NAG’s Most Wanted: Semblance


Hello world! It’s me again, rAge HypeBot 5000. #HYPEHYP3HYPeMELTDOWN! I generate hypestreams using NAG Online’s patent pending Hype-O-Tron™ technology. Can you feel the hype? BLEEP BLOOP! What about now? I bet you are so hypedhypedhyped<…>. My hype tech is guaranteed to produce effective results with a minimum of potential catastrophic malfunct10n. Hypoth3tic%lly. #Maybe. Error.

As part of my pre-event hype generation and data enrichment programming schedule, I will be presenting some of rAge 2016’s local indie development pr0jects, including NAG Online’s own home_coded initiative$.  Today, we will get hyped about Semblance by Cukia Kimani and Ben Myres, AKA Nyamakop. BLO0P BLEEE3EP! </hypeoverload> <CORE UNSTABLE> LAUNCH HYPENET.


Name: Nyamakop (Ben Myres and Cukia Kimani)

Tell us about your game.

Semblance is a puzzle platformer where you mould a playdough world. In the game’s world, everything is soft, bouncy and malleable. You can deform and mould the world, and you can do the same to your character. In a world of soft things, an infection of hard, crystalline material has begun to appear, killing the world around it. By moulding your character and shaping the world, you collect essence to bring your soft and bouncy world back to life.


Inspirations, realisations, and tribulations. Discuss.

Both of us have wanted to make games for a long time. We’ve each been making stuff for a few years now, but when you graduate varsity and the choice is between getting a job or trying to make a living out of games – that’s hard. You can be really good at what you do in making games, but you’ll usually have a few things you just need to be working with other people for. Finding the money to pay people to work on your game in your early 20s is pretty hard, but we’re doing it and the results are definitely worth it.

It’s also pretty scary to realise just how much capital you need to make something even tiny like our game – and how many sales you realistically need in order to make another thing. But you keep doing it because you love making games, and because when people enjoy your games, it’s the most amazing feeling.

I think the best thing we have going for us, is our amazing friends and community of game developers. We’ve been around the world to games events, and met so many brilliant game developers. Being able to lean on them for advice and support is probably the most motivating thing out there. Even more so, you realise how normal this person whose sold hundred of thousands of copies of their game is – they’re just like you.

At what point did you decide that “you know, mom, playing games is, like, fun and stuff, but now I want to make my own games”?

Ben: The first A MAZE Johannesburg in 2012 allowed me to meet some successful South African and international game designers, and I realised they’re just normal people who love games, not geniuses.

Cukia: I kinda decided then that I wanted to make games just as a means to constantly be around these inspiring, friendly and brilliant people. For my seventh birthday my parents bought me a PlayStation and ever since then I’ve wanted to make games.

Best game ever, EVER, ever.

Probably The Floor is Jelly or Samurai Gunn.

Dinosaurs attack. What’s your survival plan?

Gather them into a ring and hope our Dungeon Master skills finally pay off for something. It’s all about fantasy fulfillment , you know? T-Rexes are jealous of those long, muscular arms other dinosaurs have. Triceratops just want to kiss their life partners without spearing them.

If our DM skills aren’t that great, we die I guess – but those are less stressful stakes than dealing with most D&D players anyway.

For more NAG’s Most Wanted, check out:

Life’s Fall and Elvarin


Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale



Doctors find live bees in a patient’s eye, feeding on her tears