Devang Parikh talks about co-founding Gamedoora, a free open source cloud-based collaborative platform for gamers and a Hot 100 2017 winner. By Satyaki Sarkar
How often have you found yourself hooked to a highly addictive game that you just can’t seem to put down? Not only are they incredibly fun, and highly immersive, the vibrant graphics make them come alive and help us enjoy them more. But creating them can be cost intensive and complicated. An ardent gamer and part of the Animation Society of India, Devang Parikh has long been associated with other gamers, coders, game developers, and animators. They often complained to him about how expensive and time consuming it was to create a game of their own. Devang realised their trouble stemmed from the fact that there wasn’t any platform that provided the appropriate tools or resources needed to create these games at an affordable price. So he decided to create one for them using the open source philosophy.
“We launched Gamedoora in 2015 with a view to let developers use the tools and resources provided to create their own games, completely free of cost with the idea to create—connect and collaborate,” says Devang, who currently works with Redhat, an open source company in Pune. “Red Hat is a leading open source solutions provider and I was discussing the idea with Chirag Shah, Ravi Dave, and Ravish Mody and shared the idea with them. All three of them were extremely interested. So, the four of us started working on the platform, gave it a name, and registered the company.”
How it works
“Gamedoora is an online platform (Gamedoora.org) where you can register free of cost and use all its features. Our aim is to build a community around the entire process of game development. Some of the features offered include project management, multiple studios, animation styles, etc. You can log in and collaborate with others by inviting them to join your studio or search for and join someone else’s studio. Whether you are an animator, developer, writer, musician, or designer, you will always be able to find what you are looking for on Gamedoora. It is similar to a gaming industry incubator where indie game developers, publishers, or even large game studios, and anyone connected to the ever-growing gaming industry can build and showcase their own games, completely free of cost, with the help of the platform and the community.
“At the moment there are multiple collaboration platforms available in the market, but Gamedoora is unique because it’s for the niche creative industry. You can use the resources and the massive online community (across different markets) to create a game without spending a single rupee.”
Building a user base
“Currently we have 200 users on the platform, but it is slowly growing larger. We haven’t started any aggressive marketing, it’s been building gradually through word of mouth. We had a gaming festival last year that had an open game development competition. Countless creative people from India and across the globe participated, which gave us a huge burst of popularity and recognition. We are planning to organise something similar this year and are tying up with other enterprises in the gaming industry to expand our repertoire.
“One of our biggest achievements is our tie-up with Punyakoti, India’s first crowd-funded Sanskrit animated film, which is being developed using our platform. The team has been using Gamedoora extensively to collaborate with others and create the movie, as well as store, trace, and share its production assets.”
“It’s a closed industry so making headway in the market was challenging at first. We also want to reach the entire global creative community, which is also challenging, but we are making considerable progress. We are already working with International Game Developers Association (IGDA) in order to expand our reach. At the moment though we have not started monetising our platform, as we are trying to grow and build our community, and would like to keep it open source and free to use. However, we are working on building an enterprise model that will be made specifically for studios, and would be on a pay per use basis. Soon, Gamedoora will transform the way that games are developed in India and all over the world.”