Backstage Pass Institute

The Making of a Game | Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology

Work like it is a game. This is what die-hard gamers always wanted to do. The journey of two young game developers, Anand Dhavle and Anmol Nikam is no different.

Both Anmol and Anand were students of Backstage Pass. They work in game development companies and make games that they like to play.

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Our conversation began with the usual round of introduction. They spoke about the games they make, with each one filling in where the other left. The camaraderie they shared was ubiquitous. On the whole, it was inspiring to peep into their world and understand game development from their perspective.

 

Team Name: Digital Cartridge

No of team members: Two

Education: Anand studied B.Tech (Gaming) and Anmol studied B.F.A (Game Design). Alumni of Backstage Pass,

Important events: Participated in a game jam competition held at NGDC 2015 (Nasscom Game Development Corporation). They made a prototype of their game.

Games developed: Reverie, Rock It, and Blind Boy Project

Play Reverie by clicking here

They love to play games.

 

The Beginning

“It all started when we made a prototype of a game when participating in a game jam held at NGDC (Nasscom Game Development Conference) 2015 at Pune. We got a lot of positive feedback. And we decided to flesh it out further.”.

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What Was The Game About

“The game was called “Reverie” which means getting lost in thoughts, something similar to daydreaming. It is a gesture-based 2D platformer for the Android platform. You get to draw shapes to create objects, defeat enemies, and solve puzzles to help the little girl to get out of the world she is trapped in”.

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The Making

“It was a great learning experience. We underestimated the effort we need to put in to make a full-fledged game. Initially, we got our friends to play the game and tell us how they felt. Then, we improved the art-style, animation, added new graphics, changed the controls a number of times to get it right. We created unique mechanics which made our game fun to play. Lastly, we released it on platforms like Itch.io. Within five days, our game crossed 2000 downloads. We released the code into the public domain so that anyone can edit and enjoy the game. Here’s the link to the full source code”.

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What Was Your Motivation For Making This Game

“We wanted to present our ideas and make a game that we wanted to play. And we hoped that others will enjoy playing as well”.

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How Did You Choose To Work With Each Other

Anand said, “ Choosing the team member is very important. I would look for team players who can complement”. Anmol added, “Each team member should contribute and fill gaps in the process. Their ideas should be in sync though. We should play the same type of games and be aware of the type of game play that our target audience enjoy.”

 

What Did You Learn While Making The Game

They both echoed that a lot of patience, hard work and perseverance is required to complete a game like any other creative pursuit.

 

What Is Your Motivation to Play Games

“I enjoy playing games as we can break free from the routine and it relieves stress. I also like to play games as it is interactive and we can see our actions changing the outcome,” says Anand. “Playing games promotes skill building for sure. Also, it disconnects us from reality”, adds Anmol.

 

What is Your Advice For a Person Who Wants to Try Their Hand at Gaming

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“If you are sceptical about starting just like we were, start small and participate in a lot of small projects and game jam competitions. Being hands on will build your confidence and you will learn a lot in the process.”

“Learn to program, use a game engine, play a lot of games, start small, find a partner who can support you, enter competitions like game jam, and do projects.”, they said.

 

Here Are Some Valuable Thoughts to Ponder Over

“Try to make something different and be proficient in different art-styles, animations, graphics, controls. More than anything else, enjoy the entire process”.

Sushil George

@Home with Gaming – Sushil George

Today, we are showcasing one of our faculty members, Sushil George. Sushil considers himself a Hyderabadi. He holds B.Tech. from JNTU, Hyderabad and has been working as a game developer for over 6 years now.

Childhood, Motivation and Inspiration

Sushil GeorgeIn hindsight, I see that games inspired me more than people as I was growing up. When I saw a DOS game load on a Windows 95 PC, I would get excited beyond words. I was playing all the games I could lay my hands, though the games were difficult to find in those days. The two years of junior college(Intermediate)that followed were busy years as I had to prepare for various engineering entrance exams. After joining B.Tech., I was back to playing games. I learnt C and Java as part of the courses in graduation, and the learning helped in my later years as a game developer.

Soon after I completed graduation in 2010, I joined Gameloft as a QA tester and understood the process of game development. A few months later, I left Gameloft and joined Backstage Pass to pursue the Advanced Diploma in Game Programming. The training has really helped in my later years as a game developer, thanks to my experienced and talented mentors. Later, I joined Avakai Games and since then, there is no looking back.

Gaming as a career is relatively new in India. The 40+ population in India hardly plays computer games. My parents do ask me occasionally if this is the right career for me. But I guess what matters to me is l feel at home in gaming. I believe that when I am at home in a particular area, I give it my best. And that is what important. At some point, money and passion will come together anyway.

Advice for Wannabe Entrepreneurs

Unless you have someone ready to invest in your venture, it is not really possible to start off as soon as you come out of college. So it is better to work for 3 to 5 years in a company. This will help you save some money for your venture and also give you a firsthand knowledge of how to run a game development team. When working, handle as many responsibilities as you can so that you know something about everything. And don’t forget to build in-depth experience in at least one chosen area of interest and keep networking by attending all the conferences within your reach.

Before you launch your own venture, ensure that you have released at least 1 or 2 games. That will help you understand what it takes to ideate, develop and release a game. Releasing a game is of great significance because the market not only teaches the process of and hurdles in marketing a game but also acts as a touchstone for your career.

Want to Pursue a Career?

This works fine for many of us. If you go abroad and get employed in a company with a good track record, you can probably retire from the same company. This is so because, in the West, the gaming industry is so well developed and is growing non-stop. They play games as individuals, families, friends and professional gamers. It means a healthy growth for the industry.India is not far behind as the job prospects are better than ever and will continue to grow.

The Chosen Path

No matter which way you want to go, give it your 100%. The most important thing: never stop learning and seeking newer game technologies.You will do just fine.

Wishing all of you a great journey in gaming.

— Sushil George

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.

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.

Turn Your Passion into a Career Reality – 5 Ways to get a Job in Gaming

We have listed the top 5 ways on how to acquire a Job in the booming Gaming Industry.

make gaming your career1. Self teach:
You can always teach yourself a lot about gaming. A lot of gaming professionals knew much about gaming before joining an institute as such. You can do a lot of research about gaming; there are oodles of information on the internet. Practice how to code or program by yourself, when you decide to join an institution; it’ll come in handy. The best way to self teach is to look for videos and tutorials online.

2. Join a University:
To get a Job in gaming industry, you should have a professional degree or a course from a university. Going to an institute will make you much more productive. Self learning might help you open up your own company, but if you want to get hired in the competitive industry; you must definitely get trained at a university. Start looking for good institutions close by.

3. What’s your dream job?
First, find out what you want to work as. There are many different career opportunities in the gaming industry. They include -Game Designer, Game Developer, Game Artist, Game Programmer, Game Writer and Game Testers, Decide what interests you more and get trained accordingly.

game programmer4. Develop your Programming skills:
Having good programming skills is very important for any gaming professional. Even if you don’t have an experience, if you hold an internship/certificate as a C++ or Java/C# programmer, the chances of you getting hired increases exponentially. Build a good C.V and also maintain a good online presence. You should have a website of your own.

5. Create an online portfolio:
For gamers, a good portfolio is the key. Maintain a good website; you only have to send a link to companies when they get in touch with you for job opportunities. It will create a great impression. Initially, start making small games. Practice a lot and the satisfaction from completing smaller projects will help you.
Is Gaming your passion? This website will help change your passion into a career reality.

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.

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Breaking into the Gaming Industry

The advent of Gaming Industry led to the rise of the number of career options for gamers. We think game developing is the only career option in the blooming industry, but as the game industry is growing; a number of career options are now available for people who are passionate about gaming. Many jobs are opening in the industry. As the popularity of Video Games increases, so is the number of career options in the field. There are a wide variety of career pathways you can choose from, there’s almost something for everyone.

We bring you few of the top most career options the ever growing Gaming Industry has.

Composer

Composing music for video games is a very important job in the gaming industry. Many people may not know, but a lot of gaming companies are hiring number of passionate composers to make music for video games. Video games are much like movies these days. The gaming industry is definitely a great way to fly start your career in music.

Developer

Making video games is the most important thing in gaming, obviously. Take a certificate course or get a degree/diploma in game developing. You also do some research on the internet. OUYA, is the first Android-based gaming console, which is an excellent tool for you to make games. What’s the best part? It’s free! Steam Greenlight is yet another way to get your game out there. Game-developer is the most sought out career option for you, if you decide to enter the gaming industry.

Marketing

No matter what you do, marketing has become compulsory these days. So many new games come out every month, it’s crucial for the Gaming companies to market their games. Even if you make a super-amazing game, without promoting, it won’t make it to the top. Knowing marketing in general is enough for you to get hired in the marketing and P.R positions in the Video Gaming Industry.

Voice actor

Composing for video games is similar to composing for movies and television. Video game characters need a voice; you can take up the role of a voice actor.

Tester

To be a video game tester, is the most fun job in the gaming industry. However, you must have a lot of experience in playing all sought of games.  You must be able to very well play video games, have loads of patience and also must pay great attention to minor details.Your role is not to only play, you should also find flaws and get the developer’s attention towards it.

You only have to be passionate and interested; there are many options in the video gaming industry to choose from. Get started!

Top 5 career tips for aspiring game designers

 

Game Designer

Entertainment has taken a new perspective with advent of smart phones, tablets and computers. These sources provide you entertainment via many different avenues. The most vibrantly used source amongst all these are games. However, do you know that behind all these entertaining games is the toil and effort of game designers? These professionals are the actual players and the master-minds who make games a reality.

As the saying goes ‘all work and no play makes jack a dull boy’, however in the case of a game designer that is not true. Game Designing is an exciting career field. Game Designers don’t just get paid for creating games but playing games is also a part of their job. Now isn’t that cool?

Game Designing is a very specialized and challenging career where creative and artistic skills are a necessity. So do you dream to become a game designer? Well, if yes, then there are certain aspects that need careful attention. Read below to find the top 5 career tips for aspiring Game Designers.

Dig deep to educate yourself

Self-learning helps. You will need self efforts to become an expert game designer. So the primary aspect is to dig deep and find the right training institute for obtaining a degree in game designing. Here too, it is important that you don’t just sit in class and hear what your teachers preach. Interaction is the key.

Network

Follow companies involved in game design. Check what the current trends for the industry are. Seek to know how a game design company operates. For this, networking will be beneficial. Reach out to professionals from the industry. Seek guidance on how to tread forward. If you are lucky enough, your design college might reach out to some company for campus recruitment and chances of you already knowing someone there will be high if you have spread your wings correctly.

Internships help

You can check for companies offering internships. This will groom you as professional and also provide you with experience certificates to help in your full time job search.

Understand responsibilities

Remember that designing games is a team effort. Work is distributed amongst the team of which you will be a part. Understand what your role is and how it will benefit the project in hand. Flexibility and multitasking are abilities that will help you in the long run.

Keep yourself and your profile updated

While you are working as a game designer, ensure that you keep track of innovations and new technology related to the industry. Keep learning and maintain an updated profile of your experience and expertise. This will heighten your chances of bigger and better opportunities.

Finally remember that this profile requires efforts, patience, creativity and ability to handle stress. So if you are passionate about this profession, follow the above mentioned tips and kick start your career with full acceleration.