EP 240 . 25 May 22

Game design

With Poornima Seetharaman

In the episode

  1. Can you give us a quick background of how you got into games and as I said, some “big names” you’ve worked with in what capacity? How has your definition of game design changed over time?
  2. Can you share any broad numbers of how many full-time gamers we have in India? How big is the market? What are the different types of gamers? Is playing offline Ludo also called gaming?
  3. Can you share different categories of games for a layman in the digital world? For eg: Many might think just candy crush or then Mario Bros
  4. What is the MDA framework? Are there any other frameworks on which the game is designed?
  5. What are the metrics or success criteria that Game designers work towards? If engagement is critical then how do you balance addiction?
  6. Is there any pattern you have seen or observed of gaming format working better than others? What are the key levers for a game to hit the charts?
  7. Do designers (in the gaming world) complain of developers not being able to achieve the desired interaction or something?
  8. IMO, there is a huge difference between game and gamification. A lot of startups are using gamification for Rewards, Referrals – How is that different or similar to games that you design?
  9. What are a few ways one can become a game designer? Also what all streams of work are possible in game design or development? For eg: Can a designer be just a QA and not really bother about how it is built. 🙂
  10. Your top 5 favorite games and why? Any tips and tricks for listeners to get deep into this rather than pure entertainment?

About Poornima Seetharaman

In Nagesh Kukunoor’s film “Teen Deewarein” during the end, Juhi Chawla tells Naseeruddin Shah that “Zindagi koi khel nahi” (Life is not a game). To which he replies, “Haan lekin usko us nazar se dekhoge to maja bada aata hai” (If you look from a that perspective, it’s more fun).


Speaking of games, Poornima Seetharaman joins us on Audiogyan.


Poornima has been part of the gaming industry since 2006 and has worked with some of the best names in the Indian gaming industry, including Indiagames (Disney India), Jumpstart (NetDragon), GSN Games, Square Enix etc. She found game dev by chance, but chose it as her career completely out of her passion for games and translated that passion further by co-founding Pinaka Interactive (a game design studio) and NammaLore Entertainment (a game development studio). Poornima believes in using the power of gaming to create a meaningful and impactful change in thinking. She also strives to make the industry more diverse and safe.


She is currently part of the Zynga family as a Director of Design.


She is a Women in Games Ambassador at WIGJ and the founder of Women in Games India (WIGIN)


Poornima is also visiting faculty, project consultant and curriculum committee member at the National Institute of Design as well as conducts workshops for other reputed institutes.


She has worked across a wide variety of genres, including casual games, free to play games, FPS, RPG, MMO, social casino and augmented reality. She has worked on titles like BioShock Mobile, The Office 3D, Predator, Cricket, games based on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise and NFL, FarmVille 2: Country Escape etc to name a few. 


She has curated, judged and spoken at various design festivals and conferences like TEDx, Pocket Gamer Connects etc. She is also one of the mentors of Google’s Indie Game Accelerator. 


She has also been inducted into the Women in Games – Global Hall of Fame in 2020, making her the first Indian game developer to receive such an honour. She was also one of the winners of the Special Recognition Award 2020 and one of the runner-ups of Mentor of the Year 2020 by WomenTech Network, winner of Outstanding Woman in Game Development at IIWA 2021 and winner of BW Gaming People Awards 2021 for Woman leading Gaming. She was also one of the finalists for GameHERs’ Game Designer of the Year 2021.


You can know more about her at http://drowlife.com/