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Games: Studio appears at university and takes Northeast to games | News Bulletin 247

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The Bahian studio Aoca Game Lab is a rare case in the Brazilian game industry. In addition to being away from the country’s main technological hubs, the company is a direct result of one of the few public initiatives to train talent in the area of ​​game development.

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“We have, shall we say, this very positive aberration here”, says Filipe Pereira, CEO and founder of the studio.

According to a survey on the sector released on the 7th by Abragames (Brazilian Association of Electronic Games Developers) at the BIG Festival, 43.7% of the 4,116 courses on virtual games in the country are in the Southeast region and 17.3% in the South, almost all (99.7%) are from private institutions.

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This inequality results in a greater concentration of companies in the richest states of the country: 57% of Brazilian companies that develop games are in the Southeast region, and more than half of these studios are in São Paulo. In second place comes the South region, with 21% of studios, followed by Northeast (14%), Midwest (6%) and North (3%).

Graduated in history, Filipe started working with games at the Centro de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Comunidade Virtuais at Uneb (University of the State of Bahia), which served as an incubator for his company and a starting point for the creation of the university’s virtual games course.

“I started as a researcher and progressed to screenwriter, game designer, project manager, until working with fundraising”, he says.

The opportunity to create the company came in 2016, when Filipe won a bid from the government of Bahia to create a game about the Canudos War. The result of this work can be seen in the game “Arida: Backland’s Awakening”, released in 2019 for PC and two weeks ago for Android.

The game, which mixes elements of exploration and survival, takes place at the end of the 19th century and tells the story of Cícera, a black girl who, after the death of her grandfather, finds herself alone in the backlands of Bahia and decides to go to Canudos in search of what left of his family.

The studio is now working on the console versions of the game and the continuation of Cicera’s story. The plan is to release “Árida 2: Rise of the Brave” next year.

Filipe says that his biggest difficulty was finding qualified labor to help in the development of games. Even with the help of former colleagues from the research group, he had to look for talent in other areas.

“Like my case, which I come from history, there are many people here. Theater people who are working with games and in many other areas”, he says.

Despite being aggravated for Filipe’s case, the shortage of manpower is one of the main problems of the virtual gaming industry in Brazil as a whole.

“We have hundreds of vacancies for qualified workers open, from studios that are in need of people in the country. We need to increase education points in the gaming area. There are more than 4,000 courses, but most are private, and they are not being enough to supply the demand”, says Renato Terra, president of Abragames.

A greater and more diverse supply of labor can lead to a greater and more diverse range of themes present in games developed in the country, as shown by the case of Aoca Game Lab.

“The great motivation we have is to see ourselves more in the media we play”, says Filipe.

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Relic Hunters: Rebels

The game from Brazilian studio Rogue Snail ended up being left out of the list of BIG Festival highlights published in the last newsletter, but only because this great shooter had already won my heart even before the festival. The game has a frenetic pace, ideal for when you only have a few minutes to kill in a quick game. The first game in the “Relic Hunters” franchise for mobile devices is available for free to Netflix subscribers on Android and iOS.

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“Live A Live”: BRL 249 (Switch)

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