Nodding Head Games’ passion project, Raji: An Ancient Epic, is a recently released action adventure game based on Indian culture. Although Raji has been met with much acclaim since launch, the studio’s co-founders recently spoke out about the pressure that came with making their first game, which forced them to juggle development with another passion of theirs.
Shruti Ghosh and Ian Maude strangely credited the “Nodding Head Doggos” in the game’s credits, which obviously piqued the curiosity of players pretty much immediately. In order to address this, Maude published a post on Raji: The Ancient Epic’s Steam blog explaining who these furry friends are, as well as discussing why they were credited. As it turns out, the dogs that make up Nodding Head Doggos are a group of strays that Maude and Ghosh rescued. Maude explained that all of the dogs pictured in the blog post – presented in a touching collage – had been taken in from the streets by the two co-founders, and are now “vital members of the team.”
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Raji’s “team dogs” include Killer, Benji, little Patch, Hailey, Zia, Peter and Nimi, with Mr G. Goldie having unfortunately missed the photo opportunity. Maude admitted that the cuddly canines kept the team sane whilst developing Raji, and provided the perfect cure for a stressful day. One of Maude’s stories highlighted Nimi, who had previously been hit by a car and was only meant to stay with the co-founders until she healed. However, once she had recuperated, Maude decided that he couldn’t possibly let her go.
Ghosh and Maude were not only developing their debut title for Nodding Head Games — at the same time, they were taking to the streets in order to save India’s strays. During the pandemic the pair continued to feed the strays on the streets of Pune, India – where the studio is based – while juggling the day-to-day development of Raji.
Maude also pointed out Ghosh’s efforts in organizing a rabies vaccination drive in the local area. He explained that Ghosh assembled a couple of groups who would go out and vaccinate as many dogs as possible on the weekends. As if that act of kindness wasn’t enough, the dogs were also given reflective collars – to make them more visible at night – a couple of treats, and no doubt lots of hugs.
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