The ninth edition of Nasscom Game Developer Conference kicked off at HICC Hyderabad today. Sharing the day and venue with the second day of Unite India’s concluding day, NGDC definitely had its share of fans. The venue was rippling with attendees; the expo room was now completely lit with the finalists of the NGF Awards showcasing their games and the remaining booths gaining a good amount of traction as well. The opening ceremony was initiated by lighting of the traditional lamp with Dhruva Interactive’s Rajesh Rao, Lakshya Digital’s Anando Banerjee, Yozoo Games’ Anuj Tandon and NASSCOM’s Daryl Zuzarte. After a brief welcome note by Rao, the event officially began with a keynote by Nukebox Studios CEO Amit Hardi. The studio which recently came into the limelight with their game Food Truck Chef has seen its fair share of ups and downs and that was exactly the topic of Hardi. He shared their journey on how they created this title after a lot of attempts on others. He shared what a developer or an organisation creating games should keep in mind when aiming for the big one. Hardi ended his talk with urging Indian developers to push ahead. A session curated by Amit Tandon brought together names from some of the most prominent gaming companies around. A panel consisting of folks from Rovio Entertainment, Stick Sports, Google, Nazara Games and King discussed and assessed the trends which India might see in the next year. The group also discussed about the importance about the subscription-based model, suggesting developers to switch to the aforementioned model if they are unable to monetise their game through in-app purchases. The panel further discussed about single and multiplayer games and where they stand, concluding it with the fact that both the style of games are still valid and both of them work. They stressed that local content will be the way to go if created correctly as it will resonate more with the audiences of a specific territory. Roach Interactive’s Rahul Sehgal spoke to a sizeable audience about the challenges and things to keep in mind while being an indie studio or artist. Drawing on his own experience, he laid out a bunch of guidelines for aspiring indie developers to adhere. He stressed on point like building a strong team, keeping the creative ego in check, analysing, looking for feedbacks and much more. While the talks continued, the expo hall was crowded with attendees thronging the booths to get their hands on the offerings from studios. Nodding Heads Studios’ Raji: An Ancient Epic drew a lot of traction from the crowd as did UnderDOGS’ Mukti. With the day coming to an end, attendees swiftly gathered to the hall for the NGF awards. After glimpses of games from the shortlisted nominees, the winners were announced and were rewarded with mementos, Unity Pro licences, cash prizes and even a Nintendo Switch! With the conclusion of the award ceremony people engaged in casual networking while the beer and biryani awaited them in the halls!