Journal 3: The difficult road of an indie game

Journal 3: The difficult road of an indie game

Welcome to a new week in Kakuma!

First of all, this has been an exciting week in which we’ve been pivoting some of the previous assumptions and ideas about the project.

We chatted with some new people…

Last weekend we had a very interesting conversation with a development team in the states, and they gave us real-life feedback on what we were doing good and what we got wrong. And, well, we got a lot wrong.

We’ve also been in chats with an amazing designer from Lebanon. We’re convinced she’s the right person for the project, and we would love to see her work bring to life the universe we’re building.

We moved from a terrible logo placeholder to a great placeholder logo

We’ve been moving from the initial placeholder (and utterly ugly) logo to a new one. Still pretty bland and a placeholder indeed, but the lack of any aesthetic value of the first one was borderline violent.

Let's be fair, this one is way better.

Let’s be honest, this one is way better.

This new has been done by the great illustrator, designer, and friend Jorge Dueñas. Thanks George!

We reached the 2,500 twitter followers!

And we celebrated it sharing an illustration! Remember to follow us on Twitter to be up to date with all the news about Kakuma and ask us anything!

We’ve nearly got a roadmap for the Kickstarter (priorities have changed!)

So, a couple days ago, we had two main goals.

First: Get an MVP with 16 cities running, probably in HTML5 or something. It’d have mostly placeholder illustrations, only the narrative part of the game and a very limited set of options. It’d have sucked, but would have been a way to set the tone and test feedback about the game.
Second: Work in a nice video portraying the way the game would work, in order to use it for the Kickstarter campaign, so people would know how the final project would look like.

Again, after some chats with developers and seeing some experiences of complete transparent development processes and how people may feel disappointed by the unpolishedness of MVPs and pre-alphas, we have decided to stick with the video. There will be a narrative MVP, but possibly it’ll be a navigational presentation, or something that takes a couple of days of work to put together, and it will be used to get feedback from developers and other people interested in the game, more than for the general public.

We have a very clear concept in mind, and we’d hate to let people down because we’ve put together a half-cooked project in a couple of weeks. We want to do something awesome, and we will do the best we can to put that awesome concept into a great video and Kickstarter campaign.

At the moment, our priorities are finishing the mechanics of the game. We don’t want it to be only a narrative adventure, and we’re adding SOME roguelike elements into the mix and trying to make the mechanics as fun and challenging as possible, given the theme of the game. We’re starting to build a website and customising the forum so we can start a small community there, and, as always, we will keep you updated through Social Media and this blog.

It’s getting hard to write one post a week, so don’t freak out if it takes a bit longer next time.

Journal 2: Naming Kakuma, loving your support

Journal 2: Naming Kakuma, loving your support

This week has been hectic, and we have plenty of news.

First, pivoted the name from ‘Kakuma’ to ‘Kakuma: A refugee story’. We’ve received an incredible support from everybody who understood that we were creating a game about the refugee crisis, but Kakuma in itself didn’t communicate that concept. With the new subtitle, the title alone will be able to better show what the game is about.

Second, we’re finishing a new brand identity, including a new logo. You can check some low-res examples as our logo in Facebook and Twitter. We started working in some ad campaigns on Facebook and wanted to have a logo we were proud of. It’s not the final one, so expect some changes in the colours and resources we use. Also, if you feel like giving a like to Kakuna’s Facebook page, do it. We’re big on Twitter at the moment but FB is not catching up, and the more people know about us, the better for the project.

Third, we’re putting together a forum. It looks terrible at the moment, but we’ll allocate some time in order to polish it a little bit next week. Again, the more voices we hear and the more feedback we get, the better the result will be. Feel free to join it and talk about what you’d like to see in the project, your concerns, hopes or things you may think we’ve got wrong.

Some news you may be interested in:

  1. We’ve done some progress in the production document for the MVP and it’s almost finished. Hopefully, we’ll have something final for the next blog post (or the next one).
  2. We’ve created new images and copy for the game. Still, the overall progress of the MVP is around 10%.
  3. We’ve continued meeting with volunteers, activists and academics to better understand the phenomenon of migration and be as fair as possible in its representation.

First, we touched base with the Spanish NGO Refugee Care. Some of their stories did bring us to the edge of tears, with so many personal stories. Apart from the normal tales you’d expect, we heard about immoral journalists, selfish volunteers taking selfies with refugee kids on their arms while difficulting the labour of the rest, of UN bodies that do more harm that good. There are sadder stories, but we won’t focus that much on those. The little stories that don’t get to the main outlets, the real stuff happening to real people, that’s our focus.

Talking about that, Gaby from Chicas Poderosas and The 19 million project didn’t only tell us some wonderful stories of refugees in Europe, but she also got us in touch with some very interesting folks. Check those projects out, they’re some of the best stuff we’ve seen lately, and Gaby rocked our world! Thanks Gaby, we love you!

We’ve had some interesting chats with developers, members of academia entrepreneurs and people who simply are interested in the project. Thanks, you’re all amazing!