If you are a game developer, artist, programmer, designer, publisher… in short if you have anything (or wish) to do with gaming in India, you can’t miss out on NASSCOM’s annual gig – Game Developer’s Conference! The seventh edition took place in Westin, Pune on 6 and 7 November and boy was it fun to be back there.
There are many reasons why various folks attend the gig; and why not! The offerings are so diverse that it caters to the needs of everyone, be it a student who is wanting to learn and gain industry relevant knowledge from the expert speakers; or be it folks from the technology and ad networks side of things who are reaching out to established as well as upcoming developers to partner with them and look at better monetisation opportunities; or be it simply old friends catching up over a hot cuppa as they take time off from their mundane and busy corporate lives for a change… this conference has something for everyone!
This being the seventh edition, the expectations were much higher than the earlier editions and the gaming forum team led by Rajesh Rao would believe that they have delivered on those expectations. Well being a media partner this time around (Yes, TheGraphicSlate.com was a ‘Media Partner’ at NGDC 2015) it was great to see a small press briefing being arranged right at the onset of the two day event.
The press briefing witnessed a healthy turn out with representation from local print, online and broadcast media, along with a few of our friends from AnimationXpress, Kotaku and PocketGamer.biz. Led by now former NASSCOM VP Rajiv Vaishnav and NASSCOM Gaming Forum chair Rajesh Rao, the duo spoke about how the gaming industry has fared over the past decade; and also gave some insights into the way how a lot of collaborative work is being practiced by indie studios, as a result of various small city meet ups that are being arranged by the Gaming Forum.
It was also very heartening to learn that though mobile game development has been the focus among most of the operational studios, there are still a few who are continuing to create games for PC and Console platforms, while a few are also experimenting with virtual reality as well.
Both Rajesh and Rajiv have been instrumental in their own capacities in evangelising the gaming ecosystem in the country; and having worked alongside them around a few such initiatives has been an enriching experience, GameJam Titans being one of them.
An interesting addition to this year’s conference were the slightly more casual tracks like the ‘Publishers Meet Up’, ‘Women in Game Development Meet Up’, ‘Swiss Gaming Corner’, among other games on display at various indie booths as well.
There was also a rise in the number of women in attendance, at least that’s what we would love to believe 😉 , from the earlier editions; and this is a very healthy sign, as according to fresh reports and studies revealed by NASSCOM, 15 per cent of the workforce in the gaming industry are women.
The conference witnessed a total of 1100+ delegates attending and featured 70+ speakers (a mix of national and international ones) over the course of the two days. The organising team deserve a pat on their backs for pulling off this magnificent event after working hard on it over the last seven months.
So that’s about it from this year’s NGDC! But we are aware that the team is already contemplating on how can things go bigger next year. There have been a few suggestions made in terms of formulating three different tracks to have a more focused talk from the speakers; along with also introducing academia tracks to help aspiring game developers choose their career path better and there were also suggestions made of moving the gig entirely to a new city next year to begin afresh with revived rigor and enthusiasm. Only time will tell which of these suggestions will be looked at closely and what new will the team at the Gaming Forum pop up in the next edition.
Until then keep watching this space for more updates and some great interviews!