Sunday, March 22, 2015

Women in Games Meetup!

To start off, it finally happened! A few of us as part of the NGF WIG group (especially Shruti) were thinking about it, but something or the other always put the plan on the back burner. This time too we picked the date and announced it but later realized it fell on a festival day. We also had some trouble with the venues at some areas. But we got past all that hurdles and finally hosted this awesome meet across 7 cities!

We had Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai women joining in. We also had some really nice men who helped us organize this meet. Cheers to them!

Special mention to our one woman army in Chennai, Asmita! More power to you, girl! It starts with one :D


Bangalore Special (21st March 2015)

The Bangalore meetup had a RSVP that went closer to 18, but had only 10 women who could make it. Owing to the Ugadi festival, some women couldn't sign up either. If all that is to be considered, then we should on an ideal day hit an easy 25-30. Let's hope we see that day soon!

Radha, Neha, Poornima, Megha, Arundhati, Garima, Pavithra, Anupam, Jennifer, Sujatha
There was a Video games meetup before our WIG meetup and I headed there first. I met Arundhati there and we headed to the WIG meetup together. Arundhati is full of enthusiasm and energy and it can rub off on you! XD

We reached the venue around 2:45 pm and we had Megha, our punctuality queen, waiting there for us! She got there before I (being the organizer) did. (The meetup was at 3 pm, so don't judge me! :P)

Next to get there was Neha, who despite not keeping well came to the meet. It's hard to get that girl to rest! :P Accompanying her was our knight in shining armor; Vijay. Also our photographer for the event!

While I got around setting up the laptop for the Google hangout with the other cities, we had Garima who joined us. Garima, the sole artist in the meetup decided to take the plunge and come all the way although her friends had a change of plan in the last moment! Kudos to her!

Next to join us was Anupam and Jennifer; the pretty BFFs! ^^

Then came along Radha, a children's book author who has published many books to her name! Woohoo!

While we were wondering whether we should wait or begin with the formal introductions, we had our calm and composed Pavithra join us.

Although the RSVPs were more, 10 was the ideal count I had in mind. I was telling the girls that if only one more girl just turns up!  And that's when our 10th warrior, Sujatha, walked in and we all cheered her much to her surprise. :D

We connected now and then on Google Hangout with other cities. But there were connectivity and background noise issues in some cases. Lesson for next time, I guess!

We started with our formal introductions and learnt a lot about each other, how we entered gaming industry and what makes us stick here. Discussed our interests, had our share of jokes, games we like to play et all while sipping on our drinks and eating our munchies of course!

Overall, a super fun evening! And we are definitely doing this more often!

Our handsome photographer

Last but definitely not the least, our thanks to Grubnomic, Bangalore who were kind enough to give us the place without any qualms, a good WiFi connectivity along with some great food and drinks! Thanks Chandni! :D

Do visit them, Bangaloreans!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A story unfolds...


One day as I was exploring the globe lying on my desk, a small pyramid shaped island caught my interest. I quickly grabbed my magnifying glass and looked at the island once again. It was then that an idea struck me! All of a sudden it felt as if I found the key to creativity. It was coming to me from all directions! It was such a relief; at least I didn't have to count any more sheep or keep staring at the lone moon to get some sleep! While I was gathering my thoughts, my phone rang.

I answered the phone. It was my friend. She sounded so happy and couldn't control her excitement and started talking about how a fountain of ideas just came to her. She talked about the fishes, the turtles and more. Was that just a coincidence? My focus went back to the island on the globe. It was as if there was something about that island; something magical... I looked again and it was almost as if I could see a distinct "L" shape in the center of the island.

My happy friend finally hung up. I kept looking at the island with the magnifying glass. What looked like an "L" shape was now taking the shape of a castle tower. I was puzzled. Was sleep taking over? But this wasn't the time to sleep! Ideas were blossoming. I should be noting them down somewhere. It was at that moment I heard a scream, as if someone was being chased by a ghost! If my calculations were right, it came from next door. Since no one was at home, I decided to take matters into my hand and grabbed my grandma's walking stick just in case. As I looked out of my window, I saw there was fire!

I went outside. It was as if the entire neighborhood was sleeping while our neighbor's house was on... fire? Where was the fire? What did I see then? There was a sudden sense of calm. It didn't feel quite right. I heard that shriek of fear again. I looked around. In the dim moonlight, I couldn't make out much. I was scared. I decided to go over to the neighbor's house. I'm sure I saw the fire! I knocked at the door. No one answered. I was beginning to get restless. That's when I noticed that the door was locked. I was about to look through the keyhole to make sure no one was inside. It was then that I heard a loud crash. It was as if the entire sky lit up. A sudden lightning had struck an airplane crashing it!


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The above makes sense and doesn't make sense at the same time? This is all thanks to Rory's Story Cubes!
Go through that link to know more about it.


In this scenario, I have taken some liberties of my own to fit the story better. The only rule I have tried to follow is to come up with the connection as soon as possible and to keep the connection between the dice rolls. The best part about the game is there is no right or wrong way to play it!

Now read the story again, this time with the images and the highlighted words to understand it better :)



One day as I was exploring the globe lying on my desk, a small pyramid shaped island caught my interest. I quickly grabbed my magnifying glass and looked at the island once again. It was then that an idea struck me! All of a sudden it felt as if I found the key to creativity. It was coming to me from all directions! It was such a relief; at least I didn't have to count any more sheep or keep staring at the lone moon to get some sleep! While I was gathering my thoughts, my phone rang.




I answered the phone. It was my friend. She sounded so happy and couldn't control her excitement and started talking about how a fountain of ideas just came to her. She talked about the fishes, the turtles and more. Was that just a coincidence? My focus went back to the island on the globe. It was as if there was something about that island; something magical... I looked closely and it was almost as if I could see a distinct "L" shape in the center of the island.




My happy friend finally hung up. I kept looking at the island with the magnifying glass. What looked like an "L" shape was now taking the shape of a castle tower. I was puzzled. Was sleep taking over? But this wasn't the time to sleep! Ideas were blossoming. I should be noting them down somewhere. It was at that moment I heard a scream, as if someone was being chased by a ghost! If my calculations were right, it came from next door. I decided to take matters into my hand and grabbed my grandma's walking stick just in case. As I looked out of my window, I saw there was fire!




I went outside. It was as if the entire neighborhood was sleeping while our neighbor's house was on... fire? Where was the fire? What did I see then? There was a sudden sense of calm. It didn't feel quite right. I heard that shriek of fear again. I looked around. In the dim moonlight, I couldn't make out much. I was scared. I decided to go over to the neighbor's house. I'm sure I saw the fire! I knocked at the door. No one answered. I was beginning to get restless. That's when I noticed that the door was locked. I was about to look through the keyhole to make sure no one was inside. It was then that I heard a loud crash. It was as if the entire sky lit up. A sudden lightning had struck an airplane crashing it!

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You can get the game from here: FullofToys (India)
Rory's Story Cubes is available for iOS and Android too! So download and have some fun! :)






Monday, April 22, 2013

Coming Soon

It's been a real long time I updated anything here. I have a hundred excuses ;)
Anyways, this is a quick post to tell you that I have not forgotten about this blog and there will be an update very soon..



Monday, November 26, 2012

Gaining Control - Postnoon Hyd Article


Postnoon Hyderabad had contacted  for an article on women in gaming.
Click here for the article.

Posting the same here:


Looking at the big push toward mobile gaming and casual gaming and what’s happening with the Nintendo Wii, women are slowly entering the gaming industry. Their numbers are few but there is hope for change.

Female representation in the creative industries has always been a topic for debate. Take the gaming industry in India for example. It has predominantly been a male-dominated one. So much so that hearing of a women gamer or developer in India has been few and far in between. We spoke with two women from the industry to know of where women stand in this field.
Purnima Iyer, game designer at Knowledge Adventure India (Bangalore) and Co-founder at Pinaka Interactive (Navi Mumbai) gives us an insight. On the industry she says it is a fledgling one. “It is great, still growing and has a long way to go. Innovation and quality is what we need to focus on. We should help each other out, share knowledge, promote and grow together,” she says. Numerous questions come to mind talking about women in the gaming industry, ‘Is the profession suitable for women? What are the timings? What about male co-workers, family etc…?’
Answering all these questions, Moumita Paul, a game designer at Lakshya, Pune says, “This profession has a lot of potential for women. There is a whole lot of different things to be done and not just gaming. There is testing, designing, production and developing and women can be a part of all this. Women have a flair for the creative, however, production has its limitations in terms of family because of the long hours.” Purnima adds that most companies do have flexible hours and work-from-home options.
For Moumita, getting into the industry was met with opposition from her mum who was concerned for her. Her mother stopped speaking with her, but Moumita persisted and finally won her over.
On the behaviour of men in this industry, Purnima says, “It can be quite subjective, some do some don’t.” But Moumita feels otherwise, “At least at work, men are very welcoming and supportive as there are very few enterprising women. In fact, most of them are surprised that a woman could be part of the programming or developing.”
But the bone of the contention still remains the portrayal of women. Moumita who is also an avid gamer, agrees that mostly women are given sexy avatars in games.
“Women are mainly designed to be hot and sexy as that’s how the men prefer them to be.” Purnima adds, “There are games which portray women as the damsel in distress who has to be rescued by the male protagonist; but then that is the case with most fairy tales too! There are games where the women are portrayed as equals. Whether they are the protagonist (Lara Croft, Bayonetta) or feature as a supporting protagonist (Half-Life 2). Many RPG (Role-playing Game) and RTS (Real-Time-Strategy) games give you the option of creating a woman character and building woman units respectively. Then of course is the question of objectifying and sexualising the women. To that, we have games like Portal where the playable character Chell, was not sexualised.”
But what both women seem to agree is on the lack of awareness and false concepts regarding a career in this field. At the NASSCOM Game Developer’s Conference this year in Pune the Women in games panel, announced the formation of a Women in Games Special Interest Group, which will help attract more women to the field. Moumita advises that all the women out there who are looking for a chance should do their research first and then enter this field. Half-baked notions can be dangerous.

'Let the Games Begin' - Indian Express Article

Somehow missed posting this here...

Indian Express did a coverage of the Indie game studios in India. We (Pinaka Interactive) got a teeny tiny mention too ^_^

Click here for the article.

The article is super big. So just posting my two cents that was printed/published:


“Startups are probably sprouting even as we speak,” says Purnima Iyer, who runs a game design consultancy, Pinaka Interactive, along with Deepti Raavi, in Navi Mumbai. “With mobile game development becoming so easy, everyone I know seems to be starting their own company.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Locked in the Digital World

Firstly I'm gonna start with the usual sentence: It's been a long time since I posted something here.Had too many reasons. Work,laziness, shifting bases et all.

Anyways, coming back to the topic in hand, I was just wondering how much technology has influenced our life.

Few basic examples:
  • My handwriting has become really bad as nowadays I use the PC to type anything down instead of a paper and pen.
  • It has become harder to spell while trying to recall something in mind. The spell check options in the PC has been taking care of it for quite some time now.
While the advantages have been that things get done faster. The search feature is a blessing!! But it's quite interesting because before the PC addiction came into my life, I was doing perfectly fine without them. And it's just now that I'm used to it, I find it harder without these features.

So then the question comes down to whether technology is bad? Definitely not. We are doing everything to make it easier for the future. And we are at a better place because of the technological advancements in so many areas of life. But somewhere down the line we miss the fun we had before it. I'm particularly focusing on game design.


I've never done a board game prototype or pen-paper prototype officially in my career. Right from the beginning of my career, I have been sucked into the digital world. As my career progressed, I got better with various tools. Someone prefers X someone prefers Y. Depending on who you work with you learn one of it or all. I had to take conscious efforts to improve myself within my field: Game Design!

Even today, I prefer a board game to a video game. The interaction with friends and family sitting around the table playing. One may say that it ain't a fair comparison. But for me, if I've time to spare and these are the choices I'm given, I would take the board game any day.

I remember doing some non-digital challenges with a few game design / game design enthusiast friends. Unfortunately for various reasons, we couldn't really continue with it. But whatever we did, it was fun! 

I feel the basics help me grow as a game designer. Understanding game-play, game balancing, interaction and much more. Nowadays even the simpler digital methods are not enough. You have to be continuously updated. While I have no qualms in doing that, I easily get drawn to simpler methods. Simpler methods are usually the hardest. The more tools you have access to, the more dependent you are on them. While it makes development easier, I would go on to say to keep the simpler methods going on the side.

And I highly recommend the book: Challenges for Game Designers (non-digital exercises for video game designers) - By Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber.

I hope one day we have a perfect merge of both worlds...



Monday, May 7, 2012

SQUARE-ENIX Game Development Contest India 2012

Always wanted to make a game? Here's your chance!
Square-Enix, the developers and publishers of series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom of Hearts,  Batman, Hitman etc are organizing a Game Development Contest in India!

Please visit their website for more details.


This contest is open for all! Companies, Students, Individuals, Freelancers, Indies...ALL!
They also are planning to have a matchmaking facility to enable a member to look for another from a different field of expertise and help form a team.
You are free to submit multiple entries, have any number of ppl in your team, be part of multiple teams as well.

Don't let go of this awesome opportunity!