Interview with Nikhil Malankar & Prasad Kajarekar : GameEon
Posted By : Mukesh Dube At 1/10/2015 8:35:54 PM
Tags : GameEon Special Ops
Tell us something about yourself?
Nikhil: I'm Nikhil Malankar and I'd call myself a gamer at heart. I've been playing games ever since I was 3 years old. I remember playing this game called 'Doom' on a Windows 95 machine in 1997 with my Dad upto late hours and those were quite fun times.
Prasad: Hello everyone. I am Prasad Kajarekar.I am a Media Graduate with Diploma in Animation. I always had a dream of running my own gaming company after I met Nikhil who also shared similar dream like mine and today we are living that dream.
Brief Background of GameEon.
Nikhil: GameEon is what was an idea in minds of me and Prasad in 9th standard to develop our own games. Till now we've launched games for Android, iOS and Windows Phone platform and have ambitions to expand into PC as well as console market
Prasad:I happen to visit his place in 2009 and saw him modifying game called Vice City on his computer and I immediately asked him if you can modify a game why can't we create our own games and thats how it all started.
Which is your favurite game designed under GamEon? Why?
Nikhil: Personally, none yet. Our previous games weren't so good but if I were to pick one I had the most fun developing our first game 'Kyte'. Of course when you look back that game isn't anything breakthrough in gaming and I wish we had developed some better games from the start.
Prasad: Each game is Special and close to my heart . We are aiming higher and higher and you can see the level we have reached with Special Ops.
What is 'Special Ops'? What is it all about?What are the challenges you have faced while making this gaming.
Nikhil: Special Ops is our attempt to make something awesome from India. Its a first person shooter game which is the story of Robert Cain, the protagonist of our game. Major challenges we faced was that we decided to come out of our comfort zone and experiment with a new engine, Unreal Engine. The challenging part I'd say was to learn the engine.
Prasad: Special Ops is ambitious project by GameEon a FPS game which undoutedly is India`s one of its kind game for mobile platform which will compete at International level with the biggies.
The major challenge was to learn the Unreal game engine that we are currently using. It was wonderful learning experience rather than taking it as a challenge.
Share some interesting incidents you experienced while making SPECIAL Ops.
Nikhil: We had some really great time working on this project. I specifically recall playing many first person shooter games to get a feel of the mechanics of such games and above all having fun. At the end of the day its always the smile that you bring on the players face that matters. If you know what is fun to play only then you can make something thats fun to play. Playing first person shooters together in our office like Far Cry 4, Counter Strike and Call Of Duty is definitely the experience that I had most fun.
Prasad: Well each day is special at GameEon. We have loads of fun and play around to make our office environment happy and excited. We work off our asses day and night when it comes to work and make sure every thing is as per plan. We party almost everyday with whatever money that we manage to save from our tight budget.
How did you manage to bring this out so quickly?
Nikhil: We didn't bring it out as quickly as some people might think. Its been more than 6 months since we launched our last game and ever since that time we've been constantly thinking of developing something great. We started development on this game in October and if the progress seems fast we give all the credit to the engine. We worked our asses off 24 by 7 by sacrificing a lot of things and its been 200% effort thats responsible for the outcome.
Prasad: Its been more than 200 days we are working on this project so its been long time now. This time we are making sure we have the right product out in the market.
Its really interesting. So, when are you releasing it and at what cost?
Nikhil: We are planning for a release this month on iOS followed by an Android release and in month of February we'd like to launch this on PC. Mobile release will be free.
Prasad: Same as above.
Recently we exprienced that some negative comments on NASSOCOM Gaming Forum for 'Specal Ops'. Please share in detail.
Nikhil: Well that was unfortunate because people in India aren't ready to acknowledge their mistakes. Of course gaming scenario in India is improving day by day but personally it is saddening for me to see big budget companies running behind money and developing clones and shit games that aren't fun to play at all and are straight off rip offs of popular titles. We ourselves were developing such games and trying to cash on them but we realised that this isn't how we'll progress.I myself acknowledge that the 16 games that we made before were shit. I think the guys in that group were pretty disrespectful and arrogant themselves to acknowledge this fact. Anyways, that post got the highest number of comments in that group. I could never see people being so passionate about gaming in that group before my statement. So its good in a way. For developers who are really passionate about game development I'd say that please never post your honest opinions in the NASSCOM group. Only say things people would want to hear there otherwise you'll be ridiculed big time.
Prasad: What I can say is people are jealous for what we have done and for our future. We are here to compete at big level rather than fighting in small pond. All the best to them.
Name few of the projects that you've worked in the past?
Nikhil: We've worked on Kyte, Kites Mumbai, Box Cricket International 2014, Cricket Tap 20 which are some of our top games.
Prasad: We have worked on 16 game projects till date and as Nikhil mentioned Kyte, Kites Mumbai, Box Cricket International 2014, Cricket Tap 20 which are some of our top games.
What is your source of inspiration that is not art/design?
Nikhil: After the 16 games that we launched we have kept other games as our source of inspiration. Companies outside of India have been developing amazing games and we look up to them and learn from them.
Prasad: I still remember the day when I watched The Secret movie and I got to know one thing after watching it "whatever my mind can conceive I can achieve it". Period.
What are you most proud of?
Nikhil: We're proud that we stopped developing games that aren't fun to play and are now making an honest effort to develop a great game.
Prasad: We are still in the process of achieving it. But we feel good when we look back and realise it was amazing journey so far.
If you could collaborate with anyone in this world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Nikhil: Instead of collaborating we'd love to compete with the heavy weights in the industry.
Prasad: I will collaborate with nature. It has been the best teacher and reference for me during Special Ops.
What advise can you give to Game Designers who are just beginning?
Nikhil: Take your time to explore the world of gaming and learn whats fun. Be a gamer first. There are many game developers who aren't gamers themselves and thus they end up making something that isn't fun to play because they don't know what is fun to play. And also be ready to compete because the moment you launch your game, you are competing with the hundreds and thousands of games that are being launched the same day as your game as well as the games that are already out there and have made a name for themselves. Be fearless.
Prasad: Follow your heart. You can't predict your future but what you can do is follow your heart because no matter what it will always be right.
How do u feel being a Top 5 at International Animday Awards 2014 in Game Trailer category? What does this award mean to you?
Nikhil: It feels great that people liked the trailer for Road Trip Action but I think we could do better. I hope we'll win the number 1 spot in International Animday Awards 2015
Prasad: It always feel great to be in top 5 but next time we will be at number one for sure.
5 things you want to do in near future?
Nikhil: 1. Keep on improving ourselves 2. Compete with the best in the market 3. Make games that will make India proud 4. Inspire Indian developers to make great games 5. Be number one at what we do
Prasad: I will Work towards our Dream, follow our heart and help people along the way to achieve their dreams to make it simple.
Any message for our readers?
Nikhil: Animation Galaxy is a great platform for all the people in the animation industry and is very fast growing so I'd request the readers to stay updated about the latest news and information on Animation Galaxy.
Prasad: Animation Galaxy is an excellent platform for all budding animators and artist. Mukeshji and his team are doing great job. All the best and keep up the good work.
For more info
Special Ops website: http://specialops.gameeon.in
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOpsTheGame
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/specialopsthegame
Thank you Nikhil & Prasad for sharing your experiences with us and all the very best for your future endeavors.
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