Benny Francis

An Insight Into the Mind of an Esteemed Game Art Mentor – Benny Francis

Benny, one of our game art mentors, has nine years of experience in the games industry. He has worked previously in Technicolor, Lakshya Digital where he learnt the international standard of quality in artwork and went onto win the Lakshya Art Competition which gave him international recognition. He has worked as a part of many games such as the popular game, Shadow’s War and games made by big labels such as Dreamworks[NDA], Square Enix games[NDA], Platinum games [NDA].

Later, He worked for Glu Mobile which he describes to be a luxury job for any game artist, but a passion for teaching and bettering the current game development education sector aligned his goals with that of Backstage Pass, and he was welcomed here as a game art mentor.

An interview with him brought to light more of his thoughts and aspirations. So, let’s get started to know more!

“When you started as a young game artist, did you ever imagine you would end up in teaching?”

“I have always been interested in teaching as I used to teach many of the weak students in my class during my student days. As I ventured through the industry, I started seeing the holes in my colleagues’ knowledge base and realized that other than tools and softwares, these colleges aren’t teaching them anything. So, when Mr.Surya, founder of Backstage Pass, approached me and told me how they want their students to have all the basics of game art integrated into their minds before leading up to advanced tools, it resonated with my thought process, so here I am!”

 “What sort of students do you come across?”

“Ah, well I think all students are unique in their needs, but yes they can roughly be divided into two types:

1)    They are self-motivated and know the path they want to pursue. These kinds of students require guidance and supervision such that they excel in whichever way they choose and take all the right steps to further themselves in it.

2)    The second type, they are good at what they do but are a bit lost about what to pursue, so I try to help them find their path through exposure and experimentation.

Either type of student can go to great heights or fail miserably depending on the guidance they receive as they need to be taught first before they can experiment and I hope to be of help in every step of their journey.”

“What are your goals as a mentor?”

 “To make sure that my students become renowned artists because that automatically means their art is of top quality. I want to make sure that all my students, no matter their level of talent and skill, are humble and accepting as overconfidence causes anyone to fail at some point. Mainly, I have seen many game artists with great skill but who do not get what they deserve, and they do not protest as their managerial skills are poor, but I will make sure my students know their worth and what to request for and what not to settle for when they successfully graduate from Backstage Pass as Game Developers!”

” What are the common misconceptions that people have about game art?”

 “The most common ones are :

1)    To take up game art, students require to be good at drawing.

Completely false. Some of my peers, who are top game artists in the country, can’t draw to save their lives!

2)    A 3D artist is better than a 2D artist (OR) 3D art is better than 2D art.

Absolutely inaccurate. 3D art and 2D art are two separate mediums — each unique to their section of work.

These two are the ones I have come across quite a few times, surprisingly. “

” What is your attitude in the classroom? As in.. how are you as a teacher?”

 “I’m strict about certain things, and I think discipline is a quality to be built in students so that they do not need anyone to teach them such in their future employment. I believe in work hard and play hard, so, I make my students work hard but also relax to de-stress their minds.

I don’t believe in giving them deadlines, but I do believe in making them understand the concept well enough that a passion is stirred within them to create art and present it to me. I try to channelize their raw, youthful energy into their craft rather than waste it.”

 “How has the industry evolved?”

 “There are many new opportunities and new mediums that have sprung up in recent times. Freelancing has become a great opportunity for artists. They get paid well, but there is no job security. As an employee, an artist has to consider his boss’s personality because many artists are put under tremendous pressure by management but now, some good companies are valuing their artists and treating them better. Recruitment in a good company is hard to get, but when you are a Backstage Pass student, it gets easy because they are associated with all the prominent game companies in India such Sony India, EA sports and many more.”

 “So, coming to our last question…do you think international standards of quality are hard to reach for your students?”

 “International artists have more resources than us, which helps them shine, but when it comes to talent, we are equally good if not more. Colleges such as Backstage Pass are providing these resources. So combining passionate mentors and resources from Backstage Pass with students’ passion and talent, we can count on presenting first-grade quality.”

Here’s an Insight into the Thoughts of a Fellow Game Developer

Here’s an Insight into the Thoughts of a Fellow Game Developer

With the growing game industry, it is a world full of opportunities to grab, which is precisely the reason,  many colleges have begun offering additional game development courses along with their regular set of classes.

It is a step in the right direction from the academies of our country, but a new field of study needs much detail to be worked on to develop the curriculum of the course by top experts in the area which isn’t occurring currently.

Colleges provide game design and game art as one single course though they are very different skillsets to be learnt, and game programming doesn’t even come into the picture, which is essential to develop any game.

I have also noticed that they advertise education in game development, but they only teach the softwares related to it and do not begin from scratch, which is a hindrance to students’ knowledge.

However, one college that I have come across which advocates teaching everything from the ground up and provides only game development courses in game design, art and development with experienced and passionate mentors that have years of expertise and knowledge, is Backstage Pass. It has been around for a decade in Hyderabad and is now, in Pune and Bangalore as well.

It is a refreshing change to come across such a college in India that provides quality and standardized education.

It shows an improvement not only in the mindset of the general population but also, in academicians providing such courses because only if they take this industry seriously then so will the parents of potential students.

Backstage Pass Hostel Facilities

Looking for a clean and well facilitated Hostel? Look no further because our college makes sure all our students’ needs are fulfilled including their stay at the best hostels.

Any parent’s or even a student’s concern upon joining a college would be first and foremost, their living conditions. We understand the value of that worry and cater to both the parents’ and students’ concerns. Students’ health is an important affair and contributes significantly to their efficiency in college. A primary culprit of ill health is the drinking water; therefore, we provide RO water in our hostels. “Healthy food leads to a healthy mind” is one of our mottos for our students. Consequently, we serve nutritious food (both veg and non-veg) for all the meals along with tea.

 Our facilities are wholesome and provide a nurturing environment. There is a Wifi connection for students to work on their assignments anytime. CC cameras are present to have a check on any dubious situations. We believe that each should have their own space so, we provide storage facilities. Healthy habits such as taking the stairs are always encouraged, but a lift is available for convenience after a particularly exhausting day.

Our rooms are two-sharing as everyone knows two’s company, but three’s a crowd! And hot water is provided at all times for their well-being and comfort.

The hostels have security 24/7 to keep our students safe and sound throughout their journey with us!

Come and grab the chance at Backstage Pass with their student loans!

Dreams of pursuing a higher education but need a lift up? Come and grab the chance at Backstage Pass with their student loans!

Did you know that only 25% of school students go on to pursue higher education in India?

First of all, the literacy rate in our country has continuously been low, and even the young adults educated till school level fail to pursue a college degree primarily due to the financial burden. Some are merely disinterested, but it is unfortunate to see students with a passion for academics discontinuing because they are unable to afford their tuition.

Being a part of Backstage Pass has allowed me to see that many talented game enthusiasts, who would be extraordinary game developers, do not have the monetary means to be a part of our college.

It would be disheartening to see a child’s face fall when he was told he wouldn’t be able to join here due to constraints he couldn’t control, especially the gifted ones who have tried to learn some gaming tools on their own in their school years itself. Under the right guidance, they would become merely extraordinary game developers.

Backstage Pass has always tried to encourage underprivileged students by offering scholarships to merit students as well as female students to introduce more and more gender diversity in the Games Industry.

But it still did not feel enough as we continued to see many students turn their backs on higher education because they were either unable to pay the fee even after such scholarships or did not qualify for our scholarships.

For years, watching this happen over and over again, Backstage Pass has come to the decision to offer student loans to any existing or potential students so that, they may pursue their education without any struggles or financial crisis.

In all our locations (i.e., Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore), we offer such loans to all our passionate students. It helps them amass indispensable knowledge and also motivates them to be the best at what they do to repay their monetary debt as soon as possible with a lucrative job and comfortable lifestyle to show for it in the end.

We hope this initiative helps many potential students to take the reins of their education in their hands and graduate with a college degree but more importantly, a wealth of knowledge.

Study interesting courses and be rewarded for it! Sounds too good to be true? Well, be prepared to be surprised!

Study interesting courses and be rewarded for it! Sounds too good to be true? Well, be prepared to be surprised!

We all know that even when we love our subject, and it’s where our passion lies, studying per se can get outright dull at times.

Most colleges think it’s the students’ job to retain an interest in the ongoing classes or lectures, but they do not realize that they are equally responsible for making that happen.

Backstage Pass understands and takes up this responsibility on their shoulders; hence, they always try to implement practical learning but also, have an award system in their academic apparatus.

In an award system, mentors review their students’ assignments and projects thoroughly and pick the best work put forward to reward the corresponding student. Rewards can be anything related to their courses, such as art books and ecorche models. Some gifts can even be digital such as tutorials, art materials and videos. These presents are necessary for their courses as they help in creatively stimulating the students, but they are too expensive for students on a budget. Instead of giving these away free of charge, Backstage Pass decided to make their students earn them by rewarding the students with the best work.

 

They try to instil a feeling of accomplishment, and a will to do better in their students with such activities. It also helps in self-motivating the weaker students in the class.

It is a gratifying experience to be rewarded for your efforts, and which one of us doesn’t love a gift from time to time? So, to all the students of Backstage Pass out there, gather your tools and open up your minds to ace your college work and win some rad gifts!

 

Game development is the door to new opportunities

Game development is the door to new opportunities

Game development is the door to new opportunities

Here’s why:

A parent or potential student would have a few questions before joining any college. To put it simply, the two main ones, would be ‘WHY Backstage Pass?’ and ‘WHAT are the opportunities it provides that others don’t?’

 
Instead of providing one sentence answers, I would like to elaborate on your questions to ease your minds about choosing the best choice out of all the others.

 
Backstage Pass is all about educating their students specifically about game art, game design and game programming, each field is divided into an individual course. These kinds of students are sought after by top game companies as they do not need to invest time and manpower to provide training for trainees with inadequate knowledge, which is the norm as most colleges that offer game development courses combine all the fields into one three-year course or even worse, some trainees are taken aboard after going through entirely insufficient crash courses.

 
Not only do they prepare their students thoroughly for the outside world, but are also exceptionally well connected to the top game companies in India. The game companies provide their requirements directly to Backstage Pass, and they process their student profiles accordingly. Students start interning in their third year, 95% of these internships are converted into full-time jobs upon their graduation. Some of their alumni include game developers in Ubisoft, Dhruva Interactive, Sumo Digital, Sony India etc., and they earn on an average about 4.5 Lakhs per annum, it can go up to even 9 Lakhs per annum for a fresher based on their skill set and portfolio.

 
They provide a quality education that helps their students stand out in a crowd, thereby, securing dream jobs from the best firms in the industry!

Aspiring for a Career in the Game Industry

Aspiring for a Career in the Game Industry? Get a Relevant Degree with us NOW!

Backstage Pass held an MOU with Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University since almost a decade and from 2019 onwards, has become an affiliated college of JNAFAU.

We are an establishment that caters to a niche field of the education sector that explicitly offers courses in game technology of superb quality and detail.

The degrees provided to the students from this year (2019) onwards are:

  • Bachelors of Science (Honors) in Computer Science and Game Development
  • Bachelors of Arts(Honors) in Game Art and Design
  • Bachelors of Arts(Honors) in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

These degrees are four-year courses that are divided into eight semesters.

We also provide one-year courses in collaboration with Lincoln University, Malaysia:

  • Advanced Diploma in Game Development
  • Advanced Diploma in Game Art & Design
  • Advanced Diploma in Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Though there is a change in the nomenclature of the degree, the knowledge and options given to our students have remained constitutionally identical concerning courses, teaching methodology, mentors and most importantly, recruitments. Unlike other colleges offering courses in the entertainment industry such as animation, VFX, film, etc., we provide a four-year degree that is deemed necessary by many lucrative employment opportunities and prestigious universities for higher studies.

Another salient feature of our academy is its location. From the beginning, it’s situated in a prime location (Madhapur) that is surrounded by game companies; therefore, it is easily accessible to potential recruiters and mentors. It also enables students, who are taken aboard as interns, to manage both their class and work schedules as most of our students begin interning in the third year and start earning their bread at an early age.

Gaming Industry Gears up to be A Billion-Dollar Market

Gaming Industry Gears up to be A Billion-Dollar Market – Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The gaming industry is one of the largest segments within the entertainment industry(Standalone, it exceeds the movies or music segments) and is estimated to be worth $100 Billion globally.

In order to carve a niche in this lucrative field, an individual, who has a great passion for gaming, can pursue a number of courses.

The gaming industry is emerging in India, compared to Europe and North America. With this, India is one of the world’s top five countries for gaming development.

To pursue a career in this lucrative field;

An individual can get rigorous academic and hands-on training in game design, art, and development. It will be definitely necessary to start a career in this field.

According to a survey conducted by Google and KPMG in India, the gaming industry is estimated to stand at approximately $0.6 billion, of which online gaming is approximately $0.37 billion. The study also says that the gaming industry in India is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2022. It also adds more than 0.19 billion gamers in the time frame.

Making Gaming as a Profession:

Besides the fastest growing markets in India, gaming became a career option for a vast number of talented young students from diverse backgrounds.

There is a huge demand for Game Art Professionals across the globe. This is the reason why there is employment potential for young aspirants within India as the country is being developed as an outsourcing hub for international game companies.

Career Options in the gaming industry can be:

Game Art Creation – Concept Art, 3d Modeling & Texturing, Lighting, U.I and Technical Art, Game Design, Level Designing, Game Production, Game Testing, Game Programming – Gameplay, Network, Graphics & A.I, Project Management, as well as General Management positions.

Skills required to excel in Game Art & Design profession:

Key pre-requisites to excel in the gaming profession are digital tools like Autodesk Maya, 3dsMax, Photoshop and Z Brush etc. and should have a strong understanding of the game engines such as Unreal & Unity.

Moreover, a passion for gaming helps great!

How much you can earn being in the gaming profession:

The pay scale in this gaming profession works as per industry standards and they are comparable to other industries, A Game Art/Programming fresher is paid around 2.5-3L per annum. A game artist/Programmer with 4-5 years of experience is paid around 5-7 Lakh per annum. There are companies in India, which pay around 9 Lakhs (or higher) per annum to a game artist/programmer with just 2-3 years experience. It mostly depends on the level of skill set you can showcase, and most importantly, you should be a team player. There is a plenty of choices to grow by huge leaps thereafter. An individual can earn incentives and ESOPs in companies with a good track record.

Gaming profession offers the most challenging and rewarding opportunities in the jobs market today.

To be part of this successful career stream, join Backstage Pass today!

 

 

 

Backstage Pass Students Invited to ACHI 2018

The Eleventh International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interaction, ACHI 2018, was proposed as a result of a paradigm shift in the most recent achievements and future trends in human interactions with increasingly complex systems.

The conference which is organized by the International Academy Research and Industry Association (IARIA) happens every year and this year it will take place from 25th March to 29th March 2018 in Rome, Italy.

Major topics covered during the event includes: Graphical user interfaces, virtual reality and 3D interfaces, visualization techniques, organic user interfaces, Haptic interfaces, cognitive models, user modelling and user focus, interaction of computers with children, designs for aging population, human-robot interaction, human-web interaction, computer games, Gaming, serious games, social impact of gaming etc. In short, the key focus of the conference would be about the computer human interaction in various scenarios.

Students of BSP travelling for ACHI 2018

Students of BSP traveling for ACHI 2018

This year 2 students of Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology, PB Vatsan and P Urukram have been invited by the International Academy to present their research paper ‘Games that dust particles play’.

The encyclopaedic research paper of our students falls under the category of ‘Serious Games’ and they will speak about simulation for dust explosion, how the explosion happens, and virtual creation of the environment. They will be giving an in-depth theoretical presentation of their paper where all the factors on dust explosion pentagon (fuel, Oxygen, Heat, dispersion, confinement) are thoroughly evaluated and modelled.

Paper presentation options and session types will offer our students the prospect to share their work, discuss key issues in the field, and build relationships with attendees.

Surya P, Founder and CEO of Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology says “We have a bunch of creative students at Backstage Pass, who always want to learn and explore something new. Vatsan and Urukram are among them. This is a great opportunity for both of them to express their thoughts and effort they had put in”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Study Gaming?

5 Compelling Reasons for Studying Gaming

Do you dream of becoming a game developer or designer? Did you know that you can study gaming in a professional college and turn your dream into reality?

The advantages of choosing a gaming career are:

Gaming Industry is Growing

The global gaming industry is growing at a CAGR of 7.8% generating revenues of USD 108.9 bn, as per the Global Games Market Report released by Newzoo in Q2 of 2017.

It is expected to reach USD 128.5 bn in revenues by 2020.

And, mobile games contributes to about 42% of the total revenues in 2017, amounting to USD 46.1bn.

Historically, games were only made for consoles and personal computers. Therefore, it was hard to convince parents and educators to let the children study gaming.

However, mobile and tablet games are gaining popularity now, and India is the second largest market for smartphones in the world.

The growing trend in gaming requires skilled professionals and budding game entrepreneurs to make games that cater to the Indian audience.

Jobs in Indie Game Companies, Gaming Start-ups, and Multinational Companies

According to Statista, India’s gaming market will reach INR 71 billion by 2021. Employment opportunities are wide-ranging. The indie game companies, gaming start-ups and MNCs in India are hiring for specialist roles like unity programmers, unreal programmers, concept artists, game artists, game testers, and so on. Are you ready to join these companies?

A search across all the job portals give us a clear picture of the number of open roles required by the gaming industry.

Real-life Applications and Increased Demand for Gamification

Gamification is the application of gaming mechanisms in non-game situations. The examples of gamification are games that train nurses, pilots and army personnel. The uses of gamification can be seen in child education, fitness, social responsibility, corporate training, customer engagement, and so on.

Examples of gamification are:

BYJU’s learning app uses gamification to teach maths to children.

Corporates app use gamification to simulate and train their employees on data security.

Good Infrastructure and Specialized Courses Available Near You

We collaborate with Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) to offer B.Tech in Game Development and Computer Science and B.F.A in Game Design and Game Art. We are the only college in India offering courses at this price point.

We have specialised courses based on industry research and have a lot of experience in educating India’s future game developers. To know more about our courses and why choose us, read here.

Success Stories to Inspire You

There are a lot of success stories in the field of gaming. Here are some of Backstage Pass alumni who have made it big and are still enjoying the journey. Click here to get inspired.

Game Development is a Not Boring

If you want to make games that appeal to gamers, many elements must be unique, like the story, characters, art, animation, controls, background music/ sound, and so on.

For an innovative mind, game making is the ultimate incentive as it lets you create new things. It is enriching and inspirational.

Game Development is much more than game designing and game programming.

You need an artist (concept, 2D, 3D), writers, programmers, designers, testers, creative director, programme directors, and so on. There is something for everyone to learn and enjoy.

Ubisoft employees talk about how their parents reacted when they told them that they wanted to work in the video game industry.

If you are passionate about making games and willing to work hard, you can achieve anything you want. Prove all the people who doubt you wrong by choosing a career of your choice.