Anybody over the age of thirty will remember the slow start to gaming in general, and particularly in India. But they will also note the stupendous transformation that has taken place within their own lifetime. The definition of gaming has changed from what it used to be just 10 years back and is changing so fast that it is difficult to capture its advancement even today.
Gaming, which was at one time mostly about simple video applications has since changed to complex gaming consoles and now with virtual reality and augmented reality gaining prominence, gaming is almost unrecognizable from the days it began. In India also, even though it took longer for the trend to catch on, the speed at which technology is gaining ground today clearly indicates that the Indian gaming industry is at the point of a major transformation.
With 1.3 billion people and two-thirds of them under the age of 35 - the world’s largest youth population, India is poised to become one of the world’s leading markets for gaming. This surge is new. India is fast becoming a key player in the gaming industry primarily because we have demonstrated the technical and creative skill sets and a professional aptitude to meet international game development needs, at competitive costs.
Ease of communication due to facility with English language also puts us in pole position among global competition. It is no surprise therefore to see that the youth in India is increasingly seeing Game Development as a viable and serious career with ample room for growth.
The Indian Gaming industry offers a range of career opportunities in varied functional areas including Game Animation, Game Art creation in 3D and 2D, Game Design, Game Testing, Game Programming, Project Management, along with general management positions.
Although, the industry offers a plethora of careers, it is an individual’s choice as to which area they would like to develop their expertise in. For instance, Game Art creation is today a much-advanced field of art that requires a dedicated workflow. Also, it is important to understand that developing a game requires not just the technical expertise but also a very creative mind.
A developer or an artist needs to have a fair understanding of the usage of toolsets like Max or Maya, etc. The software is a little hard to get by initially, but practice makes it easy. It is also important to note that each area requires different software tools, and one needs to equip him or herself accordingly.
For example, an animator would need to be comfortable with the animation tool-set in Maya or Max whereas a 3D artist would need to have a fair understanding of tools for creating polygonal models in software like Maya and textures in Photoshop.
For Game Design, one could consider undertaking a course at specialized institutes though most game designers are mostly self-taught. Those wanting to learn Game Programming would be well advised to enrol in a good Computer Science program, while learning Game Programming on their own, on the side.
Those wanting to make a career in Game Art should consider enrolling for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program at a good university, followed by a training program at a specialized training institute. Advent of new technologies in the field of gaming continues to throw up new career opportunities as a shift from one technology to another. Since the transition takes time, new industry professionals are needed to fill up the difference in development models and to cope with new upcoming technology like virtual reality.
The exponential growth of the industry has created a voluminous market for professionals, experts and technicians in the sector. This has created a new set of opportunities for young aspirants who want to be part of this industry. There is a pressing need for professionals at different levels in the sector over the next five years to cope with the demand from leading countries in games development space like the US and Japan, apart from increasing demand domestically.
The demand for high quality professionals has raised the bar for remuneration in the gaming industry. The gaming industry today pays at par or better than peer professions, averaging Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per month after just a few months of starting out. Depending on personal attributes such as skill sets, creative talent or other factors, post-employment growth opportunities in the gaming industry are almost limitless.
India has the potential to be the next big hub for game process outsourcing globally and its youth has a phenomenal opportunity to be part of this new world of opportunity.
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