Back in Senior High School, constant items in our various chop boxes will certainly include Gari, Shito, milk, and Milo. Relive some of your Senior High School memories from the game “Campus Run.” The brain behind Campus Run shares with us his story.
I’m Kwesikwaa Hayford, and I read Economics at the University of Ghana. I’m into 3d animation, VFX, and interactive media development. I learnt to code at Mfantsipim and Koby Nyomi (developer of oware3d) introduced me and others to programming. I was then in Form 1 and he was in Form 3. At Mfantsipim I was close to one Mr. Albert Lebug, a physics teacher who was into video production, so I grabbed the opportunity to learn all I could. Everything else from then on has been endless self-taught routine.
There are apps I have developed that never left my room, but Campus Run is the first to get to the Apps store.
It is an endless 3D runner game like Subway Surfer, etc. but with a fully domesticated concept. It is built around the Ghanaian secondary school experience, where a student (male/female) is chased by seniors/ housemasters/ mistresses for some wrongdoing. In the player’s way, there are obstacles to avoid and collectibles to pick up to score the player points on their “report card”. Interestingly, the obstacles include trunks, desks and bunk beds, and collectibles like gari, Nido, Milo, shito, and exeat have to be picked up. Shito, as hot as we know it, increases the speed of the game for a period of time and exeat instantly removes all obstacles from the player’s way for a period of time. The user has the option to choose the student from a list of Ghanaian schools, and from there the user is given a little information on the chosen school then the game begins. It currently runs on Android, however, the version has support for iOS and Windows phone.
What is the story behind Campus Run?
The idea for Campus Run came up 3 years ago, I wrote a couple of codes, blocked out the features and concept but never began real work. I guess the MTN apps challenge came along and got me to bring that concept to life. I must say the first release isn’t fully featured because I had to beat the Apps Challenge deadline. However, a full featured version 2 is on the way. I am thankful it was recognised and I won Most Promising App Developer award at the MTN Apps Challenge 3.0, which I believe is a morale booster for me to do more.
What inspires me to do what I do is the satisfaction I get from bringing an idea to life be it my own idea or someone else’s. It is such a powerful and amazing feeling and the possibilities are endless.
Challenges you have faced when you were developing this app?
I have a page on Facebook; cartel creation. The challenges involved in digital content creation in Ghana generally I think includes unreliable power/electricity, unfavourable exchange rates (since payments for the products/service we need are mostly made in foreign currency to foreign service providers), and the mode of payment even becomes another problem because Ghana isn’t listed on PayPal, so you are left to find your way around it all by yourself (which can indeed be daunting sometimes). Power remains the biggest drawback since computers rely solely on electricity to run.
Some more apps would soon be released before the year ends.
What keeps you up at night?
I hardly sleep before 2am. It isn’t deliberate, it just happens. It is a funny routine, though; night is the best time to test out all the ideas that came up during the day, and that can take you beyond midnight. Passion drives us all, LOL.
Technology is moving at a fast rate and that is good news in the sense that we would then have a lot more tools at our disposal to solve various problems. Mind you, every digital content developed ends up solving a particular problem. We should be thankful that many young Ghanaians are actively getting involved in this technology revolution, meaning we should expect a major explosion in the coming years.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
In our part of the world, the decision to be an entrepreneur or follow your own dreams is one which requires a lot of passion, resilience, tenacity and unyielding hope ! It is definitely not a smooth path, but I believe the story of the hustle today, should be enough inspiration for someone tomorrow. One must always expect the down moments and in times like that, I inspire myself with the words of great people like Steve Jobs, who said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” “Learn continually, there’s always one more thing to learn.”
We should understand that the journey is only difficult but not impossible. Above all, an entrepreneur’s biggest inspiration, well in my case, is Odomankoma himself. Without him, dreams don’t come to life.
Hold on for more from Kwesikwaa Hayford this year.
Interview by: Kwesi Otoo, threesixtyGh Writer
Image Source: Kwesikwaa Hayford