• Abhaas Shah

Studio Sirah – A Journey Unfolds

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

It often takes a bolt from the blue to make the mind contemplate and think afresh. Despite its tragic consequences, the pandemic provided this for me – a new perspective and the courage to step off the treadmill. I left my plush job at Bain to simply be at ease and spend some long due family time.


As my brother and I reconnected, we fondly remembered our childhood and the one passion that always bonded us – gaming. Inevitably, we spoke about the recent mainstreaming of gaming as an entertainment choice, enabled by the smartphone era. We were a little miffed about the hyper-casual boom and began discussing how there is a massive opportunity to bring meaningful Indian content to core games. That discussion turned into a solid game idea, a paper prototype, a Python text game, a Unity MVP, our very own gaming studio, and now venture funding. A journey (Sirah) unfolds, but it is a journey of three parts.


GAMES AS A JOURNEY


The first and most important journey is the crafting of the game itself. My brother and I would play way into the night on a single ancient PC, switching turns on dying or helping each other form that perfect strategy, but what I remember is the immense joy in being transported to these myriad universes and being able to master the challenges they posed. In their own subtle way, these games also educated me – I learned about the world’s greatest empires as I plowed through AoE and the slow chain of technological progress as I played Sid Meier’s Civilization series.


Most forms of entertainment (books, TV) do transport you to their own unique world, but the interactivity of games makes you the author. Each game is a unique adventure, but more importantly, it is YOUR unique adventure. Whether it is themed on the annals of history or galactic empires, games are magical spaces where each player gets to travel on their own journey. We hope we can bring that magic to you in our games as well.


INDIA'S TRYST WITH GAMING


The second very unique journey about to unfold is that of the Indian gamer. We are an upstart population – we leap ahead when we see the chance, skipping steps that others may consider crucial. This has already begun in the gaming journey, where millions of Indians have hardly ever played a game on the PC, but are die-hard fans of mobile games. This journey will continue to be unique, propelled by our culture, demographics, and emergent technology. We may leap ahead to smartphone-linked AR/ VR or cloud gaming more readily than we will embrace the console culture. At Studio Sirah, we would like to be truly mindful of that journey and even subtly shape it if we can.


Deeply linked with this is the emergence of Indian content in games. Local content is massively untapped in gaming, from Indian mythology and history to portrayals of modern Indian culture. We think Indian content deserves to be brought to the world, and it will have its own journey to the global limelight, much like Greek mythos has done.


THE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY


Finally, there is the much smaller personal journey that my brother and I have undertaken. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work on something we are passionate about, and we are deeply grateful to Lumikai and our superb set of angels for supporting us through this. Every day since has been immensely challenging, with mental swings of cosmic proportions, but it feels rewarding and authentic at the end of the day. “It is better to travel well than to arrive”, said the Wise One, and we have set off into the magical unknown.

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