Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The ULTIMATE Game Designer Recipe!!!

The audience and the readers are so addicted to new types of shock treatment that if I write something as simple as 'Casual - Keeping it simple', with no shock value whatsoever, I can expect 0 hits. And I am kind of getting to grips with the kind of articles I need to write to keep those hits high and still subtly carry on my mission.

So without any further ado let's get to the point before you drag me on to some third tangent, as you people have a bad habit of doing.

1. You should be a bad engineer - Cause if you are a good one, you and your parents won't be faced with the ever important question of ...What next? after you finally complete it. This rule should apply to any other stream, but I won't bet on it cause I only speak out of experience. ;)

2. You should have great diligence - To somehow finish the engineering that you started. That quality, I know, helps me everyday. Made me a fighter. A game designer and the last remaining soldier (from a hindi movie) who always "hangs in there" on a very dangerous outpost have pretty similar workdays!

3. You should know how much is too much - There are quite a few amongst us who choose a profession and stay there for the rest of their lives. Not that there's anything wrong with it. But you can pretty much understand within a week of joining a job whether the profession and you are made for each other. So after a couple of months of being an upcoming and bright movie editor, I have had enough of it. The seasoned editors at the studio, pretty much like the characters whose films they edited told me in a very dramatic way 'Yahan aane ka time hota hain, jaane ka nahi.' If I try to adapt that sentence in English, it won't create half as much drama, so I won't attempt. Just understand that Movie Editors don't have a life. And I was trying to kick start mine.

4. Know that an opportunity always knocks twice (even thrice) if you know its an opportunity - So if you feel that after quitting editing, I joined the gaming industry and lived happily ever after...let me tell you 'picture abhi baaki hain mere dost'. (For the English audience --> A hindi movie truly starts after 1.5 hours) I knew that I was meant to be a trouble shooter of sorts. I could find solutions to problems with ease. And off I went into the career of technical trouble shooting. I did quite well in that profession but I was getting bored with just solving problems. During my leisure hours, I used to dedicate a lot of time towards gaming, modding and level designing. I used to really love doing this. I used to look forward to doing this after busy work days. But I never really considered it a serious profession though. Until...

5. Secret Ingredient -  Very few can boast such a rich gaming background and family history like me. Tatya my grand dad was an avid gamer. He could easily tell the difference between an OK PC and a gaming rig and though he played games like tetris (better than anyone I know) and solitaire most of the times, he would still want to play it on the gaming rig. The 'other' one was not up to his standard. My mom is an avid casual gamer. My dad plays Call of Duty, Mafia, Medal of Honor and Jagged Alliance 2 along with Caesar 3 and Railroad Tycoon 2. He is the one who actually showed me the path to where I am and where I will be. Dads don't come any cooler than that. Jayant Kaka and Babi Kaku first gave me the tools of the trade. First a video game wrist watch when I was in 5th grade and then Nintendo Game Boy with Tetris and Super Mario Land sometime during 7th or 8th grade. For me it all started there. Sirisha, my wife, is incidentally a gamer without the gamer part playing any role in my decision. She understands how to deal with a game designer alright. :D
While a rich family history is not a necessity, having one is one of the biggest assets without a doubt.

These are my 5 ingredients that make me a game designer. What are yours? Reply and catch you soon.


Jayanta said...

Great Abhishek. Good to know I can do something good. BTW Tatya was a great chess player. He always beat me in less that 15 moves everytime. I never liked playing chess with him.

avinashblog said...

is it possible to know the ingredients before u become one??

Abhishek Deshpande said...

@ Avinash - It was not possible until now. Now you know. :)

Purnima said...

I really like this post... For me, turning point came via my friend (his name is Abhishek too :P)

I started late honestly. I had my own PC only at the age of 15! Till then my PC interactions where limited to a friend's place or at my dad's office and at times at my uncle's place where I played the original POP! :D

However, gaming was into my life long before that. The Gameboy and NES clones were heavily used on holidays by the entire family!!

In my case, my mom is more of a gamer than my dad... Her fav is Roadrash and NFS. I even deleted both the games once coz that was the only way she would hand over the PC to me... hehe

Although my grandmom is not computer savvy, I've learnt a lot of board games from her. After all, it all did begin from there :)

And now, I'm married to a gamer and game programmer. Couldn't ask for more :)