Game Developer. Product Architect. Technology Enthusiast

Year: 2020 Page 1 of 2

Getting my Dad to play some Games

My Dad loves playing video games as long as its a card game on his iPad. He spends hours playing Solitaire and Freecell on his iPad. But doesn’t give much attention to anything else on the App Store. Needless to say, this has been a constant point of debate between us as I would like him to partake in what I made my career.

I remember an episode that happened in the family sometime in 1999 with the demo version of Caesar 3. I was a big fan of the game; it ended up being a major cause for me to game development. And I wanted him to play the game.

Here’s what you need to know about my dad: he is a history-aficionado and a Hindi litterateur. It made perfect sense to me that he would be interested in playing a game about Roman history and society.

Caesar 3 is one of my all-time favourite games!

He agreed to try the game for a time and started playing. I and my brother helped him a bit with getting acquainted with the game. After a while, we retired to sleep; what happened next, we found out the next morning. Because, when we woke up the next morning, my father was still playing the game for some 13 hours straight now. He had built a city that filled the map to its brim and had some 10,000 citizens pushing the game to its limits. It was a beautifully designed, prosperous city and a huge marvel for the kid me.

When he got up, he immediately made us uninstall the game; he had just seen how addictive games could be.

Fast forward to the present day, he happily plays Solitaire on his iPad. I have been wanting to collaborate with him for some time on building a game universe and story together. To give him a better sense of story-telling in games, I want to introduce him to some games and get him to play them.

This will be a series of blog posts about this endeavour. It would have been pretty straightforward to buy those games for his devices. Instead, I will convert this into an opportunity to experiment with different library sharing and streaming options available to me (for example, Steam Link).

Going forward, let this be a chronicle of this exercise. While, I was attempting to set the context in this post, going forward I will share my experience with getting some of these services.

If you know of a service that can help me do this better, please do leave a comment.

Until next time, then!

Gamifying the Remote Workplace

Excerpt from my article for the Insights Success magazine October 2020 edition. Read the full article here.

A company’s culture and team spirit is much more than a physical office space. It is a sum of its vision, purpose, processes and outlook. It sure gets amplified by the office environment but does not entirely depend on it. The answer then is purposeful engagement of the workforce. Thankfully, one half of this equation is easily defined by the work that the team is expected to. The other half is built up by how they do it. This “how” is what has been severely affected by the Work From Anywhere model, as this is now beyond the control of the organisation. But do not despair, there is still much you can do – the answer is gamifying the remote workplace.

Let’s Write a Post Together

Time Management is a complicated problem. You spend the day working on projects; balancing many acts together. Thus, you hardly seem to make any sense of the day flying by. Consequence: by the time I get ready to shut down work mode and switch into the personal mode, I am already drained.

This has had a huge toll for me. I love reading books and listening to music. I also harbour ambitions of writing books and composing music. But owing to my time management constraints, all this has come to a standstill in my life. Besides, I end up spending a major chunk of my day either sitting or sleeping – that has huge health implications.

“I hardly get time to read anymore” is a constant complaint from me. Nowhere is it more evident than on my blog here. I have kept restarting this blog for I don’t know how many years now, each time promising to be more regular. There was a time when the only posts on my blog were about restarting and promises to write more regularly.

Then in April this year, I started playing a little “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” with some of my friends. I am not a big fan of the shooter genre, which is why I didn’t play much of CSGO earlier but with this set of friends, I started playing almost every day. At least 2 hours of CSGO every night – with only exceptions when work would encroach on my time. And yes, I don’t write that lightly.

Because, from not having the time for anything due to work, I started making time for CSGO – about 2-3 hours a night. At least 10-12 hours a week. While I understand how social dynamics work – how any activity is more fun with friends, and how peer pressure makes you more disciplined; amidst all the things that are happening in life at the moment, it was a very curious respite.

Soon the respite gave way to immense guilt. I was still not reading anything. Still not listening to music. Still not writing. But I was playing 2 hours of a game that is not really soul food for me. That is when I have a library full of games I want to play but can’t find the time. Well, long story short, I kept dealing with the guilt, kept denying myself, kept playing CSGO.

Fast forward to the present day. I finally decided to cut short on CSGO and spend more time writing blog posts here. And to do this, I applied the same CSGO with friends logic – I teamed up with my friend, Shayon Pal, to write blog posts together. From now on, every Wednesday night (today being the first one), we will sit together for 2 hours and write a blog post each.

It’s a small exercise in discipline, let’s see how it works out. If it works out, then you already know what I am going to do next. I have been tinkering with the idea of game streaming for some time now, and that’s the next frontier.

So far the experiment seems to be working, this post is an outcome. But before I jinx it for myself, allow me to sign off. Until next Wednesday, that is.

Gamification in Education at EduTech 2020

I am speaking at IAMAI’s EduTech 2020 tomorrow in a panel discussion on “Gamification in Education“. My fellow panelists are Sebastian Gutmann (Co-Founder & CEO, Playvolution), Lalit Singh (MD, McGraw Hill India & South Asia), Prof. (Dr) Tabrez Ahmed (Pro Vice Chancellor & Dean – GD Goenka University), and Kunal Gandhi (Co-Founder & CEO, Logic Roots).

I would be talking about my experiences with building gamified experiences for our different non-profit partners at Hashstash, including our latest project on Human Rights and Freedom of Expression. I would also talk about our recently announced partnership with KPMG, where we will be juicing up sustainability reports and social impact communications for brands and corporates.

I will share a video of the session, when they put one out.

Experimenting with Streams

Recently, while working on the MyyIndia show, I had to quickly experiment with a number of live-streaming and online video recording tools for producing the show. The emphasis, then, was on finding live production studio to handle all supers and astons. I discovered some really nifty software that I will talk about someday.

But the experience got me inquisitive about live streaming. I have never streamed before, nor have I actively followed the scene ever. So I thought, why not give it a try, not to become a professional streamer but to be academically curious. Let’s see how that works out.

So now I am live streaming on Youtube. Subscribe to my channel and give me feedback on my stream 🙂

What will I stream? Right now, I, Yadu, Sanchit and Mayank routinely play CSGO every night. I am starting with streaming this. No points guessing: I am not good at it.

I plan to play a lot of early access and under development games. That will be the main content I plan to stream.

So, I will see you the next time I stream!

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