This morning, Riot announced its support behind Berlin-based developer Twin Drums. Riot will be helping Twin Drums’ diverse team fund development for their debut game: The Wagadu Chronicles, an afro-fantasy, indie MMORPG that puts roleplaying above all else. The game’s world is also available offline as a 5E Dungeons & Dragons campaign with a 300-page guide book that’s free and ready to play. The Wagadu Chronicles Kickstarter page can be found here.
Riot’s support comes as part of the newly-created Underrepresented Founders program (URF), born from the initial $10 million commitment earlier this year. For Twin Drums and future members of the program, URF looks to invest in future games with great teams, finance credible game developers and teach current and future URF partners in order to help foster and contribute to success.
Allan Cudicio, Founder of Twin Drums, explains in the Kickstarter video, “Backing ‘The Wagadu Chronicles’ is not just about resources and making this the best game in the 5E setting that it can be. It’s about helping us build a community, as well, a very special community. A community of players who love role-playing around the table offline, but love doing it online, as well. A seamless community between tabletop and videogame. It means, as well, building the first online afro-fantasy world. We are basically expanding the genre. We are bringing underrepresented aesthetics, visuals and themes from Africa into fantasy for the first time.”
In June, Riot pledged $10 million toward investments and startup programs focused on underrepresented founders in the gaming community. This pledge takes form as the Underrepresented Founders program.
“When we were first introduced to Twin Drums, we were captivated by the world they’re building. We’re thrilled to work with Twin Drums as they build this experience for their players and we know that we will learn as much from them as they do from us,” Riot stated.
According to Riot, they are helping Twin Drums in several ways to produce “The Wagadu Chronicles”. Firstly, they offer funding to cover dev kits, game engines, programming, salaries, insurance, overhead costs and more. Secondly, they provide mentorship, training and legal support. Thirdly, they provide access to industry developers and other connections.
Riot also expressed plans to develop additional partnerships, including established developers, publishers, non-profits or co-ops. They hope to combine resources and expertise to continue supporting underrepresented developers.