For starters, where are you from and how did you get steered in the direction of Game Development as a career?
Hello! I am Akshat ,from Varanasi,UP – well known as “Bhole Baba Ki Nagri”. At about 9 years of age, I got my hands on my first game, “GTA Vice City”, which is one of the most famous games in the gaming community. The game was full of cars, police, fights and action – a perfect amalgam. The gameplay and the design behind each game truly fascinated me which in turn led to a curiosity about the work that goes into building the game. Over the years, by playing games extensively, my curiosity turned into learning and developing my own game.
What was your family’s reaction to your choice of game development as a career?
During my time in school, my parents were quite worried regarding my potential career choice. I still recall earnestly requesting my father to get me a PS2 but fortunately (for my parents haha!) or unfortunately ( for me), I never received such gaming devices until I turned 18. Once I finished my schooling, everything went smoothly with my father researching more and more about the games industry and the numerous opportunities present in it. Eventually, my parents became more supportive and never forced me into anything other than game development.
How did you come to know of Backstage Pass and why did you join it?
Discovering Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology was quite easy. I researched online for gaming colleges in India that provide extensive knowledge on game development. I came across various colleges on the internet but found that Backstage Pass offers great mentors and student support. It was also a winning point to know that they are always open to their students’ ideas.
What were the additional things you learnt during the game development?
There are a lot of cool things that I learnt during the process of making games. Although I knew how to code, there were many other aspects of game development that I still needed to learn. I learnt a bit about game art, game design, the look and feel of a game but, most importantly I learnt the strategies to develop a fully commercial game. The art of bringing everything together into a fully working game was challenging but also, a great learning experience.
How much time did you take to develop the whole game from inception to publishing?
The whole game was developed in two weeks from scratch. Everything from planning, implementing and building a final product was done within these two weeks.
Did you do it all by yourself or did you have other partners in the development of your game?
Yes, I developed the complete game. The game programming, art and design as well as the UI of the game were completely developed by me. My family and friends supported me mentally throughout my journey. If not for my friend, Tejas, I might not have even published this game.
Could you elaborate on the name of your game and it’s genre?
My game is called Trip. The story behind the name is that, it explains the journey ( hence, the name ‘Trip’) of a creature into different universes, wherein every enemy is not visible to the player. A player has to constantly check for the right direction to traverse through and dodge accordingly. This game comes under the category of casual games, and the genre is endless runner.
How did you publish the game?
Although I did not consider publishing this game at all, as I made it during the lockdown period in India due to COVID19. But due to various factors and encouragement, I decided to publish it as a mobile game. Building a mobile game is the biggest challenge for amateur game developers. It is available on the Play Store now.
Did you take any of Backstage Pass mentors help while developing this game?
Mentors at Backstage Pass were a great help during the process. Especially Debasish sir helped me with the design and art aspects of the game. He supervised and guided me during most of the major changes made to the game that enhanced the overall look and feel of the game. Also, my college coding classes with Swapna Ma’am helped me to write a functional and quality code for the game.
How was the overall experience of developing a game?
It was fun! I had a great time developing this game. It is building games; it can’t get any better than that. Writing each and every line of code was itself a great experience. When you invest some time and put something together and finally when it works, that’s the best feeling. Making games are challenging and at times a bit frustrating but in the end when the game is fully functional, it all feels worth it.
How did you monetize your game efficiently?
Firstly, I learned the way mobile games are monetized and the essentials for good game monetization. I came across advertisements in mobile games that generate revenue. Therefore, I used a lot of services provided by Unity Engine called unity Ads as well as some Google products to generate ads and monetize my game.
What would be your advice to amateur game developers starting out?
I would say, practice every day to improve your skills and try something more challenging each day, but the main ingredient to making a good game is passion for exploring the worlds of different genres in games. Passion for playing and developing games helped me a lot, and I am sure anybody who is passionate about games can do it easily. At first, it was challenging for me too, but with daily practice, all the pieces fell into place and it was sufficiently easy from there on out. Developing your skillset is essential for anybody who wants to be a game developer.