A rising star of the Zambian games industry, Mwaaba Alec Mugala is a multi-nominated creative who isn’t afraid to do it all. He is a web designer, game developer, producer and programmer. He is currently developing Project Lumpa. Project Lumpa is a horror game about a man searching for his parents in a Zambian forest while uncovering the secrets of the Lumpa massacre (Zambian lore) and Alice Lenshina. Here he has a one on one with GIA contributor, Mutembo Babo Kaizen.
Babo: So to start off I’d like to ask, what exactly do you do?
Mwaaba: Awesome. I’m a software developer, but I’m always active in the African Game-Dev scene, for example I was recently a regional organizer for the Game Jam World Cup (Game Jam+)
Babo: I see that’s really great
Babo: So when did you really get into Software/Game development?
Mwaaba: I got into Game development sometime in 2012, at first I really wanted to learn how to make a multiplayer fps like Call of duty, which I played a lot back then. I never actually knew there were tools to help with that till I did some research and came across different game engines. For software development, it was mainly because of university. It was my favorite course
Mwaaba: Mostly because it was the closest thing to Game development
Babo: I see. So are there any games you’ve developed or helped develop so far?
Mwaaba: First game I worked on was called Dark Pilgrim, not sure if it’s available online. Others are Game jam games (Yambamo, Viral Load and Core repair recently) early this year I helped work on a game with friends of mine from Namibia, it’s called Cassette Roulette and can be found on http://itch.io. Currently trying to finish Project Lumpa.
Babo: Wow that’s a really large lineup! I’m impressed!
Babo: So, putting your past accomplishments aside, what’re your thoughts on the local gaming landscape currently?
Mwaaba: I think it’s on the rise, I’ve seen a lot of projects in that are in the works (or have been released) from local Developers and that’s encouraging. Recently we had the Game Jam world cup and we had a few representatives from here so that’s encouraging and shows that people are getting aware of the potential of the Gaming industry.
Babo: Glad to hear it! I myself am an aspiring game developer, so hearing that from you is very reassuring.
Mwaaba: That’s awesome! Keep on keeping on!
Babo: So is there anything in particular about the industry now that bugs you? Any challenges you face exclusively as a game developer/software engineer?
Mwaaba: I think, collaboration is a bit of a challenge, not sure why because I think we’d achieve way more if we learnt how to work together. There’s a lot of people who are awesome at various things and if we all come together we’d create magic!
Babo: Yes! I honestly couldn’t have put it better myself! By far the biggest issue I’ve seen with regards to local game development is collaboration. Though it’s somewhat consoling to know that event’s like Global Game Jam, and Dev-Con are gradually rectifying this issue, we still have a ways to go when it comes to being team players.
Babo: So, to wrap thing up I’d like to hit you with one more question. What’re your top 10 favorite games of all time?
Mwaaba: Great question, in no particular order; Skyrim, Resident evil 4, GTA San Andreas, God of War 3, Outlast, Silent hill 2, Half-life 2, Portal 2, Ocarina of Time and I don’t know, Contra ha ha, but yeah pretty much.
Babo: Nice, I enjoy a lot of those franchises/games as well.
Babo: Anyway, it was great talking to you Mwaaba, hope we can meet again and talk some more soon! Best Wishes!
Mwaaba: Thanks mate, it was great. We definitely will meet some day. Best wishes to you too Babo!