Well, first of all, the main thing that comes into mind now, is "What about the future". I've been planning my future carefully, thinking of all that will happen and that might happen. Took insights, help from many people in the industry I want to be in and also from people who are presently working and happy doing what they're doing. What exactly is my plan? Well, that all will be known as and when it unfolds.
After I finished my tenth, the only thing I had to think of was "Biology or Maths" and chose the one I like, i.e. maths. Afterwards it was all a strange 2 year journey. I basically knew that I want to do something with computers, hence always only thought that I should be doing CSE after I complete Inter. Well, inter finished and thanks to my parents, I got to do what I wanted to do. 4 years later, that part is also done.
As years go by, the options become more specific. In one of our long chats, Kunal told me "do what ever u want... if u love it then ur life is set" There were many things discussed before and after that; but that is one thing that I will remember forever. That along with many other chats and discussions has helped me in coming up with the most probable choices for the path to take from now.
The thing that is most probably going to happen now is that I will study Masters in CS at SUNY Buffalo. Its a really good university and I'm really glad I got into it. The university offers 4 specializations and the one that I know I will love the most is AI.
Lot of thought went into that decision. The main thing being that I didn't have AI in my BTech (I did have Neural Networks though, liked it comparatively more) and it is generally considered a "hard subject". But after checking all the subjects and the way everything is laid out, I will be learning everything about AI from the ground up, hence the path being smoother for me to take.
Rather than taking subjects that I already know, or which will be "Easier to pass" I will try to take the risk and do something that I really feel like doing. My goal is not to go there and get an MS degree. Its for me to learn what I wish to do, and what I think I will love doing.
Everyone who knows me, knows that I want to live a life doing something with games. It would be like cheating myself if I didn't do what my heart tells me but do what will easily get me a job and settled life. I will only get satisfaction after I have tried my best to do what I always wanted to do.
Its better to try and fail than not try at all.
Thanks to the input from the internet and many people currently in the games industry, I got a realistic picture of what lies ahead; and thanks to my own pessimistic views, I already am prepared for failures. I wouldn't at all be prepared for my failures if it weren't for my parents and brother. They will always be by my side, knowing that, I set forth and once again, make my own decision of what I want to do.
Dreams come true only in stories.
Lot of thought has been put into it, anyone who has had a serious discussion with me knows how much I think. Its hard for me to be optimistic about my future; even as I type, I feel how wrong I am to think that anything I am typing here will go as planned. I tell my self how foolish it is to think so. But the fact that I have written it tells that there is something in me that tells me I can do it.
I always used to imagine myself sitting and doing experiments and getting lost in my own world like the Robin Williams from Flubber (or like in Nutty Professor, or like in A beautiful Mind). My brother will testify about my problem solving self. That thought would immediately lead me to think that a PhD. is best option for me.( There's the absent mindedness thing too :P ) If I have something to do, I'm more than happy to dedicate myself to it, as many years as it takes. That would be the best way to sharpen my skills and get a high entry point into the games industry after completing my PhD.
Thanks to my pessimistic side, very low chances of me doing that exist. So many stories of the perils of doing a PhD.; other thoughts of me telling myself that its just an over optimistic dream, etc made me just stop thinking about it.
Right now what I believe I'll be doing is choose my MS projects wisely, make myself a nice portfolio of tech demos, try my best to get an entry level job and progress from there according to the other huge plan in my head. This will a test of patience and especially a huge fight against the inner self. My exact dream has been available only in a certain Slam Book till now and even thinking of realizing that dream is a huge no-no as my pessimistic side will be all over it like a rabid wolverine.
Well, lets not get into the finer details now... as far as Plan A is considered, it will be most probably what I will be trying to do. There are so many forks in this road, many choices to make.
Plan B... well, it is basically something that will only happen if Plan A doesn't happen. Why will Plan A not happen? well, there is still the Visa processing thing left, and the other side of me tells me not to be happy already.
Well, this would mean that I take the TCS Job that I have right now thanks to Campus Placements. What will happen? I will basically be transformed into liking what I will be doing after years of doing it.
If I take this job, the chances of getting to see more places will be higher, and I can always come back home and play games. I can even have a side job of sitting and writing articles for various websites and magazines (of which some, I am doing even now). I'm more into the philosophy of gaming anyways.
This would mean that I will continue to change myself and enjoy what I get, leaving the ever lasting question of "What if" for my Plan A.
Or I can try to break free from it "After a few years of experience" and take inspiration from the words of everyone who has always said that I deserve to be doing something involved with games. Yes, Plan B has its own sub-plans, which I don't want to go into details as I dont even want that to happen.
I will mark today as the day that I promise myself to try what I always wanted to try and find out for myself instead of thinking a lot about it and not doing it. I used to be shy of saying this because my inner self always told me how unrealistic it is to think that I will achieve what I want the most; most of all "Enjoy" when I am in the games industry (I do know how crazy and bad the work environment is in the industry). With no further debate, I'll try and suppress the oppressor.
Expect to see me in a GDC/E3/SomethinRelevant talk sometime soon.