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  • Deepanjali sarna

Gamer to Game Designer!

A few days ago, a question was asked on a server. The question was "What made you gravitate towards gaming?" I wondered, why not write a blog about this!

This is something very close to my heart.

My mum introduced me to Super Mario when I was around 6-7 years old. She got a home console because she loved playing Super Mario. Slowly I started exploring retro games like contra and then Prince of Persia (the original pixel one). Then I moved to PS2 played a bunch of games on it like Need for speed, Tekken, Mortal Combat etc. It was sad that I had a time limit to play games back then. One hour a day!!!

After a point, my PS2 died so I started visiting my aunt to play on an iPad. I visited my friends to play GTA vice city on their PC. Soon, I got a basic laptop on which I started playing games like Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs. I used to watch videos by LowSpec Gamer so that I could run games on my laptop.

In 2016 I started competitive games and indie games. I realized that I want to make games of my own.

A year later I took up a degree in game development. I remember the orientation to this date. I walked into the college to barely find any girls. My mother was worried and said "I guess you are the only girl in this course" but she supported me with this decision. Luckily, I did have a few girls in my class but most of them focused on App development (the degree was a BCA in Game and App development).

College made me realize that games unite people irrespective of their race, gender etc and I worked on so many projects with various people over time and every game was a wonderful experience.

My very first achievement in college was my very first game. It was broken and a complete mess but it did work and I was so proud of it. Followed by that was my first game jam - Global Game Jam 2018. I worked on this game called Patient Zero another broken game that I am proud about.

Soon, I got an opportunity to be a Student Ambassador for Unity Technologies. During the span of this Ambassadorship, I spoke at the Unite India Student Summit for 2 consecutive years - 2018 and 2019. I was keen to bring a change to the community by making it inclusive and help young kids pursue their dreams of being in the gaming industry.

In the final year of University, I started interning at GSN Games as a Technical Game Artist. On my first day, the first thought that crossed my mind was "I did it, I made it into the gaming industry." I spent a year there and understood how things worked.

Post internship, I started working at WhiteBud Studios as a Game Designer. Getting the title "Game Designer" felt euphoric! During this time, I was a part of the Game'n'Train Mixer program organised by Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Stiftung Digitale Spiele Kultur and Games Bavaria and got an opportunity to be a Women in Games Ambassador.

I have been focusing on taking small steps to make a difference to the community. Helping out enthusiastic younger girls understand their passion for games and how to pursue a career.

Games have helped me cope up healthily. The fact that I can make my games and bring my ideas to life now makes me happier than ever.

So this was my story in a nutshell!

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