Lombe is a lawyer, casual gamer, horror enthusiast, and now Youtuber from Zambia. Her first experience with game development happened during Global Game Jam 2016 in Lusaka where she made a horror visual novel using Twine with her brother in 48 hours. Get to know Lombe’s thoughts about getting more African women involved in game development.
Tell us a bit about yourself Lombe
I’m a lawyer by profession, a casual gamer, horror enthusiast and an all-round nerd really. I also have a YouTube channel called Lo the Stan where I make videos for fun about nerd related things.
What kind of games do you enjoy playing?
I enjoy playing RPGs like Pokémon and Bravely Default and hack and slash games like Bayonetta. I like playing Mario cart and some fighters with my friends. But not often because I’m not very good. Playing a fighter with me is like playing with a 3-year-old.
What was it like participating in Global Game Jam for the first time?
It was the first time I took part in it, and it was a very interesting experience. I remember being really excited about potentially making my own game. I was hell-bent on making a horror visual novel when you taught us how to use Twine because I love dark and disturbing themes.
It was really fun. I will always highly recommend attending.
What made you decide to work on a horror game?
You see I love consuming horror in all forms, movies, shows, games, creepypastas, etc. Ever since I was like 10 years old I was obsessed with horror. So it was only fitting I made a horror game.
The theme “ritual” had me so pumped, my mind was racing. I was thinking of all sorts of messed up things. Maybe I’ll make more games from the rejects.
What was your favourite part about working on The Little Wooden Box? And what were some challenges you faced?
I really loved working with my brother on the game. He drew the images we used in the game. He’s a really good artist.
I also loved writing the story and creating the paths in Twine. I had never done anything like it. I had never imagined that making a game would be so accessible to me.
The challenge for me and my brother was time. If we had more time, he’d have been able to draw more detailed images, and I’d have been able to check for spelling and grammatical errors. I’d have probably added more paths and plot to my story too but I was still proud of the end product.
Will you participate in more game development events in the future? What will you do differently the next time?
I will definitely participate in more game development events that are noob friendly. It was so amazing being able to see my finished game. Even though it wasn’t perfect it was mine, and I was proud of it.
What I’d do differently is prepare my game plot a week or so in advance. I’m an overachiever so it would be nice to make something that feels more fine-tuned.
What do you think people can do to encourage more women in Africa to take part in game development?
I think people should stop telling people in general that games are childish. In Africa, there is serious pressure on girls and women to be mature and to “put away childish things” so that we can focus on being mothers and wives.
It would also be nice if African women in gaming wouldn’t be interrogated and disrespected for wanting to join conversations about gaming by toxic gatekeepers.
What would you like to see more of in the games industry in Africa and globally?
I know I’ll sound like a broken record but I want representation! I need more games with black African women like me. In starring roles. I want more African female game devs and storytellers to make games that I can completely insert myself in because that’s my life!
Overall I wish there were more opportunities and resources for Africans to get into game development and make a career for themselves.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? A fun fact?
I love murder mysteries and I listen to them to relax or fall asleep. This is actually a pretty common thing that women do though they would never want to admit it.
You can also try “The Little Wooden Box” yourself here: https://lothestan.itch.io/the-little-wooden-box
Global Game Jam Online begins from today! If you’re from Zambia, have a look at the Global Game Jam Zambia page here and join in on the fun on Wednesday at 5 PM CAT.