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.

What Does it Cost to Pursue a Course in Game Development?

As a student, you spend your time, money, and many other resources to pursue your passion, that is, a course in gaming. So, it is well worth your time to investigate what economic opportunities, policy framework, and skill pool make the environment of gaming in India.

Gaming Industry in India – Revenue and Employability

According to the National Skill Development Commission, animators, game designers, modelers, script writers, programmers, and testers make the workforce in a game development company. And the projection of growth is:

WorkforceAnimation, VFX, and Gaming (NSDC)
201320,000
201730,000
202240,000

A FICCI-KPMG report of 2014 made the following projection for Gaming services by 170 companies for online, PC, console, and mobile platforms:

Year (Projected)Market Size for Gaming
(INR Crores)
2015
2800
20163200
20173600
20184100

Policy Initiatives

Some major policy initiatives that propel employment are:

1.The Government of India permits 100 Foreign Direct Investment in animation, gaming, and VFX sectors.

2.The Government of Telangana is setting up a GAME (Game, Animation, Media, and Entertainment) city in Raidurgam, Hyderabad. This is expected to push India to capture a share of 15% from the current share of 1% in the world market.

3.The Government of Kerala has invested in KINFRA Film and Video Park (KFVP) to promote gaming, video, and post-production of movies.

4.The Government of Karnataka unveiled a policy for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) policy in 2012. In addition, the government created a venture capital fund worth INR 500 million to make the state a favored destination in this sector.

5.The Government of Maharashtra unveiled the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) policy, in March 2015.

Against this backdrop, Backstage Pass offers the following courses and the costs are here as of 2015:

Course NameFee per year*
(INR)
Fee with Scholarship for Men
(INR)
Fee with Scholarship for Women
(INR)
Dura-
tion (Yrs.)
Living Costs per Year **
(INR)
Cost to Complete the Course for Men
(INR)
Cost to Complete the Course for Women
(INR)
Avg. Salary per Year in Internship
(Lakhs/ Yr.)
Avg. Salary per Year
(Lakhs/ Yr.)
B.Tech (Computer Science and Game Development)1,25,0001,06,25087,50041,00,0008,25,0007,50,0001.8 – 2.5 4. 2 to 5.4
BFA - Bachelor of Fine Arts (Game Art and Design)1,00,00085,00070,00041,00,0007,40,0001.5 – 2.5 3.5 to 5.4
Diploma in Game Development1,30,0001,10,00091,10011,00,0002,10,0001,91,000None3.2 to 5.4
Diploma in Game Art and Design1,30,000--11,00,0002,30,0002,30,000None3.2 to 5.4
P.G Diploma in Game Development1,30,000--11,00,0002,30,0002,30,000None3.2 to 5.4
P.G Diploma in Game Art and Design1,30,000--11,00,0002,30,0002,30,000None3.2 to 5.4
Certificate Program in Game Development85,000--11,00,0001,85,0001,85,000None3.2 to 5.4

* The fee is for Indian citizens. If you are a foreign national, please contact us at info@backstagepass.co.in or call us at +91-8008002794 for information.

** For foreign national the living expenses may be more as you may spend money on calling and travelling home.

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?

game development

3 Skills to Blaze a Trail in Game Development

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a star member on a game development team?

Communication Paves the Way

Wondering why you should be good at communication skills when all you want to do is build the next big game?

Whether you are part of a big game production house or a small indie game team, you will have team members from various geographies, cultures and perhaps non-native speakers of English. Now, how do you express your thoughts clearly to such an eclectic mix?

In your day to day life, you need to present your thoughts, ideas and feelings, prototype when needed using effective imagery, and document what you are doing. If necessary, you may even have to convince and inspire your team to explore your suggestion. You may have to write the game design documents, in-game screen text, messages, help, and whatever else is needed. This means you will rock if you communicate well to convey the energy and enthusiasm you carry.

Curiosity Wins Hearts

If you were living in a community, you would ideally want to know who your neighbors are. Don’t you?

Similarly, try to understand and appreciate all departments that participate in game development, art, programming, marketing and PR, writing, testing, and production. For example, if you want to become a game developer, understand how other areas contribute to and influence game development and vice versa. Ask your colleagues and ask on forums. And everyone loves to talk about their expertise. It endears you to people. And the ability to see your core area of expertise through the eyes of other members on your team will help you plan and communicate better.

And Team Players are Cherished

In recent times, have you heard of a game that was developed by a lone developer?

Not a chance. Today, games are developed by businesses, both small and big, that have a team made of developers, writers,  artists, designers, musicians, testers, marketers, and so on. What’s more, some of them may not be on the business’ roles. To work with such a diverse set of people, to give and accept their feedback, you should be a team player with a “give and take” attitude. As a team player, your team’s goals are top priority for you, execution of ideas is subject to the approval by the team members, and your decisions are made based on what is good for the team and the business.

career in game development

3 Aptitudes for a Successful Career in Game Development

Even as you are completing 10+2, Intermediate, or diploma, you must be wondering “what next?”

This is the time of your life when you receive plenty of advice about the bachelor’s degree to choose and the streams that fetch you the best jobs, and so on. Obviously, you would like to choose Computer Science.

And at least some of you must be wondering if there is a stream that combines loads of fun with your favorite Computer Science and  is more rewarding or how your deft hand can draw for the whole world. The answer is a career in game development.

And what aptitudes one should have to be successful in game development?

You Look for Fun

You are someone who looks for fun in everything that you do. 

Do you  remember tossing in the bed thinking of the new game that your friend had mentioned. Do you remember running home to turn on your game console or making new rules to play an old game and better still, invent  games?

Your Love Challenges That are Fun

You are someone who can return to a task, if it has loads of fun, gives you a sense of achievement and is challenging at the same time.

Do you remember racing paper boats in streams of rain water gushing down the road and the number of times you made a new boat so that you could win?

You Are Self-Motivated

You are self-motivated in matters that are close to your heart. And you don’t mind sitting in a quiet corner to do what you like the most.

Do you remember the unfinished puzzle that gently troubled you, till you solved it? Do you remember the sketches you made when rains did not let you play in the open?

If you have some or all of these traits, you are made for a career in game development.

Good luck boys & girls. 🙂

 

Make Gaming your Career Pathway

With the rise of home console, computer and now mobile and tablets the Gaming Industry has bloomed. A large number of career paths are now available to people who are passionate about gaming. Game designers create great video games these days with the evolution of animation and visual effects. A lot of institutes are also providing professional courses to train passionate individuals as game designers.

Game Designer

Though primarily game designing was dominated by male gamers, but lately more and more female gamers have been entering into the field. The gaming industry is definitely something to think of, when you are choosing your career pathway.

What are the educational requirements?

If you want to make gaming as your career, the minimum requirement by colleges usually is a bachelor’s degree. Some colleges provide a bachelor degree too. Many institutes these days are also providing certificate courses for people who wish to pursue their passion in spite of their routine jobs.

A decent knowledge in gaming and computer skills is mandatory. Possessing artistic skills is an added plus point. Good verbal communication skills, a knowledge in coding, creative thinking, computer programming, problem solving and critical thinking are few other skills one must possess.

What else do you need?

Love and passion for video games:

Game institutes and companies want to teach/employ the kind of people who know the qualities of what makes a video game good or bad. People who have knowledge about what runs in the video gaming market, worldwide.

Learn everything you can about game design:

Look up the internet, learn and develop your designing skills. Do your research. Spend your time self learning. Learn about programming software’s such as C++ and Pascal. Upgrade the skills you already posses. Have nose for news. Read through the Internet about the constant upgrades, the News related to gaming.

Join a Good Gaming institute and Obtain a Course:

Colleges, schools and universities offer classes, certificate courses and degrees in Game Development, Game Art and Design and B.Tech (Game Development) and B.F.A. Acquiring accredited training in these areas will show a prospective employer you are serious about your chosen field.

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.