The game development industry in Africa has been buzzing for a couple of years now with African theme-based titles released by major development studios across the continent. With a growing large number of local indie developers working on various games independently without available avenues to make these games published and commercially ready, there is a need to foster collaboration, creativity, and productivity across the game development industry in Africa.

The Africacomicade gamathon is a hackathon focused on bringing Africa’s game developers together to design and develop games that would impact Africa’s ever-growing game development industry.

According to Games Industry Africa, Africa is the only region in the world with an increasing youth population and by 2050, the number will increase by nearly 50% to about 420 million youths. Africa would have the largest number of young people who will be key to ensuring a sector such as the gaming industry thrives. Currently, the Gaming and E-sports industry in the world is already turning in huge revenue up to $790M from Africa, but a bulk of these games come from the Asian and US market. The question is: with a large population of youths, why are Africans not partaking on a huge scale in this sector? Games like Call of Duty, PES, Candy crush and more already testify that Africans play games too and Game companies like Kuluya, Leti arts, Maliyo, to mention a few, have proven there’s a market.

A critical assessment of many African countries with the youth bulge, and disproportionate negative impact of leadership, economic inadequacies, and more, reveals an astonishing number of creatives striving to create close-to-standard project despite the odds against them, and this informed the formation of Africacomicade, A community to allow these individuals connect with one another, in and cross country, as well as showcase their skills to the world.  Africacomicade in itself is a platform that brings together and celebrates enthusiasts and digital creatives across the games, animation, comics, and movie industry in Africa via insightful events such as conventions, game jams and so much more.  Led by experienced members of the gaming ecosystem including  Oluseye being a former executive at Maliyo games and regional partner for Africa Technology foundation, Wendi, a creative writer with Enter Africa Kenya, Oscar, a former executive at Center4Tech currently an EIT at Mest Africa, Tosin, a game and XR developer as well as the community lead for Throne of Gamers and more, we are certain we can drive change in the sector and are very excited about the potential impact we can achieve. We are choosing a gamathon because it is one of the best ways for game developers to discover themselves and people alike. Herein, they’ll learn and try out new stuff, think outside the box, and above all, collaborate with new people.

GENERAL STRUCTURE OF THE EVENT

Africacomicade Gamathon 2020 will be a virtual event running from August  24 – 30, 2020. Africacomicade Gamathon is organized by a Pan-African Team and will take place in six African communities (South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana ). It is open to both newbies and professionals playing a role in the gaming industry, be it as a game developer,  gamer, animator, sound engineer, or more. The game jam itself would run for 48 hours from Friday 28th – Sunday 30th, August, after being preceded by lots of activities like talk sessions,  webinars and even training from industry experts and sponsors, on how to better navigate upwards in the industry and make use of industry standard tools. As with all Game jams, the theme for the  Africacomicade Gamathon would be announced at the launch of the event.   Mentors and industry leads would be available for participants to give guidance to participants during the game jam.  The game jam is set to be hosted on itch.io with communications channeled through discord. All the activities shall be streamed online via africacomicade channels on Twitch and other social media handles, so you can follow up on the events. A team of judges with experience in the games industry across Africa would be selecting the best games created during the game jam across different categories based on a set of judging criteria. The winning teams would be provided with resources and opportunities that could potentially help them scale their game and make it commercially ready for the world to see.

This gamathon aims to foster collaboration, creativity, and productivity amongst stakeholders in the African gaming industry to create amazing games for both the local and international markets. This would be a platform to connect with like-minded creatives and showcase the creative skills of  Africa,  thereby attracting and creating opportunities for all involved in the gaming industry at large.

Also, there would be eSport competitions amongst participating countries immediately after the game jam. All work no play is no fun, fun is what we want.

You can visit https://africacomicade.org/ to learn more. For enquiries and sponsorship, you can contact the people@africacomicade.org. You can also follow us on our social media channels to stay updated with our activities: Linkedin  Facebook Youtube Instagram Twitter 

Registration link: https://africacomicade.org/signup/

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