Jam Rush:World Tour is a sports arcade pixel game developed by the Senegalese studio Kayfo Games. The player is on a mission to be the best basketball shooter there is! They enjoy the scenic views of cities around the world such as New York, Paris, Rio, Dakar and Shanghai while they shoot some hoops.
Kayfo is a video game studio based in Dakar, Senegal. Its mission is to design and produce mobile games for africans. Their games are specifically tailored for the African market.
The team at Kayfo Games started working on the Jam Rush back in August 2020, with a very small team of 2: Thierno (programmer) and Mohamed (artist). But due to lack of a budget, they had to pause it for a few months in order to work on some paid projects. About 6 months ago, they were able to resume the development and to grow the dev team up to 5 people.
What’s in a name?
Julien Herbin the CEO of Kayfo Studio says, “Coming up with a name for a game is never easy, but I think Jam Rush is the first name we came up with. We challenged it a couple of times, but it always turned out to be the one we preferred. “Jam” is a well-known basketball term and “Rush” expresses the time pressure we wanted to put in the game: the player has just 60 sec to try and make a high score. The “World Tour” extension came up later on when it became clear that the game was going to take players for a trip around the world.”
The Origin Story
“We had just shipped Clean my Beach, a slingshot style game where players need to collect trash on the beach and thus restore the natural ecosystem. I was going to be away for a few weeks, so I asked Mohamed and Thierno to try and make a basketball game out of Clean my Beach.
When I came back, the prototype they showed me was very different from what I had in mind. I was kind of disappointed at first because I wanted a quick win: a game that we could ship rapidly. But then I played it, again and again, and I started liking it a lot: the pixel art style, the core gameplay loop, it brought lots of new possibilities… So we decided to make it one of our main projects internally.” Julien Herbin.
The Development Experience and Learnings
The team at Kayfo say it has been a long journey, sometimes they lost themselves trying to find the right balance, sometimes they got too ambitious, and sometimes they got it right!
Julien says “I think we came up with the right formula that allowed us to ship the game early, get players’ feedback and iterate on it, to make it evolve into something much bigger and greater!
Like for every game, we’ve learnt a ton from this project. At Kayfo, we tend to dive into game development a bit too quickly, to produce art assets early into the project, or to work on secondary features. I think we would have saved a lot of time if we had playtested the game earlier, and focused more on the core gameplay experience first.”
Like for a lot of small studios, the main challenge that has been slowing the Kayfo team down in the production of Jam Rush is funding. They had to produce a few serious games in order to fund the production of Jam Rush, and even though they love developing educational games, they also love producing their own entertainment games. But as the studio grows, this becomes less of a problem and they are now able to fully dedicate some team members to entertainment games.
Jam Rush: World Tour has been live since February 17th 2022, you can download it for free!
Kayfo Game Studio hopes that the players will like the game because this is just the beginning: they have tons of ideas to extend the experience, and are planning to continuously release new content throughout the year. To stay up to date with their new releases follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
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