Tony Wamala, Age 25 Alex Tumuhairwe, Age 24
Ben White: For their final project at university they decided to develop a computer game based on the traditional game of Dullu, a local version of marbles. This is a game that has been played for centuries in Africa. The name changes by country, culture and tribe. Similar versions can be found in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo and elsewhere.
They were inspired by the game growing up and wanted to see if they could make a computerized version. They have thought about the benefits of making the game digital and explain that now that the game is computerized there is less chance of children getting sick. They also mention that old people are no longer able to play the game but can now enjoy it on the computer.
This is the first time a computer game has been developed at the Makerere University. Most likely, this is the first computer game to be developed in Uganda. They only cited a German project that took place recently.
They smile when they talk about their success and how excited the mentors were to see the game. Surprisingly it only took them three months to develop the game and taking into account most of their time was still spent on studies.
They are now looking for a partnership. They need computers, financial support and they would like to learn from more developed gaming companies. The graphics could be improved and they are still looking for a way to introduce ‘projectile motion’ into the game. For the programming they have done till now they have been forced to use trial version software. The next step is for them to get access to computers, graphic cards and improved systems that would allow them to program better game play.
In five years they want to see the game as real as possible. They want to see this game take off and enjoyed by all people irrespective of their age. Alex says, ‘although this was our first project, we hope to develop other African games that have not been computerized.’ Tony adds, ‘Programming is a challenge but I always do it for fun. This is why I was called to programming.’
Let us hope these two individuals have started a viable gaming industry in Uganda.
Interest in contacting the team?
Reach Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org