17/04/2024
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Chroma Pixel Games: Paving The Way For Zambia’s Gaming Industry

We’re excited to share insights from an interview with Edwin Kapesa, the Founder and CEO of Chroma Pixel Games. Techtrends Zambia had the privilege of sitting down with Edwin to discuss his journey as a game developer, the challenges he’s faced, and the vision he has for Chroma Pixel Games. We’ll share some of the key highlights from the interview, including Edwin’s thoughts on the gaming industry in Zambia, his creative process, and the impact he hopes to make through his games.

So, whether you’re an aspiring game developer or simply a lover of games, read on to learn more about Edwin Kapesa and the world of Chroma Pixel Games.

What inspired the founding of Chroma Pixel Games, and what are the company’s core values and goals?

Kapesa: “Chroma Pixel Games is a game development studio that is dedicated to bridging the gap between entertainment and education while promoting African culture and heritage. The company is at the forefront of the African games industry, pioneering new and innovative approaches to game development.

Chroma Pixel Games is widely recognized as one of Africa’s best-rising game studios, having been nominated for the prestigious title of the next Riot Games of Africa. Their commitment to excellence in game development is evident in the high-quality games they produce, which combine engaging gameplay with a strong educational focus.

The company’s core values of creativity, innovation, and social responsibility are reflected in its strong community engagement initiatives, which include providing training and mentorship opportunities to aspiring game developers. Chroma Pixel Games’ dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the gaming industry is also highly commendable.

Overall, Chroma Pixel Games is a true leader in the African games industry, setting the standard for excellence in game development while promoting African culture and heritage. Their commitment to innovation and social responsibility make them a standout company in the global gaming community.”

Could you describe the process of creating a video game, from conception to release, and what makes Chroma Pixel Games’ approach unique?

Kapesa: “The process of creating a video game from conception to release is:

  • Conceptualization: This is where the game idea is born. The game designer will develop a concept for the game, considering factors such as the game’s genre, story, gameplay mechanics, and target audience.
  • Prototyping: The game developer will create a prototype of the game, which may include a basic version of the game’s mechanics, graphics, and user interface. This is often done with simple, low-fidelity tools.
  • Pre-Production: This is where the game’s design is fleshed out, and the team begins to create the game’s assets, including the game engine, audio, art, and level design.
  • Production: The game’s assets are developed and integrated into the game engine, with various departments working together to create a cohesive experience. The game will also undergo various rounds of testing during this phase.
  • Alpha: This is an early version of the game that is made available to a select group of testers to play, and feedback is collected.
  • Beta: This is a more refined version of the game, which is made available to a larger group of testers for playtesting.
  • Final Testing: This is the final phase of testing, where the game is tested extensively for any bugs, glitches, or other issues that may affect the game’s performance.
  • Release: Once the game is deemed ready for release, it is launched on the appropriate platforms, such as PC, consoles, or mobile devices. The game is marketed and promoted to reach its target audience.
  • Post-Release: The game continues to be supported with updates, patches, and new content to keep players engaged. Overall, creating a video game is a complex process that requires a team of professionals with a diverse range of skills and expertise. The process can take several years and requires significant investment in time and resources, but the end result can be a highly engaging and enjoyable experience for players.”

How does your company approach game design, and what do you prioritize when creating a new title?

Kapesa: “Game design involves a combination of creative and technical skills, and it can vary depending on the company, team, and project. Generally, game design begins with the conceptualization of the game idea, which may be inspired by a variety of sources such as existing games, popular culture, or personal experiences. Once the concept is established, the team will work on developing the game’s mechanics, story, art style, and other core elements. One key aspect of game design is identifying the target audience for the game, as this will influence many decisions about the game’s design, including its difficulty level, art style, and themes. A game designed for children, for example, may have different mechanics and visuals than a game designed for adults. When creating a new title, game designers may prioritize various aspects depending on the goals of the project. Some common priorities in game design include: 

  1. Fun and engaging gameplay: The gameplay mechanics and overall design should be enjoyable and engaging for players, encouraging them to keep playing and coming back for more.
  2. Visual appeal: The game’s art style, graphics, and animations should be visually appealing and help to create an immersive and memorable experience for the player.
  3. Storytelling: A well-crafted story can help to create an emotional connection between the player and the game’s characters and world, enhancing the overall experience.
  4. Accessibility: The game should be easy to understand and navigate, even for players who are new to the genre or platform.
  5. Replayability: Providing players with multiple ways to play the game, such as different difficulty levels, modes, or endings, can increase replay value and keep players engaged for longer.

Ultimately, the approach to game design will depend on the specific goals and priorities of the team and project, as well as the needs and preferences of the target audience.”

What are some of the biggest challenges you face when developing and publishing video games, and how do you overcome them?

Kapesa: “Time and resource management: Game development can be a lengthy and resource-intensive process, requiring a significant investment of time, money, and human resources. To overcome this challenge, game developers and publishers need to carefully plan and manage their resources, establish clear project timelines, and prioritize tasks based on their importance and impact. 

Technical limitations: Video games require complex programming and design work, and technical issues can arise during development that may impact the game’s functionality, performance, or compatibility with different platforms. To address this challenge, game developers need to invest in high-quality tools, testing procedures, and technical expertise to identify and resolve issues quickly. 

Market competition: The video game industry is highly competitive, with many companies vying for the attention and loyalty of gamers. To succeed in this environment, game developers and publishers need to differentiate their products through innovative design, compelling storytelling, and effective marketing strategies. 

Changing player expectations: As technology and gaming trends evolve, players’ expectations for video games may change, which can create challenges for developers and publishers. To stay ahead of the curve, game companies need to conduct market research, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and be flexible and responsive to changing player needs and preferences. 

Monetization strategies: Making money from video games can be challenging, as players have a wide range of expectations and preferences when it comes to payment models. To succeed in this area, game developers and publishers need to carefully balance monetization strategies such as freemium, subscription-based, or one-time purchase models, while still providing a satisfying and enjoyable gaming experience for players. 

In summary, game development and publishing come with a range of challenges, but by investing in the right resources, expertise, and strategies, game companies can overcome these challenges and create engaging, successful titles that resonate with players.”

Could you discuss the role that technology plays in your company’s games, and how you leverage new technologies to create innovative gameplay experiences?

Kapesa: “Technology is an integral part of the video game industry, and it plays a crucial role in everything from the game’s visuals and audio to its mechanics and gameplay. Game developers often use cutting-edge technologies such as graphics engines, artificial intelligence, and physics simulations to create more immersive and realistic experiences for players. 

In recent years, the rise of new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, cloud gaming, and machine learning has opened up exciting new possibilities for game developers. These technologies can be leveraged to create innovative gameplay experiences that were previously impossible. For example, virtual reality (VR) can provide players with a fully immersive and interactive gaming experience, where they can physically move and interact with objects in the game world. This creates a sense of presence and immersion that is unmatched by traditional gaming experiences. Augmented reality (AR) technology can also enhance gameplay by overlaying digital elements onto the real world, creating a seamless integration between the game and the player’s surroundings. 

Cloud gaming technology allows players to stream games from remote servers, removing the need for high-end gaming hardware and making games more accessible to a wider audience. This technology also allows developers to create larger and more complex game worlds without worrying about hardware limitations. 

Machine learning technology can be used to create more intelligent and realistic non-player characters (NPCs) and opponents in games. This can lead to more challenging and engaging gameplay experiences that adapt to the player’s skills and behaviour. 

In summary, technology plays a crucial role in game development, and new technologies can be leveraged to create innovative and engaging gameplay experiences. By staying up-to-date on the latest technological advancements and exploring new possibilities, game developers can create games that push the boundaries of what is possible and provide players with unforgettable gaming experiences.” 

How important is player feedback to your company, and how do you incorporate feedback into your game development process?

Kapesa: “Player feedback is incredibly important to game development. It provides valuable insights into how players are experiencing the game, what they enjoy, what frustrates them, and what they would like to see improved. This information can be used to make informed decisions on how to improve the game, make it more engaging, and enhance the overall player experience. 

To incorporate feedback into the game development process, we at Chroma Pixel Games often use a variety of methods. These may include surveys, focus groups, social media listening, user testing, and in-game feedback mechanisms. By gathering feedback from a diverse range of players, we can gain a better understanding of how the game is being received and what changes need to be made. 

Once feedback has been gathered, it can be used to inform the game development process. This may involve making changes to the game mechanics, user interface, or storylines, based on player feedback. It can also involve bug fixes or technical improvements that address common issues identified by players. 

We also use feedback to inform future development decisions. By understanding what players enjoyed about a particular game, developers can create new games or expansions that build on those strengths. By addressing player complaints or concerns, developers can ensure that future games are more engaging and satisfying for players. 

In summary, player feedback is crucial to Chroma Pixel Games. By incorporating feedback into the development process, we can create games that better meet the needs and expectations of players, leading to more engaging and enjoyable gaming experiences.”

What do you consider to be the key elements of a successful video game, and how do you balance gameplay, story, and graphics?

Kapesa: “The key elements of a successful video game can vary depending on the genre and target audience, but there are some common factors that most successful games share. These include: 

  1. Engaging gameplay: A successful game must have gameplay that is fun, challenging, and rewarding. The game mechanics should be easy to learn but hard to master, providing players with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as they progress through the game.
  2. Compelling story: A good story can make a game more immersive and memorable. A successful game should have a story that is engaging, well-written and makes the player feel invested in the game’s characters and world.
  3. Visually appealing graphics: While gameplay and story are important, graphics are also crucial to the success of a game. A game with stunning visuals can enhance immersion, create a sense of atmosphere, and help players connect with the game world.

Balancing gameplay, story, and graphics can be a challenging task but these elements should work together seamlessly, with none overpowering the others. Gameplay should be the primary focus of a game, with story and graphics supporting and enhancing the gameplay experience. The story should be integrated into the gameplay, providing context and motivation for the player’s actions. The graphics should be visually appealing and help to create a sense of immersion, but they should not distract from the gameplay or hinder performance. 

A successful video game needs to have engaging gameplay, a compelling story, and visually appealing graphics. Balancing these elements can be a challenge, but by ensuring that gameplay is the primary focus and that story and graphics support and enhance the gameplay experience, game developers can create successful games that players will love.”

Could you discuss any upcoming projects or titles that your company is currently working on, and what players can expect from them?

Kapesa: “Chroma Pixel Games is currently working on several exciting projects, including their highly anticipated title, IMPANGA. This open-world African game centres around an African nomadic tribe and promises to be a truly unique gaming experience. Players can expect a rich and immersive world filled with vibrant colours, diverse cultures, and engaging gameplay mechanics.

In addition to IMPANGA, Chroma Pixel Games has also released several games, including Toys All Race, a blockchain-based video game that allows players to collect and trade virtual toys, and Crazy Clash Tennis, a fast-paced tennis game that combines elements of arcade-style gameplay with realistic physics.

While these games were published by third-party publishers, they showcase Chroma Pixel Games’ commitment to creating innovative and entertaining games across a variety of genres. The company has a proven track record of producing high-quality games, and fans can expect nothing less from their upcoming projects.

Overall, players can expect innovative gameplay, engaging storytelling, and a celebration of African culture and heritage in all of Chroma Pixel Games’ titles, both past and upcoming. With IMPANGA set to make a big splash in the African games industry, fans can look forward to experiencing the studio’s unique approach to game development firsthand.”

How does your company approach marketing and promotion of your games, and what strategies have been most successful?

Kapesa: “Mostly by attending big gaming events and show media showcases.”

What do you see as the future of the video game industry, and how is Chroma Pixel Games positioned to thrive in this rapidly evolving landscape?

Kapesa: “The video game industry is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years, with the rise of mobile gaming and the increasing popularity of esports. Chroma Pixel Games’ focus on creativity, innovation, and social responsibility sets them apart from other game development studios. With a strong commitment to promoting African culture and heritage, the company is poised to become a leader in the African games industry while also making a significant impact on the global gaming community. Our upcoming title, IMPANGA, promises to showcase the company’s unique approach to game development while delivering an immersive and engaging experience for players. With a track record of producing high-quality games across a variety of genres.”

See more at www.chromapixel.game

Sandi

Tech Blogger & Marketer.

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