Best Thing About the Job
The thing that I love the most, is the entire process of creating something incredible. I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see people jump on their seats while playing our games. Game development is like creating a virtual world and then making that world intelligent – almost acting like a God. When you combine technology and art, the product is pure magic; the product is a video game.
Playing lots and lots of games for a ‘living’ is what makes this an incredibly fun profession. Secondly, there is a feel good factor after you create something magical out of nothing. Thirdly, when you see people having fun playing your games, it increases your hunger to make awesome games.
Since game development is still at the nascent stage in India, it provides an opportunity for anyone to make a significant impact, thus giving the first movers advantage. There is a huge opportunity to learn groundbreaking technologies and techniques, and stand out from the usual IT crowd. Also, since digital entertainment is the present and the future, this field is hugely rewarding.
For engineers/programmers, a fresher can expect a starting package of around Rs. 2.5-3 lakhs per annum. Artists/designers can expect a starting package of around Rs. 2-2.5 lakhs per annum. These figures vary depending upon the expertise, talent as well as background of the candidate.
The most effective weapon in this field is ‘innovation’. The problem is, you don’t know how to use this weapon every time. There is no fixed formula and that’s the biggest challenge. You always have to come up with new ideas, but you don’t always have answers.
Typical Day at Work
A typical day primarily consists of programming, followed by playing lots of games, followed by reviewing the art and source code, followed by some of the CEO responsibilities and meetings, followed by some design brain-storming. During crunch time, I prefer working alone. I usually go to office either late at night or early morning and communicate with my team through letters!
For artists, the most important quality is to have an eye for detail. Secondly, the artists should have good understanding of softwares and tools like Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Motion Builder etc. A good understanding of colours is very critical for artists who deal with texturing, painting, lighting etc. For programmers, the most important quality is problem solving. In addition to that, a good knowledge of computer graphics, artificial intelligence, networking, etc is preferred. Understanding of any one of the programming languages like C, C++, Java etc is a must have.
I hold Master of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Computer Graphics and Vision from Columbia University. While at Columbia University, I made sure to pick courses like computer graphics, artificial intelligence, game design, etc, which helped me understand game development thoroughly. In addition to that, I also worked briefly at Electronic Arts (EA), one of the leading game development companies in the world, which further helped me understand the business of video games.
Scope in India
Earlier, Indian parents considered video games as a waste of time. This mindset is changing as game development companies are surfacing in India and providing good career opportunities. Moreover, India has a huge young workforce that loves entertainment. Traditionally, Indians have also been technically strong. Also, everybody in the video game industry is either young or young at heart. With so many positives, game development in India will grow by leaps and bounds with today’s youth leading from the front. Digital entertainment is the future.
Volume 2 Issue 2