G3 Mobile Games Developers Meetup Review (September – December 2016)

Like my previous review, this is also compilation of 4 meet-ups in one. But I don’t think there was one for December. And even if there was one, I don’t think I’d have gone. Anyways without further ado, here’s what went down at the last 4 meet ups. Note that however way it went down, this write-up is how my eyes interpreted it. If you’d like to know what went down at the past ones, then you can find it here 


Exploring Internet Connectivity & App Discovery

Maliyo's Niger Delta Commando Game was on show. Considering the video trailer I saw earlier for the game, I finally had the chance to make my reservations known. But that just started a whole new discussion about different marketing strategies. The point I was trying to buttress was that inappropriate PR or marketing could affect you. Just consider the outcry surrounding Hello Games No Man’s Sky. An easy thing as a NOT IN GAME OR GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE notification could have helped. But instead the whole discussion turned into an argument about the use and purpose of advertisement. I’ll just say that whatever strategy you choose to take (download counts or high reviews) could affect your game in tremendous ways.
The video learning segment was about How to get your app on the front page of Google Play. If you're not aware about the local telco stores and you are a local indie developer, then today is your lucky day. I’m sure there are 3 but I’ll just mention the two I know local developers are subscribing to; The MTN game plus store and the Etisalat store. The most important thing to note about the MTN game plus store would be from the remark of a Chinese dude. Woah! There are now foreigners coming for G3, no jare he works for Huawei who are managing the store for MTN I think. Anyways he said that the games have to be at least 30 MB or less. Now that got me thinking – that might prove a problem since every tom, dick and harry in Nigeria is now adopting the Unity engine as their main development tool, and an empty build would get you about 17MB. Although there was a guy in the crowd (the kind of guy I’d want to be like in the future) who said he had the pro version and would run a test for me. Well, I'd await the result of his test scenario but it’s something worth noting.
Finally the day ended with a book launch from Femi Daniel titled Introduction to Computer Law in Nigeria. Although he wasn’t there in person, his protégé was there to do the honours. He probably isn't his protégé, but I just liked the sound of it. Anyways the book goes for a price I can’t remember and I also have no idea where you can get it online so this information might be very unimportant to you. The only reason why this is even here is that I have to mention it as part of the review. I strongly feel the book should be free on the internet somewhere and maybe could get donations from Patreon backers or get revenue from advertisement or something. Since the information being sold should be free for public perusal or so I think.

I've finally gotten an answer to the Maliyo and Gameslab saga buzzing around my head. And it turns out that Gameslab is the parent company to Maliyo. Something else just about smells fishy and I think it’s this. So during the meet up I was made aware of 9 local game development companies in the space. Funny thing is that my last data count was 5 or 6 if you count the ghost one called LegoHouse. Somehow 4 seem to have sprung up from nowhere in the past 2-3 months. Jinkies!
Anyways, turnout is still small [shrugs]. Don’t know why I’m complaining, there are probably more game engines out there than Nigerian game developers. Or maybe we can blame it on the recession in the country. But game development is still new industry in the country and the community is still very young. We only hope more people can join the bandwagon (dude, that's what smelt fishy).



Sound Design & Development for Mobile Games

I don't have as much as I would have liked to say about this meet up since I was busy mentoring a very important person outside (note I did not come late). Anyways, Aboki Run the beta version was on show. I don't know whether anyone got prizes but they got a lot of feedback from people. Half of which I don't think were needed (no offence to the guys). The video learning segment which I missed was about Designing Sound Effects and I must tell you, it's very informative. So G3 had a guest speaker in Osarumen and the boy who cried VR presented a video about Marvel's Symphonic Universe. Watch out! Spoiler alert ahead. The video is supposed to inform you as to why Marvel movies have no recognised theme songs or sounds and the video seems to be right. Well one guy did save marvels ass by singing the Amazing Spider man's theme song but I guess the person who did the video and every other person that seems to agree with him was born in the year millennia or something. Because I can still remember Fantastic Four's theme song and even Captain America throws his mighty shield theme song (Cartoon Freak!). But the key thing to take is to have a very good sound that people can easily identify with.
Lastly there was a Skype call with Maliyo's remote Audio Engineer and he spoke on some good tips and tools for audio in games. If you are interested in audio for gaming, you can check out my Game Development Tools post for some good audio tools.

October's crowd was much bigger. Although I think the space we are is very small but it’ll suffice for now. Again I missed the free drinks because I was busy networking. They need to budget more, especially those Heaven grape juices.


Concept Art for Mobile Games

Finally someone other than Maliyo showcases their game. I mean they've been presenting theirs since the start in April, and no one seems to be man enough to challenge them. Yeah, that’s out of my system. Anyways, the liferace team from the Imisi3D VR Hackathon decided to present their VR hack game called Life Race to guests at the meet up. Since the theme of the month was concept art, it's only natural that concept artists show up, right? And so did they, as there was a panel of noticeable Nigerian graphic artists: Mohammed Agbadi, HarrisonYinfaowei, Michael Okoroagha and Seun Osayomi in the building. They got to share their journey, experiences and express their concern about the devaluation of concept art in Nigeria, which to a layman or client is regarded just fine drawing (sad, just sad).
But an investor in the crowd decided to take a punch at the panel, as to what is the value of concept art. In his words, “everything can be measured”, so what's the value or price tag they would place on a concept art? I almost jumped into ring to try and defend my boys at the corner because I knew the value of concept art in gaming but he had a valid point. Most, if not all Nigerian graphic artists use America or other prominent nations as a yard stick but majority of them don't have the technical understanding to measure or judge the value of their work. For example most might not able to critique why particular colours should not be used because of colour blind users. Sorry guys, just keeping it real! Likewise if you’re a layman, then having a read to learn a bit about concept art wouldn’t hurt. It’ll do you all the good.
Anyways there was a mixed acceptance on the issue, then the investor, Hugo and Seye (not me) hijacked the show and started having a ping pong discussion of non-relatable importance. What better way to show that concept artists are undervalued, right? Oh and I almost forgot, the video learning segment was an interview with an Inspirational Artist: Patrick Ballesteros.

I'm kinda getting tired of writing the review (or somebody might call it highlights) of G3. I'm wondering when Maliyo or Gameslab would pick up the pen and get down to the ink work. You know, at least put it on their blog, since every company seems to have one these days (sigh). I only do it because like the Dettol advert, If I don't take care of it, who will. Yeah right! But on a more serious note, I do it because I feel anyone and everyone (big, small, young, old, local or foreign) should know where we are in the industry and how we are progressing and maybe also find one or two useful tips.

Apologies that had nothing to do with the verdict. I'm just being emotional. Anyways, a lot more people are coming. New people not in the industry or not directly related to it (I mean enthusiasts) show up and there's been a steady count of faces. So things might be looking up. Oh before I forget, Nigeria is now a partaker in cutting edge technology (VR).


Don’t think any meet up happened in December. Think the holiday season got to everyone.


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