Developing games from Africa!

admin | Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Developing games from Africa… not a popular phenomenon yet, and though a billion dollar industry globally, developing games from Africa by Africans is something still in its very early stages and the developer community in Africa is yet to tap into this market. Co-founder of Leti Games, Wesley Kiriinya believes “most game players in Africa are casual gamers on Facebook and Yahoo games and most of these are women. The men are most likely playing on Consoles (Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation) and PCs as well. The game developers are small in number and they’re scattered across Egypt, South Africa and Ghana (Leti Games). Most of them develop games on contract and as a result, making us at Leti Games unique as we build our own games from our own concepts.”

This post will tell you more about the company Leti Games and some latest updates from the team.

Leti Gamesmobile fun for all’ is a game development company based in Accra-Ghana and founded by two friends Eyram Akofa Tawia (from Ghana) and Wesley Kiriinya (from Kenya) in 2009. Leti Games is on an ambitious and yet exciting mission with the aim to produce mobile and web based games here in Africa for a global market.

Products

Leti Games officially has two games to its credit, the iWarrior and the street soccer. iWarrior was released officially in 2009 and made available on the Apple Store. iWarrior is a casual game with great African art and sounds. With its simple intense game play, iWarrior puts you in the role of protecting your village from Africa’s most feared wild animals.  Street Soccer is Leti Games’ latest and here is a sneak peek into what street soccer is and how it works.

Street Soccer

Currently available on Facebook & Street Soccer’s website, it is a massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed on the concept of street soccer, which is mostly played in Africa. The player of the game begins with the role of a ‘nobody’ street player who is able to progress to a great soccer star. Once a player has mastered a game, they can challenge their friends to one-on-one matches. The game takes place in a fully accessible and interactive browser environment with impressive graphics. The massive multi-player feature of the game also allows several players to interact in the same game universe as distinct street players and is very well integrated with Facebook, allowing players to play and share results with their Facebook friends.

Game Features

  1. Personalised profiles: Players have a range of avatars to choose from.
  2. Facebook integration: The Street Soccer application is available on Facebook and allows for easy access to the game and sharing with friends. Players can also play outside the Facebook environment.
  3. Invite friends: Players can invite their friends for matches either via Facebook or by e-mail.
  4. Top players: Players can view list and profiles of top players and can choose to challenge them in matches.
  5. Search: Search functionality is enabled to allow players search for other players in their neighbourhoods to play with.
  6. Teaser messages: Players can send provoking messages to friends while they play. These messages can also be sent via match requests they send to opponents. e.g “Takin u down! Catch this if you are man enough” or “I’ll give you a warm kiss if you get this right”.

On how to play Street Soccer, watch out for the second part of this post, where you also get to hear directly from the founders of Leti Games on their experiences and lessons learned so far from developing games from Africa!

  • This is the beginning of gaming in Africa. A huge and untapped market waiting for those who are bold enough to venture into it. Mobile penetration in Africa went through a similar stages of growth. When i in my first year in the University, i could not afford to have my own mobile phone. Now my Nephews in junior high have at least two phones. Soon everyone will be playing a game on their phones.

  • Jesse Ntow

    this is really cool. Kudos to the founders. This is really an eye opener to young africans.

  • Emmannuel Vincent Mensah

    During BarCamp 2010 at MEST Premises, i met Eyram(Lead Developer of Leti Games) we had a brief but interesting chat. We spoke on the two games available on the apple market and street soccer (which he was working on with his partner).I think the concept behind street socer is a great and loudable one. From the chat i had with Eyram i can say he is very passionate when he is talking about technology, game development and the medium which to make the games he develop easily available and accessible to game lovers and players. It’s not easy developing games. The development team should always be on top of their game. The time, energy and other resources that goes into game development qualifies for an eight chapter book. Thanks to MEST we are realizing that great software and games can be developed anywhere in the world. Kudos Leti Games. People like me are solidly behind you. Do what you love best and are so passionate about. We are watching.

  • Thanks guys.
    @Apom:
    Quite right! I’ve heard of some statistics saying Africa leads in use of use and innovation around mobile device services e.g. Payments and Internet.

    @Jesse:
    Thanks!

    @Emmanuel:
    Thanks! Eyram met one of the lead guys behind Angry Birds. Those guys had made over 50 games before they made Angry Birds, which was really successful. So it’s very tough to make games. It’s not only a technical challenge, but also coming up with a great but simple concept and presenting it in a great interface is quite challenging. It requires a very talented team to make even simple games.

  • Pingback: How to play street soccer | MEST Blog - The MEST campus in Accra, Ghana()

  • Ronald Gbezeh

    You guys have done well. I am crazy about games and movies. I have noticed something in the movies which if applied in game development would be good. Movies are now made on based on concepts from different fields. If you watched Boston Legal, the series is about Law, Love and comedy. I think we can equally develop games based on different concepts or backgrounds. All the best guys. Leti wars and Street Soccer are great. All the best.