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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 28, 07-13 October 2023

Become a Game Changer in the

Expanding Gaming Industry

 

Deepti Subba

Gaming is not just about joystick jiggling anymore; it's a cultural and technological rollercoaster that's spinning faster than ever! Back in the day, gaming began with legendary pioneers like The Magnavox Odyssey and Spacewar. But then, things went turbo with Nintendo and the mustachioed legend Super Mario Bros.

As time raced forward, PlayStations and Xboxes stormed the scene, and suddenly, gaming wasn't just a trip to the arcade; it was a full-on living room extravaganza. Fast forward to today, and your gaming adventures unfold not only on your personal computers but also in the palm of your hand, thanks to smartphones. eSports, once a niche, has now hit the big leagues with officially organised online tournaments that could rival the IPL in excitement.

The internet and mobile tech have turbocharged gaming into a colossal industry. India, in particular, has gone gaga for gaming, with more players joining the fun thanks to affordable smartphones, and, of course, social media's expanding reach. The result? Gaming is now bigger and richer than ever. And now with the lightning-fast 6G on the horizon, mobile gaming is set to soar higher than a rocket.

Gaming has become an immersive, hyper-realistic wonderland thanks to mind-blowing tech like cloud-based wizardry, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Web3, and Blockchain magic. It's like stepping into a parallel universe where the fun never ends.

And if that's not enough to tickle your gaming fancy, there's the world of Crypto and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that have stormed the scene. Imagine owning virtual assets and getting rewarded for it - it's like being paid to have fun!

But guess what? This isn't just about having fun - it's also about building a career. From coding wizards to game designers, data geeks, AR/VR pioneers, visual effects artists, sound and music composers, and Web 3.0 gurus - there's a dream job for everyone.

India's Gaming Ecosystem:  The Gaming industry encom-passes the development, marketing and monetisation of video games across various platforms including consoles, personal computers, mobiles and tablets. This industry is considered to be the one that's up and coming with growing excitement among users, due to its importance in culture, entertainment, and technological advancements, and its contribution to them cannot be understated. Therefore, for the gaming industry to reach new heights of growth, it necessitates a clear and structured framework.

Hence, the Government of India, is in the process of finalising a policy for the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVGC) and Extended Reality (ER) sector. The AVGC Task Force led by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has already submitted its recommendations which are awaiting the Union Cabinet's approval. The main objective is to set up a National Centre of Excellence for the AVGC sector which would focus on skilling, education, industry development, and research & innovation and to attract investments.

Multi-disciplinary Field: If you are wondering where you fit into this exciting world, here are some specialised knowledge areas that can open doors to different aspects of game creation:

        i.            Computer Science and Engineering: The building blocks on which gaming industry thrives on are the domains of Software and 3D, 2D, Animation and Vfx, IT and specialised computer language like C++, Java and Dev Ops.

      ii.            Psychology and User Experience (UX): Dive into the minds of players by understanding human psychology and UX principles. This knowledge is the secret recipe for creating games that resonate with players on a deep emotional level.

    iii.            Business and Marketing: For those with a knack for business strategies and marketing wizardry, your expertise is essential for successfully launching and promoting games to the masses.

    iv.            Storytelling and Narrative: If you have got a background in literature or creative writing, your storytelling skills can make the game's narratives and dialogues truly compelling and unforgettable.

      v.            Research and Development (R&D): In a tech-savvy world, R&D plays a pivotal role in game development. It helps the industry stay ahead of the curve as technology continues to evolve and shape the future of gaming.

Popular Job Roles: The anticipated boom in gaming applications invariably means an explosion in job creation by the industry. Specialised skills are likely to grow in demand and diverse domain knowledge will be sought after. Though it is a rapidly evolving landscape, enlisted below are a few job roles that form the backbone of the gaming industry and will always be in demand.

Game Designers: Game designers conceive the gameplay, mechanics, and overall structure of a game. They focus on creating an engaging and immersive player experience with captivating visuals, character designs, and environments. A strong background in computer science and programming languages like C++, C#, or Python is crucial in this role.

Programmers/Coders: Game progra-mmers write the code that powers the game. They work on everything from physics simulations to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and user interfaces.

Artists/Animators: Artists and animators are responsible for creating the visual elements of a game, including character models, environments, textures, and animations. They bring the game world to life through their creativity and artistic skills.

Sound Designers: Sound designers and composers work on the audio aspects of a game. They create music, sound effects, and ambient sounds that enhance the player's immersion and emotional engagement.

Quality Assurance Testers: QA testers play a vital role in ensuring the game's quality. They identify and report bugs, glitches, and gameplay issues, helping developers refine and improve the gaming experience.

Production and Project Management: Producers and project managers oversee the development process, ensuring that projects stay on track, meet deadlines, and stay within budget. They act as the bridge between the creative and business aspects of game development.

The next significant rise in this industry will be seen in roles such as cyber- security, applications for cloud security analyst, information security development lead, cybersecurity engineering and investigation analyst, as these positions shall attract demand in hiring.

Gaming Applications in Other Sectors : Gaming isn't just about entertainment; it's a versatile tool with applications extending far beyond the gaming industry.

e-Commerce: In India, one major sector harnessing the power of gamification is e-commerce. It creatively integrates game-like features into various aspects of the shopping experience, such as rewarding customers for purchases and point redemptions. Gamification has found its way into websites, apps, social media, physical stores, events, and email, offering a wide array of engaging formats.

FinTech: In FinTech, gamificaiton used to make financial education engaging and enjoyable, simplifying complex concepts and offering rewards for prudent financial choices. As we step into the Metaverse era, an immersive gaming experience in FinTech is on the horizon.

Education: Gamification is revolutionising learning. Ed-tech platforms employ collaborative problem-solving, point-based reward systems, achievement badges, and student-generated narratives to enhance learning outcomes while making the process enjoyable. Real-life leader-boards and badge displays are even being explored in formal education settings. India's New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasises "innovative methods like gamification" for high-quality education.

Corporate Training: Gamification in corporate training is about constructing real-life scenarios and challenges in a risk-free learning environment. Instead of being lectured to, employees learn through self-driven, interactive training activities.

Courses to Pursue and Skills to Master: Educational Credentials: A bachelor's degree in computer science, game development, or a similar discipline is frequently the preferred educational background. In specialised domains like game AI, certain positions may necessitate the attainment of a master's degree.

Programming Proficiency: Proficiency in programming languages commonly employed in game development, such as C++, C#, or Python, is a fundamental requirement. Additionally, a sound understanding of game engines, encompassing unity, unreal engine, or proprietary engines, is expected.

Mathematical and Physical Aptitude: Proficiency in mathematics, including but not limited to calculus, linear algebra, and geometry, is imperative for the formulation of game mechanics and the development of robust physics systems.

Problem-Solving Competence: Game developers are necessitated to exhibit adeptness in problem-solving, enabling them to adeptly recognise and tackle intricate technical challenges that may arise during the development process.

Creativity and Collaborative Skills: The cultivation of creativity is paramount in the domains of game design and storytelling. Additionally, effective communication and collaboration skills are deemed indispensable for seamless integration within cross-functional teams involved in the game development process.

Meticulous Attention to Detail: Game developers must demonstrate an unwavering commitment to precision and meticulousness. This dedication to detail is indispensable for safeguarding the quality and refinement of the final product.

Popular Institutions and Courses: Pursuing a career as a game developer requires a solid educational foundation. *There are numerous colleges, universities, and specialised centers around the country where individuals can enroll in courses and programs focused on game development.

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay - IDC School of Design: IIT Bombay offers a Master of Design (M. Des) program with a specialisation in Interaction Design, which covers game design principles. The program focuses on user-centered design, making it valuable for those interested in creating user-friendly games.

National Institute of Design Ahmedabad: NID offers a Master's program in New Media Design, which includes game design as a part of its curriculum.

Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (Bangalore): Srishti offers Bachelor's and Master's programs in Digital Game Art and Design. The institution emphasises creativity and innovation in game development.

Manipal Institute of Technology- Manipal: MIT offers Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programs in Computer Science and Engineering with a specialisation in Game Programming. It provides a strong technical foundation for aspiring game developers.

Arena Animation: Arena Animation has centers across India and offers courses in game design and development. They provide diploma and certificate programs in game art and design.

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics: MAAC has numerous branches in India and offers courses in 3D animation, VFX, and game design. Their courses cover various aspects of game development, including 3D modeling and animation.

Backstage Pass (Hyderabad): Backstage Pass is a specialised institution that offers Bachelor's and Diploma programs in Game Development. It is known for its industry-oriented curriculum and game development studios.

DSK Supinfogame (Pune): DSK Supinfogame is a renowned international game design school with a campus in Pune. It offers a Bachelor's program in Game Design and Game Programming.

Amity School of Animation and Gaming (Noida): Part of Amity University, this institution offers Bachelor's and Master's programs in Animation and Game Design.

iPixio Design College (Bangalore): Offers diploma programs in game design and development. It is known for its hands-on training and industry partnerships.

National Institute of Gaming and Animation (NIGA) - Chennai: NIGA offers diploma courses in game design and development.

Whistling Woods International (Mumbai): The WWI offers a Bachelor's program in Game Design and Game Development.

(*The list is indicative only)

Future-Proof Your Skills Set with New Technologies

Blockchain: In an industry that constantly evolves, acquiring blockchain skills can future-proof your skill set. These skills are transferable and relevant across various sectors, providing long-term career stability. For professionals in the gaming industry, embracing blockchain technology represents a remarkable opportunity for personal and career growth. By mastering blockchain, you position yourself at the forefront of innovation in gaming. As blockchain continues to reshape the industry, having a solid understanding of this technology will make you a valuable asset to any gaming company. You can explore roles related to blockchain integration, Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) development, or even start your own blockchain-based gaming projects. The blockchain and gaming communities are vibrant and growing. Learning blockchain technology allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, attend conferences, and collaborate on exciting projects.

Data Science: Proficiency in data science is vital for orchestrating the smart operations of a metaverse grounded in augmented reality and virtual reality.

Like in all other tech sectors, in the gaming industry too, positions with an ongoing need for skill enhancement will consistently be in high demand.

Conclusion: Virtual gaming has transformed into an exhilarating, larger-than-life universe that goes way beyond just having a good time. It is like a big, global party where millions of players, creators, and future entrepreneurs gather to team up, go head-to-head, and dream up epic things. The gaming world is not just about playing games; it is about building them, crafting entire virtual wonderlands, and creating adventures that capture hearts and minds.

So, if you have recently passed high school or graduated from college and looking for a fun yet rewarding career, you are at the doorsteps of an industry that is bursting with opportunities. All you need to do is equip yourself with the right skills and training and you are all set to embark on the thrilling journey of the virtual wonderland.

Even for the experienced hands, the gaming world is the place to be if you are looking to give your career a new dimension. Whether you are a coding guru, a design maestro, an artistic wizard, or a big dreamer, the gaming community is ready to welcome you with open arms. So, jump into this thrilling world, where your skills and imagination can transform the future of entertainment and beyond.

The author is a career counsellor and digital content creator. Feedback on this article can be sent at feedback.employmentnews@gmail.com  

Views expressed are personal.