Backstage Pass – Charting a New Course in Developing Indian Gaming Talent6 years ago Surya Vallae
Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming & Technology is India’s leading college that teaches game design and development. Backstage was started in the year 2010 by Surya Prakash P., a young entrepreneur and an avid gamer.
Surya has over 15 years of experience in animation, visual effects, and game development. He worked as a Technical Director for Firefly Creative Studios and Innova Solutions. He had directed several projects and developed art assets and documentaries for the History Channel. Surya’s achievements include a National Award for Best Visual Effects for the film “Anji” starring the megastar Chiranjeevi. One of the projects directed by Surya was screened at Cannes, 2007.
The initial idea was to start a game development company. But, Surya found himself staring at a huge gap in the talent pool. He knew that the lack of skilled resources would affect the company’s growth plans. And there were a lot of game development companies facing a similar problem. They were spending a lot of time and money training people, but retaining the trained talent was difficult as the demand was huge. And Surya strongly felt that establishing an institution to train the talent would create a fundamental shift in the industry’s fortunes in India. And Backstage Pass was born. Surya’s passion for games and the entrepreneurial skill also went a long way in putting the wheels in motion for Backstage Pass.
The institute was established with the vision of creating a talent pool required by the gaming industry. The teaching methodology is ingrained in the philosophy of mentor-based learning. The mentors are leading game developers and entrepreneurs who have developed games and won many awards in India and abroad. Many of the students passed out of Backstage Pass are well-placed in both Indian and International Game Companies. Some of them have turned entrepreneurs too.
Backstage Pass is self-funded. They took a bank loan initially, but now they are self-sufficient.
Backstage Pass collaborated with the Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) to offer 4-year, bachelor degree programs, B. Tech (Computer Science & Game Development) and B.F.A (Game Art & Design).
The other courses offered are diploma, postgraduate diploma, and certificate courses in Game Art & Game Design, and Game Development.
The courses are hands-on, in-depth, and cutting edge in their nature. The courses are taught by experts, entrepreneurs, and practising game developers. The exploratory and challenging nature of the programmes has already produced many young stars.
The features like infrastructure, faculty, location, incubator facility, the students’ online forum, participation in gaming competitions and game jams make it the best college to learn game development in India.
Backstage Pass has set up a blazing story in the past 7 years. Their students have won national and international competitions and have built games that were well appreciated.
To nurture student startups, Backstage Pass started an incubator named Level2 exclusively for the Backstage Pass students in May 2017 and had already released one game, and the students are building the second game to be released in November 2017.
Level2 provides infrastructure, mentoring, marketing, publishing, and funding support to student games. They are planning to increase the number of teams within Level2 so that the students can build more games for both the Android and iOS platforms.
At Level2, the students learn to work as a team, explore ideas, gain experience, manage the ups and downs, interact with the industry experts and ultimately acquire a well-rounded experience of developing games. The games will be sent to international competitions such as Microsoft Imagine Cup, Casual Connect, and so on.
Backstage Pass received the “Education Icon Award for 2017” from The Times of India. This award recognises Backstage Pass’ contribution to gaming in India. Various factors such as the infrastructure, facilities, faculty, teaching methods, placements, and other similar factors have made Backstage Pass the best institute.
Backstage Pass is aiming to make itself the hub of innovation and startups in gaming.
Surya Prabha Vallae is the founder and CEO of Lotus Tech, the Content Lab. As head of Lotus Tech, she advises businesses on content strategy. She holds a master’s in English and a bachelor’s in sciences, Prior to Lotus Tech, she worked with IT product development companies for 18 years. She has a deep grounding in UX, content, and communication. A polyglot, a writer, and an avid reader, she lives in Hyderabad.