Is­mail ex­plains that gamedev. world has ex­isted as a con­crete idea for around six months, but the first seed was planted dur­ing a talk at last year’s GDC by Ira­nian game de­vel­oper Mahdi Bahrami, cre­ator of car­pet-rolling puzzler Farsh, and IGF en­trant

En­gare, a game in­spired by Is­lamic art. “While watch­ing Mahdi’s talk, I had a mo­ment,” he tells us. “I don’t get emo­tional re­ally quickly, but I had never be­fore con­sid­ered that the Rami that ev­ery­one knows in this in­dus­try is only half of me, be­cause I’m also halfE­gyp­tian.” Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion, Bahrami used a slide writ­ten in Farsi, and as Is­mail read it, re­al­i­sa­tion dawned: “It was the first time the other half of my iden­tity was ever [present] at a game event, the first time I felt I was there as a whole.”

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