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.

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

THE RICHEST HUMAN BEING EVER

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It is estimated that he was $400 billion rich. Yes!! FOUR HUNDRED BILLION, that’s the total wealth of the top 5 living wealthiest on earth, Bill Gate, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos.

In 1312 Musa became emperor following the death of his predecessor, Abu-Bakr II.  When he was crowned, he was given the name Mansa meaning king.

 

His pilgrimage to Spain is very popular. He brought architects from Andalusia, a region in Spain, and Cairo to build the great Djinguereber Mosque and his Timbuktu palace which later became the trading center and a hub for Islam and culture. The wealth and advancement of the Emperor spread far and wide. Soon traders from Europe also joined in the gold trade.

While traveling through his kingdom on the way to Mecca in 1324, among his processions were several four-pound gold bars, which he gave away to the poor everywhere he went.

 

Mansa Musa for his love of education built the University of Sankore in Timbuktu which he equipped with resources and Mathematics and Astronomy was its hallmark. The university became a center of learning and culture, drawing Muslim scholars from around Africa and the Middle East to Timbuktu. It also housed one of the biggest library in the world with close to about 1,000,000 manuscripts.

 

He died after 25 years of reign but the death date of Mansa Musa is highly debated among modern historians and the Arab scholars who recorded the history of Mali

KIDDIE TOUR

We just found out that kids really ask a lot of questions………the hard way. Lol, just kidding! So we had some of the cutest five to seven year olds visit us at the Kenyan office. They were sooooooo curious about how the games were made and the why. They got to try their hands on some of the games under development and they had some insightful comments as well. Our very own little game testers. We might just recruit them. Anyway, we can’t help but admit it was fun having them over. Looking forward to more of such visits.

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Suicide Squad gets massacred

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Have you seen the reviews yet?

It was estimated to gross about $125 million but it has shot up to $140 million over the weekend. The impact of reviews after the first week is inevitable. We can all testify the amount of damage negative reviews had on Batman vs Superman. It’s very sad this is happening to the DC franchise again this year. There must be something wrong going on.

The thriller was beyond dope and we felt Suicide Squad was going to be the pacifier of the sour tastes for DC movies at the moment but from early reviews it looks like David Ayer made it worse.

Anyway watch out for our review after we go see it this Friday.

A.C.O

LET’S WIN THIS!!!! (AFRICA YOUTH CHOICE AWARDS)

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Hey Leti Friends,the African Youth Choice Awards is here again and yours truly got nominated in four categories(whoop whoop). The categories in which we are nominated are as follows:

YOUTH COMPANY OF THE YEAR
Leti Arts

YOUTH OF THE YEAR

Eyram Tawia

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Eyram Tawia

BEST TECH START UP OF THE YEAR
Leti Arts

leti vote 2

There are three ways in which you can vote.
Head over to the AYCA website –> http://bit.ly/voteforleti
Click the categories we are in.
Enter your email address
Select Leti Arts or Eyram Tawia to cast your vote (Ta da!!)
*Note : You can vote once every hour.

Twitter
Tweet Leti Arts or Eyram Tawia
Category we have been nominated
#AfricaYouthChoiceAwards and tweet @ayca_africa to vote.

Facebook
Go to the AYCA facebook page –> http://bit.ly/fbayca
Like it
Select the category in which we are and vote.

We would like to congratulate all the Ghanaians (Efya, Wiyaala, Bisa Kdei, Stone Boy, VVIP, DJ Nyce, Shatta Wale,MzVee, Hon Nana Oye Lithur,Juliet Ibrahim, Isaac Kwaku, Essien, Echo House, Empire Republic, JSS Media, Beryl Agyekum, Musa Mr Candy, Apostle Kwadwo Safo, Africhat, Slyde Pay, Collabo8,Kadmiel Van der Puije, Elisha Boie, Abraham Attah,Episode and Miz Gold) who got nominated in our categories and others . We wish you all the best.

AFRICA YOUTH CHOICE AWARDS
The African Youth Choice Awards which is in its fourth year, spans across 20 countries and 50 university campuses across the continent. The goal is to inspire African youths to pursue sound investment in human capital through education and entrepreneurial excellence in furthering the larger objectives of socio-economic development in the continent. AYCA is set to celebrate the African youth and continent on global stage.