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Friday, December 3, 2021

Colorful characters, karak to feature in new Qatar-produced video game

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A new creative studio is gearing up for the launch of one of the nation’s first locally-made video games. Giddam, a side-scrolling, racing/platform game for mobile devices, draws on familiar characters who are armed with traditional headgear and footwear, and fueled by hot karak tea.

The idea behind the game comes from Munera Al-Dosari, Faraj Abdulla and Fatima Al-Kuwari, who formed Girnaas Studio some six months ago, with incubation support from the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar).

Next month, the Qatari trio plan to launch Giddam (which means “in front” in Arabic) at the newly opened Gaming Lounge in Al Sadd.

At the core of Giddam is the opportunity for players to compete head-to-head against their friends and chat with other gamers on Google Android and Apple iOS devices.

Players can choose from four main characters – Strawberry, Rashid, Big Mama and Ali – and race to get ahead by avoiding traps and using power-ups and weapons against each other in the free to download game. Special add-ons will also be available to purchase within the app itself.

Funding push

As a way to engage the community in its game development – and raise extra funds – the team has been seeking financial support through the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo, offering perks that include naming a character after you in the game ($750), and selecting a specific country or city to become a level in Giddam ($2,750).

Co-founder Fatima Al-Kuwari told Doha News:

“We want people to help us design the new characters who will actually be them and of course their contribution as backer will go directly to cover the cost of designing and implementing these characters.”

“We also want to see what maps players want to have – for example a map of NY or Cairo! Why not?”

She added that Girnaas wants to involve the community as much as possible. “We are trying to reach everyone in the region, whether local or expatriate, male or female, children, youth or adults,” she said.

Girnaas has raised more than $10,000 so far – but that’s not even half of the $25,000 they need to successfully fund the project, which has two weeks left before the campaign ends on Dec. 2.

Deadline aside, the founders say they aren’t just in it for the money, or even just to make a successful game. Al-Kuwari said they’re also hoping to give Qatar’s games industry a push forward:

“Locally, there (is) not much content in the regional gaming sector… We want to make Qatar a leader, regionally and globally in the game and app development industry.”

Here’s the trailer for their upcoming release:

Would you play it? Thoughts?

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