the end for the tsumea challenges

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Hi guys,
So I've posted up the final results for the latest tsumea modeller challenge, a competition that has been a long running tradition for this site. We've been running this thing annually for the last six and a half years and challengers have covered a whole variety of interesting themes. I've seen some tremendous work submitted, and I'm not shy to boast that many challengers have been offered and/or gained employment because of the work they submitted. The direct exposure entrants get to the industry is well worth entering the challenge for.

It's unfortunate that the turnout for the latest challenge was so low, but I think it's a sign that the modeller challenge has really run its course. I'm sure it's time for a change.

Bittman should be applauded for starting the indie project on here, and it's an initiative that would be a worthy replacement for the modeller challenge, particularly since projects can be contributed to and worked on by every talent from the community here as well as provide a real development experience (working in teams, developing usable game content etc). It's something we can push much more with in regards to industry support and mentoring (getting experienced industry talent to provide solid feedback on design documents, assets etc), kits, funding for software licenses, a tsumea online source control, and anything else that the industry and tsumea can do for teams who are serious about getting a realistic product out on the market.

Anyway, we'll see if the community is interested in pursuing this, but it would be great to get a few teams working on various projects, but we'll see.

Bittman's picture

Firstly, thanks for the applause, haha.

It would be great to see something like an indie challenge, but getting teams is quite hard. I feel there just aren't as many active members here as there should be, in fact one or two I have in my team have mentioned that I basically lured them out of lurking the sumea boards only for job postings.

So without even expanding on your idea, though I'd love to, the community would need a boost. I find sumea is indeed the best game dev job board for Australia, but a lot of people who are interested in getting into game dev are either unaware of this resource or don't check it that often.

Still, I would deeply love for there to be industry support for game developer hopefuls. I feel, as an applicant and recently finished student, the games industry in Australia doesn't provide enough feedback for students. I know a lot of universities cried about this a little at GCAP to which the professionals tried to reinforce how difficult it is to give what is required given the small size of the industry in Australia, but things like encouraging juniors to build their skillsets should be looked into more. If one tenth of the game dev's scattered across Australia were even remotely interested on providing feedback you couldn't imagine the growth the industry would go through.

I mean, the Skills Forum mentioned a skills shortage in games, but what feedback are us potential juniors getting in the wider community?

Oh man, I just ranted on the industry again. But really, the industry needs more PR and less of an "VIP-entry only" outward appearance.

EDIT: You had other points, but I got stuck on the mentoring. Haha, sorry.
EDIT EDIT: And some people are helping out. GameOn and Game Jam are perfect examples, but more of that is needed. Oh look, I kept ranting, I'll go now.

Neffy's picture

Now I'm even more sad I didn't finish on time :( It was my last chance.

It has been fun but I agree there's not many ppl with the time left to enter anymore :(

Bittman's picture

Well maybe the next competition will be something for everyone. I mean, if there was a way to produce a challenge artists, programmers and designers of all walks could enter it might have more of a chance to continue.

Breaking into teams for an indie game might strain the low population here, but if an individual project which allows all three areas to participate in may work.

No great ideas for what at the moment though. Best I can think of is a theme based thing:
e.g. "The theme for this challenge is Gravity" and then each field can address something in their own way. Designers could make a concept, write a story, etc. Artists could create concept art or a 3d short, etc. Programmers could work on a simulator or a useful tool, etc.

souri's picture

The idea is to do away with the challenges, themes, and competitions and move towards encouraging and supporting small scaled game development. Personally, I think this is the next step up, to get people working on projects that they can then release into the market place. Competitions on here have reached a level where newcomers are getting overcome by the high bar that experienced challengers have set. I think there's much more they could benefit from by taking part in an initiative like this instead.

I'll look into ways where we can provide support, but the aim for the challenges was to provide an incentive for people to work on something to put in their portfolio as well as give industry exposure and feedback, but working on small games would ensure they also get some dev experience as well (and non-modellers can take part too.). Hopefully within time there'd be a good knowledge base and activity in the forums over projects to spur others on.

As for the talent shortfall - there are an extraordinary amount of lurkers on here. Some of the jobs posted are viewed in the thousands, so with a bit of effort in promoting things we could get at least a few teams happening. We'll have to see, but in any case, it doesn't hurt to put in the infrastructure to get things going to see if it sparks any more interest. I wouldn't be surprised to see many devs wanting to take part to, I've talked to a few who were interested in doing something casual game/small related in their spare time.

Bittman's picture

Good to see the dev's are interested. I know I won't drop this indie project now its started even if I get a job, and it would be nice to have something to work on a little more casually outside of work itself.

And wow, that's a lot of lurkers.

Johnn's picture

The challenges were great to watch and i for one found participating, even only in part, to be a worthy and interesting process. Judging by the enthusiasm in some other parts of the forum collaborative projects looks like a popular idea, I hope it will revive some regular posting in other sections too.

Rado's picture

When it comes to the challenge- to be honest guys you somehow shot yourself in the foot. I mean- I am in 3d for... some time now, I always wanted to try to move to your area and when I've read contest description I was all like "wow, that's great, I wanna try it..." and then there was this little note saying that (if I understood it right) it's "regional" contest. Ok- fair enough, it might be designed as a tool for supporting or bringing together certain local community- its reasonable approach, but nature of our industry is such that people do move around a lot so it makes little sense to close it for "outsiders". It's just much more fun if there are more people participating so anything that stops them from taking part in such an event makes little sense... IMHO.

codyalday's picture

Thanks souri for all the hard work you have contibuted to this community and helped people getting in the industrie. I know that I have developed so much from this website, and even landing a job from the job page:)Only thing that threw me off a lot was the new website forums, was really painful to follow things and a stage where i couldn't even log on. Like there was two pages on one challenge thread entry, but before that page it didn't show that there were two, very confusion lol. Saying that, the website and the work you have done is top notch.

Tejay's picture

Thanks for the hard work organising the comp Souri. It was alot of fun and good practice. Its a shame to be hearing there wont be another.

BattleElf's picture

Perhaps an idea could be along the lines of Dave Perry/Acclaim Top Secret project, where some industry vets could step the community through the stages of creating a game. Let anyone who's interested provide game ideas, concept art, modelling and programming etc, with industry people using their experience to give feedback and encouragement and to help move the work forward as the ideas and assets mature enough.

souri's picture

Yep, that was where the idea of mentoring would come in. With the modeller challenges, we got the Creative Directors and Leads from the industry to look over the submissions, but with an actual project, we could get some input from all the other fields. It's definitely something I can organise.