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

Abubakar Salim had lost his father a decade ago. That sorrow remains within him. An actor by trade, with credits raised by wolves And dragon houseIn the following season, he spent years searching for the right medium as he recovered from the injury. A movie. TV program. Nothing felt fair until he tried making a video game. “If you’re portraying grief in a really true and honest way, it’s so open and chaotic that really, you can kind of simplify it,” he says.

Salim is the CEO and Creative Director of Sargent Studios, developer of the upcoming metroidvania game Kenjera’s Stories: Zou, The game, scheduled to launch on April 23, centers on Zau, a young exorcist who has made a deal with the God of Death to bring his father back to life in exchange for three great souls. Its story is a reflection of dealing with loss – even its premise is based on bargaining, a common stage for someone dealing with death. Button-mashing, mask-switching—all of this, Salim says, is representative of the madness that people can experience.

Games about grief reflect those feelings in many ways. platformer gris Transforms the stages of grief into literal stages as its heroine quietly wanders into a world that uses color and music to express emotions. What are the remains of Edith Finch? Explores a family’s deaths by sifting through their belongings, along with vignettes dedicated to those lost.

kenjera Has his own ways. Throughout the play, Zou takes time to stop and talk about his feelings. This is the result of Salim and the game’s developers trying to figure out how the character would be able to restore his health. The solution turned out to be quite literal: creating a space where Zou simply sits under a tree and reflects.

Each biome in the game world is a reflection of that journey through suffering. Salim, who grew up playing sports with his father, reflects on what his father used to tell him as a child: “When you are born, you are alone, and when you die, you are alone You are.” kenjeraThe developers of the game inserted that idea into the woodlands setting, aiming to create a sense of the question: “Will I be remembered?” Will I be forgotten?”

The stories told by Salim’s father greatly influenced the game, as did Bantu culture, which he says was done as a celebration rather than an effort to educate people. In recent years, games like God of war And Hades Bringing new familiarity to Norse and Greek mythology. like a game kenjera Something similar can be done for the culture of Southern Africa. “This is to inspire people to watch these stories and get involved in these stories,” Salim says.

Although kenjeraWar has evolved over time, it is affected by suffocation, a form of Nigerian boxing. Zau switches between masks to change his fighting style – the Sun and Moon masks representing life and death. Salim explains that in Bantu culture both balance each other. “That’s really where the inspiration for these two masks came from,” he says. The Sun mask is heat, flame-heavy by nature, while the Moon mask looks and feels much cooler. Both masks are beautiful and full of energy, symbolizing how other cultures handle death. “Especially in African cultures, (death) is almost celebrated in a way,” he says. “This is an entry into the new.”

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