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‘House of the Dragon’ star makes a video game to mourn his father


Ten years ago, Abubakar Salim lost his father. This grief resides within him.He is an actor who has been in Raised by wolves and Dragon HouseThe upcoming season follows his years-long search for the right medium to heal the pain. A movie, a TV show. Nothing could really do it justice—until he tried making a video game. “If you really depicted grief in a game, honestly, it’s so open-ended and chaotic, you could actually gamify it,” he said.

Salim is the CEO and Creative Director of Surgent Studios, the developer of the upcoming game Metroidvania game Kenzela’s Story: ZauThe game, which launches on April 23, follows Zau, a young shaman who makes a deal with Death in exchange for three great souls to resurrect his father. Its story mirrors that of coping with loss—even its premise is based on bargaining, a common stage for people dealing with death. Salim said pressing buttons, changing masks — these are all representative of the craziness people can experience.

Games about grief reflect these feelings in many ways. Gris Transforming the stages of grief into real ones as the heroine silently navigates a world of emotions expressed in color and music. What’s left of Edith Finch? A family death is explored through a close examination of a family’s belongings and vignettes dedicated to the deceased.

kenzela Has its own method. Throughout the game, Zau takes time to stop and talk about how he’s feeling. This is the result of Salim and the game’s developers trying to figure out how characters can regain health. The final solution was literal: create space for Zau to sit under a tree and think.

Every biome in the game world reflects this painful journey. Salim, who grew up playing games with his father, recalled something his father told him as a child: “When you are born, you are alone, and when you die, you are alone.” kenzelaThe developers incorporated this concept into the setting of Woodlands, aiming to evoke the question: “Will I be remembered? Will I be forgotten?”

The stories Salim’s father told him had a major influence on the game, as did Bantu culture, which he said was a form of celebration rather than an effort to educate people.In recent years, games like this god of war and Hades Brings a new familiarity to Norse and Greek mythology.games like this kenzela Something similar could be done for the cultures of southern Africa. “It’s about inspiring people to see these stories and learn more about them,” Salim said.

Although kenzelaThe battle evolved over time and it was Influenced by tempeh, a form of Nigerian boxing. Zau swaps masks to change his fighting style – the sun and moon masks represent life and death. Salim explains that in Bantu culture, the two balance each other. “That’s really where the inspiration for these two masks came from,” he said. The Sun Mask is hot, fire-heavy in nature, while the Moon Mask has an icy look and feel. Both masks are beautiful, full of energy and an ode to how other cultures deal with death. “Especially in African culture, [death] In a way, it’s almost cause for celebration,” he said. “It’s a transition to something new.”





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