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How Khushboo cracked 'Game Developing' all by herself

Classrooms are not always where talent gets nurtured. Sometimes, you need to chase success on your own and find random ways to discover the inner talent in you. Khushboo Gupta should know, as she took to ‘Brackeys’ to learn the rudiments of Game Developing. And she came out with flying colours!

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These two words changed the track of my life. Whenever people get to know that I had developed so and so games (and I love doing it), they might think I am a coding nerd who rapidly taps on a keyboard, writing un-decipherable codes. For the ones who think you should start coding in your school life, or know the basics at least to achieve something, here's my journey for you.

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I was not a coding nerd (and still I am not); in fact, I never liked sitting behind a laptop. In my early school life, you would find me in every kind of sports activity, be it 100m race, basketball, sack races, marathons, swimming and what not. But then due to some reason, I got ill and doctors didn't allow me to take part in any such sports activities. So I had to focus on the life inside the classroom, into studies and realized my love for the pen-paper. Then I shifted from sports competitions to creative stuff: drawing competitions, story writing, etc. Thanks to the CBSE curriculum, we got too many projects in our school life and I was the one setting an example for the whole class (that's what my teachers said).

Once when they asked us to make a folder using geometrical shapes, I made a folder with a giant Castle theme with various pillars and rooms as pockets of the folders. So that's how my parents realized that I was a vibrant kid, with a brain-full of creative ideas!

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Fast forward to the end of Class X when we were asked to choose our stream and as mentioned I didn't like coding at all, not even laptops. So I chose engineering graphics with science, considering my love for paper and pencil. I was very happy after taking that field but I guess my parents were tensed thinking "what's next?"

But since we all were running in the race of JEE Mains, no one paid attention to what field we chose. In my Class IX, I was living happily, having all sorts of enjoyment you can expect from a school kid. But then came 12th and seeing the competition, I joined Vidya Mandir Classes and that year I can only remember going from school to VMC then back home, mugging up all the organic reactions and integration formulae (and scary inorganic chemistry).

Then came the January 12th class when my parents again asked this question, "What's next?“

I had an interest in School of planning and architecture or NIFT but my parents wanted me to go for B.Tech (undoubtedly, the most obvious story of every Indian science student, yes I'm one of them but here's the twist). They used to come up with different jobs I could take after BTech to convince me but those options never grabbed my attention.

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Then one day they said I can pursue Game Development, to that I neither agreed or disagreed, but said: "I'll see". But on the back, this track intrigued me because that’s where we can design our own worlds in whatever way we want and even ask our friends to be a part of. When exams came I didn't appear for Architecture exam and instead sat for JEE mains and IPU exam. After these exams, I researched how to learn it and luckily I found this YouTube channel "Brackeys" which showed me a clear path to my goal. Then my plan was ready that after joining college, I had to learn C, then start taking the Brackeys course and from there on things will keep on adding. But this phase was not at all smooth. In fact, there came the point where I could I have left game development forever, I was stuck on this error for 2 (long) months and couldn't find anyone to help me and it turns out, the error was caused due to me being ignorant of case sensitivity of the code. I used to go to college, ask people whether they are aware of this field, came back home and try to solve it every day on my end. Then after two months, I was able to solve it (yay!) and those two months taught me debugging to such a depth, that now I am able to solve my errors very quickly.

In my college, I was sure that since there are all to-be-engineers I could easily find of a group of students focused on game development, but that dream got crushed within two months of my college life. So I thought of joining the dramatic society of my college to get an outlook and have a rapport with seniors. But that society did much more than that: it taught me how a team works, how any organization works at the basic level where you just have a handful people to do every possible kind of chore from bringing tea to pitching an idea. There I learned about teamwork, different roles and team management. Parallelly focusing on my game development, I took various courses of Brackeys, did my own projects and went to various Hackthons and learnt from a lot of game developers, even presented my developed games to them.

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In college, when Hackathons came, I was willing to go for one, but since I could not find a similar interest team, I picked up my group of friends and started teaching them game development. After that, I introduced this field of game development to a bigger group of students in my college too.

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After such a great journey, I got the chance to participate in Unity India Hackathons, made a team online, never even met those guys and did the complete project online. To our utter surprise, my team got selected and before one day of the event which was in Kochi, Kerala results were mailed to us. I, being the only girl in my group, had to convince a lot to my parents to let me go, so they called up every number in their contact list to ask if they know anyone in Kochi and could take care of me.

After all the hustle, we ran for our flight, worked in our flight, reached the venue late, got the surprise that we were supposed to make a presentation and requested more time. After all this, we made the presentation as fast as we could and after presenting it we headed towards the food area for our lunch. Then a call came asking," Khushboo, is your team at the venue?" I said "yes", he replied, "then please move to this hall and sit in the front seats of the hall". That moment was the one where I guess, me and my team can't ever forget, we all three were with plates in our hand and a big smile on our face saying just one line "ditch food and run for the hall!".

We knew something special was waiting for us there. In the hall, after the keynote and session, and with our rising anticipation, the much-awaited results were announced. Awarding prizes for 2nd runner up we heard "Team Nerdz" being announced onto which we remain seated for a while because we couldn't believe the fact that we got selected and then ran for the stage. For summing up the entire story, in those moments I realized, “No one's journey is smooth, you just need to keep going.”

The team is that where if one falls others are ready to catch up, it doesn't matter how long you have been knowing each other. There's no 'I' in the team.

Dedication and perseverance can make you do wonders beyond your imagination.

Never forget to have fun.

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