CGTexpo, Mumbai: “There is much to gaming beyond game testing,” says Ninad Chhaya, Executive Vice President of Jump Games, Reliance ADAG’s mobile and online
gaming arm. He was addressing an eager audience of wannabe game developers at the first NASSCOM Game Development seminar held in conjunction with the CGTexpo
on 23 -24 May.
In today’s age, almost every day-to-day entertainment device is gaming enabled. From the good old personal computer to third generation gaming consoles,
mobiles, PDAs, hand-held gizmos and TV set top boxes – they all come retrofitted with gaming intelligence. And the insatiable gamer demands even more cutting
edge games, making way for a multi-billion dollar gaming industry.
Pegged as the next gaming destination, India is currently taking baby steps in the game development sector with a few well established studios and startups
doing major jobs for their western counterparts. However, making a game is a slow, multi-stage and expensive process as Ninad indicates. “A good PC game
takes anywhere between 36-48 months to make,” he said, “And before that it has to go through the three stages of pre-production, production and
post-production, each involving multiple processes in themselves.” Ergo making games is serious business.
Ninad further elaborated with the example of pre-production, where an idea has to pass through the stages of conceptualization, game design document,
storyboarding, art guide, prototyping before it can be pitched to the sales team. “Game development is a collaborative process between the art, programming
and sales team. At the end of the day the game needs to meet market conditions and ship out on time.”
There are several times when the game is taken back to the drawing board. “Quality assurance (QA) is one of the most important aspects. Right from debugging
to game balancing, the quality of the game play has to be maintained,” Ninad said. Here the game testers come in playing the game ad nauseam and looking for
loopholes in the game play and graphics. Once the game is finalized and the ‘gold master’ is ready; the rest is left to the promotions team. Speaking from
his decade long experience in the gaming industry, Ninad exclaimed, “Gaming is not easy or simple. But if you have the passion, you will enjoy it like I