We are not focusing on India alone, our market is the world: DSK GIG MD Tanvi Kulkarni

One of the newbies in the gaming industry has been truning up the heat on not just the domestic circuit but also internationally. The Pune-based DSK Green Ice Games has already tasted success in terms of travelling the world and being in the same room with industry big-wigs like Epic Games and NVIDIA at GDC 2015 in San Francisco. Finishing work on its first game, Death God University (D.G.U) the studio has bigger plans in place to reach astronomical heights in the gaming industry.  Over an e-mail interaction with AnimationXpress.com’s Sidharth Iyer, DSK Green Ice Games managing director Tanvi Kulkarni reveals about the journey of the studio so far, the current games and what’s on offer from DSK GIG (as it is fondly called) in the near future. Excerpts:- When did the thought of starting a gaming studio come to you? 
DSK GIG MD Tanvi Kulkarni
DSK International Campus (DSKIC) was our first directive step in the creative industry; following this we were of the opinion that we could even explore possibilities of setting up a game development division under the DSK studios flagship. And here’s when our thoughts gained reality and DSK Green Ice Games came into being. The game development ideas and concepts that we witnessed amongst the students at the DSKIC were creatively astounding. We wanted to harness this creative thought flow and wished to develop the Indian gaming industry and take it to new scales and heights! While we were trying to string these thoughts together and set up a team, we were fortunate that Alexis Madinier also wanted to return to his alma mater industry – indeed a perfect time for collaboration! How’s the journey been so far? Has having Alexis Madinier on-board helped in the growth? The journey so far has been creatively as well as qualitatively very gratifying for each and every one of us. We initially wanted to start small and explore our strengths and weaknesses. It was crucial that we understood the pulse of the market and know what was required to be bridged in terms of demands from the gaming audience. It’s now safe to say that we have had a great learning curve which is still ongoing. Alexis’s vast gaming experience, meticulous planning and development estimations have been a major boon to DSK Green Ice Games. Along with that the entire team’s dedication and sincerity towards every project they are working on has kept things on track in the back end. However what was most unexpected was the warm response we have received from the industry – Our first game D.G.U was greenlit by the Steam Community in just five days! We were also invited to GDC’15 at San Francisco this year. The response at GDC again was tremendously satisfying; we know now that our audience has high expectations from us and our upcoming games. At the DSK Group, all that we work for is quality. What is the USP of the studio? What are the current projects that you are working on? Primarily the USP of the studio is the DSK Group backing, along with DSK International campus being the sister company. Another major attribute would be the track record that every core member brings to table at DSK Green Ice Games; therefore to sum it up in one line, DSK GIG’s USP is that it is “Managed by an unparalleled top management team that strives to deliver quality work with utmost dedication.” Currently we are working on 2 games: Death God University and Forsaken Mountains Death God university: D.G.U. is a third person 3D adventure/puzzle game where the player plays as a student of the Death God University studying to become a death god assistant. Set in a wacky world, DGU takes its inspiration in the old point and click adventure / puzzle games like Day of the Tentacle or Sam & Max or Monkey Island. In order to get graduated and pass to the next class, the player needs to kill and collect souls of targets assigned to him by his teachers. To do this, the player needs to gather items and craft deadly traps, decoy devices and/or use the environment to his advantage! Forsaken Mountains: Forsaken Mountains is a first person adventure/survival game set in the realistic Himalayan Mountains. After taking a seat on the plane, the player drifts into deep sleep and wakes up only to find himself/herself in the snow, on the slope of the Himalayan Mountains. The player is required to embrace the experience of being lost in the beautiful yet dangerous environment of the Himalayas that still remain unexplored by mankind. The player needs to survive in these extreme conditions as long as he/she can and discover the hidden and gloomy secrets of the mountain range. The game is set for release later in the year. As of now the team is dedicatedly working and implying huge stress on the graphics to give a more real and immersive feeling to the player. How big is the studio in terms of workforce? What platforms are you making games for? We have a unique model where depending on the intensity of work we move between a team sizes of 30 to 35. We are currently focusing our efforts on making games for the PC/MAC/Linux / Console Markets. Will DSK GIG be like a home to some of the students from Supinfocom as well? What kind of skillsets do you look for when hiring new talent? Yes, in the past we have taken a lot of students from DSKIC as interns, some of them have been retained too and now are a part of the core team at DSK Green Ice Games. However we are always looking for fresh talent and if DSK International Campus can provide us with good quality interns and perspective employees – we are glad to hire them. As for the skill sets, when hiring a new talent, the passion and the energy that every individual brings to the team is an important factor. The skills usually depend on what we are hiring for e.g. (art / programming / design).
“Someone who has all the skills of the world but no passion for his/her work doesn't interest us,” says Tanvi

India is primarily a mobile gaming market, what games are you working on to cater to the masses?

“We are not focusing on India alone, our market is the world.” India is like a drop in the sea compared to the rest of the world in terms of video game revenue. Hence we are not focusing on India as our primary market as of now but depending on how India responds to any of our particular games as a collective market, we will then look at building it onto mobile and other platforms. But then again, that will be decided at the later stage. What are your views on the gaming industry in India, where do you think its heading? Gaming in India is for now stuck to mobile mainly due to the fact that for most developers, the market is and stay in India (hyper localised games on Bollywood or Cricket for example). With the globalisation of the video game market, more and more developers will start thinking globally and develop their games for a worldwide market, this will lead to an increase of quality for those that succeed and the disappearance of those that don’t. Spill the beans on your future plans for the coming years, what kind of games can we expect from DSK GIG? Well, we are very excited with the turn of events and warm responses received from the industry. The initial reviews for our first game have been extremely encouraging. We are now focusing on moving full swing into console games development. From what was initially planned, we were hoping to make at least two games and release them in the market while we began work on a big AAA game on console using a very well-known IP. But this again is a far sighted plan which will materialise only after three to four years of intense development, so it’s too early to discuss of it. Meanwhile, we will grow and continue releasing a game every 6 to 12 months. Everything now depends on the success of DGU. Apart from this, we have also received multiple offers from various console companies. At this point we are intending to select games purely on individual potential of any game’s concept and don’t wish to limit ourselves to any one genre. However as a team we would definitely love to explore and build – social and educational games in the near future. There is just so much work to be done on those lines! It will be interesting to see where that will take us and what paths we pave for ourselves.

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