Salute to Indian Developers – Raji: An Ancient Epic the “Best Debut Game” of 2020

Indian Developers |Raji

Raji: An Ancient Epic has been shortlisted for the prestigious “Best Debut Game” gong at the upcoming The Game Awards of 2020. Developed by Nodding Heads Games, based in Pune, Raji is in the running to become the first game with a made-in-India stamp to win the award. With over two years of intense development, the game has been warmly received by critics and fans alike, and many consider it to be one of the favourites for the award. 

The hotly anticipated award ceremony will take place on December 10, 7PM ET, with a live pre-show 30 minutes before the start of the main event. The event will stream live and is 100% free, with the organizers using more than 45 platforms globally to guarantee the widest reach. YouTube will feature live in 4K with co-streaming, with other popular platforms including Twitter, Facebook Live, Steam, and Twitch. 

Will Raji Make History? 

While Raji is certainly in the running for the “Best Debut Game” award, it is by no means a done deal. The game will rely on the popular vote, and it is up against other credible titles released this year: Carrion, Röki, Mortal Shell, and Phasmaphobia will be competing alongside Raji, and are all impressive titles in their own right. Nevertheless, people from India all over the world will be hoping that Raji can make history later this month. 

The Game Awards have only been running since 2014, having been founded by respected industry journalist Geoff Keighley. Despite its young age, the award ceremony is now one of the leaders in the gaming industry and has experienced stratospheric growth in the last few years. Iconic names like Hideo Kojima have hosted the awards, highlighting the respected profile of the Game Awards. 

Part of a Global 3D Animation Boom 

If there is one thing you notice straight away, it is that Raji is visually stunning. The entire environment implements the Pahari art style, combining a range of hand-painted textures. It is rendered entirely in 3D, giving the game an authentic and immersive aesthetic. 

The game forms part of a wider growth in the 3D animation industry. According to a Markets and Markets report, the industry is expected to grow to $29.5 billion by 2027 (11.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate) worldwide. Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, 3D animation has grown steadily to a market value of approximately $14.6 billion in 2020. 

This trend has fully taken hold in India, with impressive growth in technical proficiency, Indian studios involved with AAA titles and other major projects, and a growing interest from local consumers in 3D games. The country has seen exceptional growth in the availability of small indie titles, big-budget releases, mobile games, and AR/VR developments, and even the casino industry. 

Events like India Joy and Unite have showcased just how impressive and wide-ranging these developments have been. For example, local studios like BornMonkey, Hypernova Interactive, and Kabam Mobile Games have become leading developers of mobile games and technology, while Sunovatech (based in New Delhi) has created an entire theme park in VR for Doha, Qatar. 

And when it comes to the worldwide market., 3D animation and modeling has also reached industries not immediately associated with animation. One example is the casino industry. Online slots casinos, for example those listed on ArabianBetting, are now largely focused on animated graphics for different games, and now, even offer 3D versions of slots to enhance the gaming experience and keep up with wider industry developments. 

We are wistfully waiting for what the upcoming years of development of animation and 3D modeling will bring.

Pride in Heritage 

Returning back to Raji: An Ancient Epic, developed by Indian developers, rather than use common tropes and themes, Nodding Head Games wanted to celebrate its local heritage. The action-adventure epic is inspired by Indian medieval architecture and mythology, combining stunning visuals with a rich cultural setting. 

For those with limited knowledge of Indian lore, this game is a fantastic introduction to a rich culture and heritage. For Indian players, it is a stunning celebration of an inspiring ancestral past, and it is certain you will learn a thing or two along the way. 

How to Get Your Hands on Raji 

Whether Raji: An Ancient Epic wins an award or not, it is a must-buy game for action-adventure fans. It has met overwhelmingly positive reviews, with 95% of Steam user reviews being positive. Since its launch on the Nintendo Switch on August 18 this year, the developers also released the game on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. So no matter what your console of choice is, Raji is available.

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