Finke Desert Race Game (FDRG) was developed by Arkitech Consultancy Limited a team of passionate digital storytellers based in Kenya in collaboration with LarriKin Interactive and Benseb Limited based in Australia. The game is inspired by the real-life Finke Desert Race that happens in Australia and has been in existence since 1976.

Finke Desert Race is an off-road, multi-terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads. The race takes place through desert country from Alice Springs to the small and remote community of Aputula / Finke (an aboriginal community).

The racers go through remote terrain filled with red dirt, sand and spinifex. This unique Australian event is said to be one of the most difficult off-road races in the world.

Just like the real-life Finke Desert Race, FDRG aims to push players to their limits. The game got recognized as the winner of the inaugural awards by Fak’ugesi Festival 2022 aimed at exposing the continent’s established artists as well as newcomers to local and international audiences.

I had a chat with Roy Kisielo one of the team leads in the development of the Finke Desert Race Game and he had the following to share about their experience so far.

How does it feel to be the video game category winner at Fak’ugesi Festival 2022?

We’re happy about the recognition it’s boosted our confidence in general. We’re grateful for the opportunity to share our game. We need more people coming forward to push creatives.

The best part was that the team stood with us throughout the process too, they’re our heroes!

How do the funders feel after receiving this acknowledgement?

They’re believers in the process, over time we’ve gained their trust, and we don’t take it for granted.

How was your experience working on a project inspired by events based on a different country and continent?

It was a challenge, in the beginning, being that we’re in Kenya. On the other hand, we got an opportunity to explore new territory and push ourselves into realizing the endless possibilities in collaboration beyond borders.

How long did it take to complete the game?

It took us 5 months, but then we started on the PC version from October- December 2021 (3 Months). We shelved the broader scope, the PC version, and began the mobile version from January 2022 – May 2022. We launched in June 2022.

What is a significant challenge you experienced during the development of the game and how did you go about solving it?

The recruitment process was rather stressful, but with persistence, networking and a bit of luck, we landed on the right guys! We’re generally hopeful about the community, a lot of people are striving to see others excel. I’ve noticed a lot of specialization and so am positive that the market is getting competitive day by day.

We also didn’t do prior marketing, so getting excitement around our game was a challenge initially. We’re learning through our trials really.

Developing a Gantt Chart was new territory, however, through consultation, we were able to figure out a proper schedule.

What did you learn about project management while developing the game?

Time has adjusted my attitude in general, I value it more, that along with the importance of productivity and communication.

Patience pays. Not every day is a good day to be counterproductive. It’s best to ease into work, at times, to understand it.

You learn a lot from listening better, accepting challenges and adjusting to failure, swiftly, which is key.

To learn more about the Finke Desert Race Game (FDRG) visit their online platform.