Of late quite a few studios working on original Indian game development projects are coming to the fore. Raptor, Lakshya, Trine and now there is news about Syncere Arts, a studio which is working on developing its first game ‘Mahabharata: The Dawn of Kaliyuga”
Headquartered in Toronto with a production facility in Anand (Gujrat), the studio was founded in 2005 by Vaibhavi Pathak and will focus on what it feels is the large emerging market for Interactive content in the Indian sub continent. The studio has a total of 18 members in its team, including high level management, business analysts, certified project managers, programmers, modelers, level designers, concept and texture artists, animators, story writers and sound engineers.
Speaking to Animation Xpress.com, Pathak commented,” We feel the sub continent is a vastly untapped both for resources as well as a market. Our aim is to achieve a leadership position in the Indian space. We have full conviction in our team and are confident of achieving the milestones of producing and getting to market, Indian themed games”
Currently the studio is just about completing the first level of its Mahabharata game. The action game which can be played in either first person or third person perspective consists of a total of ten levels is scheduled for an April 2008 release. The game has a mix of characters some of which look very human like while some have been given the attributes of super humans and mythological characters. As for the terrain, effort is being made to make it as realistic as possible.
Mahabharata might be ported to XBOX 360 platform at a later stage of the project. The primary enabling technologies behind it are the Reality Engine and Novodex Physics SDK. The animation is being created in Maya and modeling is done using 3dMax and Zbrush.
On the game design, Devinder Thiara, Lead Game Designer and Writer shared, “It was quite the challenge to distill a game out the complex story. We spent a fair bit of time narrowing down what we felt we could mange to do justice in terms of porting over a classical text into a new media format. We also had to be very careful also because it has such a special cultural heritage that is very close to the heart of a large group of people.”
“New ground had to be broken here to accommodate the special nature of Mahabharata. There was no existing template that we could mould this game into. We had to carefully consider and balance many factors in designing a fun and playable game. One of the major issues of consideration was to make players feel as powerful as the epic heroes, yet make the game feel challenging. Also we wanted to keep the user interface simple and accessible to players outside the narrow niche of typical gamers. We hope the very special nature of the Mahabharata will allow us to draw in players outside the normal TG of gamers.”
“We would like to continue developing Indian centric video games and become a leader in offering alternative games to the established North American and Japanese paradigms. So far the experience has been all good and yes there have been times when we felt overwhelmed but than keeping the vision in sight helped us overcome most of the obstacles. This approach satisfies the company mission and will serve as the flagship product to demonstrate the core competencies and commitment to quality Syncere Arts has in its chosen market space” concluded Pathak.