jorge da Mina where the Ashanti Kingdom slaves were sold to Portuguese Empire and shipped to Brazil and Cape Verde

This period, beginning in the 15th and 16th centuries and lasting until the 1830s when slavery was abolished, the Ashanti still used slave labor to plant more crops such as plantains, yams, rice, and new crops such as maize and cassava brought from the Americas. This led to an increase in population and a movement of the Akan peoples to the forest zones.

The use of slave labor was involved in its most important mineral product, gold. Akan enterprise utilized the labor of slaves for both trading with Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch, and English) and in the state grassland belts first in clearing new land and then for the development of deep-level mining and placer mining.

Before the Anglo-Ashanti war the Ashanti’ fought other wars including the Asante-Fante war, Ga-Fante war and the Ashanti-Akim Akuapim war. Many historians embrace the element that the indigenous organization and leadership of the Ashanti’s played a more crucial role in their successes. More significantly the Ashanti kingdom had numerous troops from conquered or incorporated peoples, and faced a number of revolts and rebellions from these peoples over its long history. The political genius of the symbolic “golden stool” and the fusing effect of a national army however, provided the unity needed to keep the empire viable. Total potential strength was some 80,000 to 200,000 making the Ashanti army bigger than the better known Zulu, comparable to Africa’s largest- the legions of Ethiopia. The Ashanti army was described as a fiercely organized one whose king could “bring 200,000 men into the field and whose warriors were evidently not cowed by Sniper rifles and 7-pounder guns. While actual forces deployed in the field were less than potential strength, tens of thousands of soldiers were usually available to serve the needs of the empire. Mobilization depended on small cadres of regulars, who guided and directed levees and contingents called up from provincial governors. Organization was structured around an advance guard, main body, rear guard and two right and left wing flanking elements. This provided flexibility in the forest country the Ashanti armies typically operated in. The approach to the battlefield was typically via converging columns, and tactics included ambushes and extensive maneuvers on the wings. Unique among African armies, the Ashanti deployed medical units to support their fighters. This force was to expand the empire substantially and continually for over a century, and defeated the British in several encounters. They defeated the British in three wars and finally in the fourth war they were defeated and was made to sign a treaty.

 

THE NARRATIVE DESIGNER

Laptop on coffee table --- Image by © Kate Kunz/Corbis

Image by © Kate Kunz/Corbis

Hi there! I’m back just as I promised. Yes, today is Tuesday. If you missed out on last week’s post, you can read it by clicking here .

We are going to discuss the role of the Narrative Designer today. I personally, I repeat, personally I think this is the most important role in game development. Gone are the days when we didn’t pay much attention to these guys but today they are literally there from the beginning to the end of creating a new game. Calm down, if you are a developer reading this. It’s really not that deep. But seriously, where would we all be without the story writer to give us that captivating story for us to work with? You might have the idea but it is really important how this is developed.

Stories in games take a much different route than “… and they lived happily ever after”. In an interview with Gamasutra, Tom Abernathy, narrative lead at Riot Games, and Richard Rouse III of Microsoft Game Studios reiterated that gamers often focus on particular characters instead of the whole story line. Basically traditional literary story writing or Hollywood style of story writing doesn’t really work in this instance. The interactive nature of video game doesn’t make room for this.

17693241_ml-1021x580

Let me use Leti as an example. I mean that is what I know lol. A lot of research work has gone into creating the characters for our new game Africa’s Legends Reawakening. From the tribes they belong to, their history, their clothes, food, culture, how to make the character attractive to the whole world etc. The experience of the player is taken into consideration as well since games are interactive. In video games, players must be able to take on the emotions and experiences of their characters. The mode of story telling is essential to interactivity. The narrative designer must make sure that the scenes in the games correlate and are not jumbled .

The style the narrative will take depends on the type of game. For fighting games, the narrative is not that developed because you basically have to kill or beat someone to the pulp to win. This does not apply to Role Playing games which are entirely dependent on the story. The role of the narrative designer is there to write out his thoughts in the form of actions. No matter the twists and turns of a character’s story line, it must always fit into the general plot  for the game to be enjoyable.

Authour : Abena Addai Boakye

 

BUILDING AN INDIE GAME

 

 

f8e2cc408ad41604fc7132ada7f6c316Let me start by being honest, I had absolutely no idea what went into actually building a game until I started working at  a game dev. I had the basic knowledge knowing that there was some art and programming involved but that was it. I have learnt that a whole lot more goes into it before the game is put out on the market. With bigger companies like Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo, who have unlimited budgets and the very best staff working round the clock to deliver quality games, it makes the dream of being a successful indie developer almost impossible. You need a literal army to built a world class game, no kidding. But guess what?? It’s totally possible to do it with just a handful of people.

The number one thing you need is passion. I know this has been said over and over again but again working here has taught me the value of passion. Once you are into what you are doing 100%, it becomes almost easy. Yeah almost easy because there will be days that you feel that you will just quit. But remember it’s always darkest before daylight…….just saying.

Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures. – Joseph Campbell, American Mythologist, Writer, and Lecturer

Then comes your team. There is a lot more to this but you basically need a story writer, game artist , game programmer , game designer and a creative director.  Most of the time though for a small team, one person can find himself doing other stuff as well. Okay moving on to why you need teams people in your team.

Story writer: The plot of your game is very essential and players must be able to relate to their onscreen characters. It is the job of your story writer to develop your idea into a captivating story.

Game Artist: This person is responsible for all the visual elements of the game. His job includes creating concept arts to reflect the right images from the story.The game artist is also sometimes responsible for the animations in the game as well.

Sound Designer: He or she  creates the soundtrack for the game including the voices,spoken instructions and other sound effects

The programmer :The game programmer writes the computer codes that control the game.

Game Designer : He is responsible for the experience of the player and creates the game mechanics

Creative director : He  takes up the role of overseeing the whole team.

We are going to delve into the details of these jobs over the next couple of weeks so be on the look out every Tuesday. Namaste!

Author : Abena Addai Boakye

 

 

 

AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD UPDATE

Final-LogoAEA2

Early on this year, Eyram Tawia (CEO), led us to win the Most Heart Award at the African Entrepreneurship Award. This was after a very rigorous process and he didn’t fail to in putting his passion and belief in the African gaming industry  across.

He recently did a podcast with the AEA Team to update them on our progress since we won the award. In this podcast, he talks about how much the process enlightened him as an entrepreneur in such a novel field, the new game we are building Africa’s Legends Re-awakening and his vision for the African gaming industry. He also recounts how his addiction to Nordic mythology and superhero comics have influenced his career path.

Eyram  says ” When I compare the history of Africa and what has transpired on the continent, we are more cooler  if fantasized than all the Nordic mythical gods. Every experience on the continent is worth fantasizing to create hope for the next generations to come.”

On AL-Reawakening for which we won the grant money, he explained the concept. The whole game is based on characters from our history and culture. These superheroes are projected into the 21st century with amazing visuals as they fight against issues like drug trafficking, corruption and jet fuel / glue sniffing in children. The first version of the game will be text based to ensure that everyone can enjoy our rich story line not withstanding which device they are on. Leti is currently preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the 3D version of the came in October.

To listen to the full interview, click on the link below

http://bit.ly/AEAUpdate

 

THE AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD

The African Entrepreneurship Award is both a process and an organization within BMCE Bank of Africa. The goal is to enable the enablers. What does that mean? As an Award organization, they seek to enable you the entrepreneur to be a job enabler in Africa. Through their regional and global mentoring program, entrepreneurs receive coaching that enables them to launch or grow their business idea so that they can create jobs and enable others in Africa.