Game Hub Scandinavia attended the Nasscom Game Conference (NGDC) for the third, consecutive year along with 3000 other participants. Read more about the Indian conference and our visits to T-Hub and the IIIT University.
By Game Researcher Marcus Toftedahl from the University of Skövde
The conference, which was previously held in Pune, moved to a larger and more versatile venue in Hyderabad in 2016, allowing the Indian tech business organization Nasscom to expand the visitor volume.
The move to Hyderabad has allowed even more game developers to gather and discuss, present and showcase games with a focus on the Indian game industry – and the 2017 rendition of the conference was no exception.
Some 3000 delegates participated in the conference and the ten different conference tracks tackled subjects such as game production, serious games, tech and business aspects. In addition to the conference tracks, a large exhibition hall was filled with Indian indie games in various stages of development.
15-year-old students AND game developers
One example of the growing indie development scene is the game Alter Army, developed by a two-man team from Jaipur.
Working hard on their game during their free time, developers Mridul Pancholi and Mridul Bansal are balancing running their game studio Vague Pixels with school work. This is perhaps not an unusual sight in the indie game scene but considering that Mridul and Mridul are both 15 years old – and weighing in the level of polish the game shows – makes the project very impressive.
Riding on the retro trend with pixel graphics and hard core platforming action, Alter Army is a well-crafted action game where pixel enemies are defeated in melee combat. Vague Pixel’s plan is to release the game next year on Steam.
For Game Hub Scandinavia, the main purpose of the trip was to meet new and maintain already established contacts within the Indian game industry and academia.
The delegation consisted of myself and Per Backlund from the University of Skövde as well as Lars Henriksen and Shailesh Prabhu from Game Hub Denmark and Cape Copenhagen
One common interest of the delegation was to find partners to collaborate and exchange knowledge with in both business-related and academic areas. Visits to a number of incubators across Hyderabad were carried out and also a guest lecture at the IIIT University.
Since Hyderabad is already established as one of the “tech hubs” in India with a presence of several of the big global tech companies, the regional government has also started to focus on games and interactive media as an area of growth. In order to accommodate for this, a focus on incubators and startups have been initiated.
Visit at incubators and the IIIT University
The Game Hub Scandinavia delegation visited three different incubators.
The T-Hub incubator is associated with IIIT and is a general incubator with a focus on information technology but they host a few projects relevant to game development, in particular with a VR focus.
We also visited one game studio at the IIIT incubator. Finally, the Image incubator might be of future interest. They started just recently and there are only a few teams in place but the interesting thing is that their focus is games and interactive media. The plans for the future are visionary, and they are already planning for more space in a new building which is under construction.
All in all, it seems that there is a growing interest in games in India and these initiatives indicate interesting development s in the future.
At the IIIT University, Per and I held a guest lecture focusing on the research on serious games done at the University of Skövde.
We were invited to do the lecture by Dr. Kavita Vemuri who runs a number of serious game development courses within the cognitive science area of IIIT. A class of about 50 students listened to the presentation, covering the experiences from serious games projects in fields such as first responder ambulance training and enhancing visitor experiences at cultural heritage sites.
Hopefully the trip will render new interesting opportunities regarding Scandinavian-Indian collaborations.