How Do You Choose a Job When You Receive Multiple Offers?

How Do You Choose a Job When You Receive Multiple Offers?

As a student, if you have dirtied your fingers in just about anything in gaming, tried to build a game or two, and your brain cooks games all the time making new rules and roles, you are very likely to have more than one offer by the time you finish your education in gaming.

The factors discussed in this blog may vary in importance for each of you. Backstage Pass is bringing this article to discuss some long term effects each factor will have on your journey ahead.

Large Companies and Indie Companies

Large companies typically have better employment benefits and more streamlined operations that affect an employee’s life. However, to gain visibility and recognition are not easy and the scope for learning depends on the group you will join.

In indie companies, you get to work in niche areas, handle a lot of work that is well beyond your imagination and typically work with very senior people. In a nutshell, the scope for learning is enormous. Some startups may give you shares in the company, called sweat equity. And others may offer fabulous packages with long weekends filled with work and fun.

Salary

Salary is an important consideration for many of us. If you need to support the family, support yourself, pursue higher studies without depending on parents, or save some money to start building games on your own, you must seek a job.

Never make a decision based on the size of the pay check alone. Consider all the factors below before you take a decision.

Creative Projects

There may be occasions when you want to be part of a team that is working on a new genre of game. Such projects always need an ability to stretch your mind and body. If you think you have them, go for such jobs that offer a place on the team.

When you apply yourself even to the most mundane task, you can turn it into the most creative adventure. Therefore, at the workplace, you should not look down upon any project. Many a time, an opportunity of your choice knocks on your door after you consistently prove that you execute all jobs with equal tenacity.

Creative projects give you an opportunity to fast forward your career.

Choice of Technology

While preferring to work with a particular technology, do build skills in other technologies that are alternatives and complementary for the chosen technology. This act will help you to remain relevant and steer the ebb and flow of tech trends.

A Good Team

No matter how good you are in your area of expertise, you are just two hands. A good team offers you more than hands: A good team trusts you and your ideas and gives you a space to think and wonder. A good team is a web of support in times of need.A good team has camaraderie that underlines its moments of harmony and disharmony.And a good team nurtures you.

Look for these traits in the team that interviews you and more specifically, the interviewer from your team.

Permission to Work on Pet Projects

Many times you may have a pet project or a side project that you want to pursue. It needs a lot of persistence to work on these pet projects as the work on these projects can be done only after attending to the regular work. Your interest in pet projects shows that you are a person who can strive longer and harder for things that you care about. While all organizations understand this fact, only some of them let you work on pet projects using the organizational resources. At the time of your interview, you can gently inquire whether the organization supports pet projects.

Conclusion

Use your discretion and listen to both your heart and mind when choosing a job offer over another because, the road less traveled may make all the difference in your life.

2016-06-17

4 Ways to Earn While Studying Gaming

For students who want to support themselves while studying or work for the sake of gaining experience, or both, we are bringing out this article on how to earn while learning.

Making Gameplay Videos and Monetizing Through YouTube

Gameplay videos teach you how to play a particular game using a video hosted on YouTube. There are many famous gameplay video makers such as PewDiePie, Yogscast, Rooster Teeth, and CaptainSparklez. It takes a while to earn the scales that these players have achieved. But it is worth trying. And remember, India is an untapped market in games.

E-sports

E-sports are competitive video game contests. And they carry handsome prize money to the winners. Players enjoy stardom, fan following and sponsorship’s as well. Dota 2 isa fine example of this kind, with a prize money of USD 18 million.

Indian Gaming League (IGL), Comic Con, Bangalore are some of the well-known e-sports platforms to reckon with in India.

Internships

If it is a year-long diploma course, you will apply for internship mid-way through the course. If it is a 4-year B.Tech.course in Game Development, you will officially start the internship in the final semester.

Collaborating with Seniors

Network as much as you can to nurture contacts. Similarly, develop expertise in areas of your interest. And then collaborate with your contacts to work for clients and seniors. It is OK even if you work for free for some months. The experience you gain is invaluable. The stepping stone for your next assignment is the fact that you have some real experience, not whether you earned money from your previousjob.

What Next?

By the time you pass out of school, you should ship at least one well-polished game. Publishing a game takes a lot of effort and tenacity and therefore speaks a lot about you. Consequently, it acts as the best stepping stone for an exciting career after college.

How to Land an Internship in Gaming

How to Land an Internship in Gaming

Internship is an experience that many students look forward to. And if you are the first among your friends and family to pursue gaming as a career, you may wonder how to land a good internship which is the stepping stone for a great career.

We are bringing you the 5 things that you must do, to get ready for an internship.

Attend Events

Attending events gives you access to people, trends, tools, and much more. Every event is a land of opportunities. The Game Developer Conference (GDC) held by NASSCOM every year is a great event to attend. It is scheduled to take place in Hyderabad in 2016.

Be a Part of the Gaming Community

Be a part of the gaming communities on social media and the web. Communities reverberate with trends and issues of the day and keep you abreast of developments in the field. Join communities that share knowledge, discuss issues, and deliberate on trends. Communities are organized by platform, by games, and so on. For example, Gamasutra blogs have a wealth of information on all aspects of making games. Likewise, explore the International Game Developers Association forums.

Start Working on Small Game Projects Early On

Get your hands dirty in making a game. The sooner, the better. Failed attempts at making a game teach you as much as the successful ones, if not more. Working on game projects teaches you how to anticipate issues, work within budgets, improvise resources, lock heads and find solutions, and last but not the least, steer the world of game publishing.

Be Persistent

Gaming is a demanding profession with a level playing field. The benchmarks on all fronts of gaming are set high and gamers are always pushing them higher. So to make a mark in the world of gaming, persistence is the best virtue you can possess. From small decisions to bringing projects to closure through publishing, it demands persistence.

Build an Online Portfolio

If you are a designer, make a game design portfolio and if you are a game art student, make a game art portfolio and showcase them. Your school often showcases student portfolios on the school’s website.

Create a LinkedIn Profile and Participate in LinkedIn Forums

LinkedIn is beneficial in two ways: It is the first stop for searching for talent worldwide. And LinkedIn helps connect to people working in your field of choice.

Upload a photo, fill in all the details on the profile page, and be visible to all. Also, fill in all the keywords and list your qualifications, awards won and so on. LinkedIn talks about you 24/7.

After you create the LinkedIn profile, start connecting with people. Work diligently on increasing your network. Also, join the groups that are relevant to your field of work and start answering questions posted by fellow members. This activity will build a public track record of your expertise and is very handy assessment tool for anyone who wants to work with you.

Conclusion
Above all, keep working and give your best to all assignments that you accept. After all, word of mouth plays a significant role in establishing your credibility.

Go, win people before you win internships or projects. And good luck.

choose an Internship

How Do You Choose an Internship?

When applying for an internship, you may find it difficult to decide whether the position is the right choice.

We are presenting a framework to assess an internship.

Wider Scope
Choose an assignment that gives you a wider scope of work. Such an assignment exposes you to the various departments of game making, develops different knowledge areas, and gives you a stronger presence in the world of game making.

Innovative Work
If the business offering the internship is doing innovative work, you may want to go for it. The reason is simple: even if your position includes routine work, you can network with the people involved in the innovative work and learn. The learning and exposure give you that streak of confidence that goes beyond good grades.

New Areas
It is always better to work at new areas. Note that it does not have to be a cutting edge technology. On the same note, whatever is new is always cutting edge, isn’t it?
Seeking new areas of work expands your horizons and helps you see your expertise in a new light.

Conclusion
A word of caution: you may be tempted to join where your friends are going but don’t. When you enter an organization where no one knows you, you will learn how to contribute in the real worldand know how to thrive alone.

The above framework is by no means complete. You can add all those factors that you think are important.

And then take a decision that is as objective as possible.

Your internship gives you a taste of the real world.

Go, savour it.

Rahul Sehgal

Pocket Gamer Connects 2016

PG Connects, an annual event organized by Steel Media Ltd., was held in Bangalore between 21 – 22 April.

We are presenting the first-hand account of the event from Rahul Sehgal, Backstage Pass senior faculty and Founder & Creative Director of Roach Interactive. Some impressions from Rahul:

What is the significance of this conference?

“India has 2 major annual events for gaming, NASSCOM’s Game Development Conference (GDC) caters to all forms of gaming whereas Pocket Gamer Connects focuses on mobile games.”

Who attended the event?

“Game designers, game developers, students, bloggers, indie development companies, the Press, and just about anyone who has something to do with mobile games. Many speakers from abroad. The whole ecosystem was present. “

What was your talk about subjective design?

I discussed how to engage casual through core players through appropriate game design.

How do such conferences benefit the attendees?

“The opportunity to learn, connect, and showcase is enormous. For example, you can set up a table for an insignificant fee and showcase your game under development. The feedback you get is priceless. If you are an indie developer, you can find resources. If you are a studio, you can meet publishers. You can meet business developers who can market the game. Not to mention, such events organize competitions. These competitions kick off typically months ahead of the event. Isn’t that a great platform to showcase talent?”

Your advice for students of gaming?

All students should attend such events. Entry fee for students is subsidised. You get to experience the whole universe of mobile gaming. That can be a transforming experience. Also, the networking, the exposure, meeting the old and new friends, and the very vibes…all of them count immensely.

Anibrain School of Media Design's Showdown 2016

Showdown 2016 – Backstage Pass Team is the Runner Up

Ranging Tornadoes, with Mir and Prakash, was declared the runner up (http://schoolofmediadesign.com/showdown-2016/game-showdown-result) in the Games category of Showdown 2016.

Showdown is an annual event that attracts national and international participants to Pune where Anibrain School of Media and Design hosts this event. What makes this win sweeter is the fact that Mir and Prakash have been studying game development only for a few months now. They are in the first year of B.Tech. (Game Development) at Backstage Pass.

We are bringing out a blog to showcase what propelled such young boys to the centre stage at a prestigious event.

As I waited for them, I saw two lanky and shy-looking boys walk into the room. After the introductory handshakes, I deliberately took them on a trip of small talk. By the end of the talk, I saw they were smiling, nodding and chipping in with a word or two.

Mir Fasiuddin has always been an avid player of console, mobile, and PC games. Every time he would get a better grade, his family would buy him a game. And he had been showered with games throughout his childhood. When he passed his 10th class, the gift was a coveted Wii box. His eyes lit up even as he mentioned his Wii.

Mir says “I did not want to pursue a traditional career. So I started googling for offbeat careers and I found Backstage Pass.” He adds, “I knew I wanted to make a career in gaming and I should opt for the B.Tech. programme. So I picked up the mathematics stream in 11th and 12th classes.”

Jaya Prakash says, “I always used to have my way at home. My parents knew that whatever I do, I do responsibly so many decisions were left to me. I wasn’t a big time gamer. But after I joined a private boarding school for my 11th grade, I realized I was part of a factory that makes machines called engineers. And I knew the life of being a programmer because I know many in my family who are programmers. And that was a big no for me.” His eyes narrowed even as those words poured out. He adds, “When I told my parents I wanted to study gaming after my 12th grade, they were clueless. And my cousin stepped in to back my decision. (I owe him something.) Finally, I am here doing what I wanted to do.”

I set on to understand the bonding between them. “Well, we did a class assignment together and made a presentation. And that rocked bigtime. So we know we make a good team.”

And now comes the test, “What made you participate in the game?” Mir quips, “I saw the announcement on the notice board and thought we should give it a try. So I promptly roped in Jaya Prakash.”

“Since this is an international event, we weren’t sure where we would stand but thought we should at least participate.”, adds Jaya Prakash.

Then they set on to research. And learnt many things in their journey towards submitting the entry. How do we draw up a game design document, how do we engage a gamer, what traditional Indian games are popular, what locale do we choose, what choices do we give the player and so on. Many decisions with a lot of gut feel. And they submitted and forgot about it.

And when the results were out, they were in for a pleasant surprise. Raging Tornadoes was declared as the runner up.

“What did you learn?” I asked them. “Many aspects of game development, from writing the game design document to game psychology and some tools too.” Says Mir.

“The courage and now my parents know that I will find a niche for myself in gaming,” adds Prakash.

Even as I congratulated the boys, I could listen to their eyes say that the journey transformed them from within.

By Surya Prabha Vallae

Jayadev

Jayadev, the Teacher Who Brings Life to Art and Art to Life

Jay Dev - Game Art Mentor

Jay Dev – Game Art Mentor

When I met Jayadev, the faculty member in Arts at Backstage Pass, for the first time, he looked like a bouncer to me. Sorry for my perception. Heavy, stocky, well-built but one thing was missing. The stern look that is so typical of a bouncer. Instead, he had a broad smile on his face that lit his face brilliantly and even the room. That made all the difference.

The time flew as we started chatting and the next hour of our meeting took me through a journey of his life. When we called it a day, I knew that I came in touch with a poster boy for making it big with art, in a country where many look down upon art as something that can’t help live a prosperous life.

Jayadev loved to draw as a kid. His father, a government employee, was very supportive. He encouraged Jayadev to draw and draw more and draw even more. However, his mother was concerned that how her boy would have a bright career if he were so much into art.

Dev’s tryst with art started when a friend sent a copy of the Maya software from Australia. Dev would endlessly play with it enjoying what the software would let him do. The summer after his +2, Dev’s dad promptly took him to his friend and the Principal of the Heart Animation Academy and the famous cartoonist, Mr. Jayadev. Later he cleared the national entrance exam of the Heart Animation Academy and joined the same. Even as he was pursuing art full-time, the academy set up a 3D animation centre. It was only natural for Dev to learn the 3D animation centre. Heart Animation Academy gave him a glimpse of the utility of gaming in fields such as entertainment. Not to mention, the young Dev was blown away.

Dev joined Dataquest Entertainment, Hyderabad as a Junior Animator in 2004 and started teaching art at Arena Multimedia as a part-time faculty. In due course, he became a full-time faculty member and later the Centre Head. Today he stands certified by over 20 different software vendors such as Adobe and Maya.

Life was good and Dev wanted to pursue his studies. He looked for a school that would offer a B.F.A. recognized by the Universities Grants Commission (UGC). Meanwhile, Dev came in touch with Backstage Pass. When he met Professor Balakrishna, Bala immediately offered him a faculty position.  After long years of teaching digital arts, the Backstage Pass position was the logical next step. And Dev joined Backstage Pass as a faculty in 2013.

Jay Dev - Game Art MentorDev teaches game design and game art including 2D and 3D animation, art history, image editing, rigging, lighting and texturing, digital sculpting and so on.

When I asked Dev about what does it take for a student to be successful in an art-based career, he says: “Students of art are typically shy. They are inward looking. But the gaming industry needs people who are also outward-looking, that is communicative. Also, one cannot teach art or music to a student. The student should have a certain innate capability to pursue art. Then we add the tools to adopt the art to the digital world.”

He adds, “We find it difficult to get good students in art. How many schools conduct art classes and music classes? And the gaming industry needs artists and musicians in large numbers. I don’t find them in a regular school. Kids who study art and music on their own come to us because they are passionate about their interest.”

I had one last question, “Dev, what did your students teach you?” He laughs…“Patience. When I joined Arena as a faulty member, most of my students were at least 3 years elder to me. To command them, I had to be patient, demo my skills as a teacher, and then make them follow me. That process taught me patience. Patience is fundamental to the success of an artist in this industry. Works of art, animation films that are classics are made etched with great care.”

After my chat, I left for home. When I went to bed that night, I had a smile darting on my lips. And deep in my heart, I realized for the umpteenth time, if you follow your passion, life follows you and that I can ask parents to go around chin up if the child is good only in art or music.

Surya Prabha Vallae for Backstage Pass

Women in Game Development

Women in Game Development

Game development is fast catching up as a career choice among young girls in India. Today many girls are hooked to online, mobile and video games as much as boys and are choosing a career in game development.

Women in game development bring a fresh perspective to the theme, story line and the characters in the game. With more women playing games, companies are also rethinking the way games are designed. They are looking at adding more female characters to the games. They also believe that women game developers can create dynamic female characters and are encouraging them.

Today there are many women game developers who have found success and are inspiring young women to take up game development. If you are considering this profession then here are the skill sets and job requirements for game development. Read ahead for perspectives on the profession from some women game developers.

Skill Sets

The general qualities and skill sets required to make a career in this field include strong skills in drawing, creative bent of mind, analytical thinking, visualization, logical thinking, interpersonal skills etc.

The eligibility for doing an undergraduate degree or diploma in game development is 10+2 with maths, physics as the main subjects.

Game development as a profession offers diverse roles from game designer, game writer, and game artist to game tester. One can work as game programmers and design and write the computer code that runs and controls a game.

It is no doubt a challenging field and requires team work, good communication skills and willingness to listen and collaborate. These qualities are not gender specific and women can do as well as men in this field. The evidence of this is the increasing number of successful women game developers.

Women Game Developers

Women in GamingGlobally, women constitute a small percentage of game developers. The workforce in game development companies is dominated by males but women are making small but sure inroads into the industry.

Today there are many women game developers working at top levels and some have even started their own companies. Game companies agree on the fact that more women need to be hired as game designers if better games are to be produced.

According to The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) workplace study in 2014, 76 percent of the workforce is male, compared to 22 percent female. The apprehensions women have to deal with include long working hours, early burn out and decreased job satisfaction. But the positive fact is women who made up only 11.5 percent of the workforce in 2009 has seen an increase.

In India too, there are many women who not only play games but are also active in game forums. We spoke to Poornima Seetharaman, lead game designer at GSN Games India Pvt Ltd. She started her gaming career with a South Korean mobile games company, Cyberhills. She also worked with Indiagames (now Disney), where she was the Lead Designer for the mobile version of Bioshock. She runs her own game design studio, Pinaka Interactive which focuses on games that deal with social causes in the real world. She is also one of the founding members of Nasscom Gaming Forum – Special Interest Group on Women in Game Development.

Poornima’s advice to women wanting to take up gaming as a career:

  • Take up an internship. An internship gives you clarity and provides you with money, mentors and network. Then choose which career path in gaming you would like to pursue. This will help you decide your path based on experience and not just understanding.
  • Never put a person on a pedestal or put down a person just because they are good or bad at a particular game.
  • Utilize the online medium which has abundant sources on game development. Learn, learn, and learn even more.
  • Participate in gaming events and conferences and build your contacts.

But there are challenges women game developers have to contend with.

The Way Ahead

Women game developers feel games can be made more inclusive to women if they have more of female protagonists. They opine that the lack of diversity in the types of games being made is one reason there are very few female protagonists and this can change only if more women get into game development.

But the good news is many women are breaking stereotypes and choosing this profession. They are experimenting with game development and bringing creativity to the field and are succeeding too. They are an inspiration to young women.

To discover more about women game developers, there are online forums and blogs dedicated to women in the profession. Two of them are http://www.gamingaswomen.com/ and http://women.igda.org/

Young women can choose this profession for the number of exciting avenues it offers; they can be artists, animators, writers, designers, producers or programmers after the right course of study.

Backstage Pass is encouraging more girls to opt for a career in game development by offering scholarships for female students.

With such initiatives to encourage more women to enter the profession,   the numbers of women game developers is bound to grow.

What does Backstage Pass Collaboration with JNAFAU Mean to You?

Gaming is undoubtedly one of the hottest career options today. If you wish to do a professional course in the field and get the certificate recognized by a University then look no further than Backstage Pass.

Backstage Pass provides two undergraduate courses recognized by Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU), B.Tech – Computer Science & Game Development and B.F.A – Game Art & Design.

These courses are taught by the industry and academic experts who train the students from basics to the latest trends in design and development of games.

Backstage Pass is the first institute in India to provide its students a Bachelor’s degree from University after completion of the course. This not only gives recognition to the courses but also adds immense value to application for a job or for further studies by students.

Recognition apart, the courses here provide ample opportunities for students to spend time in hands on learning when it comes to knowing and learning games and game development. Students with the University certified B.Tech – Comp Science & Game Development and B.F.A – Game Art & Design from the institute are sought after by companies and as a result students from here get hired faster.

The four year undergraduate course is advantageous to those students especially who wish to work abroad as some foreign countries make it mandatory for students to complete 16 years of education for eligibility to get a work visa. The four year undergraduate courses at Backstage Pass fulfill this criterion. Countries including the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia look for candidates who have completed 16 years of education to be eligible to work.

Finally the recognition from JNAFAU helps the students of Backstage Pass get faster access to documents required for getting student loans.

It is an advantage for students who choose to study at Backstage Pass because recognition from JNAFAU holds a lot of value once the students complete their course here.

 

Institute Of Gaming & Technology

How does Backstage Pass Placement Service Work for you?

The dominant thought in the mind of any student doing the final year of one’s studies is the kind of job one will get after the course and how soon. Though campus interviews and placements are the norm these days especially for professional courses like engineering, the trend is yet to catch up in other undergraduate courses. But coming to the gaming courses offered at Backstage Pass placements and internships, these are easily accessible to students.

This is because the institute makes efforts to give comprehensive training to students and prepares them for a career in gaming by organizing various workshops, seminars and guest lectures where students can interact with the leading professionals from the industry and prepare themselves for a successful career.

The institute is associated with a few gaming companies which helps students find the right placement or internships. Apart from this, game companies visit the campus on a regular basis to assess the students and give them an insight into the working style and opportunities in the industry.

Some of the part time instructors of the institute are from the gaming industry which gives an opportunity for students to interact with them and get ready references when they apply for a job.

Backstage Pass also makes efforts to train students on the skill sets required to get a job in the industry. Personality development and soft skill training are also provided to help students.

With such efforts, it is no surprise that students here get paid internship during the third year of the course itself and they attend college during the first half of the day and work at a game company during the other half. The stipend they get will be useful to them in financing their studies.

The placement service Backstage Pass provides combined with its well designed courses gives a definite edge to its students.