Game development is serious business, but design education 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 concern.

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

NEW DELHI: The pandemic has given the animation and games industry a boost. Its growth has gone hand in hand with shutdowns that have seen large numbers of young people confined to their homes and with a corresponding growth spurt in education technology, or edtech. However, it might be a while before there is a home version of Minecraft or PubG.

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

During the Union Budget 2022 speech in March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged this pandemic-led growth in the gaming industry and announced the establishment of a task force to recommend measures for the promotion of the animation, visual effects, games and comics (AVGC) sector.

While students and the academic community linked to this industry find this a welcome step, they say there is still a long way to go for the industry as a whole to grow. India has few institutions offering good quality game design courses and hence few graduates enter the industry each year.

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

Even academics in design courses find the lack of competent teachers in educational institutions and well-established companies allowing for further development and growth to be factors that hinder the overall growth of the industry.

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nest-gandhinagar-game-design-featured-imageNational Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, GujaratFew establishments, shortage of teachers

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

Similarly, Dilip Achtani, a professor at the School of Science Studies, CMR University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, said the biggest challenge is the lack of teachers. “The industry is growing at a breakneck pace. The available job market is so huge that people are changing jobs and freshmen are getting high salaries. But from an academic point of view, there are not many teachers in the gaming industry who have [the right] teaching skill sets. So, to solve this problem, we bring in industry experts to teach the students. »

The number of institutions teaching the appropriate skills is rare, it is a highly specialized field, and institutions have fewer enrollments. Anwar added, “There are very limited institutes. The industry is less aware of game design courses. Also, there are not 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 in its game design and development classes imparts practical skills through live game projects. “It starts in year one and continues into year two and year three you do more serious games. It’s more of a project-based pedagogy because the game industry doesn’t need theoretical knowledge,” he added.

Similarly, NID Gandhinagar game design courses involve game experience, physical product like board game or product, urban design and experience and some exposure to game design as well, informed Anwar. “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 in which a student must manage a project,” he added.

Plus, everything now has a virtual element. Achtani added, “When we think of games, we see only one aspect, and that is games. However, there are other avenues outside of games that use technology similar 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 application in online education. “Content like that of Byju and other edtechs, which use interactive content whose demand is increasing, will also increase in the future. All we need is more professionals 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 rapidly. “As game technology and development are constantly changing, what’s new today may not remain relevant tomorrow. Thus, game designers and developers must stay on top of trends and continue to perfect themselves and learn new things. technologies to stay relevant,” said Mohit Marwah, co-founder and co-CEO of AAFT Online, another institute that offers professional courses in
game design.

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

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

Anwar sees that industry collaboration can also be a solution to this problem. “People are opting for online upgrades and certifications to further their skills because business needs are constantly changing,” he said. “The design department of NID and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has collaborated with other universities for certifications and for different courses to provide students with industry exposure,” it said. -he adds.

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Working group and way forward

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

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

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

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