It might not be the first African-made video game or the first to be inspired by African culture, but "Aurion" is the first all-African video game in terms of characters, settings and themes, according to its Cameroonian developers.
"Aurion is designed based on typical African themes. The game tells the story of the Prince of Zama, who is dethroned by a coup. To help the prince reclaim his throne, the player must go through a perilous journey littered with challenges inspired by African myths," Martial Ngande, a character animator at game developer Kiro'o Games, told Anadolu Agency. "This action role-playing game aims to highlight traditional African culture," he added. In the studio, the company's 20 employees, designers and programmers are glued to their computer screens to put the final touches on the game, which they hope will encourage other African game developers to follow suit.
According to Sorelle Kamdom, responsible for communications and public relations for the project, feedback on the teaser trailers released by the company has been positive. "We released two videos featuring gameplay, and the feedback was quite positive," she said. Currently, the game is up for a vote on Steam Greenlight, an online platform that allows users to vote for the games they want to play, and its developers hope the game will win enough votes to prompt the service to make it commercially available. "Aurion" will also be available for sale, mainly by download, on PC and on Xbox 360 console at a competitive price, the developers said, without disclosing the exact retail price.
To make their dream come true, the founder of Kiro'o Games, Olivier Madiba, told that he relied on a financing technique known as "equity crowdfunding." "This financing method is based on opening the company's capital to private investors. In other words, it provides the opportunity for individuals and companies to buy equity shares, and thus become a company shareholder," Madiba said. "Our list of private investors includes individuals – including professionals, students and traders – who want to give meaning to their savings, along with companies wishing to make profitable investments," he explained. "Thus, they partner in a project that has the potential to become one of the largest companies in Africa," he added.