A gamer often wanders in the mosaic pool of inspiration to build a customised perfect game which will complement their taste. The idea of building their own game can generate from anything, it can be from- the dissatisfaction with the features of the game that they were playing, acquiring different viewpoints to make a game more enhanced and so on. The reasons are endless. But literally from there the chase for learning and understanding the art of game development initiates! The urge for building a perfect game with quirky gameplay transforms a gamer into a game developer.
The Indian gaming industry is at a turning point and with the rise in online gamer base, affordable gaming technologies there is a huge rise in adopting game development as a career option. Backstage Pass founder and president Surya. P, a passionate gamer, experienced game developer and animator expressed to AnimationXpress that, the game industry requires skilled people in the field and thus he founded his organisation. To know more about his journey and his organisation read the excerpts here under.
Game development is a viable career option. Can you enlighten us on the transformation of mindsets you have witnessed?
When we started Backstage Pass in 2010, we have come across most parents who felt gaming can never be a career option for their son/daughter. But, the scenario has completely changed drastically now. Today, parents realised that there are many good career options other than engineering, and game development is one of them. We see parents who want their children to join the course in game design & development. That’s massive support to the growth of the Industry.
Could share about the achievements of your students at IGDC Awards 2018?
Three of our student games were nominated to the finals of IGDC awards 2018 under “Student Game of the Year” category. One of our student games was nominated to the finals of IGDC awards 2018 under “Upcoming Game of the Year” category.
Both the winners and Runners of IGDC Awards 2018 under “Student Game of the Year” category were the student games of Backstage Pass.
Students of Backstage Pass gained exposure at IGDC 2018, by participating in the event as volunteers and as delegates.
How did you initiate the idea of Game-Specific Educational courses?
We had studied the gaming market in India in 2009, where the industry is growing at its own pace, and most of the game companies in India are facing a major challenge with skilled talent. That’s when I had an idea of starting Backstage Pass which is focused on training students specifically in-game art, game design and game development. I had faced a lot of hurdles initially but could come out quite strongly with the support from my team’s effort and also the games Industry in India.
What exactly a game studio looks for before hiring a professional?
Our focus has always been to develop the basic skills wherein students can build concepts, design documents, concept art, 3D art and code for games, making sure they are team players at the same time. This is exactly what game studios look for. Some of the game companies visit Backstage Pass at times to interact with students and understand their passion for games, and also the communication skills.
What are the benefits of taking game development as a career option?
Gaming Industry in India is growing rapidly. As mentioned, the Industry is talent scarce today, and we need a lot of students to learn game design & development. There are a lot of benefits of taking game development as a career option –
- Opportunity and space to develop both your education and also the portfolio
- Opportunity to learn core subjects
- Opportunity to explore present tools/software
- Meet like-minded students from different places/culture, and share ideas
- Better internship/placement opportunities
- Can collaborate with fellow students and develop games
- Better exposure to the games industry
- Many career options available – artists/designers, programmers, producers, sound designers, UI/UX designers and testers.
- Opportunity to build a network by attending gaming workshops/events
- Opportunity to participate in game design/development competitions
Considering the current industry scenario and the growth of fresh game developers what are necessary steps should be taken by the institutes?
The institutions should have the required infrastructure and focus on building the core skills like drawing & sketching, anatomy study, perspective, environment creation, writing, acting, coding in C, C++ etc., rather just training them the software skills. That’ll help the students in building their portfolio better and can easily find a job in the games industry.
Could you tell us more about your courses?
We offer University certified Bachelor Degree & Advanced Diploma Programme in Game Art & Design and Game Development.
Bachelor Degree – Computer Science and Game Development
We offer an interdisciplinary Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Game Development. This is to nurture the undergraduate students as Game Designers, Game Programmers.
The curriculum includes all core computer science subjects along with basic programming languages, game design and game programming, in addition to the regular subjects such as mathematics, physics and humanities.
On completing the programme successfully, students may pursue careers in Game Design, Game Development and regular IT sector.
Bachelor Degree – Game Art and Design
This program is to nurture the undergraduate students as Game Artists and Game Designers.
The curriculum includes subjects related to traditional art, digital art, 3D game art and game design. Game art focuses on the visual elements of the story; game design is about designing the game with content, rules, gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters.
On completing the programme successfully, students may pursue careers in 2D art, 3D art and game design in the game development and entertainment industries.
Adv. Diploma – Game Development
This program is to train passionate graduates as game programmers and designers. This course includes subjects related to Game Engine Programming, Computer Graphics and Game Design with the required foundation.
Adv. Diploma – Game Art and Design
This program is to train the passionate graduates as game Artists and designers. This course includes subjects related to traditional Art, 2D art, 3D and Game Design with the required foundation.
We have seen you have degree courses on AR/VR gaming, will you enlighten us more how students are taking it as a career option?
Yes, Backstage Pass is planning to start a new Bachelor program in AR and VR.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are becoming increasingly popular trends in various fields like consumer electronics, workplace communications, workplace simulations, education, E-Commerce and medical.
The curriculum includes subjects related to computer science, traditional arts, 3D art, game design, game Programming.
There are many career options in the field of MR like AR engineer, VR engineer, MR artists, content leads, riggers, MR sound effects engineer, Unity programmers, UI & UX designers etc.
What are the expansion plans of Backstage Pass?
Most of our alumni are working in different companies in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Udipi etc; These companies have been quite satisfied with their performance, and they all have immediate talent requirement from us which has become a challenge for us. In this regard, we are planning to start Backstage Pass in Bangalore & Pune in less than 4 months, to offer one-year advanced diploma programs in game art, design & development. The management will be the same, and these centres will be handled by Backstage Pass team only.
What do you expect how 2019 will shape the game educational industry?
There’s a huge challenge to the game educational industry today and also in the coming years to produce skilled talent in huge numbers. I can see more game companies starting, and more games being produced in 2019 making India one of the top gaming markets in the world. There are going to be huge job openings in the coming years.