Adefoyeke is a culture journalist from Lagos, Nigeria who is passionate about local storytelling. She put her talents to work during Global Game Jam 2020 by creating the story for Yaba’s Quest and incorporating her team’s ideas into the game. Prior to this, Adefoyeke had developed a narrative and quests for Enter Africa Lagos’ location-based game, This is Lagos.
What kind of games do you like to play?
I love puzzles, whether they are in digital or analog form. It might sound odd, but I’ve discovered that my brain functions and multitasks better when I’m engrossed in a puzzle. Nowadays, I catch myself playing Google Chrome’s dinosaur game; it keeps me preoccupied until my Internet connection stabilizes.
Tell us about your experience with the Enter Africa project
My experience with Enter Africa has been delightful and thought-provoking. I knew it was possible to use games for different purposes, but this project has exposed me to more possibilities. Besides this, I’ve met people who are doing amazing work, and I’ve also collaborated with other members of the Enter Africa network to achieve our goals of addressing social issues through games and championing the cause of African creatives working with games and immersive media.
Yaba’s Quest has a large team! What was your experience working on such a big game jam team for the weekend?
I had a ball! It was rewarding to see that our skills were relevant to what we were doing. Although we had a large team, we were lucky to have the support of Goethe-Institut Nigeria and Facebook’s NG_Hub, as well as jammers who were level-headed and devoted to making Yaba’s Quest. It also helped that everyone had the mindset of having fun while meeting new people, sharing their ideas and expertise and creating something meaningful.
Even in a few lines, the story for Yaba’s Quest is quite interesting and speaks to current events around the world involving climate change. What inspired the story?
Firstly, we wanted to do something that was in line with this year’s theme – Repair. We also wanted to do something that would represent our location and capture our thoughts about the long-term consequences of automation.
While we acknowledged that there was a limit to human ability, we questioned how much machines were trusted to do a more thorough job than humans. We wanted to create a situation where both humans and robots would admit to each other’s strengths and weaknesses and reach a compromise on co-existing. So, we imagined a scenario where there was a proliferation of robots that had a fractured relationship with a human population that treated them as second-class citizens, and we also imagined an event that would force both parties into a positive review of their relationship.
The plot focused on ensuring that humans and robots worked together to rebuild their world as well as their relationship and Yaba, the game’s eponymous super-robot, symbolized that compromise for us.
What is your perspective of storytelling in games?
Storytelling is a core element of games. I believe stories make games meaningful and give players a sense of purpose. Like film and literature, games have become very effective forms of storytelling. A game’s narrative plays a huge role in influencing the audience’s interpretation of that game and their motivation to remain engaged with it – whether they’re the ones playing or they are watching others play.
Are there any games you enjoy particularly because of their stories?
I enjoyed Daycare Nightmare because it was funny and straightforward. The player is coerced into running a daycare for baby monsters and also has to ensure that the baby monsters aren’t cranky when their parents pick them up. I also enjoyed Batman: Arkham Origins – although my brother was at the controls. It was a thrill to watch him play and to explore the game’s missions and story arcs with him.
Is there more you would like to see in the game development industry globally and in Africa?
I would love to see more African content created, exported, showcased and embraced around the world. Thankfully, the African ecosystem is slowly but surely evolving to accommodate producers and not just consumers.
Enter Africa Lagos is currently working on facilitating conversations, connections, and activities that will identify and address gaps in our local industry so that it will thrive more. I would like to see more creatives exploring games as a means of storytelling; and also exploring various possibilities for preserving and transmitting our lore, as well as our local traditional games to a wider audience.
You can play Yaba’s Quest from Enter Africa Lagos here: https://globalgamejam.org/2020/games/yabas-quest-1