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.

game industry

I am an Artist. Can I Join the Game Industry?

Yes. You can. You make a key member on a game development team because you breathe life into a game by creating what a gamer “sees” in a game.

As a game artist, you need a good understanding of art, art history, color, light, form, and space and use this understanding to create characters, theme, lighting, color, and motion.

A special mention should be made of art history here. Art history makes you aware of how art is perceived, created, and received by people of different cultures and times. A keen sense of art history can make you belong to a class of your own because you will understand how to conform and break free of perceptions to create drama.

Characters

A game plays out through the game’s characters. As an artist, you give form, color, and motion to a character and bring alive the feelings and emotions.

An artist typically sketches the characters on a paper or whiteboard, or even a tablet and then model the character on the computer using a modeling software tool, followed by giving an appropriate skin and skin color.

When you do this job, your team calls you a character artist.

Animation

After creating characters, you add motion. Motion displays emotion and intention of the characters. Can you recall the way Samba lowers his eyes in Lion King when accused of being the cause of his father’s death?

Motion is not limited to characters. Even the non-character elements of your game need animation. For example, the flowers sway in the wind. This is called scenic animation and brings the game environment to life.

After creating the motion, you have to record and integrate motion with the game. This is motion capture.

When you do all this and more, your team calls you an animator.

Theme

You will create a game’s theme. It includes the sports fields, forts, and fantasy worlds that form a game’s world. In essence, it is the make-believe world including the space and objects of the world.

And you are the environment artist.

How Important Are You?

Are you still wondering how important is an artist on a game development team? Well, the art department spends about 25% of a game’s budget. And game houses release artwork to generate  excitement  well before releasing a game. Need we say more?

designer-vs-programmer

Game Designer vs. Game Programmer

So you love those enticing and thrilling times playing mobile or desktop games? More so, you expect to get into this industry that offers loads of opportunities to follow your gaming passion? Well, for aspiring students looking for different opportunities to enter the gaming industry, distinguishing two important gaming positions, namely, game programming and game designing might be somewhat confusing. Though these two belong to the same stream, there are certain aspects you need to understand about them to help you decide which position you desire the most. You can better term this distinction as execution vs. conceptualization.

Primarily, you need to understand that both game design and programming work in tandem for creation of user engaging games. So let’s take a closer look at both these career avenues in brief.

Game Designer

Game designing is a creative and holistic approach towards game development. The primary quality for becoming a Game Designer is to know exactly what gamers expect from games. You need to visualize a bigger picture of how a game will play. Hence, studying how games will flow; right from the start to their end is necessary. Structuring games, forming rules for playing them, conceptualization, documentation and overall management of flow are aspects that game designers need to handle. Additionally, excellent analytical and problem solving abilities are skills you need to possess for working in this trade.

Game Programmer

Programming of games includes considering design specifications provided by Game Designers, integration of sound and art, and then translating all this into games that are playable. Innate command over computer programming languages/tools such as C++, C#, Java Script, APIs, interfaces, logical thinking, math skills, gameplay programing, graphics programming, game engine programming, concepts of artificial intelligence are necessary elements that you need to possess. This complex profile requires you to map game terrain and environment, implement some artificial intelligence elements and connect inputs of players via controllers.

Designing of games involves creative visualization of games, while programming relates to technological aspects for implementation of this vision for making the game a reality. Remember that this industry is a pool of rewarding opportunities; however, bypassing proper training and education will lead you to nowhere. So, what are you waiting for? Enroll yourself today for an exciting career in Gaming and become the Game Designer or Programmer the Industry is waiting for.