I just got back from the “Business of Africana in the Popular Arts” panel at Onyxcon! It was great to learn from more experienced artists. Even though they didn’t have someone who worked in video games, I found that most of what was said applies to me as well. This was also my first experience doing any real marketing for Nia’s Journey, although I actually hadn’t planned on it at all. Next time I’ll have to bring flyers!
One of the biggest questions I left thinking about was how I define success? Each of the panelists had their own perspective on this topic, and now that this game is moving forward more rapidly, it’s something I need to consider.
For Nia’s Journey, my goal is for players to feel like they are part of the adventure. I want to make a world that feels real, regardless of the technical limitations of the RPG Maker engine. When I first started working on this, my motivation was to make a game where people of color, and especially women of color could see themselves represented as leaders and heroes, instead of as sidekicks, token characters, or most commonly, not at all. Representation is still important to me. But somewhere along the way, I realized that I’m capable of doing much more. When it’s done, Nia’s Journey won’t be known for being a “Black” or “Afrocentric” RPG. It will be known for having pushed the genre forward.