Culture & SocietyInterview

The African roots in Aurion: Legacy of the Kori Odan

Kiro’O Games’ CEO Madiba Olivier was kind enough to chat with us at NtK about their game Aurion: Legacy of the Kori Odan. Read on to find out more about their game, their Kickstarter, and their future.

  1. What was your inspiration behind the main character Enzo and Erine Kori-Odan?
    When we started in 2003 Enzo was a black clone of Gokou/Luffy. But when we rewrote the scenario in 2011 we wanted him to be more “realistic”, more human. We wanted him to be a little bit more like “peter parker” in spiderman, someone you can identify too. For Erine I tried, to sum up, a lot of wonderful women I know around me and also to fuse her “kindness” but without falling into the cliché to make her “naïve” and “kawaii”.
  2. How well do you feel you’ve done to represent African Culture in Aurion?
    We have done a way better than we expected. It’s totally due to the team, the guys really exploded what I wrote as a scenarist when they designed the houses and towns of the game.

The most difficult part was to talk about our story without the “victimization” mindset, and also to show the very spiritual and universal wisdom behind young Africans challenges.

  1. When you decided on your subject matter, were there any doubts that the gaming community and a white-dominated society wouldn’t receive the game well?
    Hmm, we had no doubt on the professional side of the industry (game developers, journalist, etc). The doubt is and still be on the gamers audience. I think the major part are really not racist, it’s just that they have a very big “exotic wall” in the mind we will have to break little by little.

When you say “Africa” even without noticing for 0.02s your brain filled you with some negatives feeling based on all the bad pictures you recorded (even me I have to reprogram my mind every time)

But that’s something we must do like Japan did (30 years ago, japan was the enemy and communist now there is otaku everywhere in Western World)

  1. How do you and your team feel now that Aurion is being recognized by big names like Hollywood Reporter and Wallstreet Journal?
    Proud and afraid. Proud because it shows that our game has really a big quality. But afraid because now we have a name and people will not expect us to create a low-quality game (and it was so hard to make that one lol).

But we embrace that challenge to evolve to the people expectations.

  1. Did you ever think that the Aurion Kickstarter and Greenlight would become this successful?
    It was a matter of death or live for us, not an option. You should know that our seed investment was not complete when we opened the studio so greenlight was a test for our investor to know if really people would have been interested in buying our game. And Kickstarter it was the same thing we were out of cash and we needed 5 more months to finish the game and we had to make it or die.

It was a really stressful but exciting moment haha.

  1. What did you feel was the most difficult part of development, what with evolutive combos, a gorgeous art style, the system of combining Aurions, and drafting up unique events alongside a sprawling story?
    Hmm, the most difficult were the evolutive combo. We have done so much to give so many options to the player (assuming every player in western are skilled).But we also decided to let an easy way to win for nonskilled people. But when I see in a review someone tells us that the game is repetitive (it’s his way of playing which it is) but you can’t help it. You have to focus on the fact that this is an unfair industry sometimes and that’s a part of being pro
  2. What is your next move after the success of Aurion? Do you already have another game planned for the future (a sequel perhaps)?
    We are working on a mobile version for Aurion, the story will be after the 1st one as a prequel before the real “Aurion 2”.

And also we plan to build a user base of 18.7 million users in 12 countries in Africa as you can see me explaining it there in Finland: Kiro’o Wallbreakers, Change the World or Die Trying | Slush 2016

To follow along with Kio’O’s journey in the world of game development, be sure to follow their Twitter: @KIROOGames

And for more of NtK and to keep up with what we do, follow our Twitter: @_NtK_Gaming
Be sure to check out our Steam reviews: NtK Steam Curator

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