The game development industry is bursting with potential in Kenya's tech sector. We wanted to create an educational tool that could be used to introduce youth to the concepts of game development and design in a fun way.
What it does
Using the popular game "Mancala" as an interactive example, users will be able to go through the process of customizing sound, graphics, and changing game variables to see how their choices impact the final product.
How we built it
We created a web app with AngularJs and Google's Material Design using various open source packages and tools. By leveraging technologies such as Ionic we are able to deliver the project as a native app, allowing a one time download for users that will not always have internet access.
Challenges we ran into
The initial ideation phase was quite difficult as we struggled to find a good basis to use as a coding example for our app that was simple and ubiquitous enough so as to be easily understood yet fun and interesting enough to be engaging for potential users. Once we found the game of Mancala we knew that it was the right fit.
There were some challenges with how to present the different stages of game design in digestible chunks of information that weren't overly complicated. Due to time constraints we knew we had to be selective about what customizations could be made to the game.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We think the app is very engaging and hope to
What we learned
- We learned about a new fun game to play with nothing but dirt and rocks/seeds
- We learned a lot can be accomplished with copious amounts of red bull and sugar snacks.
- We also learned a lot about the gaming industry and tech sector in Kenya during our research phase
What's next for Hack Mancala
We hope to refine the app to the point where we can actually release it into the app store. The Ionic component was not completed in time for the submission deadline for the hackathon but it will be the next step to get the app on mobile devices.