Preserve and educate. Those are the goals of the game. Mahuaccording to Milton Sancán, professor at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG) and director of the project, also made up of two other professors and three digital animation students.
Mahu It is the first video game developed and financed by the UCSG, and the first video game made by a Guayaquil university, according to Nancy Wong, UCSG Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies. The video game has been in development since 2018. It had a budget of $43,742, and was preceded by a research project that lasted “six to seven months”, which consisted of the publication of three scientific articles and a book on the Manteño culture. huancavilca and on the development processes of a videogame.
What does it consist of?
Mahu, the protagonist, is a Huancavilca shaman boy whose village friends are kidnapped by an Inca. To help them he must explore the mountains, beaches, and dry forests, collect items, and defeat various magical animals, such as the condor and the white-tailed deer.
The preservation of the Manteño-Huancavilca culture and the historical veracity of its attire, tools, and customs guided the development of the video game. The development team “visited museums, talked to specialists” and toured places where the Huancavilcas lived to model the game’s landscapes, according to Milton.
Milton views the preservation of culture in digital realms as “essential.” He also argues that a digital repository in the form of a video game represents a “new age adaptation,” and that students find learning through video games attractive.
Milton’s brother, a computer programmer Mahu and also a professor at UCSG, Boris Sancán, highlighted the wealth of narrative possibilities offered by Ecuadorian culture, even in comparison with video games that take advantage of narrative resources from different cultures, such as video game installments Assassin’s Creed or the narrative world of god of warwhich jumps from Greek to Norse mythology.
“We always like to see other cultures reflected in video games: the Roman, the Viking…”, expressed Boris. “But here, in Ecuador, we also have very interesting stories (…): imagine a video game about the First Cry of Independence or about the legend of Cantuña.”
Mahu It is in the process of internal testing by the development team. Boris estimates that they can present a demo (a test version of the game) available between December and January of this year.
Milton also highlighted that they plan to make more video games as projects within the UCSG, focusing on different cultures and nationalities of the Ecuadorian territory.
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