We had the good fortune of connecting with Taygh Atwal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Taygh, what principle do you value most?
“Mutual utility” is my mantra: the mindset that every action/decision I make should be one that benefits everyone involved in a given situation. Though that may sound mechanical, I would say its actually the one part of my personality that isn’t largely driven by rationality or logic. From the bottom of my heart, I just want to see everyone around me reach their fullest potential. When I have an opportunity to use my success to help lift someone else, I will do that 10 out of 10 times. Whether that be resume workshops for students, connecting talented people with promising projects, or being there for a team member that’s going through a rough patch in life. People can tell when you genuinely care about them. And when we all share that attitude, it creates a positive environment in which everyone can thrive. Blackballing, tumultuous friendships, and competition-induced burnout are all problems in the entertainment industry because most people have precisely the opposite thought process. That if they don’t do everything in their power to squash the competition, they’ll find themselves racing to the bottom. But if you look at the top, you’ll almost always find people who talk about the extraordinary strength of their teams, not themselves. If you find ways to balance your wants/needs with your team’s, you’ll form unbreakable bonds that will pay off exponentially as you all continue to advance in your careers. I appreciate the hell out of the people I work with and I would do anything to back them up.

Be good to the world, and the world will be good to you!

What should our readers know about your business?
India is going to become a hub for global entertainment. And I plan to help that happen.

All the major games I’ve directed have originated from Indian culture. The one I made to apply to USC (“Operator”) is about an Indian CBI agent trying to escape a prison facility. Eventually, this drive to make Indian content led to the creation of Juggernaut Entertainment. Founded in 2019, it published my directorial debut, “Beat the Beat Up!” It is a VR action/rhythm game that has you star in your very own Bollywood blockbuster. Since then, I have published student projects that encompass a variety of genres, lengths (anything from 10 minutes to a few hours), and platforms (PC, VR, and console). Not only do I get to help students see their work payoff when the world plays their games, but I also use these experiences to understand every facet of game production and publishing.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve run into is running the business while going to school and/or holding a job. At one point, I was interning at Hi-Rez Studios for 40 hours a week, going to school full-time, and publishing 3 games all at once. As you can imagine, those three months were 24/7 work. And though I got through it all, I always felt like I could have been giving more to each one. It helped solidified my decision that if I am going to try and develop new products in the Indian games space, I have to give 110% to it.

In a couple weeks, I’ll be graduating from USC. Looking back, the breadth of development and publishing experiences I’ve had has covered almost every type of game and development platform I could imagine. Using this knowledge, I am finally ready to pursue a large-scale project to take Indian games to the next level. We are currently keeping it under wraps as we build our team, but I’m really excited to show it to the world when it is ready. I know this concept has the potential to elevate Indian games to the global stage. Stay tuned!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Instead of giving a day-by-day breakdown, I’ll give what I think are the top 3 picks for each category:

Food:
– The Courtyard Kitchen: Great variety of choices within American cuisine. I personally go for the chipotle burger every time, but they also have everything from mushroom flatbreads to truffle gnocchi. Plus it is on a pretty side-street in Santa Monica that is never too busy. On the pricier side, but definitely worth it.
– Bulgogi Hut: My favorite KBBQ in the city. Not too expensive, unlimited meat (up to 2 hours of eating), and plentiful/delicious choices. Nice atmosphere, but be sure to get there early in the night (K-Town gets busy). Don’t skip the bulgogi or spicy pork!
– Anarbagh: I usually have a hard time finding authentic Indian food, but this hits the nail on the head. Absolutely in love with their butter chicken. Also on a nice, quieter road in Beverley Hills.

Places:
– Palos Verdes: Technically a little outside LA, but still in the general region. A gorgeous seaside town that has many small attractions for any budget. You could honestly spend a weekend here, doing anything from visiting scenic spots to playing rounds of golf (if that’s your thing).
– Sawtelle Street: In my opinion, a similar experience to Little Tokyo with less crowds. There are just as many Asian food options (especially desserts) as Little Tokyo, just not as many shops. Though, there’s still a Daiso.
– Angeles National Forest: Beautiful by day, terrifying by night. I love this one because you can keep coming back to have a variety of experiences. Especially if you drive through and stop on the side of the road to take in the views of the stars, since there is no light pollution out there.

Activities:
– Drive up the PCH: These drives are when I have had the deepest conversations with people. There’s something about the view of the coast mixed with the relaxing eb and flow of the road’s curves that induces meaningful, unrestricted conversations. I’ve never experienced anything like it on any other driving route.
– Movie at Alamo Drafthouse: The closest you’ll get to transporting yourself to 1950s Hollywood. From the décor to animated pre-show ads, this cinema truly embodies the historical spirit of films as art. Plus, the food is better than most other theaters and there are reclining seats!
– Picnic in Palos Verdes: One of my fondest memories is throwing a surprise birthday party for my friend on a cliffside in Palos Verdes. The views, ample outdoor spaces, and often sunny weather make it the perfect picnic spot. Especially when you have something to celebrate.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are far, *far* too many people to thank in my life. My parents, extended family, friends from Granite Bay/Seattle/Los Angeles, and industry mentors from Zelgor/Warner Bros./Hi-Rez have all guided my path in one way or another. But, there’s always that one person. Somebody you could talk to after six months goes by and they would still have the best advice about what you should do. For me, that would be Sikandar Sidhu.

I met him on the set of a short film, where (literally) the first thing he said to me was “You know Unity, right? I have this great VR idea you might like.” To be honest, I thought he was a little much at first. He throws a ton of opportunities and information at you all at once. But that’s one of the things I’ve come to like most about him. We became friends as I was applying for transfer from Seattle University. As an aspiring game developer, my top choice was USC. Since computer science was one of my majors at Seattle University, my original plan was to apply for the same program at USC. However, Sikandar introduced me to the Interactive Media & Games division, which was a much better fit for me. He helped review my application materials and gave me numerous opportunities to build up my portfolio. Ultimately, I got in, and I give a lot of credit to him for that. I also believe a lot of my “mutual utility” mindset was inspired by how much faith he had (and still has) in me. If I hadn’t met him, I genuinely have no idea how my life would look right now. We still work together and are helping one another to bring Indian content to the world stage. Whenever I’m unsure of what to do or am in a tough spot, he always has the perfect advice to push me in the right direction.

Sikandar is a brilliant, creatively talented, good hearted human that I am so proud to call my friend. Thank you for everything.

Website: https://www.juggernautet.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juggernautentertainment/?hl=

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taygh

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfQqmaMT0w8LQ3ndUkIINfg

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