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

How to Kickstart your Career as a Game Designer

Creating games is not just about an Idea. As a game designer, you must be specialized in making and delivering games. It’s more about what the designer does to put the game together, from the prototype to the final outcome. We will brief you about how to kickstart your career as a Game Designer.

Career as Game DesignerHow do you start?
If you wish to design games, start by making games. A game designer should concentrate always on making games. Your first ten games will probably suck (it’s not your fault), but don’t let that de-motivate you! Keep making them.

Things you should know –
Game designing is a field which requires a very wide range of knowledge. Dig up the Internet and learn as much as you can. Watch useful videos on the YouTube and enhance your skills. Bookmark and follow good gaming related blogs. There are some important things you should have knowledge about in order to become a better designer.

Things you should study – 
The most frequently asked questions, what do you need to study? What are the qualifications required? Do you need a university degree? We say, it comes in pretty handy for you, if you hold a professional degree. Few topics require you to know in-depth knowledge about gaming. There are few good universities that offer specific game design courses, concentrating on some amazing topics. Find a good college and assess the course portfolio and decide accordingly. Gaming is more about practical knowledge than about theory. See if the institute focuses more on practical knowledge.

You should know to Code
You don’t need to be a professional coder, but must be able to at least know the basics of the coding language. Coding will come in pretty handy for you, helping you achieve far more. Coding is a precious skill in the gaming industry.

You should know to Draw –
Art is something that game designers cannot ignore. A game designer must be able to sketch or visualize ideas. Did you know?
“Shigeru Miyamoto, the greatest designers of all time, started his career as an artist.”

Play Games –
You should play A LOT. Play everything you can, try as much things as you can. Always dissect the games you play, try to understand how they work, and deconstruct them.

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