Game development is serious business, but design training is catching up

Game Development Courses: The pandemic has given the game a massive boost, but the lack of good teachers and training is a problem.

According to a report by CII and BCG, India’s visual effects and animation industry recovered 30-50% in 2021 after a tough 2020, with the market valued at $0.9 trillion to $1.1 trillion. had dollars.

NEW DELHI: The pandemic has given the animation and games industry a boost. Its growth has come hand-in-hand with closures that have left large numbers of young people home-bound and a corresponding surge in growth in educational technology, or edtech. However, it may be a while before there is a home version of Minecraft or PubG.

According to a study by KPMG, India had 400 million players in mid-2020, up from 250 million in 2019. So far, 556 million players have entered the market. As a country, India has the most players after China. If you look at game development, the game industry is expected to grow 32% between 2019-24.

During the Union’s 2022 budget speech in March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged this pandemic-driven growth in the gaming industry and announced the creation of a task force to recommend actions to advance animation, visual effects, games and comics (AVGC). Sector.

While students and the academic community associated with this industry think this is a welcome move, they say there is still a long way to go before the industry as a whole grows. In India, there are few institutions that offer good quality game design courses and hence few graduates enter the industry each year.

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Aasif Anwar, a 2020 graduate of the MDes course in Toy and Game Design at the National Institute of Design (NID) Gandhinagar, said the number of people entering the industry is very small. “Around 150 people enter the industry each year. It has a closed network of alumni with high brand value, which makes payments easier,” he said.

Even academics in design majors see the lack of competent teachers in educational institutions and established companies to enable advancement and growth as factors hindering the overall growth of the industry.

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nest-gandhinagar-game-design featured-imageNational Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, GujaratFew facilities, lack of teachers

Manoj Singh, CEO of RUBIKA India, a French design management institute based in Pune, said the current problem is the severe shortage of experienced teachers as it is an extremely niche industry. “It will take time for the industry to establish itself. Educational institutions want more qualified people and that will take time,” he said.

Similarly, Dilip Achtani, a professor at CMR University’s School of Science Studies in Bengaluru, Karnataka, said the biggest challenge is the shortage of teachers. “The industry is growing rapidly. The available labor market is so large that people are changing jobs and freshmen are receiving high salaries. But from an academic perspective, not many teachers in the gaming industry have that [the right] teaching skills. To solve this problem, we bring in industry experts to teach the students. »

The number of institutions that provide the relevant skills is insufficient as it is a highly specialized field and institutions have fewer applications. Anwar added: “There are very limited institutes. Game design courses are less well known in the industry. Also, there aren’t many courses that people offer. People take short courses from one to
two-year degrees.

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self-study and practice

Singh noted that RUBIKA teaches hands-on skills through live game projects in its game design and development courses. “It starts in year one and continues through years two and three where you play more serious games. It’s more of a project-based pedagogy because the games industry doesn’t need theoretical knowledge,” he added.

Similarly, game design courses from NID Gandhinagar include game experience, physical products such as board games or products, city design and experience, and some exposure to game design, Anwar informed. “The course is different, open and different from other Masters. After two years of classes, the last six months are devoted to a live project, which requires a student to lead a project,” he added.

Also, now everything has a virtual element. Achtani added: “When we think about games, we only see one aspect and that is games. However, there are other avenues outside of games that use similar technology to that used to develop games like edtech companies. RMC offers a game design and development program where we rely on game engines as well as industry giants like Maya, Silhouettes, etc.

Game design and development has also found applications in online education. “Content like that from Byju and other edtechs that use interactive content that is in demand will continue to grow in the future. All we need is more skilled workers and good educational institutions,” he added.

NID, Rubika India, animation, engineeringCampus Rubika India, Pune

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Constant change, standardization

The gaming segment is also changing very quickly. “As gaming technology and development continues to evolve, what’s new today may not be relevant tomorrow. So game designers and developers need to stay current, educate themselves and learn new technologies to stay relevant,” said Mohit Marwah, co-founder and co-CEO of AAFT Online, another institute that offers professional courses
game design.

Also, there is a lack of standardization between educational institutions and companies in the gaming industry.” Anwar added, “I can’t find any software-specific direction in game development. Different companies and institutions work on different software. Singh believes the solution to this problem is that academic institutions are given clear guidelines so that all institutions have a similar curriculum to follow.

“Deciding between computer games, console games, mobile games, single player games, multiplayer games, etc. can be daunting for someone just starting out as a college student. In such a case, game-focused edtech courses help students understand their interests and expertise and focus on the best path forward,” explained Marwah.

Anwar also sees a solution to this problem in working with industry. “People are turning to online upgrades and certifications to expand their skills because business needs are constantly changing,” he said. “The design department of NID and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has been collaborating with other universities for certifications and various courses to give students an insight into the industry,” he adds.

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Working group and way forward

According to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the Indian visual effects (visual effects) and animation industry rebounded by 30-50% in 2021 after a tough 2020 with a market value of $0.9 trillion to $1.1 billion. India now holds a 10% share of the global visual effects and animation market but has the potential to grow to 20-25% with structural changes. In 2019-2020, the sector has created 45,000-60,000 jobs with a growth potential of 75,000-1.2 lakh.

Marwah believes the AVGC Task Force announcement is a step in the right direction given India’s rapid progress in this category. “It will also give a well-deserved boost to gaming education in India, which is currently being promoted by edtech platforms specializing in unconventional courses,” he said. As the demand for professionals increases, so will the need for accelerated skill development through e-learning,” he added.

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However, Anwar argued that there was no clarity or way forward within the government’s AVGC task force. “There was no information on what is being done on this aspect, which is not leading anywhere in the industry,” he added.

While educational institutions are optimistic, Singh believes the task force will pave the way for academic institutions to follow certain guidelines and create some standardization.

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