Poornima Seetharaman

Successful Woman Game Designer Bags Esteemed Award

1. Could you give us a brief introduction about your story and what made you get into gaming?

I’m Poornima Seetharaman. I’ve been in the gaming industry since 2006, primarily in the game design domain and worked with companies like Indiagames (now Disney India), Jumpstart (NetDragons), GSN Games and currently I’m with Zynga. I’ve also partnered with Square Enix to run their game development contest in India in the past. I also ran my game design consultancy called Pinaka Interactive and a game development company called Namma Lore Entertainment.

I also conduct workshops for various institutes. I’m a mentor at the Google Indie Games Accelerator, India and an Ambassador of Women in Games (WIGJ)

You can read more about me at http://drowlife.com/

On the subject of what made me get into gaming:

With the access of a PC during my Engineering days, Age of Empires II and Warcraft III happened to me. I made my own campaigns and shared it with my friends in college for feedback. Back then, I didn’t know I was doing a part of game design.

After my engineering graduation, I landed my first gig as a programmer in 2006 in a South Korea based Game Development Company. When a game design position opened up in the company, my classmate from college, who also worked there, suggested to our boss that they should try me out as I used to make these levels and campaigns back in college. So they decided to give me a chance.

It was supposed to be for a game that was along the lines of Neverwinter Nights for mobile. They had provided me with the D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) Manuals aka bible for Role-playing games and I was quite excited. I learnt more about game design and writing a game design document by researching the very minimal content that was available online back then and mostly just figuring it out myself from my gaming experience.

TL;DR – it was by chance!

2. As a woman in a mostly male dominated industry , did you face any difficulties in entering the gaming industry?

Yes, I have. I have had to prove my worth at least twice more than the average man.

And while it has definitely gotten better, I won’t say it is eliminated completely. Even now in many companies, when promotions or leadership roles for core game development are considered, a male candidate is preferred.

Having said that, the reason I’m in this industry is because of men who have supported me throughout. So invariably, it just comes down to people’s nature. But yes, sexism exists in small groups and I have heard this from a lot of my female colleagues as well.

3.Do you think the games industry in India needs to include more women game designers or developers? And Why?

Definitely. While gender specific factors like empathy, organizing etc can be debatable, the question should be why not? Why do we need to restrict anyone from entering the awesome world of games? If anything, we should facilitate women and other marginal communities.

4. What is your opinion about the games industry in India, and the future potential?

Larger organizations have India as an outsourcing arm, funded companies are looking at fantasy sports or Real Money / Skill gaming or free to play models. Few indies are focused on creating traditional premium video games. While we are definitely at a good place with the varied categories of gaming, I would like us to create more global content. We have talent, we need exposure, training and a good support system.

5.What are the projects you are currently involved in?

Farmville 2: Country Escape.

6.Tell us about the games you had developed or have been part of, so far?

Few of the titles I’ve worked on are:

  • For BREW devices (from a different era)
    • Bioshock mobile for BREW devices
    • Predator 3D
    • The Office (US) Challenge 3D
    • Mercury Meltdown 3D
  • A bunch of Cricket titles including Cricket T20 fever
  • Movin’ Maze 3D
  • School of Dragons based on the How to train your Dragons franchise
  • Games based on the Neopets franchise
  • GSN Casino
  • Mx Democracy – a game on the Electoral Process in partnership with ECI and NID-Bangalore.
  • Line Hop – A hypercasual game

7. How has your experience in developing such games help you grow as a game designer/producer?

When I started, there were barely any resources to learn from. Today that has changed, thankfully. Most of my learning has been the whole  “jump right into it and figure it out”. This has (personally) helped me grow. It is also why games like Bioshock mobile, Predator 3D and The Office Challenge 3D are games I’m extremely proud of as I learned a lot while making them. Trying to come up with the best solution against things like device restrictions to deadlines to team capabilities helps you understand what is the core thing you want to create and prioritize it.

Being open to learning, no matter where you are at your career is key. And also, learning can come from anyone irrespective of their seniority.

8. Could you elaborate the event where you have received your award?

Women in Games Global Awards 2020  is an extension of the Women in Games Global Conference. It is run by an amazing group of people who set up Women in Games to promote gender diversity.

Out of 61 entries for the Hall of Fame Awards, 12 were shortlisted by a pool of judges from the gaming industry; and it was then opened up for public vote where 6 women went on to receive the award.

9. Why is this award significant to you and what does it mean to you?

It was an honour to even be nominated for the Global (Women in Games) – Hall of Fame award. alongside some amazing achievers. So being one of the winners is double the honour.

I’ve believed in results and never went after recognition but who doesn’t like to be recognized and appreciated for the efforts they have put in. And sharing the stage on a global platform alongside some great veterans is a huge validation for the contributions I’ve made to this industry at whatever capacity I could. You can take a look at the Women in Games  – Global Game Awards winners here.

Besides that, this award is something I’m hoping will inspire other women and marginal genders to aspire and believe that they too can get here!

10. This is the first Women in Games Global Games Awards event, what is your view on conducting a completely female oriented  Gaming awards  event?

While Globally, this was the first time, the Hall of Fame awards have been happening since 2011. It was originally the European Women in Games – Hall of Fame.

While I’m all for gender equality, the way we are distributed is very skewed. I’ve personally seen more women turn up for women based events than a larger – for all- events. When I’ve asked them the reason, they have said that they feel more comfortable and safe that they won’t be judged. And in some of the larger events, it’s more of tokenism than equal footing.

While we are still trying to break the glass ceiling on a daily basis, platforms like these give you that morale boost to carry on and give you that validation.

A Developer’s experience of the Gaming Industry’s Benefits, Trials, Revenue & More

A Developer’s experience of the Gaming Industry’s Benefits, Trials, Revenue & More

1) What inspired you to build games?

This is a funny fact given my career choice now but, I was studying Biology & Physics in 12th grade when I had a moment of realization that becoming a doctor was nowhere close to my dream. Simultaneously, my elder brother’s close friend joined Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology which how I first heard of this college. Seven years ago there was no roadmap to enter the Games Industry.  Backstage Pass is a pioneer in Game education in India as they provided a path for game enthusiasts to learn game development and job opportunities upon graduation. Before I joined BSP, I did a diploma in Animation and it gave me an introduction to this similar field, which strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in Gaming.

2) How did you choose game design as your profession?

Due to my background in BIPC, I did not have an option to choose programming therefore; the only two options were Game Design and Art. Further to this, Programming carried no interest for me.

3) What was your experience in Backstage Pass?

My experience in BSP was very good. It wasn’t like a regular engineering college. All my friends joined engineering college and complained about their mindless study material. In BSP, we were never made to do mindless work. We always knew exactly what we were learning and why.

We had mentors not teachers, which is of a big help when it comes to solving the problems the students are stuck at while developing their games, practical learning and detailed individual attention. Therefore, their mentorship approach is a big boon.

4) How did Backstage Pass support you during your course and after your graduation in your career as well?

If the college observes students with good potential, they’ll fund you like they funded my flight for Singapore and Russia to attend Game Developer events or competitions for which I was selected. They’ll do all they can to raise talented students to great heights. Travelling with their support has given me the necessary exposure which was crucial during my career as each game we build has to be for the global game industry.

5) Could you give a small brief about your career after graduation till now?

During my final year, I released a game called Avion Flight Simulator which received 10 million downloads cumulatively on all platforms which brought in decent amount of money. The revenue from this game helped to stabilize us, expand our team and garner couple of client projects – AR & VR applications even for construction companies so as to show how their building will look in 3D.

Railroad is our next simulator game which received half a million downloads on the Playstore. It gathered good enough revenue with regards to the investment put into the game.

6) Which games were you a part of developing? How did they fare in the market?

I have developed seven games until now.  Notable ones are –

Veer Hanuman with half a million downloads on Playstore. Mizcoin Company took a chance and developed this game with me. Fortunately, it did very well and I learnt a lot on how to make a game from start to finish practically.

Petite, which highlights the issues women go through in their lifetime. This game apart from doing well also received 13 awards.

Picto – which highlights issues a child goes through in a household with domestic abuse. It received 5 global awards.

Avion Flight Simulator – which I developed in my final year, received 10 Million plus downloads.

7) Many know that games are capable of generating good revenue but to make it even more clear, could you give an estimate on how much a game with 1M downloads, 5M downloads and 10M downloads can make over the years?

Retention is the key, meaning for how long the users actually play your games. Free games make money with ads. To give you a metaphor that will explain the change in the way games are generating revenue –

A few years ago, the games had a similar revenue model like the movies, where you pay for the game and then play it.

But with the advent of smartphones, it has now become like television wherein you play it for free but get an ad break in between. So, with these advertisements and some in-app purchases, we generate revenue.

Also in Avion, the revenue was generated partly from Advertisements and partly from in-app purchases. Therefore, the longer people play your games, the more money you make which is where retention comes in. To keep players entertained, quality of games should be top-notch. Now, retention is more important than downloads. In advertisements, for every thousand views, you approximately receive 10 dollars.

8) Which genre of games do you think has the best market potential in your experience?

Every year the trend changes in the Games Industry. When I started – parking games were in trend. Then endless runners like temple run came into picture. After that, Shooters like PUBG, Fortnite or racing games. Match3 games like Candy Crush are evergreen and idle clicker genre is doing really well right now. We have to always be attentive to market trends.

9) What aspects of the game should be concentrated upon in detail during game development?

There is one absolute way for games to be successful and a thousand ways for it to fail so everything should be good. The concept should be very strong along with a good team. Everything should fall into place for it to succeed. For example, even if concept and art are good but the programming falls flat, it will not be received well by the users.

One crucial part while developing the concept is to really think about how you can keep a player engaged in your game for a month or two months at minimum. We should be clear on how to keep making them come back. Focus on retention.

10) What advice and tips would you give young or potential game developers?

My advice is to have a realistic mindset when coming into the industry. Playing and making games is very different. For example, watching a movie and directing one are very different activities. Developing a successful game will be a learning but also a tough experience. Many people make the mistake of playing a game excessively and calling it ‘research’. You need to play a game for ten minutes and watch game play to assess it which is quite enough for research. People need to be aware that constant learning without working is procrastination.

Delve into the Mind of a Game Designer in this Interesting Interview

Delve into the Mind of a Game Designer in this Interesting Interview

Let’s start with an introduction to who Debasis Kayal is? 

By profession, I am a Game Design Consultant. I assist game development teams with innovative game ideas & how to generate revenue out of it. I also mentor students & indie developers to complete their games in a timely manner by setting up quality benchmark & business potential. I read a lot & interact with industry professionals to keep up with the latest game market trends. I also keep myself reachable to anyone who is interested in productive discussion.

What inspired you to become a game developer?

Games always fantasized me by its fast adaptability to technology and unique blend of art, technology & design thinking. To me, any game has the potential to serve the community beyond fun as a form of educational tool, social awareness & dealing with many human problems that we need to explore in the coming years. I find myself in a very strong position to create something very engaging and impactful in terms of the game that can reach my target audience easily. On the other side, it has a very strong career scope to fulfil my personal needs.

Could you elaborate on your experience in the game industry?

I started my career in 2006 with educational games. In my early career, I tried many things to get to the right path. I tried several times to build a team with some really innovative games. In 2009, I procured a job that gave me exposure to mobile game development for iOS & Android platforms. I nurtured my interest in game development through various roles and disciplines. In 2015, I moved out of my hometown Kolkata to explore game development further. In this process, I gained skill, confidence and respect in the game development community and came across opportunities to be a part of some really good projects and teams. Lately, in mid of 2019, I had the opportunity to share my professional experience as a mentor in Backstage Pass and I decided to move forward with mentorship along with my game design consultancy.

How do you see the games industry evolving in the next 5 years?

The game industry has evolved a lot in the last 15 years and it will continue evolving with more technological advancement in sectors like AR, VR, MR and XR. New avenues will open up for a richer gaming experience and adaptation of game technology in educational, medical, social and training sectors.

What brought you into teaching game development?

As I said, I read and research a lot on game technology. Therefore in my opinion, teaching the new generation of game developers will be a good way to expand my own knowledge because I believe in “sharing is learning” philosophy. I got a call and I had some time to spare, both worked for me.

What are the changes you would like to see in gaming education? 

The current way of teaching is absolutely fine. All we need to promote is a more product-centric way of education. As each game is different from each other, the approach needs to be dynamic and on a case to case basis. Basic knowledge of art, design & technology is satisfactory but there needs to be a more practical way of teaching to solve specific problems, we should not treat everything in a pattern. So, I feel a more development-focused training process is integral in gaming education.

How was your experience teaching in Backstage Pass? 

My experience in Backstage Pass has been fantastic so far. I spend most of my time in the Bangalore branch but frequently visit Hyderabad & Pune campuses as well. All the mentors, office staff and students are well connected and motivated. The mentors and administration conduct frequent discussions to keep the training process up to date with industry standards. Many webinars, workshops and brainstorming sessions are organised to inspire our students and community to achieve their goals.

What is the difference you find in the teachings of Backstage Pass when compared to other game education institutions?

Frankly, I didn’t get a chance to work with other institutes but I have definitely interacted with many students and faculties from other institutes. We agreed on the fact that Backstage Pass has advantages and reputation over these institutes in terms of mentorship, facilities and student satisfaction.

Many are of the opinion that game development can be learned on their own so, why do you think a degree in game development is important?

The fact is true but formal education in game development is required in many aspects. Studios expect you to know the process and pipeline of game development, which can be learnt thoroughly only via a formal education system. Also, many studios ask for a dedicated degree in game development. Even individuals who want to start their own game development studio, as an indie studio, I will recommend them to go through a short term course at least to get to know about the process and techniques. 

What are the main mistakes students make while building a game?

There are many but I want to highlight a few like they don’t think about the revenue potential of the game at the early stage of the development. Once they are in middle or at the end phase they realize they need some sort of way to generate money from the game. Then it’s difficult to put this into the game. Most of the time students get so carried away with the concept that they ignore the experience of the player. Always we need to keep one thing in mind that game design is a player-centric approach rather than what we like to have in the game. Another major thing they ignore is that the developers do not have a concrete reason for why they are developing a game? The answer to this “why?” will help them to build the game in a better shape. Sometimes they have a misconception of using advanced technology to achieve a very simple characterisitc, just to impress the audience or something similar. In this process, they struggle to complete a task & lose focus on the main objectives. I can keep writing such mistakes unendingly because we at Backstage Pass, always try to fix these issues on priority.

What are the misconceptions about the games industry?

There are hundreds of misconceptions and if I list them out, it may hurt someone’s feelings. But as a part of the industry, I should clarify a few here. Many people don’t think that game development can be a mainstream career like in IT, technology, or even films & animation industry. I will like to exhibit some information such as, $159B revenue generated by game industry in 2019 which is double the amount by movies, music, OTT platforms together. The next type of misconception is only studios or big teams can develop games. I will ask them to check for indie game development success stories over the internet. The next one is that India is not a good game market. I strongly oppose this statement as well. There are many Indian game companies that are developing games specifically for Indian market and they are doing impressively great. You need to have that knowledge and judgment power to decide what to make for India.

Do you have any tips and advice for the upcoming generation of young game developers?

Make a game, that’s the only way you can make better games & get the exposure. Stay hungry, stay raw, be a rebel in the game industry.

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.

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!

 

 

 

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.

Play Video Games

Do Parents Show More Empathy Towards Kids Playing Video Games

The increase in smartphone user base has increased video game penetration among all ages in India and abroad. The other devices used to play games are consoles, computers, and tablets.

The permissible screen-time has been a major point of discussion across the parent community, and there is no broad consensus on it.

Meanwhile, the gaming community has been actively promoting playing more video games. In the year 2010, Jane McGonigal, game designer and author of the book “Reality is Broken – Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” presented a TED talk on this topic.

 

In her presentation, she talks about making games that can solve real-world problems and she encourages kids and adults to play more games.

Though, there are arguments that reject video games as they are considered addictive, violent, individualistic, aggressive, competitive, engrossing and mainly alien to us as teachers and parents. There are quite a few studies and research that support the cause of gaming and argue that it benefits children in various ways.

Therefore, parents have started empathising with their children and allowing them to play video games on consoles, personal computers, mobiles, tablets and so on.

Some of the reasons that have caused this change in the parents’ perceptions are:

Powerful Learning Tools

The video games improve child’s hand-eye coordination, develops fine-motor skills, improves problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and build computer literacy.

Games help the child to get exposed to technology, programming and design very early in their lives. There are a lot of children who can program well and have built apps and games on their own.

Social Interaction and Bonding

Games help to nurture and build a relationship with the teenage children. They serve as an excellent tool for bonding with the family and children. Playing with the kids will help parents communicate well with them.

The social-impact games that reward players who complete a task like cleaning the garbage in the locality, making new friends, helping neighbours are gaining popularity. The children playing these games can develop empathy towards others in their day-to-day lives. Researchers have proved that games can make the world a better place.

High-Quality and Realistic Content

Games have evolved into engaging video games. They have depth, rich narrative and are engaging the audience. The ever-improving technology also provides players with better graphics that give a more “realistic” virtual playing experience.

Sunrise Sector

The gaming industry is the fastest growing market with lots of opportunities for game developers, game artists and game designers.

The companies look for skills like communication, grit, teamwork, leadership, follower-ship and perseverance while hiring. Some of the firms recruit video game players who are performing well in leader-boards of the top games in the market today.

The parents are encouraging their children to take up hobbies like gaming, and they know that nurturing these hobbies will help their children take it up as their profession.

There is a growing community of players, and game players, players, and parents who understand the uses of playing video games and empathise with their kids more than before.

However, the parents should be cautious and monitor the kids who play video games. They can do this by keeping the computers, consoles, smartphones, and tablets in the common areas of their house. They can not only restrict the screen time but also limit access to smartphones, tablets by using parental controls as all the games are not suitable for children of all ages.

Game Design

Why Game Design is Important

Game design is a knowledge area that includes game genres, game production, marketing, publishing, and project management. Game design is the common core where game art and game programming take off from to create the game.

Game Design involves market research, level design, designing content, environment, gameplay, characters, and the storyline of a game. As a game designer, you must know the aesthetics of design and its interaction with technology well.

Game Designer roles are often occupied by experienced game developers or artists as this role needs a range of skills spanning design, development, marketing, and publishing.
This blog looks into how game design influences game art and game programming.

Game Design Influences Game Art

A game artist implements the game designer’s idea. He is responsible for creating a unique visual experience for the user by creating art assets that resonate with the game design. For example, a game created to teach nurses about sanitation should use colours such as white, green, and blue as these are the colours typically found in a hospital.
A game artist demonstrates his expertise as a game designer if he achieves this seamless integration without sacrificing the artistic vision and compromising the platform’s technical limits.

Game Design Influences Game Programming

A game cannot be made without close collaboration between game designers and game programmers. If game designers are responsible for the creative vision of the game, the game programmers take the design specifications given by game designers, code and integrate art and sound into it and create a playable game.
Typically game programmers map the terrain of the game environment, implement artificial intelligence engines for non-player characters and connect the player input through the controller to the events happening on-screen.
Decisions related to technology choices, level design implementation, and many other factors are the game programming aspects that the game designer decides upon.

Multi-faceted Role

A game designer has to work with all involved in the game development. As game development is an intense, collaborative process, you will find hardcore computer scientists (who design artificial intelligence engines and complex graphics), illustrators, concept artists, and animators (who bring the characters to life) working in your team. As a game designer, you help all of them collaborate to make the game.

backstagepass gaming institute

11 Ways to Find Your Dream Job in Game Development

After graduation, most of the students aspire to find the dream job in game development. Some want to set up a business, while the rest want to pursue higher education.

Choose How You Would Like to Land in Your Dream Job in Game Development

Here are eleven ways to help you find that dream gaming job you always wanted. Moreover, this is something you need to work on even as you are studying. Implement a combination of these paths that fit your learning style and work choices.

1.  Learning How to Develop Games: Self Study vs. Studying in a College

If you want to opt for a career in gaming, you can choose from a wide range of online resources that teach you different aspects of gaming such as how to create graphics using Unity or Unreal and so on.

However, studying in a college is more beneficial. Apart from the learning, the teamwork, the communication skills, the college environment is a great place to nurture networks, both personal and professional. These networks help you choose an internship, get jobs, and even help start your own company in future. They are your safety nets.

The Gaming Industry in India is still in the initial stages of growth, so it is not easy to hire experienced game developers. Therefore, most of the companies hire freshers from the gaming institutions as they can save time and costs associated with training new hires.

2.  Make the Most of the Facilities Available in College

Backstage Pass encourages student communities by creating the Backstage Pass Gaming Forum. This forum helps in networking with students, mentors, and alumni. You can ask queries, find new jobs, post your progress, inspire and get inspired by all that is happening in the gaming world.

The Gaming Forum is open to all Backstage Pass students, both current and old, mentors and faculty members. It also serves as a job board that lists internship and job opportunities for students of Backstage Pass.

The Gaming Forum helps students to post their work related to games, could be design, art or programming related, and they can also post games for feedback. You will get quality feedback from Backstage Pass alumni who are experienced game developers themselves.

 

Backstage Pass also has an incubator called Level2. Located at Backstage Pass’ campus, Level2 provides infrastructure, mentoring, marketing, publishing, and funding support to students who want to build games. These games are also sent to international competitions like Microsoft Imagine Cup, Casual Connect and so on.

You will work with a team consisting of students, mentors and make games from scratch. You will learn teamwork, gain confidence to develop games, get a lot of exposure and make connections within the gaming industry.

3.  Game Programming Skill is a Must

Every game developer needs to be well-versed in a programming language. If you know C++, you can adapt to any programming language with ease.

While in college, understand what skills you will be tested in while appearing for campus placements or searching for a job on your own.

4.  Catch Up with Seniors

Talk to your seniors to find out the typical interview questions that the recruiter asks. Enquire about how they got placed.

Ask for tips and find out what went right and wrong during their interview. Your seniors are a good source of information which will help you in your interview preparation.

5.  How Do You Find the Skill Set

Go to job boards, register as a game developer who is in school, and subscribe to their email list. The job board emails detail what skills are very educative.

Chart a course based on what you are taught and what the job boards point. Make every effort to fill the gaps in your skills. At the same time, note that you cannot become a master of all skills. So, focus on what you would like to do.

6.  Concept Artists are in Demand

If you are a concept artist, it is a very competitive field, and you need to customise your work to specific studios. It is easier to get a job if your style is reflective of the studio’s style. Adopting different art styles will make you stand out from the crowd.

7.  Build Your Portfolio

Working on simple games can help you build a good portfolio. Get feedback from friends and mentors and improve your skills.

8.  Create an Online Presence

It also helps to create an online presence like a website and participate in gaming forums and industry events. Your online presence is your website and your LinkedIn profile. You can showcase your portfolio and creations on your website and LinkedIn. Most of the prospective employers find it easier to shortlist candidates who have an online presence.

9.  Research Prospective Employers

Make a list of the top companies you want to work for. Research the employers to find out what opportunities they offer, their clients and owners, what games they make, their HR policies, how well do they treat employees, whether they are profitable, and so on. You can find answers to some questions on online job boards such as Glassdoor and PayScale. You can get the other details from friends, networks, company websites, industry market bodies, Quora, and so on. Take your time to do this research. It will help you to make an informed decision.

10.      Apply for Jobs that Ask for Experience

Most of the jobs ask for experienced hires. Even if you do not have the experience, you should apply for positions that need 1-3 years of experience. The recruiters will shortlist you if they find your application meeting most of the other skills that they need.

An impressive online presence coupled with the required skill set can quickly propel you into your dream job.

11.      Send Customised Applications

Always remember to tailor your application to the company you are applying for.

Conclusion

Dream jobs are created to attract the best minds in the industry. Make yourself one, and you have not one, but many job waiting for you when you graduate.

Job Boards and Resources to find game development jobs

How to Find Game Development Jobs

There are many of job boards and resources that you can access to find gaming jobs. Some of the resources that will help you find your dream job are listed below:

Websites and Job Boards

To know the available job openings, check out the websites like Naukri, Gamasutra, LinkedIn and Indeed, and the International Game Developers Association.

Gamedevmap is a website that helps you find all the game development companies in a geographical location. It tells you the name of the company, gives a link to its website, and other details like type of company, city, state and country where it is located. This kind of search is useful if you are looking to work in a particular city. By clicking on the company’s name, the website of the company opens. You can go to the “Careers” page to look for job opening posted by them.

The job portals like Naukri, Gamasutra, LinkedIn, Indeed, Shine, Glassdoor also list jobs in gaming companies.

These websites give detailed job description, company information, and employee ratings.

You can use additional filters like date posted, industry, company and size of the company to narrow your search. Also, you can opt to receive job alerts from these websites regularly by email to keep track of the latest available employment opportunities.

 Networking

Most companies hire through referrals. Therefore, it makes sense to build your professional network even while you are studying. Both your personal and professional networks help you find your dream job.

You can build your network when you participate in game jam competitions, alumni networks, and gaming forums. By attending these events and competitions, you meet and network with other game programmers, artists and game developers. You collaborate with other gaming enthusiasts to make games. Many of the indie game companies have started this way.

There are online and offline gaming forums. You can enrol and participate in these gaming forums. These gaming forums build gaming communities that help each other, share knowledge and discuss current trends in gaming.

Internship opportunities

An internship gives you first-hand experience of working in a company.

Most companies offer the full-time job to students who completed an internship at their organisation. Choosing your internship well and performing well during the internship will land you in a job at the company.

Read this article to know how to choose an internship in gaming.

Industry events

In India, you can also network at industry events like game developer conference, game jam competitions, industry seminars, workshops.

Make friends with people in the industry by talking to people who do the same thing you want to do. These people will help you land a job in your favourite company.

The NASSCOM Game Developer Conference will be held in November in Hyderabad. Don’t miss the action here.

LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn to build your professional network by connecting with people you met offline at industry events and conferences. You can add your portfolio and projects and seek recommendations from your other connections on LinkedIn. Your connections endorse your skills and expertise. LinkedIn is used by people throughout the world to find job opportunities and build a professional network.

You can also go to websites of game developers and indie game companies to check out job openings.

Though not a complete list, you can use it as a starting point to find your dream job.