All Day, All Night is the duo of Henrike Lode and Cukia ‘Sugar’ Kimani who forged their respective careers on opposite sides of the games industry landscape and open up about their labour of love – Nyumbani (Home in Swahili).
Henrike was the founder of Danish indie studio, Lohika who had cut their teeth with the stunning Machineers before eventually upping sticks and heading to South Africa. Whilst Cukia was one founding half of Johannesburg based Nyamakop who had garnered a cult following for their indie darling – Semblance. Sugar codes, with Henrike overseeing art, whilst both share game design responsibilities.
Cukia better known as Sugar is a creative engineer primarily working within the games industry with Henrike aka Riker a teacher of Game Design at the University of the Witwatersrand. At first she thought that going full-time academic would mean she wouldn’t “count” as game dev anymore, but recently discovered that she has a lot more freedom to get creative, now that making games doesn’t have to pay the bills.
Both have been working together on a number of collaborations – some game jams, and also a few longer term projects, like Nyumbani.
Built using the Unity engine, Nyumabani is part of a larger project, 12in12. 12in12 is a challenge to create 12 prototypes over the course of 12 months. So, when they bought and moved into their new home they wanted to create a game about moving in. Riker had already been toying around with the idea of a doll house game where you just place things within a house. Sugar decided to work off Riker’s idea but focus on the interaction and feel of moving furniture around.
“We built the project in Unity 3D, because we’re most comfortable in it and have already built a library of tools to speed up our workflow. Not having to spend time figuring out implementation created the freedom to try out a multitude of ideas,” the duo said.All Day All Night
Riker believes that the engine was less pivotal to the outcome – what really drives the process forward is the 12in12 challenge. Every month begins with setting a clear intention, like learning a new skill, or tech, or dabbling with a mechanic. This helps to keep the scope of each project manageable, so the work can be done in the evenings and on weekends. It is incredible how quickly one can improve their skills, and gain major confidence boosts.
There are currently no plans to expand the game or to bring it to other platforms but they did design the controls with mobile in mind. So, maybe one day a larger game on mobile could be worth exploring.
They are mostly curious to look at all the games that will come out of 12in12, to see which ones resonate with people, and take it from there.