Debdatta

Success Needs the Freedom to Fail

A sharp mind, quick questions, high doses of common sense, loads of candour, a maturity level that stumps any adult and of course a dash of humour. Mix all these ingredients into a potpourri, and you get none other than Debdatta Basu. A game developer since his school days and a graduate from IIT, Roorkee, Deb can converse non-stop and be simultaneously thinking a couple of steps ahead of his conversation.

Were you thinking of game development when you started college at IIT?

“I developed games at school. It was a lot more fun to develop games than applications from the school’s textbook. The subject was interesting enough that I didn’t mind spending long hours learning concepts that would be considered dry or boring otherwise. My education at IIT served to expand my knowledge and formally cement a lot of things I had learnt. I am a great software engineer today because of the curiosity and interest I developed while making games in school.”

What defines a software engineer?

“A software engineer is someone who engineers and builds software. He is identified by what he builds and not necessarily by a job or a designation, or the tools he uses. A great software engineer should be strong enough in his fundamentals to adapt to the rapid change that is a reality of the industry.”

What was your first job?

My first job was at a semiconductor company. I participated in the design and implementation of drivers for graphics hardware.

How did you happen to choose game development as a career?

“I do games because they are fun to build. Game development has many more moving parts than a business application, which makes it more mentally stimulating to work on. Games are a pure technology play. The recurring costs are low to non-existent. That makes for an interesting business model as well. Overall I love games and so far, they have loved me back.”

There seems to be an acute shortage of game developers and other types of talent for the booming gaming industry. What kind of talent should we bring into game development?

“We should target kids who are avid gamers. It requires some stubbornness to pursue a career in games, and kids who are avid gamers already have it in them. Such kids take to gaming naturally.

Young engineers working in the industry are the second set of people who are the ideal resource pool. Many of them want to get into software engineering roles and game development presents a tremendous opportunity to do so. Backstage Pass has the right courses for them to get trained and placed in software engineering roles.”

 

What do you think of game development as a business?

“For a game development business to be sustainable, it has to deliver hits consistently. Many people think the game industry is too risky. But anything is too risky if you don’t understand the landscape. If you don’t know how to lay a brick, then constructing a house is risky.

Success in the game industry is a matter of figuring out what the market wants and meeting the market’s needs with a well-designed product that can sell itself. In game development, it is not about the production house or the star cast as is the case with movies. Gamers love or hate a game purely because of the experience that it provides. So, it is a more level playing ground out there.”

How does one learn game development?

“Today anyone can learn what he or she wants to learn. I learnt to code by building games, and this can be a fun way to get engaged talent into the software industry as a whole. There are plenty of resources available on the Internet for those who are eager to learn. Khan Academy has very good content. Consider Udemy and Coursera as well. Google is good for research.

Software engineering is a constant learning process. Once you know the fundamentals, follow sites like Stack Overflow, The Hacker News and so on. The software engineering community is quite friendly, and when you approach people with a specific and legitimate problem they rally around to help you.”

As a country, what should we do to promote making games in India?

“We should understand that game development, at its heart, is a creative industry. And creative industry can thrive only when one has the luxury to fail. To achieve success in one game, we will have to fail many times. Those who quit and return to other professions should be accepted as normal people. Let our kids and youngsters fail when they follow their dreams. They have very high chances of succeeding in life if we let them fail without fear or shame.”

That sums up Deb’s approach to life. Good luck Deb and all of you who look forward to taking part in the booming gaming industry.

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

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.

mobile game development

Things You Should Evaluate When You Choose Mobile Game Development

Mobile gaming has been a major source of entertainment for many since it came in to being. Mobile gaming in the past was very simple and of low quality resolution. But with the invention of Smartphones and advancement in the technology, mobile gaming has highly evolved. Mobile gaming quality these days is no less when compared to PC games. The introduction of mobile platforms like Android and IOS has also played a huge role in the advancement of the mobile gaming industry.

The best part about Mobile Gaming though is that it can be played where ever and whenever you want to. When you’re waiting for a bus, or you’re travelling in a car or when you’re simply bored in a public place.

mobile gamingIt has also become very easy for game development companies to develop and distribute games, with the presence of advanced tools these days.

Evaluation of Mobile Game Development Challenges –  

“It’s not about what you do, but how well you do it.”

With so many game developing companies and so many new games in the market each day, you need to make sure that your game stands out. Which is well, not a very easy task. There are several creative, technical and marketing challenges in the mobile game development industry.

1) Marketing strategies must be made according to the genre of the game.
2) Marketing of the games is a huge challenge. A proper knowledge is essential.
3) The game idea must be fresh and not copied.
4) Your games must be optimized according to a wide variety of mobile devices.
5) You need to buy licenses and they can be pretty expensive.

What can you do to overcome the challenges? 

There are challenges, but there are also solutions to meet them.

1) Hire mobile game developers from reputed companies only.
2) Hire a good creative team.
3) Marketing also must be carried out by professionals.
4) See through that all the departments work together as a team and collaborate.
5) Research about the licenses online and take help from experienced individuals.

You can also take a certificate course in game development and increase your knowledge about Mobile Game Development!