Results for category "art"

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Released: Busara – The Enter Africa “megagame”

Last year, I joined Enter Africa, a project spanning 15 countries, led by the Goethe-Institut, and engaged in a “megagame workshop” in Ethiopia to create a board game with cooperation between 15 countries.

It was an eye-opening workshop in October 2018 that began the journey of creating a pan-African board game, which culminated in the presentation and release of the game Busara at two international events this year: A MAZE Berlin (April 2019), and Gamescom (August 2019).

My role in this project was a game design consult and primary graphic designer. Together with an amazing core team (Christoph Deeg, Bethlehem Anteneh, Dagmawi Bedilu, Stefanie Kastner, Dr Julia Sattler), we journeyed with participants from 15 countries throughout Africa to design Busara.

A cultural artifact

The game was created as a print-and-play, that means it is a free game that anyone can play. It is meant to be a cultural artifact, something accessible to as many as possible.

You can download the game for free here

The year-long endeavour to creating Busara has been an incredible experience. Having participants from 15 countries, juggling literally so many ideas, priorities and aspirations was a challenge. We are stupendously proud of what we were able to stew down into the eventual essence.

Busara is a game that takes inspiration from Africa, and a rare interpretation of Africa by Africans.

Busara is a conversation on identity, borders and borderlessness, competition and cooperation.

Busara is a cultural expression wrapped up in a game, whose birth journey is more important than the physical bits themselves.

I hope you enjoy the game! Again, you can download it for free here.

Designing for #EnterAfrica: a pan-African boardgame collaboration spanning 15 countries.

The Goethe Institute has been doing a mega project called EnterAfrica, which has two parts: Part one involves each of the 15 African countries involved creating location-based mobile games in their 15 cities that tell a story about the past and future of their city, and part two is the creation of a mega analogue game (tabletop game) by a collaboration of all 15 countries.

I was fortunate to have experience both in graphic design and tabletop games design, and I was involved in part one of EnterAfrica, and so was serendipitously brought in to help bring this ambitious game design project to life.

It was a tall order: the goal was to synthesise the voices, experiences and cultures of 15 diverse countries to create a united vision and expression as one game. The project was led by Christoph Deeg, a German gamification and digital/analogue strategy specialist, and various members of the Addis Ababa Goethe Institute. We had a one week workshop in Addis Ababa to get to know each other and home in on a game design which will then be crafted and designed further.

And what a week it was! We worked hard, exchanging and talking about everything from the principles of game design to cultural ideas and ideals, to individual and group experiences. I knocked out prototypes in record time and wrote and re-wrote rules. We learned from one another, laughed with one another, and had our eyes on the ball – the culmination of a single game that will represent both the diversity and the unity of the participating group of African countries.

I’m super grateful to the Goethe Institute for such an amazing, ambitious and expansive initiative, not only is the vision for such inclusivity astounding, the sensitivity with which the whole project was handled was inspiring and something I’ve learned a ton from <3

The week-long workshop is over, and we have a game design that’s all about trading resources in order to achieve one’s nation’s goals. The game is far from done yet, but we have the core values and rules that will take it to the finishing line. The game is planned to show in 2019 at A MAZE Berlin and Gamescom, so if you’re gonna be there, look out for the game. And with some luck, maybe I’ll see you there?

Catch-up in the NYE: 2017

It’s January 2018, and I haven’t updated here in over a year.

So let me do a quick catchup of the highlights of some stuff I’ve gotten up to in the last year or so:

4 Boardgames Successfully Kickstarted

Working with the experienced game designer Corné Van Moorsel of Cwali Games in the Netherlands, we have put out four successfully funded Kickstarters.

          

A Few Rad Game Jams

There’s always the annual Global Game Jam, and the thrice a year Ludum Dares, and I always do them if I possibly can. Jamming often has taught me a bunch of stuff, and of course given me a couple cool prototypes:

Orbito was made for Ludum Dare 40, and I’m working to release this as it was quite well received and it’s also a tiny scope that I can manage by myself.

Battery//Assault was a fun experiment for Ludum Dare 39 from which I learned oodles about animation by physics. It was also well-received, maybe one day I’ll take it to fruition.

Gamejams of note other than Ludum Dares included 2017’s annual Global Game Jam in which I made a skiprope physics sportsball game Wibble:

And I also had a great jam as a part of the Goethe Institute of Johannesburg‘s Game Mixer event, where cool people from all over the world came to Joburg as an exchange of knowledge and experience. I made a pretty little gardening, sun and shadow prototype we called Pumyjeka with Jeff Rusch from Cape Town.

Inktober 2017

I managed to stick to discipline and did the full month of Inktober with one drawing a day! 🙂 You can see them all on my instagram, starting from this guy here:

This guy was my favourite of the lot:

Coming in 2018!

As a summary, this has already gone too long. There are several projects going on right now that should fruit in 2018. I’m really looking forward to those. Enough typing into WordPress. Onwards to more stuff-making!

My gift to Afrika Burn 2016: Drawing your #spiritcritter

I had an absolutely magical time at AfrikaBurn 2016.

As one of the 11 guiding principles of AfrikaBurn is Gifting, everyone attending should bring along something to gift to people, free of expectations of getting something back. It could be anything – bring something, give something, a skill, objects, anything. It is your form of self-expression, as long as you gift responsibly, anything goes.

About two weeks before the burn, I decided to go. With such a short timeframe, I didn’t have a clue what to gift, and after some brainstorming, this idea came to me – I would draw people their spirit animals. But not “spirit animals” – because then most people would say “dog” or “cat” or “horse” or “lion”. I wanted to gift them their very own creature. Like a Pokemon. Like Pokemon cards!

So I guillotined a bunch of cards, doodled this board, and off I went to the burn to meet people and gift them their spirit pokemon 🙂

Cg1J6PdWMAAgZx7

The gifting experience was simply incredible. I didn’t do nearly as many cards as I wanted to at the burn, I VASTLY underestimated my ability to meet people and draw these things quickly. I bought 500 blank cards with. I drew 30 by the end of the burn. And totally forgot to take photos of a bunch of them D:

Chatting to people about what they wanted their spirit creature to be was incredibly amazing. It gave a glimpse into their mind and their life, the part that might otherwise not have come out through small talk and pleasantries, and for that privilege I’m superbly grateful. I feel as if I got more out of my gift than I gave.

Throughout the burn, I learned that asking people “what is your spirit pokemon?” very easily resulted in answers like “Charizard!” and “Pikachu!”. So after the burn I rephrased the concept to Spirit Critter, and now I collect these babies daily in my dedicated #spiritcritter tumblr.

spiritcritter

For the longest time I had wanted an ongoing project that would hold my attention. Previously I did daily pokepeopledoodles for a while, but then I eventually got bored of translating pokemon into human form. This, translating real people into pokemon, is *so* much more interesting and meaningful, so this is going to be an ongoing thing for me.

Hope to meet you and your spirit critter someday!

Here are some of them: Catch more of them on the #spiritcritter tumblr!

(video) Chatting about Game Dev, Comics, Passion Creative Industries in South Africa

I was invited by Openroom.tv to a livestream show Baxoxe with Ray Whitcher!

If you’re a TL;DR kinda person, you can watch the full show here:
http://www.openroom.tv/#!baxoxe/c2ky

Baxoxe is a creative chit chat show that showcases and highlights creatives throughout South Africa – to show South African creatives the diversity that exists in the South African creativescape. (you know, other than advertising)

Baxoxe_01

For the show, I prepared a Pecha Kucha (a presentation format focussed on conciseness – 20 slides, 20 seconds each) speaking about game design theory and what game design and development and communities are all about in SA. It was perhaps a bit over-ambitious as I went into rattle mode, sang a little song, and attempted some Xhoza clicking, but you can be the judge of that 🙂

We also had a blast answering live twitter questions, had a creative quiz-out (chickens DID cross the road), and generally had a lot of fun in the freezing Greenside cold. Ray was wearing shorts. That puzzled me.

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Ray spoke about the comic industry in SA in general, and we discuss how we all should be pushing our passion industries forward.

A big thanks to Odd Cafe for the fantastic venue, the boys and gals of Baxoxe for the invite and organisation, and Openroom.TV for the excellent production. It ran like mice who were not blind in the least 🙂 Baxoxe is a great initiative and I certainly look forward to their future shows!

How are you doing with your passion industry?

Watch the full show:
http://www.openroom.tv/#!baxoxe/c2ky

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