In search of this boy…
Sometime back in early 2008 which is long time now, something had happened, something of great significance but not very many of us came to know about it and many of us still don’t. There was no thundering, no supernatural transmission was heard and sky didn’t turn purple I can assure you of that, I was there! But what did happen was the spring of ambition that burst out for a 21 something boy.
I am going to call him ‘this boy’ from now on…
Now that happens every day; every day a teen or an early twenty-something comes up with a life changing idea. I have come to believe that teens to early twenties are the best years of our lives. The only years when innovative ideas come to us effortlessly, the years of uninhibited dreaming, fearless ambitions and the big What Ifs???
These are the years that somehow shape our future selves.
Anyway, now as spring of ideas are bursting in every teen-to-twenty mind, what was so special about this 21-year-old boy?
I am not sure what was special but I know what happened after.
His idea spring led him to studying mythology, the time of very first shloka, maharishi Valmiki then obviously ‘Ramayana’ which led to the clear next pick ‘Mahabharata’. He found himself frolicking in the rich scriptures; enjoying - the story, the characters, the backdrop, the architecture, he was in that world.
But what was he doing there? He was an ambitious, urban city kid. What was he going to do with all this information?
Honestly I didn’t know and couldn’t understand it then.
Around a year later I happened to meet this boy again; it was August or may be September of 2009. This boy was a sight! Excited more than ever; He had finished the project he was researching for – on paper that is. It was a Story!
I was among the first few he read his story to. He read with all the eloquence and it worked. All his research, content choice came back as a clear picture. Unbound imagination, rich characterization beautiful backdrops and a gripping story-line, it was an amazing experience. I almost saw a movie and I happened to like it very much.
I think it is time I introduced this boy’s profession to you. He was a game designer.
In that year while he sat home reading old Indian tales; he simultaneously wrote the story and the Game design document of his first commercial game - Story of an unsung hero lying hidden in the sands of Indian mythology. It was not Ramayana or Mahabharata and no characters were taken from either one of these books. He exactly knew what he wanted and he took just that – 'The way of storytelling' and weaved it into a marvel, which ran into 150 pages.
By the way of his eloquent story telling skills, this boy managed to convince 3 other friends, to work with him on a Mod using unreal development kit. This team of 4 did make a good-looking mod which they also presented at one of the game conferences I remember, but honestly the mod did not even scratch the surface of the story he wrote. As expected it was not successful in getting the exposure this team was hoping for.
Also, even though the mod looked and worked very well, 2009 was not the time for indies yet. There were no fellowships like ‘The Thiel’, celebrating the capacity of an individual, nor were the crowd-funding options available and publishers were not yet looking for budding indie developers.
So now the question is - How many of these amazing boys and girls get lost in the crowd just because - They knew to create and develop but didn't know how to make a noise. OR Perhaps they tried but it was just not the right time yet?
Nobody knows... I am still not sure what was special about that idea and his working on it; passionate people do that all the time.
I don’t know if this team is still together or not... Maybe they couldn’t survive. May they didn't make enough noise! I don't know! What I do know is that the game he wrote didn’t get made because if it did, all of us would have known.
In all these years I have thought about that evening many times. The amazing experience he took us through; the character I had come to love almost romantically (wasn't the hero)...and every time I have this urge to hear that story again. It's been over 7 years now and that last boss battle still remains the best I have ever heard.
I really wish to meet him again someday and relive that recital. But before that I have to find 'this boy'...
And yes the one thing about which I was not right, was the thundering part, It was pouring outside that evening ;)