This is where it ends

BreakoutThis will be my last post on this blog. The last time I posted here was 10 months ago. Then I thought I would be away for 10 weeks. Unknown to me then, my life would take a serious nose dive. The following weeks would be hell.

Then one day, it changed for the better. Like a dream, I was on my way to Kenya. I spent 90 days in Kenya and returned back to Ghana. I write this post from Nigeria. This is my 40th and last post on this blog.

I hate unfinished business and so it is time to officially end this blog.

Thank you for reading.

I won’t be coming back!



1 Year Together and 10 Weeks Away


Its been 1 year already! The above image represents my progression as a blogger. When I started blogging, it was the first time in my life that I would be on the front-end of the web. My training in Systems Engineering made me think in terms of engines and not chassis. Here I was with the task of learning how to interact with the front-end of the web with no training to guide me.

Such choices are life changing. Simply put when we are faced with such choices we can step back to safety or move forward into growth. All growth is painful. It requires a shedding of the familiar and an acceptance of the unknown. Our 1  year together has been phenomenal growth experience for me! This week I will be looking at what it takes to get an online presence.

Get a Compelling Reason

You need a reason to start and stick with anything! It is always difficult to be consistent and without a good reason, excuses will be given and in the end failure will result.

Decide on a Tool

Decide on a tool to use. This depends on what kind of site you want to build, your technical and personal resources and available alternatives. When I first started blogging, I accepted my limitations. As a result, I use a cloud based WordPress installation to get a hang of the entire process.

Using Content Management Systems

Selecting a Content Management System should be based on 4 factors:

  1. Abilities
  2. Support
  3. Usage
  4. Maturity

In the world today, the top 3 are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to usage, WordPress is best for beginners, Joomla is preferred by designers and Drupal is preferred by developers.


When the idea for a gaming blog first came up, I wasn’t ready. I was still a programmer then more concerned with writing code than prose. In the last one year, I have changed in a lot of ways. I am no longer just a programmer! My understanding of the entire software development process has gotten better.


I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey in the last one year. Their names are too many to mention but you all know yourselves. My family deserves the most credit all that I am I owe to you. The guest writers who make me have content each week deserve a word of thanks. My readers if you don’t come then what’s the point?

I will be shutting down for the next 10 weeks. With 1 year done, I want to take the next 10 weeks to seek a new direction for the blog. When I come back in July 6th, I expect to be back guns blazing.

Thanks everyone for everything!

The Team Behind Global Game Jam Lagos


Hello Everyone! One more post and we would be 1 year on this blog! In this post I talked about the first Global Game Jam Lagos which held from January 23rd to 27th this year. Now I will take a look at the team behind the project.

Benedict Olumhense (Founder, IGDA Nigeria)
A graduate of Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Lagos with added skills in programming. He also founded the local chapter of the International Games Developers Association Nigeria (IGDA Nigeria) and the local coordinator of the Global Game Jam Lagos. He fell in love with video games at 8 years old after playing Star Wars on the Atari 2600 back in the 1980’s. Since then he has followed the industry by playing games on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) to recent home entertainment systems.

Leonard M. Duro Emanuel (Business Strategy & Development)
A graduate from the University of Jos with Business and Strategy Development skills. He has been involved with the Video games industry through pro gaming and going head to head with Dennis “Tresh” Fong while he was living in the United Kingdom. Since then, he has grown to understand the gaming industry from pro gaming to the footprint it leaves
on an economy. He was one of the Speakers at the 1st Global Game Jam Lagos 2013 and works closely with structuring IGDA Nigeria’s activities.

Oluwaseyi Fakoya (Technical Lead)
Seyi is a graduate of Computing and Software Engineering from the Open University, United Kingdom. He is also a technical assistant for IGDA Nigeria and is responsible for designing the Global Game Jam Lagos website and resolving other technical needs that may arise during any event organized locally. He is a local developer with a portfolio of various products, one of such is the iOpen Heavens mobile application.

Oluwaseun Osinowo (Project Coordinator)
Project Coordinator, Global Game Jam Lagos. Seun is a graduate of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Lagos. He
is a sound CAD expert with interest in developing game environments for 2D and 3D games. He coordinates all event activity for IGDA Nigeria and the Global Game Jam Lagos.

So these are the members of Global Game Jam Lagos Team. Love them or hate them, they have started the move that would put the West African gaming industry on the World Map.

Programming Language Popularity


Its good to be back this week! This week as we head into the 1 year anniversary of this blog, I would love to talk about the popularity of the various programming languages used to develop industry strength applications.

The chart above already shows the popularity of the various programming languages. This article shows the 15 most conveted programming skills.

The text that follows is a personal summary of my experiences with the various programming languages.


I first heard about PHP in 2007. Then I was on industrial training. The idea of a language where you could declare variables on the fly was appalling to the programmers in the company I was an intern in. Appalling because this were seasoned programmers who had over 10 years of real world programming under their belts.


Java is one of those languages everyone knows yet few code. I was supposed to meet Java in the lecture halls of the university I attended, but our meeting was averted. Looking back, I say thank God! I swore off Java last year. Sometimes I wonder if I was wrong.

Objective C

Objective C is one programming language that I have never touched! I have never owned an Apple device so I cannot have programmed in it.


SQL was first learnt in 2007 at the company I interned at. In the first 3 months, I had gotten the basic syntax under my belt. In the next 3 months at that firm, I would be programming the Oracle database.


I first heard about Android at when I was preparing for the  Samsung Applications Developer Challenge in 2010. The process of setting it up was especially painful. I have never built an application for this platform.


Ruby is a programming language that has been around for a long time. It was never in my circle until this year when I learnt Ruby on Rails at the Coders4Africa training this year.


JavaScript is a scripting language. It has been around for a long time. Personally, it was with the advent of jquery that I fell in love with the language


C# is Microsoft’s answer to Java. C# packs a punch!


C++ is the programming language that would define the computing industry. I studied this programming language in university. However, this language is not for the faint-hearted.

Action Script

Action Script is a programming language close in syntax to JavaScript. It was part of the package when it came to developing Adobe Flash applications. I have never developed an Adobe Flash application.


The Python programming language is personally one of the programming languages I would recommend for beginners. It is where Java used to be in terms of its community.


The C programming language is the precursor to the C++ programming language. Never done any work here.


I last used ASP.NET for any project in 2010. I personally prefer PHP.

Overall, I have done some work with the languages listed here. My review later in this year would be if to go back to the Java programming language. I have not done any work with Java this year. That said the data seems to favour the language. At the end of the day, its not the programming languages but what we do with them.


iPolice Award at WSA

Hello everyone! This month will be 1 year of blogging! I remember that day of the first post with nostalgia. It was at CoCreation Hub. At that time, I was a citizen in my own country. My life was a safe predictable mess but it was safe. Away from my country has been a roller coaster. However, the only regret that I have is that I should have left 2 years ago!

Concerning regrets. This week, Disney has finally closed down LucasArts. Last year when the acquisition happened, I kind of hoped that it would lead to a new era of games. Sadly that was not to be. In this post, the nail is finally put to the coffin. There will be no more LucasArts. Its not all doom and gloom as the month begins. This week I will be talking about iPolice by Peter Ihesie. As everyone knows, Nigeria faces a huge security challenge. There aren’t too many developers in the security arena and I find it cool that I know one of the few helping to address this need.

I first met Peter Ihesie in 2011 at a training organised by Nokia. We got talking about what he was doing and how he was working on a Church Management Software at the time Church+. I took his email because I was thinking about giving him a referral to a church.

In time, he would tell me about an application he was starting at the time called iPolice which is an application designed to connect the general Nigerian population with their local security services. Then would come the invitation from World Summit Awards on applications in the mobile space. The rest would be history.

iPolice is a mobile application with the following benefits and functionality:

  1. Security tips and Education from many security experts from within and outside Nigeria, thereby improving the overall security awareness and consciousness of Nigerians.
  2. Using location capability of most phones, the app leverages on this to locate the nearest police stations  with contact details  and phone numbers of the DPO. Users can also search for any police stations given any location.
  3. iPoliceMobile provides users with a quick dial access to national and most state emergency numbers including but not limited to toll free police numbers, fire service numbers, traffic service, FRSC ,ambulance and vehicle rescue numbers, with this feature, help should be a call away.
  4. iPoliceMobile gives users insightful information about the various efforts by the security agencies to making our community safer, with this users will appreciate the work being done by our security agencies thus creating a more cordial relationship between the people and the security agencies, which will help them to report or provide more useful information to the security forces that will help them better carry out their duties.
  5. iPoliceMobile aggregates most security news into a central point , thus giving users quick and wide range of information into the security happenings and also a basis for data analysis.

In time, Peter Ihesie  has participated in the Nokia Growth Academy and has a version of his application in the Nokia Store. The 2 years of incubation that went into  iPolice have finally paid off in the form of recognition. Peter Ihesie will be the best person to ask about how it has paid of financially.

Living in Africa at this point in time is a blessing. The amount of potential is simply staggering. My advice is pick your spot and start digging! In time, you will strike gold. Happy new month!

Cavalry and Infantry

Infantry and Calvary

Cavalry may win a battle, but infantry are needed to win a war! The fate of the gaming space hangs in the balance and in the end, there will be winners and losers. I had a talk with Emeka Okoye about the future of gaming in West Africa and he passionately spoke about how the war would be decided on the mobile phone.

As you all know I love developing games for the web. For me the integration of content, development and tools on a single platform is particularly exciting. However, by the end of this year, I would have a decision to make on if I will be starting a game studio.

Don’t get me wrong! Technically I have what it takes to build a world-class game studio. The problem is the environment the industry finds itself in need of a repeatable and scalable business model. Commiting oneself to the onslaught of the coming years with no startup capital and without a guarantee of victory is either an act of faith or a form of insanity. However being a creative person, I believe it must come from within. So for the rest of the year, I will be searching my soul for if I want to build a game studio.

From my conversation with Emeka Okoye I sort of realized that by commiting to the web, I had effectively wiped out the mainstream which typically use mobile phones. In Africa, today, the two most popular phone brands are Nokia and Samsung both supporting the J2ME and Android platforms respectively.

Last year, I got frustrated with the Java programming language and swore off it! I took a lot of courage to close a door on 3 years of development in a programming language. At that time the mother company of the Java programming language Oracle had a lawsuit with Google which was against the spirit with which Java was built. That said the trends in the industry shows that Oracle has acknowledged the threat to it.

Now in the gaming space, web game development offers the freedom to toy around with game ideas in a platform that offers stability. However, the downside of web gaming in Africa is latency. Our internet connectivity is horrible! By developing games for the web only, I commit myself to a single point of failure which from an engineering perspective is a recipe for disaster.

So developing for the web means taking care of the cavalry. However occupation of territory happens due to the infantry. A small history lesson the city of Ibadan in Nigeria developed because of the occupation of the infantry stationed there by the leader of the Oyo Empire. Though the Oyo Empire  had a great calvary force, occupation was done by its infantry.

Same thing will happen with the games we develop. We can get noise (sorry I mean engagement) by developing for the web, but at the end of the day occupation will be with infantry. In tech speak: Flash and HTML5 will be how we get attention to what we do but at the end of the day if we make the decision to be relevant on our own continent, the Java programming language  will be where the occupation forces will have to be concentrated.

Tool Selection


Hello Everyone! I am happy to be back this week. Last week was really crazy so I missed a post. However, today is my 34th post on this blog and I am glad to be here! Next week will be Game Developer’s Conference and the West African gaming elder Eyram Tawia will be making a presentation. Now let no man ask him if they can enter his traveling bag because that place is already booked by me.

This week I will be looking at the tool selection criteria that I use when deciding on a tool. As a product developer, good tools should enable you get the job done and not overwhelm you. Before choosing a tool, I am honest with myself. The first question I ask myself is my level of skill. If a tool is higher than my level of skill, I will not use it. An example of this is CakePHP. While I feel is it a great PHP framework, I also feel that it is not for an intermediate developer working without a mentor to guide the learning process. So, at the end of my search for a PHP framework, I chose CodeIgniter. Now in 2 years time, my level of skill will improve. Will I then switch to CakePHP, only time will tell. So without much ado, here is my tool selection criteria.

Popularity and Community
How much buy-in a tool has from people is important. No matter how good a tool is, it does not have a future if no one hears about it. Ask Lotus Note what happened! In its day it was a vastly superior tool to Microsoft Excel. Compare that to Java in its glory days. I learnt Java because of its popularity. Back in the day, there was almost a super-cool status to being a Java programmer. In fact the hype around it made it seem like the cure for everything from world peace to HIV/AIDS and Cancer. Now did it live up to the hype? You be the judge but even to this day when I tell people that I am a programmer, the first language they mention is Java. It also had a vibrant community around it. I say had because nowadays I am no longer sure. There is a law in the corporate realm that whenever a technology giant touches an open source project, the community tends to be slaughtered at the altar of profits. When Oracle took over Sun Microsystems, this law came into effect. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. The Netbeans IDE now has support for HTML5 and for all my hatred for Oracle and what they did with the Java language, Netbeans 7.3 is a great IDE for HTML5 and PHP. What is really cool about it even if you have sworn off Java (Like I did last year) is that you can download just the modules that will enable you work with HTML5 and PHP.

Documentation and Examples
No matter how great a tool is, if the documentation reads like greek, no developer will touch it. Good tools have great documentation! A classic example of this is XCode by Apple. Now I had to do research on developing for iDevices once upon a life time and I was suprised at the level of details of the documentation. Examples also matter! I was trying to create a chart for a particular project. Using Raphael was becoming cubersome so I decided to go in search of another JavaScript Library. In the course of searching, I found Highcharts. Not only did it meet the documentation criteria, the examples on pie chart creation are in my opinion the best among all the charting libraries I researched.

Licensing and Pricing
Yes legal and accounting issues do matter. I personally love FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) but even when deciding to use a product, you must read the license! Highcharts for example is free for non-profit purposes. Now a typical developer will say this is Africa and I will agree. But scaling has a way of catching up with a developer. Once a team gets big enough, it could have a lawsuit on its hands! You can ask Samsung about what Apple did to them. For years the issues where always there but Apple did nothing. Only when they where sure that Samsung was a big enough target did they go after them. Even Microsoft is not exempt from this. In the early days of tech adoption in Nigeria, banks got their software from Computer Village (A place where you can get everything tech in Nigeria). Now this was fake software but there was no stopping the binge that had started! One day when Microsoft was sure that they had found a home on most of the banks servers, they struck! Until that time, most banks did not know that Nigeria had an anti-piracy law. In the end, a lot of money was coughed out and Microsoft‘s dominion was assured in the banking halls of Nigeria.

Easy to Setup
No matter how great a tool is if it isn’t easy to setup, I am not interested! For years, this was my argument with Android. It was always a pain to setup. Now being a spoiled Windows user did not help matters! To illustrate how much of a problem it was, when the Android team finally decided to package Android into a single setup, guess which OS users got the package?

Easy to Use
Here all discussions end! If a tool is not easy to use based on the subjective experience of the user, then nothing else I have written in this post matters. Microsoft is the definitive standard for user accessibility in Africa! I wonder if I would be a programmer by now if I had to learn to from command prompt at the start. Even among all my programming friends this trend emerges. It seems like the guys who learnt Visual Basic (A drag and drop programming environment) first are still programming while those who where introduced into programming with C++ (A command line programming environment) are no longer programmers. Don’t get me wrong, in order to really push the limits of a machine, you must use the command line. The only problem is when you are being introduced to this at the beginning when you are trying to find your feet. In truth all tools have prerequisites for usage and jumping head first into using a tool without knowing its prerequisites is sometimes a recipe for failure. That noted, good programmers also know that the fastest way to learn is via experimentation. If we are too afraid to learn how to use a tool because we are afraid that we might break something, we might as well become project managers.

That’s my piece on tool selection. If you have anything to add do drop a comment in the comments section below. With this post, I hope you also understand why I use WordPress.