Following your passion is never easy. It requires a lot of dedication, hard work and unrelenting grit and that is exactly what Santosh Kumar G has in spades. Santosh has come a long way from where he started as a Senior QA executive. As a part of iXie since its inception, he has made major contributions to the growth and development of this gaming division of Indium Software.
Santosh has worked on all gaming platforms, but his core competencies are PC, consoles, mobile and web games.
Santosh has been with iXie for over 10 years, being one of the initial 16 members of iXie’s core team along with other prominent members such as Hassan Aamir and Vinay Chippa, the Associate Vice Presidents of iXie’s Gaming Department.
The Beginning of the Journey
Santosh’s journey into gaming began when he was 11 years old and saw some of the neighborhood boys playing on their consoles. Being curious, he requested his father to buy him his own console, which could allow him to start playing his own games.
“Super Mario Bros is of course a classic. In the case of PC Games, Need for Speed and Road Rash. Those were popular titles back then. After that was the era of Counter Strike when competitive games started becoming popular.” Santosh fondly recalls his favorite games as a kid.
This was when his passion for gaming was fueled, a passion that took him from a young kid playing games in Mcafee’s with friends to managing large teams of game testers for complex gaming projects at iXie as a Senior Project Manager.
Of course, the journey to Santosh’s current position was not without obstacles. The Indian Society as it was then and even now mostly prefers kids to pursue engineering or medicine, and there is hardly any recognition for gamers. Santosh’s parents were the same but despite all the obstacles put forth by society and family Santosh pursued his passion and results, as we see, did not disappoint.
“It was a long journey from my childhood to working at iXie. Initially I never thought that I would have gaming as a career, but then one day I woke up and I just thought why can’t gaming be a career option and it just went from there.”
Passion to Profession – Joining iXie
Santosh’s time at iXie was an opportunity to turn his passion into his profession. Not only did he get to do what he loved but he was also getting paid for it. Of course, it was not all fun and games. It was hard work too, but Santosh was more than up to the challenge.
One of his first projects at iXie involved acting in the role of a mentor for the project team. It was iXie’s first time working on an AAA title, but the project was completed to the client’s satisfaction and iXie was able to get added to the credits of the game.
Another project that Santosh is most proud of is when he was assigned as the sole QA for testing a simulation game. The project lasted for 3 years but resulted in one of iXie’s first Clutch – an online marketplace that offers business services reviews.
In addition to his contributions to iXie as a Senior QA, Santosh also contributed greatly to the development of the iXie Game Training Academy (IGTA). The iXie Academy is a one-stop institute for aspiring gamers looking to gain a foothold in the Gaming Industry. Talented Gamers who do well in the free 2-month course are absorbed by iXie.
A passionate gamer, and an even more passionate instructor
Santosh has been a part of IGTA since it’s second batch. He was the only instructor until 2020, when more people joined to manage the expanding Academy. Currently there are 3 instructors including Santosh who focuses on teaching the Basis of Gaming, while the other instructors provide the students with an overview of the various tools (mobile and web) and training on how to use them.
Santosh is a passionate instructor and is very involved with the development of IGTA. When asked which of his students he is most proud of, he said that he is proud of them all.
“We have trained a lot of batches since the beginning of IGTA. In a year we train nearly 6 to 7 batches, and a batch usually has 55 students, so we have trained nearly 400+ students now. I am proud of all the employees we have absorbed from IGTA. All the students are talented, and picking the exceptional ones can be difficult, but when you have been doing this for so long it becomes much easier. We don’t allow our trainees to work on games that are still in testing, but the ones already live. If there are trainees who can find bugs even in the live games, then we keep an eye on them as they are the ones to watch out for.”
With iXie expanding its range of services, Santosh also hopes to expand IGTA to better fit the needs and interests of all the students. He is currently looking into expanding the range of courses offered by IGTA to include courses on game development and art production as well.
“Our employees have a lot of potential and there are individuals who were interested in other aspects of game development as well which we couldn’t offer them initially but now those individuals can work on the areas they like whether it is design or development. In the first IGTA session which I took there were a lot of students with animation backgrounds, they were basically designers and the expansion of iXie gives them the opportunity to transition to other fields more suited to their background.”
With regard to his own career growth, Santosh hopes to progress steadily while continuing to upgrade himself in order to keep up with the changing times. His long-term goal is to make a change to the gaming process, remove inefficiencies and make a mark on the gaming industry as a whole.
When asked if there was anything which he wanted to impart to his students, this is what he had to say: “Everyone can create wonders, so excluding someone will not achieve the desired results, just like in the battlefield where no man is left behind, so too is true for life.”