Project image
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$27,205
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
330
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 18 2019 1:13 PM UTC +00:00
$27,205
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
330
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 18 2019 1:13 PM UTC +00:00

About

MY STORY FROM REFUGEE TO VIDEO GAME DEVELOPER

My name is Lual Mayen and I am a 24 year old former refugee from South Sudan. 

On November 15, 1991, during the Second Sudanese Civil War, the Bor Massacre killed 2,000 civilians in my home town. The massacre was carried out mostly by Nuer fighters from a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

In the years that followed, an estimated 25,000 died from famine as their cattle were either stolen or shot. My parents were displaced and alone. By foot, they fled from violence. In 1993, they arrived at a place near the border of Uganda for internally displaced people.

I was born on the way as my parents were searching for resettlement. 

In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan and everyone was very excited. But war broke out again, killing over 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million others. My relatives who returned were all killed during the war. There was no peace in South Sudan because of the continued fighting and never-ending cycle of war. Our only hope was to continue our lives as refugees.

From a young age, the way I overcame my problems was through my positive and hopeful attitude. I utilized all I had, which was going to school and making use of everything I got from my education. In this way, I trained myself to be adaptive and resourceful to make the best of whatever little that I had.

My mother was supportive of my interest in computer programming though there was no access to computers or internet. She saved money for three years to buy a laptop for me. I was the only one in my refugee camp who had one. I walked three hours every day to an internet cafe to charge it. It was this determination that led me to building my first video game, Salaam.

After launching Salaam in a refugee camp, my story was discovered by several of influential game developers, media companies, and programs supporting peace-building efforts. Months later, I was granted a visa to travel to the United States to build games that create impact.

I began touring the world, sharing my story at conferences, and in 2018 I was recognized as the Global Gaming Citizen, an award sponsored by Facebook Gaming and The Game Awards that honors one individual using the power of games to build community and bring about positive change in the world.

Interview on Al Jazeera | May 28, 2019
Interview on Al Jazeera | May 28, 2019

I want to thank all of the organizations who have supported me: Facebook Gaming, Vlambeer, Global Game Jam, WeWork Labs, The World Bank, A MAZE, Celestial Games, American University, Oculus, League of Geeks, Peace Tech Labs, BBC, Al Jazeera, Santa Monica Studios, Games For Change, Train Jam, Venture Beat, Interactive Entertainment South Africa, and many more. Thank you so much for all of your kindness. I would not be here today without you.

Fireside chat with Leo Olebe, Global Director at Facebook Games |Gamesbeat summit 2019 LA
Fireside chat with Leo Olebe, Global Director at Facebook Games |Gamesbeat summit 2019 LA

SALAAM IS A THRILLING, HIGH TENSION RUNNER GAME

Salaam starts with a caravan of refugees making their way to safety. The setting is peaceful, yet dire, given the circumstances. Parents carrying their children and the elderly keep up with the group as best they can. 

Your character fades into view walking on the path with other people and scenery of a jungle in the distance. Suddenly, gun shots are heard in the distance. The crowd goes quiet and your character crouches to avoid incoming fire. 

There is brief pause of silence. More shots are heard. People start to run and panic ensues. Eventually, your character runs to the front of the caravan. A military van appears before the caravan and soldiers emerge firing their guns in the air. 

Your character turns and begins to run down the nearest path. 

The game begins!

Salaam is a high tension runner game that challenges players to make their way through war-torn regions to find a place of refuge. Players must be on the lookout for hidden dangers on the path. They must spot the danger and make quick decisions to avoid hazards, such as a fork in the road or a lion in the grass. 

Salaam is like Temple Run, but instead of escaping from an ancient ruin the player must escape war in the world's most unforgiving conflict regions.

OUR MISSION IS TO BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE IN THE WORLD

Players will learn about hardships that refugees experience on a daily basis: hunger, dehydration, malnourishment, sickness, and lack of resources. By educating players about the harsh conditions that millions of refugees endure every day, the game will place players in the shoes of another who is less fortunate and showcase the power of empathy.

When a player's character runs out of energy in the game, the player will have the ability to continue running by purchasing supplies such as food, water, and medicine. 

Each time a player purchases food, water, and medicine in Salaam, supplies will also be sent to a refugee in the real world.

Through partnerships with non-profits and NGOs, Salaam will bridge the real world and the virtual world to provide food, water, and medicine to refugees all over the world.

PLEASE DONATE OR SHARE TO HELP US FINISH SALAAM

I am very excited to be launching the next version of Salaam on Facebook Instant Games. The team at Facebook has been so helpful in helping me fulfill this dream, but I will need resources to finish building, testing, and launching my game. 

The money we raise will be used to complete the development of Salaam, deploy the game on Facebook Instant Games, finish testing the game, and build a trailer that will be premiered at The Game Awards (December 2019).

Thank you in advance for your kindness and support. I cannot wait to take the next step in this journey!

Risks and challenges

We have an aggressive timeline to deliver Salaam game by the end of the year so that it can be published in Facebook Instant Game and debuted at the Video Game Awards. As a result, we are raising these funds so we can hire the right resources to get the project completed in an effective manner. With your help, we will be able to hire some of the top video game developers to launch a beta this summer with plenty of time to test before our debut in December 2019.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Pre-register for game

    Sign up to receive information about Salaam and be the first to know when it launches.

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    Unlimited water

    This reward will provide your player with unlimited water for one month of gameplay.

    Water keeps your player healthy and prevents dehydration.

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    Unlimited food

    This reward will provide your player with unlimited food for one month of gameplay.

    Food keeps your player healthy and prevents starvation.

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    Exclusive costume

    This reward will provide you an exclusive costume that is only available to participants in our kickstarter campaign.

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    Exclusive level

    This reward will provide you an exclusive level that is only available to participants in our kickstarter campaign.

    Includes:
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    • Exclusive costume
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Hire Lual To Speak For 30 Minutes

    Hire Lual to speak for 30 minutes at your event about overcoming obstacles, from refugee camp to video game developer and founder of Junub Games.

    Includes:
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Hire Lual to speak for 60 minutes

    Hire Lual to speak for 60 minutes at your event about overcoming obstacles and creating games for change, from refugee camp to video game developer and founder of Junub Games.

    Includes:
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    • Unlimited water
    • Unlimited food
    • Exclusive costume
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Recognition in Trailer

    Anyone that donates $5,000 will be recognized in our video game trailer that will be debuted at The Game Awards in December.

    Includes:
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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    VIP Party & 90 Minute Fireside Chat

    An exclusive VIP Party for you and up to fifty friends. Hosted at a WeWork location of your choice, the event will include food, beverages, and a 90 minute fireside chat with Lual Mayen, where he will share more about his journey from refugee camp to video game developer and founder of Junub Games.

    The event will include a special message from Lual's mother, as well as an opportunity to meet Lual and receive a sneak peak of his game in-person. Receive the opportunity to demo Salaam, the revolutionary game that raises awareness for the 25.9 million refugees around the world, half of which are under the age of 18.

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Funding period

- (30 days)