Manvendra Shukul- CEO, Lakshya Digital
Q. In the past decade India has emerged as one of the largest market for games outsourcing development services, what is the reason according to you?
The global gaming industry has grown multifold over the past decade and is continuing to grow at a tremendous rate. Countries like the US, China, Japan and Western Europe are the biggest markets for games. In the past, in order to manage the development costs, Game Developers have had no option but to outsource, to countries like China, who have been the primary country for providing Game Development Services. But over the past few years India has emerged as a very viable option.
This, I think, is primarily because we have demonstrated the technical/ creative skill sets and a professional aptitude to meet international game development needs, at an extremely affordable cost. Another factor that has contributed to this growth is ease of communication with Indian teams. We present to them a very attractive package as a partner. Great technical/ Creative skills, a professional approach, attractive costs and most importantly ease of communication. This collectively puts us far above other global competition. Another factor in our favour is the large, and highly talented youth population which is increasingly seeing Game Development as a viable and serious career with ample room for growth.
Q. What are the career opportunities in gaming sector?
Gaming as an industry offers career opportunities in different functional areas such as Game Design, Game Art creation in 3D and 2D, Game Animation, Game Programming, Game Testing, Project Management, and other general management areas.
Game art creation today is a much evolved field of digital art involving various specialized workflows. Generally, students aiming for the Gaming industry should have excellent skills in low to mid polygon modeling in Autodesk Maya/Max, high resolution sculpting in Zbrush/Mudbox, creating high quality diffuse textures, baking various texture maps and working understanding of a current generation Game engine, like Unreal or Crytek engine or Unity 3D. In addition to this it would be very helpful if they are familiar with Physically Based Rendering (PBR) workflow as most of the current generation game engines have switched to PBR method and it is here to stay.
Additionally, a solid background in traditional arts like, drawing, sculpting, painting, etc. would be a great advantage. Game art being a mix of technical and artistic abilities, it is highly recommended that aspiring game artists have equal interest in its technical and artistic aspects.
Q. Despite huge growth in this sector, very few universities and colleges have started full time programs related to gaming in India, what is the reason?
Game Development as an industry is comparatively younger and smaller and currently offers fewer jobs when compared to more established industries like, say, IT. Hence, increasing the awareness about this industry and its tremendous potential will take a while. But it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens.
Q. Tell us something about Lakshya Digital and the courses it is offering for gaming?
Lakshya has been a pioneer in the Game Art outsourcing space since its inception (in 2004) and has grown into India’s leading provider of game art creation services to the global games industry. Apart from our studios in Gurgaon and Pune, we have recently started our studio in Seattle, USA and are exploring options of opening studios in other parts of the world.
During our recruitment process, we realized that most candidates possessed good knowledge of the software but did not have adequate knowledge about industry-specific workflows for creating artwork for games. That is when we launched InGame, a training Institute run by Lakshya Digital, to make high quality professional training in game art creation available to talented artists.
InGame provides hands on training by experienced game artists to students & offers courses in the creation of 3D art assets for games. The course is offered in both our local studios - in Gurgaon and Pune. The trained artists at InGame can further pursue their career by joining Lakshya’s Art Team and get the opportunity to work on world-class game titles.
Q. Are you looking to tie up with other higher education institutions in India and abroad?
As industry experts and in the larger interest of nurturing the Gaming Ecosystem we are willing to tie up with private institutes offering Gaming courses in India. This will ensure that students from such institutes are job-ready and not merely theoretical in their knowledge and approach. As for higher education institutions in India and abroad, we are willing to explore opportunities that provide the youth in India with a path-breaking, exciting and yet viable career option that lets them follow their dream!