From the Series
Game design and the gaming culture might not be synonymous with Africa, but a Cameroonian startup is set to change that perception with the release of its inaugural African-themed game, “Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan”.
Aurion is the product of Kiro’o Games, a startup founded by Madiba Olivier in 2003. Inspired by the games that shaped his childhood, Olivier found that there was a need for a game that African people could relate to. Along with his team of Cameroonian graduates, Olivier tapped into African folklore to create Enzo Kori-Odan, a traditional leader who is granted power by his ancestors, which he uses regain control of the Zama kingdom.
The game is an action-RPG (Role Playing Game) that combines African myths, tales and traditions into a gaming experience. “The history of our continent is rich … we took inspiration from local Cameroonian traditions, like the Ngondo festival celebrated by the Sawa people, and we also incorporated symbolism adapted from that of the Akan people of Ghana, specifically the Adinkra writing style,” Olivier was quoted as saying.
The game has been in development since 2013 and is finally set to be released in April this year. However, Olivier’s journey to this point has been challenging. Funding was difficult to come by until the project received support from the ministry of arts and culture.
"Potential investors, particularly those in Cameroon, were sceptical of the project. Thankfully, the sponsorship and support of the ministry of culture and arts got us the credibility we needed,” said Kiro'o Games Business Director Boyogueno Roland.
The company went on to crowdsourcing for the next phase of its funds gathering process. It launched what is now a successful Kickstarter campaign, gathering around €49,774 in support.
All of the game’s characters were hand-drawn and it features 20 hours worth of game play. The PC epic will be available for download on Steam.