June 08, 2015

Success Story : Ceeyus Vareed (NID DGD)



Hi friends, ...I am Ceeyus Vareed an engineer from Kerala who made it into NID Digital Game design this year (2015).

I come from a rural town in Palakkad , Kerala. Art , writing ,science and making games were a few things that I enjoyed since childhood. 


My passion for making games started in CMI Public school Chalakudy. I joined there at class 5. Back then I used to be one of those silent types and found the 4 free periods in the afternoon especially boring. I wanted to do something but i never had many topics to chat all afternoon ...so one day I considered introducing a game (hand cricket) which was often played by kids back then. 

I introduced it there and it began to spread like wild fire. By that day evening whole school was  playing it. There were teams , cardboard trophies and even championships!. A sports meet was going on the ground whereas an even bigger meet was going on in the viewers area! Things looked pretty well but it didnt last long. After 2 days playing hand cricket was banned.  We were once again back to boredom. 

It was at that time that I asked myself ,"teachers have banned hand cricket...what if i make a whole different type of game?" ...this thought started a chain reaction. Teachers would ban a type of game and i will come up with a totally different type the very next day and so on...towards the end of 4 years i had invented around 24 unique game types. Each day we would play around 10-12 games of a single type! those were fun filled days!, but...

Little did i know that 12 years later ... , these childhood games would play the key role in my NID interview!

PORTFOLIO:

My Portfolio had 5 main projects and 3 minor projects. I had got selected for both NID digital Game Design and MIT Product design so I had split the projects as 3 for Game design and 3 for Product and 2 general projects like art and photography. The whole portfolio was done in power point. It was a bit too long (over 80 slides) and the panel only went through only 7 slides! Luckily I had prepared the hard copies of childhood games project , all artworks and photographs. They glanced through all of these.

You can see my online portfolio at: http://behance.net/ceeyus

Things that I added in my portfolio...

For Game design:

1) childhood games collection.

Reasons for adding this:
a) something unique to me
b) creates interest and shows passion for game design since childhood
c) Sheer quantity (I literally filled the entire conference table with them)
d) Sheer depth and details in each sample.


2) Code breakers : A unique game event that i organised for Dristi tech fest 2012 inspired from Dan brown's writing style of combining facts with fiction.

Reasons for adding this:

a)Heavy detail and complex project
b)Really did it and not for showing for NID interviews
c)Displays a lot of my skills like level design , team management, event organisation, model making, Photoshop, art, programming and story telling.
d)Something interesting and unique to me.


3)Powerpoint Game: A game that is developed using MS power point, has a back story and an attempt at making a game out of a graphic design principle.

Reasons:
a)Showcases my skills in using power point and digital medium for game design
b) Story telling and sound engineering skills
c) Very Unique and surprising medium for game design

For Product Design:

4) E space Project: A device that enables tetraplegic patients to communicated and interact with their environment; award winner 2nd place at IEEE GHTC 2013 San Jose, USA.

Reasons
a) International award winning project
b)Depth of research, testing and effort taken.
c)The project that led me into the field of design ...it taught me that for making a product that people will use , you need to focus on user experience and product design.
d) Shows skills in technology, engineering, electronics,etc.

5) Elf set : A design innovation on head sets , along with a lot of form ideations.

Reasons
a) Focus on form rather than function
b) Very good product sketches and marker renderings.

6) Experiments: 2 form based experiments to develop a new type of thermocol texture and light patterns.

reasons:

a)Shows my interest in experimenting and exploring new things.

So what should go into your Portfolio?
For game design you can add things like board games, card games, or even computer or android games that you have developed. Further you can show off your character design skills or programming skills as an add on. Make SURE that you add projects with SUBSTANCE. Don't just keep artworks and sketches. Make sure that its unique and interesting and makes the interview panel Remember you. It should also reflect you as a person. Also be ready to defend and justify your work even to the tiniest details like background colour and fonts.


Interview
I had my interviews in the morning section. It began with a simple self introduction and small talk. They asked for my background, what did i do after graduation, etc. I also explained why i want to take digital game design and my story regarding how i found out about this. They asked me what do i plan to do after nid and also why join nid. There weren't many questions regarding my portfolio.


There were 3 people in the panel , one man and 2 women. I grabbed their attention with my portfolio; showcased my work and  they seemed to be quite impressed (except the only male staff). He seemed to be disinterested and didnt pay much attention to my portfolio.He was always looking away. He tried to test my integrity and character by subtle provocations as well. He was quite strict in the time duration and asked me to get the portfolio presentation done in 4 minutes!...

"Hmmn..this guy must be that psychologist!", I told myself.

 Boy... did I get that wrong !...he did have a doctorate in psychology but he held the most important position in the interview panel as far as DGD was concerned! I got freaked out upon discovering this...I didnt show him much of my work ...he only saw one third of a project and 3 starting slides of my digital portfolio...he seemed so disinterested ...

"Oh my god!...I wont make it into NID...I didnt even clear the 2 job interviews I had taken as a back up plan...man i am screwed! ", so many worries surfaced in my mind 2 weeks after the interview. They grew and grew as the day of the results inched closer and closer.

And then it happened ...NID results came out!.

Fortunately ...my worries were just worries....they vanished when i saw the result ...I managed to get in !... there was no "yahoo" only relief and shivering legs; that seemed to calm down as i came back to reality.

Interview Tips
1)Prepare a script
2) Go through the common interview questions before hand and prepare good positive answers.
3) Be bold at times and be honest as well
4) Try to have the interview in the morning . People are more receptive at that time.
5) Make it memorable for them. After the interview, they should keep talking about you/your work ...be that interesting !


I would like to end by saying that:

"Every adversityevery failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." - Napoleon Hill 

Just because you didnt make it into NID/IIT one time or even many times does not mean that its the end of the road. Prepare back ups before hand. Do get a job. I didnt do this and it placed a lot more stress on me. Having a stable jobs gives you the freedom to have multiple attempts at CEED or NID. It reduces parental Pressure , gives experience and income and most of all supports you till you make it! Also keep looking for 
opportunities, explore , experiment and grow !

Thanks a lot for all the help Prasanna :)... you are so dedicated in helping others...you inspire me!

wishing you all the best!

Regards


Ceeyus Vareed

2 comments:

LEMONADE MUSIC FACTORY said...

Congrats Champ :-) i know u have been working since long for this..and this is worth your efforts..keep doing miracles :-)

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