This Kickstarter campaign hopes to create a unique game that will make learning fun for kids, as well as adults, all over the world. This high quality produced app will also serve as an opportunity to introduce people to the amazing traditions that already exist in Africa.
We are gathering £5000 to finance the coding of the game, the creation of the music and the completion of the artwork. It will be available on Android, IOS and Windows. We plan to have a playable version by Dec 2016.
Ananse’s Well Rescue came about after years of developing children’s books and comics on the character of Ananse. We finally came up with this concept that reflected our desire for a platform that combined our love for African culture, fun and education.
The game begins with Ananse trying to set a trap by digging a huge hole. As he digs, he accidentally strikes an underground stream which causes it to flood rapidly, essentially turning it into a well. This causes the hole to cave in, bringing rocks crashing down from above. However, these falling rocks also serve as Ananse’s only means of escape; but only if he can successfully figure out which ones are stable enough to jump on. By solving questions and puzzles correctly, the player will aid Ananse choose the right rocks to stack, helping him escape the rising water level.
Below is a 'look' we plan on achieving for the app.
We will be producing TWO versions of the game in ONE, the first is based on Adinkra symbols. Adinkra are a set of visual symbols that represent concepts based on traditional wisdom, principles and ideas in Asante culture. In this version you must match the correct halves of each symbol on the rocks to progress.
The next version is based on math calculations. You can play varying levels of difficulty and complexity. There are also various modes of play for both the Adinkra and Math versions. With each correct answer you obtain a rock to build a tower which keeps you safe from the water below.
Project Ananse looks to use African culture and heritage in a modern and innovative way, to install cultural pride, mainly in children and young people. As the project name suggests, we began by adopting and adapting Ananse. We used Ananse’s folktales and retold his stories, while introducing new looks and designs of the many characters involved. This helped us to explore new ways to share these cultural treasures. Our objective is to encourage creative thinking among children and young people and help to equip them with knowledge and appreciation for their heritage - as well as introduce others to this unique culture.
We are so passionate about our project that over the years, we have pursued several avenues to fund it, including being offered a publishing deal for our first book, 'Ananse and the Wisdom Pot. However we could not reach an agreement since the conditions associated were a bit restrictive. We did not want to loose the freedom to try out new ideas and collaborate with new people, since we strongly believe this would enhance the overall project and lead us to produce stunning new work.
Presently, we have developed several products. The first, the children's storybook, Ananse and the Search for Wisdom, which is a modern twist on the folktale ‘Ananse and the Wisdom Pot’. We were able to develop a unique concept which balanced the African, human and animal traits the characters are suppossed to possess.
Our storybook was accompanied by the Ananse Mask Cut-out Pack, with the intention of providing children the opportunity to engage more with the story and the characters. This book allows children to cut out and construct masks of the main characters which they can use to act out the story or even create their own using their imagination, allowing them to explore with their hands as well as minds.
Finally, we created the Ananse Comic. This comic was geared towards a slightly older audience. It told a different story and had an upgraded art style as well. We drew more of our inspiration from traditional African culture and aesthetic in terms of look and theme than the previous book.
Although all the products above will be available as rewards for this campaign, we will still be working on expanding our range. At the moment we have 3 other storybooks in the works with one in the drawing stage. We are also working on the second part of the Ananse comic, as well a few other projects we have to keep under-wraps for now, so expect more Ananse goodies on the way.
Ananse is a famous spider character from Asante/Ghanaian folklore known for his small size. Ananse’s stories often deal with him coming up with wily schemes, either to get out of trouble by outsmarting bigger animals, or to benefit himself at the expense of others. Whenever his schemes are for wrong-doing, they tend to have a way of backfiring with embarrassing but funny results. Tricks of that nature mostly focus on trying to obtain more food for himself at any cost. Usually told to children in groups, these stories often highlight and promote moral codes and cultural values, hence being passed down from generation to generation. They became so famous that all Asante/Akan stories were called ‘Anansisem’ meaning Ananse’s tales. His stories spread throughout the African diaspora and became the basis of other trickster characters that came to be, including Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny.
We met Hayford Siaw, the founder of Street Library Ghana(SLG), when we visited Ghana last year. We were very impressed with his organisation and his passion for children and therefore maintained contact ever since. This inspired us to produce something that had the potential to positively enhance how children felt about themselves and we believe working with Hayford and STG is the best way to achieve this. We will be giving them some of our books and sharing our game, giving the children they work with access to something that is both educational and culturally relevant to them.
Street Library Ghana(SLG) is a volunteer-driven, social enterprise based in Ghana with locations in Liberia and Cameroon, which aims to promote better life opportunities for children and youth in vulnerable communities by addressing literacy and education issues. SLG offers a cost effective and welcoming library concept to reach under-served children in rural communities. They provide them with access to quality literature through their mobile van library, book kiosk, book chest (for communities and schools) and digital access. The Street Library model also uses trained staff and local/international volunteers to actively engage children in reading, educational exercises, mentorship and leadership training.
Hi, I’m Kiaski Donkor, the concept creator and artist behind Project Ananse and the game, ‘Ananse’s Well Rescue’. I was born and raised in Ghana, before relocating with my family to the UK at 17 years. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember and since childhood I have always been intrigued by concepts and ideas created within cartoons, comics, storybooks and games. I was especially attracted to ones that had imaginary worlds and unique characters, a few being the Ninja Turtles, SwatKats and Pokemon. Though most of these were overseas productions, shows like the locally-produced storytelling show ‘By the fireside’ and the 1986 Chinese TV series ’Journey to the West’ inspired me to look more at my own culture. Using my heritage as a treasure trove of ideas, I honed my skill and talent in art to bring those ideas to life. Project Ananse and Ananse’s Well Rescue is the product of this way of thinking.
Even though I head this project, I would not have been able to get here without some key people. Our team consists of people based in the UK and Ghana, combining our expertise and knowledge to bring this game to life.
Kiaski Donkor (UK) - Creator, Project Manager, Illustrator
Ziona Donkor (UK) - Co-Project Manager
James Littek (UK) - Video/Motion graphics
Peter ‘Poka’ Asamoah (GH) - Animator, additional Illustrator
Jeffrey Asiedu (UK) - Music, Co-Writer(storybooks)
George Blege (GH) - Co-Writer(comics)
Nyiwa Katalayi (UK) - Videographer and Editor
A copy of the app Ananse's Well Rescue on Android, IOS or Windows.
A selection of wallpapers for use on your devices.
An Exclusive Poster containing all the Ananse versions.
Pack of Stickers of the characters from the Storybook 'Ananse and the Search for Wisdom'
PDF and physical copies of our 'Ananse and the Search for Wisdom' Storybook.
Physical copies of our 'Ananse and the Search for Wisdom' Mask pack.
PDF and physical copies of our Ananse Comicbook.
Caricatures with Ananse in Selfie-styled illustrations.
If this project gets funded, we have created some extra rewards if we reach certain targets. We hope you like them!
Check out Ricardo's work on his WEBSITE and below.
and Kobina Taylor's INSTAGRAM and below as well.
More to come...
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Risks and challenges
We understand that by receiving your pledges, we are also taking on a responsibility of delivering to you, the backers.
As you can already see, a lot of work has been put into our previous projects and more effort has already gone into this new one.
We hope this can serve as a testament to our ability to produce results. However nothing is absolute, and should anything unforeseeable happen we will push to be as transparent as possible and provide regular updates to keep you guys in the know.
- (29 days)