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When was the last time you made a friend or connection without involving an electronic device - without email, social media, instant messaging - the good old way? When the founders, Poornima and Divya pondered this question, they came to realise how much mindless activity most of us do with our devices - contributing to clutter, physically, digitally and metaphorically. Moreover, they observed how the clutter was causing information that was not accurate, based on outdated traditional norms or even dangerous to be spread far and wide - including to some of society's youngest.

It drove them to create a platform that seeks to harness technology to make real connections and create a real impact. This germ of an idea expanded to look at how technology and gaming can be harnessed to talk about these issues in an imaginative and circumspect manner, while also taking advantage of a wealth of learning opportunities along the way. NammaLore literally means "our lore", a nod to our origins in Bengaluru and our outlook for the future, i.e. telling stories in interesting ways to reach new audiences.

Meet the team

Divya Hegde

Head Monster and Co-founder

Divya is Head Monster, and co-founder at NammaLore Entertainment. She is at the helm of two future-forward digital companies in Bangalore, India. With Nammalore (NL), she leads a team of interactive storytellers on a social impact mission. She believes that NL harnesses the power of gaming and Extended Reality experiences to help brands communicate effectively. Her dream project is the creation of an online game to change attitudes toward gender equality called Reality check: By having the key target audience for Reality Check be children, we are aiming to break the illusion of equality in the hope that children will unconsciously work towards more equitable relations between genders rather than perpetuating the unconscious sexism that is the status quo. As the Founder and CEO of The Integrated Penguin (TIP), Divya built a full-service digital marketing agency that now services clients across the globe in a broad range of sectors - retail, food and beverages, hospitality, real estate, travel and luxury fashion, among others. Divya has also consciously ensured that TIP's profile includes marketing for organizations that have a social impact, which include not-for-profit companies and government projects. Across her work at NL and TIP, Divya threads a strong vein of civic activism. She developed the TIP Sessions, Coastal Edit series that focuses on climate change, civic awareness, and civic action. Through a regular series of interventions, she aims to provide impetus to solutions for issues faced by communities in coastal Karnataka. Divya also has a passion for travel. Apart from exploring far-flung corners of the world, she develops heritage properties into profitable and eco-friendly home-stays in Karnataka's coastal countryside, to encourage responsible tourism and support the local economy. An example of this is Kandavara Heritage Home, in her hometown, Udupi. Divya is a serial entrepreneur with a social mission. A Google alumna and graduate of Northwestern University, she uses her education and experience to bridge gaps at the community level and enhance her clients' digital offerings.

Poornima Seetharaman

Head Ranger and Co-founder

Poornima is the Head Ranger and co-founder at NammaLore Entertainment. Poornima's interest in games guided her to the gaming industry, where she has worked for some of the best in the business since 2006, including Indiagames (Disney India), Jumpstart, GSN, etc. She took her passion forward by setting up her own game development venture, Pinaka Interactive. She was one of the founding members of the Special Interest Group on Women In Games with the India Gaming Forum (formerly, NASSCOM Gaming Forum). Poornima is also visiting faculty, project consultant and curriculum committee member at the National Institute of Design. She has worked across a wide variety of genres, including casual games, free to play games, FPS, RPG, MMO, social casino and augmented reality. Apart from this, she has helped push the Indian gaming industry forward. She has curated, judged and spoken at various design festivals and conferences. Poornima believes in using the power of gaming to create a meaningful and impactful change in thinking. Through NammaLore, she hopes to revive interest in Indian traditions and mythologies, and reimagine them to create a unique visual language for the Indian gaming industry.

Dennis Elias

Rogue

Dennis is a game designer at NammaLore, who hopes to contribute to the growth of the Indian gaming industry by designing games that improve society, and also to pursue his quest for the best biryani in Bangalore. He has an MA in Digital Games Design, and is well versed with Clickteam Fusion 2.5 and Blender. His favourite games include The Last of Us, The Witcher 3 and Cuphead.

Pruthvi Das

Soothsayer

Pruthvi is a game designer at NammaLore, and aims to build a strong base of knowledge in narrative-driven game design; he harbours the hope that his work will one day allow him to write with some of the most prolific storytellers in the gaming industry, and sip hot milk with penguins in Antarctica. He has a Diploma in Game Design and works with software such as Maya and Unity 3D. His eclectic interests include games such as XCOM, Duck Game, Euro Truck Simulator 2, The Stanley Parable, a variety of card-based games, and a couple of hundred other games.

Advisors

Amit Barde

Head Bard

Amit is currently a Research Fellow at the EmpathicComputing Lab based at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland. His research interests at the lab include investigating the use of biosensors such as EEG (electroencephalograph) in collaborative augmented reality (AR) environments and the use of spatial audio feedback for enhanced information delivery, immersion and presence in virtual environments. Amit earned his PhD from the HITLab NZ at the University of Canterbury in June 2018. His research explored the use of spatialized auditory and visual cues for efficient information presentation in wearable devices. Amit also has extensive experience as a sound designer, having worked on a number of short films, theatre productions and corporate campaigns over the last 10 years. He brings a unique blend of artistic flair and technical know-how that helps provide a well-rounded understanding of client requirements. In addition to this, he has experience managing both technical and creative teams across a range of projects.

Arjun Nair

Chief Troll

Arjun knew he was going to be a game programmer ever since his dad got him ZX Spectrum home computer, way back in 1988. The computer was ostensibly for “educational” purposes - but it turned out to be so much more than just a toy! It put him on the path towards programming his own games in BASIC and Z80 Assembly Language, which naturally led towards a degree in Bachelors of Computer Science from Bangalore University. He decided, at this stage, to become an IT journalist because life has an odd way of opening doors where one least expects them. Three years later, better sense prevailed and he finally made his way back to the gaming industry kickstarting his new career as a “story writer” in an obscure and now defunct company. Having spent fifteen years in the industry now, he has worked on all kinds of game technologies (PC game engines, mobile game engines, Unity, Havok Physics, MMORPGs et al), was the Lead Architect for the ICE 3D game engine for Indiagames (now Disney) and a Producer for BioShock mobile game (Indiagames). He is currently working on SkyNet, to help machines take over the world through machine learning. Allegedly. When Dota2 isn't taking up all his attention, he spends time on all things sci-fi, listening to music, coding and playing 'other' video games.

Partho Sengupta

Head Mage

Partho has never met a monster (virtual or otherwise) he hasn’t slayed. He is the Technology Advisor for NammaLore Entertainment. Partho spent several years started out as a programmer in 2000 at Citicorp, before respawning in the gaming industry. He has played a pivotal role as the Engine Lead at Indiagames (now Disney, India), developing ICE 3D, their to developing their proprietary 3D Game Engine. He has also spent time at companies like EA, GSN and Jumpstart working on a wide range of formats in 3D gaming including MMORPG and Augmented Reality. He is currently traversing the frontiers of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Partho also hones up-and-coming talent at the esteemed National Institute of Design, where he is a visiting faculty, project consultant and curriculum committee member.