Monday, 21 May 2018

Meet Eric Gitonga Game Designer of Smash Games

Smash Games Proudly Made in Kenya








so where to start......okay i will start with the game.

Hunt The Dead - The Apocalypse.
This is a Kenyan computer game that is about a virus that has spread throughout the country killing everything that is living and turning human beings into zombies and spiders into mutant spiders. You play a soldier who just came back home from a mission with no idea what was happening back at home. All you have is a pistol with ammo enough to get you to a safe zone to stock up on ammo. The mission of the game is to stay alive and find an antidote. The antidote is in a scientist house somewhere in the city so you have to find it. That is all about HTD-The Apocalypse.

Background.
My name is Eric Muriungi Gitonga. I finished my high school in 2013. I went for a voluntary church service for 2 years after high school. I came back home in 2016. I was determined to be a pilot but when I got back Kenya Airways was downsizing their staff and selling some of the aircrafts. At that time they had recorded 2 billion kshs loss in their financial year so I was confused. I didn’t  want to be jobless so I decided to do IT since I had a passion for computers and most importantly software development. So I set out to Jomo Kenyatta University CBD. Then my friend John Muthomi and I decided to go and ask for web development jobs from schools around where we studying. (We were in the same high school.) We went to meru. It was fruitless. We did not find anyone willing to offer us a deal. So we came back and then it downed to me that I should try making a video game that I will play, a game that Kenyans will play all over the country, a game that will put Kenya on the map.






I started the development of HTD with a good friend of mine Roy Matenga. It took us about 10 months to develop the game, of course with lots of errors and retrials for like a thousand times. It wasn’t easy at all. But we kept the faith and we believed in what we did. After the development phase, we received a lot of critics and love too at the same time. The game grew gradually and it was featured on The Standard newspaper in September 2017. My name was featured on the article ‘My Hustle’ termed ‘young entrepreneurs’. It was a big moment in my life and that gave me a lot of belief in myself and in smash games ENT.
So the name Smash Games came from smash since we used to like saying smash a lot and we decided to name our gaming company that way, (Hehe also with some other hidden meanings.)
Gaming industry in Kenya
The gaming industry in Kenya is not yet ready if I may say. Most people in Kenya like to play mobile games more than any other platform. They are a lot of guys who gave a shout out on the game but 40% kept on insisting on a mobile platform. We have not started the development yet. We are busy with our personal lives i.e. school, work and game development takes a lot of time. It is very detailed. We promise though that we will be bringing HTD on your android and iPhone gadgets soon.
My advice to those who aspire to venture into this industry is to take one thing at a time. It is very overwhelming and lots of disappointments especially on commercializing your game but it is  worth it. Don’t go into it thinking of money for it will disappoint. Kenyans generally love free stuff. The sky is the limit.
Reception
As I said earlier the reception had lots of mixed feelings. Some were surprised about the game. I received an email once where a fan couldn’t believe the game was developed by Kenyans.  It was amazing to see how people wanted to check it out and compare the game with others. Giving credit where is due and critics. It has been amazing so far and we look forward for more views and comments on the game
The link to the site where you can download the game for free is https://smashgames.co.ke.

Also on the site there are mixtapes by our very own deejay Sommie who helped us with the game music. You can also sample his mixtapes there.



Eric Gitonga has introduced himself perfectly.I am honoured to personally know a brilliant and talented game designer as Eric is. Smash Games is an amazing game made in Kenya.The Kenyan game industry is as of 2015 among the largest in Africa. The earliest known game development in Kenya was in around 2007 , when independent game designer Wesley Kirinya worked alone on Adventures of Nyangi, a "crude" action-adventure video game inspired by Tomb Raider. Despite the game's low quality, it gained a large amount of press coverage for being among the first video games created on the African continent.Fast forward to now, games being designed in Kenya are up to international standards thanks to game designers like Eric Gitonga. Smash Games is one of my most favourite games to play right now.Its concept is original, amazing and relatable. And as you enjoy your game you get to enjoy the amazing Deejay mixtapes by DJ Sommie .Well the sky is the limit and there is beyond the sky and you can do what you love where ever you are in the world.All you have to do is just do it.