CG Today : As a team lead, how did you manage to keep the creative juices flowing with proper collaboration between a team of visual designers?

Kalyan : As I said early it’s all in the mind. How you handle them by keeping yourself and your team in the same rhythm.

In this regard I need to thank my superior staff both in HCL and Icronex who had given me my own space so that I could freely explore and enjoy my work.

CG Today : Electronic gaming machines are being used more and more these days for online casinos. With your experience, can you tell us a bit more about the way electronic gaming machines and their design effects the way online casinos operate. Can the expertise be carried over to other forms like computer video games and console games with interactive multimedia?

Kalyan : Let me explain one thing clearly. EGM (electronic gaming machines)/Slot Machines are consoles kept in land based casinos which used to be the general regular gaming before it was brought electronically online. There used to be a space restriction for the game design as they are restricted consoles. But with online gaming and game design it is not so as it can go to any extent of design and to any file size. It just requires a condition to function dynamically from the online server. Of course, the consoles are also being upgraded now-a-days. But the main difference comes when u need to change something in the game. If it is online it will be very handy but if it is installed in a console then you need to reinstall which requires more time comparatively.

When talking about carrying the expertise to the other forms of gaming like PS, XBOX, CVG’s, there are some give and takes but we cannot compare completely. These games are consoles once played after installation but playing online include many things. The foremost important thing involves here is “Real Cash Play” and for this payment methods and strategies come as a mediator, which we generally would not find in consoles. Likewise many things count.

CG Today : There are thousands of online casino sites and plenty of casino games to be found online. What were the gaming concepts and design specialties that helped Royale Poker, one of your projects, to hit the jackpot as one of the most popular casino games?

Kalyan : Yes, there are some really interesting features in the game like double draw, interactive bonus rounds with huge jackpots, the high definition animations for the winning, opening screens, the game flow, and the usability for the players which helped the game rise high. It stood as “The most played game in Vegas”.

CG Today : From the role of a game design specialist, is there a specific reason you chose to go for post graduation in business management? How does it help a hard core technical game developer and designer to understand the principles of business management too?

Kalyan : Exactly, this was the best part of my career where I started mixing business in designs I make. What I believe is doing designs is different and making them to work for your business is different. One should think like an entrepreneur while doing his regular work.

As an example, you get a requirement to add a toll free number in your game container. This is not just adding a telephone number by design, you need to study where and why you need to add. Thinking from the business prospect…why you need to add the number, how important is that location, how much weight you need to give for that, and if you start practicing your designs in this process. I am sure each and every project will be a successful one.

The same strategy helped me successfully cover many miles to finally touch several important milestones in my life. Thanks a ton to XLRI for making this happen.

 

 

CG Today : Online gaming is rapidly gaining popularity and the world of games and apps is constantly expanding. What differences if at all there are any would you come across to provide similar gaming experience on mobile phones?

Kalyan : The forthcoming future is all about virtual gaming applications for mobiles. Android is an excellent platform to host casino games as experts predict the software will increase by 14 percent globally by 2012 and will become the leading mobile operating system by 2014. Some of the most popular current phones and tablet devices utilize the Android platform.

But Mobile bingo is not yet there. During the R&D, it became clear there were a number of barriers to create a paying game of bingo on a mobile phone. Firstly the range of platforms creates difficulty as the nature of bingo and the need for a constant connection would cause problems. In real time it would also be tricky to make chat and the game play work, and the physical requirements for actually typing in chat messages would be a fiddle. Another big problem comes by the skill levels of many in the online bingo demographics when it comes to downloading and installing apps and software on their mobiles. Any bingo game would need to work and be installable with little effort on the part of the player to give it a chance to succeed. It would certainly need to be powered by Java, but even within that operating environment, all the issues like in range of handset, capabilities, screen sizes, OS etc.

Juniper Research estimates that the mobile gaming could be worth $16billon a year by 2012, and in 3 years of time mobile bingo could see a growth of 40%, with the same for mobile betting. I'm guessing though, that these figures rely on a substantially improved availability of mobile bingo first.

CG Today : You have won an award in Arena Multimedia for the 2D animated movie, Dose of Death. Can you share with us some more information about this animated movie and its highlights?

Kalyan : I was doing my engineering at that time. I remember those days and it’s my first award ever in design platform.

The 2D animated project “DOSE OF DEATH” is all about Kashmir and the loss which both countries suffered in this rough journey. The animation is concluded with a small solution for the problem “Peace”.

The concept, storyboarding, designing, animating, sound editing is solely developed by me. The movie has a voice over at the background which was recorded in my own voice. I still know them by heart…

“When religion and language are the things which we created in this world are being led to fight on each other, why does each of us in this animated world want to rule as a boss?
Leave revenge… Leave War… Believe peace”

And this is how the project ends… It’s been a fantastic experience working on this project. It was played in my local film theaters as a trailer for nearly three months.

Thank you! You made me revisit those lovely days once again by reminding me of the project.

CG Today : You have won first prize in National level for Best Animated Film of the Year for The Right Turn. Can you share with us the experience of winning a national level prize and what it did to your confidence?

Kalyan : It was a great experience. The Animated project “The Right Turn” was awarded while I was doing my specialization in game design and 3d animation from ICAT Chennai. It happened like that when we got a regular circular announced in the class room about the competition across India. And by the time we got the announcement there were just 4 days left. But taking this a challenge, I worked day and night to make this possible.

The project is about “Obeying Traffic rules & the advantages you get by following them”.

CG Today : Is there a specific reason why you didn’t explore your animation movie making skills further and instead move to the gaming arena? Do you have any ideas of veering back into creative movie making, which although similar in soul with gaming, is different in terms of the processes involved?

Kalyan : Nothing so specific, am into the gaming field from the beginning of my professional career and it went like that. But I had ideas coming back with a zeal for making animated movies. I have many good concepts moving around in my mind. I will definitely let know CG Today when I come back with such an idea.

CG Today : Mr. Kalyan, it was wonderful to hear your insights about your career and online gaming in general. We wish you all the very best in your future endeavors, wherever they may lie.

Kalyan : Thank you and I wish the same to CG Today and all its readers. I thank each and every one with whom I had the opportunity to work with and who inspired me to be what I am today. I hope this interview has been of some help to people in the online gaming industry and those who aspire to join this fantastic platform. Good luck!

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Kalyan Gali

Creative Head at Icronex Technologies

Website: Kalyan | e-mail : kalyangali [at] gmail [dot] com

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