Why this former researcher started a game company

Born and raised in Salvador, Brazil, Filipe has always been fascinated with his country’s culture and past. So much so that he decided to study history, eventually becoming a teacher and researcher. Also a long-time gamer, Filipe saw gaming as a creative way to tell stories — and realized it was a good medium to reach people beyond the classroom and share Brazil’s heritage with the world.

So together with his business partner, Victor, he founded Aoca Game Lab. Now a team of eight people, Aoca Game Lab recently launched their first title on mobile, ÁRIDA: Backland’s Awakening, a survival game following the adventures of a young girl in the historic town of Canudos, Brazil. And they were recently selected as one of Google Play’s Indie Games Fund recipients, which supports small games studios based in Latin America.

Filipe shared his story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which celebrates people around the world building apps and games. We chatted more with Filipe about combining his passions for history and gaming, what’s next for the studio and the team’s recent trip to Canudos to introduce the game to those who inspired it.

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