By Joseph Leray
Middle Eastern games development is still relatively rare and extremely difficult, but Team FoodFighter, a group of four Jordanian artists, programmers, and designers, feel confident in their attempt to bring their first game to life.
“It won’t be easy, but we have a solid team that is committed to what they are doing,” Ibrahim Yasir, one-fourth of Team FoodFighter and the group’s unofficial spokesman. “We want to show the world who we are,” he told Polygon recently.
“Saman” — the Arabic word for idol — is the team’s first project, a sidescrolling action-playformer about a radish named Fijleh who sets out to prevent the gods from destroying his country. Fijleh carries a sword made of broccoli. The story oscillates between operatic melodrama and lighthearted whimsy (the gods in question are angry because someone barfed after a party), but the platforming and gameplay were inspired by games like Prince of Persia, and Viewtiful Joe, Yasir says.
Yasir also points out that the game should have “a Babylonian flavor” — urban legends and myths from around the team’s headquarters in Amman, Jordan have already begun to influence the game’s story and style.
Team FoodFighter have some concept art and a few 3D models to show off in their IndieGoGo presentation, but they’re also trying to raise money for software licenses and hardware to keep working on Saman, which they expect will take two years. The IndieGoGo perks range from early alpha and beta access, to copies of the soundtrack, to personalized in-game weapons and armor, which Team FoodFighter hope will entice gamers to fork over the $200,000 it will cost to bring all 25 levels of Saman to Steam in October 2014.