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Consensus on Qantm, AIE

Submitted by spageto on

Hi all,

Now that we're all clear on all the gamedev courses available in Australia (thanks Souri!)...

I am looking at doing animation with Qantm or AIE. AIE seems well regarded by many on this forum. Qantm was heavily bagged a while back (long thread in 2002) but I've heard that the courses have been overhauled and improved.

So... if you are or were recently a student of AIE or Qantm, or you know heaps about either, would you recommend one or the other for animation and why?

Submitted by shiva on Wed, 24/03/04 - 2:19 AMPermalink

i did qantm about a year ago.
You are only going to get out what you put in. I know very little of AIE, but i would imagine the same holds true.

Take note, this is NOT a bad thing, if you work hard then it is worth it. imo of course...

Submitted by Kalescent on Wed, 24/03/04 - 2:51 AMPermalink

i was with shiva at qantm last year - and ill be a picky prick about it - true enough youll get out what you put in - but i believe that a learning institute should be there to giuve you a push into doing more - so you get more out - not just leaving you to do it if you wish.

qantms location was ok - however if you dont mind sitting in a class of 25 odd students with one lecturer and 15 students all asking questions,.. and you being 7th of 8th in line , waiting for like 2 hours before the lecturer gets to you for help, only having just recieving help and your class for today is almost over, then qantm is fine.

From what i hear - the student intake has boomed so youll be looking at about 30 students per lecturer [:S] and dont expect to good of a morale from the poor lecturers having to take on more students than they can handle [;)]

Submitted by Malus on Wed, 24/03/04 - 9:16 PMPermalink

Heres hoping this doesn't turn into a Qantm flame again.

I believe Shiva's fundamentaly right, you are an adult and as such the master of your own destiny.
That being said, yes, you should be in a professionally structured course with good avenues of communication, but that definately doesn't mean AIE or QANTM should spoon feed you as alot of past students have wanted.

Hazard:

quote:but i believe that a learning institute should be there to give you a push into doing more - so you get more out - not just leaving you to do it if you wish.

Too a large degree I believe your right, you are learning and should be in a environment were that is nutured but they shouldn't have to spoon feed every student into doing some work or helping themselves,I can tell you there were many times I was left to do my own thing at QANTM, the thing is I proactively found things to do and told management about the issuses I had with being left to my own devices.

quote:however if you dont mind sitting in a class of 25 odd students with one lecturer and 15 students all asking questions,.. and you being 7th of 8th in line , waiting for like 2 hours before the lecturer gets to you for help, only having just recieving help and your class for today is almost over, then qantm is fine.

If you are in a classroom with 25 people and not being heard, you might just have to speak louder, its not meant to be like High school, its not meant to be easy, try going to Uni with 50 students etc in a lecture, heres another idea, instead of sitting there waiting, get up, go to the lecturer and tell him you have been waiting for 4 hours and really need some of his time.

If you want to get the most out of a course you need to put 150% in to every thing you do.
AIE or QANTM or University are much the same, its what you put in that matters, if you feel you are being screwed then talk to management don't wait til the end of the course and whinge like alot have.

Now to Spagetos question, finally. [:P]

I haven't been to AIE or UNI but I have heard good things about both, it mainly depends on were you live in my opinion, if your in Brisbane and feel you have limited time maybe give QANTM a go as the courses are shorter, if you have the luxury of time try get a place at Uni, its not necessarily better but its around 3 years to QANTM's 1 year, if down south replace QANTM with AIE. [:)]

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:34 AMPermalink

Thanks Malus. I have been to uni and used to sit in lectures with literally hundreds of other students, so 25-30 - while not ideal given the nature of the subjects - sounds okay. I also agree that you get out what you put in. Again, using uni as an example, many of the lecturers had little contact with students outside of giving lectures and marking exams, so it was sink or swim. What I'm really interested in, though, is the content of the Qantm / AIE courses - how basic or advanced was the subject matter? Did you end up graduating with the knowledge that would enable you to walk into a job?

Submitted by Kane on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:44 AMPermalink

good question...i was pondering whether or not to go to AIE, so im interested in an answer to that too...by the way, i chose to go to Uni...

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:46 AMPermalink

i wouldnt say walk...... i completely agree with Dean all round, you definately will get out what you put in, if you suck the lecturers dry, and dont mind climbing all over people to be noticed - then youll increase your chances of obtaining golden knowledge that lets ya "walk" into a job, basically what ive found is that if you can display the talent thats required by a specific job - uve got a better chance than a guy who cant - yet has a diploma / degree.

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 2:21 AMPermalink

Hazard - at Qantm, did you do the diploma or the degree? What's the difference (I don't want to do another degree if I can help it, but I do want to get the animation skills I need to be a gun)?

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 4:05 AMPermalink

i did the diploma - im an artist but i did the diploma of IT which was a coding course, i basically did it for purposes of understanding what needs to be built from a codeing perspective, id say i learnt a helluva lot - and also figured out why coders and artists are always at each others throats and always point fingers at one another :D - my fiancee did the diploma as well but went down the animation path - she said the best thing out of qantm was the fact that your in an environment where every other person is doing the same thing as you are - and that way you do learn alot and in some cases more from just being 'IN' with everyone else.

The degree course is a whole bunch more in depth - the diploma which was my course was a really hectic year - lots of things packed into 1 year. also its still a bit broad for me, the report i got back from my fiancee is that the animation course at qantm is about 75 / 25 % towards screen production and high poly work - NOT low poly game stuff. but then again that was last year now - maybe it has changed a bit.

The best thing i would say to do man is to rock into qantm and ask to have a look around the palce so you can see what kinda environment it is - see which place feels more like home to you :D then just go with your instincts.

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 9:24 AMPermalink

Thanks HazarD. Yep, I'll ask the powers that be. Feedback from real, live students is always better though! [:)]

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:00 PMPermalink

Just on the topic of waiting in line for tutors etc... I learnt absolutely shitloads from other students in the class - dont forget, everyone has a skill in something else. Learn from your peers too - they'll be the ones giving you a leg up in a couple of years time (or vice versa).

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 9:44 PMPermalink

100 % agree with JKerr in that one - thats exactly what my fiancee said in her animation course - she came out learning more from being around other people than from the actual tutors there.

Submitted by redwyre on Fri, 26/03/04 - 12:31 AMPermalink

The Qantm courses have changed every year afaik, so no-one can tell you exactly what it will be like, but they are at least trying to improve.

But it always comes down to how much you put in (especially in your own time, I know that most of the people that got jobs are 100% devoted to games), how much you pay attention, how much you talk to and learn from others (be it peers or lecturers).

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 26/03/04 - 1:15 AMPermalink

I totally agree with John also, if it wasn't for like-minded students who had skills that I was lacking I wouldn't have learnt nearly as much as I did.

Submitted by lorien on Fri, 26/03/04 - 6:34 AMPermalink

I posted this under the "game development courses" on monday:

There are more important things in life than "getting into the games industry before you're 21".

Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being.

The technical training institutions are about "getting in quick", and they don't provide much of an education at all. Sure they help people learn to make tight models, textures and animations, but technique is only part of being an artist, and it is the easy part.

What about making good content? I mean something that is really going to touch people and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A masterwork.

I haven't made one yet (I've formally studied jazz guitar, classical composition, and music technology, as well as computer science), but I strive towards it.

To create a masterwork you have to transcend technique. For an exceptionally gifted musician this normally takes around 20 years of constant practice. It seems to be about the same for visual artists too. Most people never manage it, and I have only for brief moments.

Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too.

At the AIE one of the staff expressed the view that what is wrong with high arts is that content and concept have replaced technical expertise. I mostly agree actually- there are a lot of truly technically bad examples of the high arts out there. But in the commercial arts technique has replaced content and concept- it doesn't say much at all except "look how flashy I am" and "buy me".

Why do you think the term "eye candy" started being used? Candy is mass-produced junk food loved by children, and is mostly made from sugar with artificial colours and flavours. Sometimes even the sugar is fake.

Which is worse: bad technique and an interesting work or good technique and an empty work?

To make a really worthwhile artwork requires technique, concept, and content. The technical training institutions make no attempt at teaching two thirds of the equation.

If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

I can present a very strong argument that the entire entertainment industry is the wrong path for the truly gifted (especially in Australia), but this post and forum is not the place for it.

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 26/03/04 - 8:36 AMPermalink

Firstly, the games industry is still young / music has been around for generations... you simply cannot compare the 2 - the computer game industry is a mere child in comparison, so you simply cannot expect there to be ANY masters with decades of experience who TRANSCEND technique in computer game art. and even if there was these MASTERS that you speak of, they would be unsatisfied due to the technology not being able to reproduce their MASTERWORKS, on screen.

Secondly, regardless of whether your gifted or not, its the passion of wanting to be in the industry that drives the individual - someone can be an incredibly talented artist but choose to make a career out of being a tunaboat fisherman, simply because his heart lies with the sea and catching fish.

Thirdly - i do agree with you regards spending time in actually learning about how to create good content, but this goes back to my first statement of the industry being too young, even the concept artists and modellers for SquareSoft / Square Enix will not reach the stage your speaking of for a good few years, but already they are as close to MASTERS as anyone else could possibly be.

All in all i think thats a pretty disheartining post Lorien, especially for the people whos hearts are in Creating games, NOT becoming someone that can produce a MASTERWORK.

Submitted by Pantmonger on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:01 AMPermalink

I am sorry but to a large extent I take affront to your statements.

Most of your statements come across tainted by your not necessarily shared view of the validity of art.
In my opinion, there is value in the purely cool. Art does not have to have meaning it be valid, aesthetics can be valid unto themselves.
So you think that making art that lacks message is less then it can be and that commercial art by default falls into this category, that is your opinion and you have a right to it but you must realize the volatile and potently insulting nature of comments like.

quote:There are more important things in life than getting into the games industry before you're 21.
Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being

The obvious inference being that those who do strive to get into the games industry before turning 21 have not achieved their potential as creative and aware human beings.

quote:Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too

Nice blind insulting stab in the dark.

quote:If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

Both an insult to those who have undergone this path as well as a gross generalization ?But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path? with no facts to back up your statement .

In short you have posted on an industry site comments that are bound to enflame people due to their insulting nature and comments that seem based on an egotistically driven ?understanding? of what is required to create good works of art as well what is required to be ?a creative and aware human being.? As a consequence I?m not sure what your actual intent in this post was.

Pantmonger

Submitted by 0xBaaDf00d on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:49 AMPermalink

I Can Agree to what has been said by all parties, I hate to admit. Lorien though that is true that education is a fast track to skills, Mastering as you put it, is something that EXPERIENCE brings. Something that can not be taught.
Teaching students, is a process of teaching people to learn and extend oneself. The drive that drives most people to extend themselves is that of the excitment of being the next Carmack, or romero or any number of there idealised developers.
What drives these people further towards their goal, is there passion to make games that rival their Favourite games, made by there favourite developers.
What would happen if a person who hates platform games designed one and a publisher published it. My Gaw. would it be the biggest load of #### out there.
With out this enthusiasm for music, movies, games, art, what have you! there would be no Giger, there would be no hendrix. And if that means they dive in Pre 21. so be it they get Kudos for getting more experience then you. An the become the new Carmack (though I doubt to see this happening anytime soon.)
I do admit at this time games are Dull, games lack excitment, games are repetitive and more formulaic at the moment, this will change. At the moment all industry's including the music industry is moving towards a comercialist existance, this formula worked for spice girls lets re hash it.. why wont it work now mentality.
I myself am currently doing a masters, YES, a masters in IT, and my focus for this is goint to be on Game Play - analysis, what makes a game fun. As currently i dont see anything fun in games, i see corporate giants trying to make fat wallets with repeatitive formula's.

My 2 Cents!

Point Experience is worth far more than teachings, but teachings get you closer to getting the experience.

BaaDf00d.

Submitted by spageto on Fri, 26/03/04 - 10:24 AMPermalink

My thread has been sabotaged [:I]. But seeing as we have gone in this new direction, I'll add my 2 cents too.

Firstly, I don't think obtaining technical training and pursuing art are mutually exclusive. Whether it's music, writing, animation, computer games, whatever, you need to learn some technical skills before you can even create that piece of art. For example, you're not going to write a piece of literature if you don't know basic grammar. By the same token, unless you know you're way around a 3D animation program, you're not going to be able to create a 3D animation work of art.

So, somehow, you have to gain some technical skills. Sure, you could teach yourself, but there are big advantages in doing a course: you can learn things you wouldn't necessarily pick up on your own, and you can get objective, expert feedback.

Secondly, the "technical training institutions" (as you describe them) are not responsible for anyone's lifetime education, or their ability to create art. They are responsible for transferring a body of knowledge to the student, and it's up to the student to decide whether to learn more (beyond the course) and to pursue an artistic vision.

If you're indirectly comparing institutions like Qantm and AIE with more artistic oriented places like VCA and AFTRS (I'm thinking of animation here) then yes, the emphasis appears to be very different. Qantm and AIE seem to focus more on preparing students for working in the industry, while VCA and AFTRS seem to focus more on helping students create art. But at the end of the day, no school can create an artist - it might push the student more in that direction, but it's still up to the student to be imaginative, have a vision, and go for it. I'm sure there are students and graduates of Qantm and AIE (like yourself?) who will take the technical training they've gained and go and create a "masterwork", simply because they've got the burning talent and desire inside them.

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:07 AMPermalink

I don't discredit the achievements of those that have entered the game industry at a young age, but I agree with Lorien on some points. Though his/her post was phrased slightly condescendingly...

A lot of employers look out for individuality and originality of concept combined with proficient technical execution.

While Lorien may be a bit off in comparing the young games industry to high art, that's not the point. The point is, as creators and 'artists' we should be striving to create the most original, compelling, content driven as well as technically proficient works as we can. Regardless of how young the industry is.

That's what's going to differentiate you from the rest of the fanboys busy rendering spaceships flying through space and mechs that look like second rate rehashes of the hundreds of sci fi games and anime films.

Really, anyone can learn the software. People are so strung up on learning all the techy aspects of this industry. "What 3d app do you use?" "Do you use a wacom" "What graphics program do you use?" etc...

In the end they're all just tools, a means to an end. I think what Lorien is getting at is that there seems to be an unbalanced focus towards the technical when really, a lot of fundamentals are being overlooked.

Things like narrative, story telling ability, illustration skills, lighting skills, visual communication skills and of course, the ability to break from the mould (to work through all the bad ideas). All things you can learn away from the computer regardless of what latest 3d renderer or app you used. Truly, there are a lot of people out there that draw their inspiration simply from playing other games (3d, concept art, game design etc). While it may make sense to do so, it doesn't bring anything new to the table, it just repackages old ideas. (how many sci fi FPS games are there? Anyone up for a fantasy MMORPG? Sigh)

I know with postmodernism, everything is recycled these days. But I think in the game industry, there's still a significant amount of new and creative ideas to be explored, and that's why it's up to us to always be striving for the highest level of mastery regardless of how young the Australian games industry is.

A naive perspective in an industry that is really about creating a commercial product for profit, but hey, I can at least hope we can all continue to work passionately. :)

There's always going to be a compromise between creativity and commercial goals (IE: Creating something that sells). Of course we wont always get to create a beautiful masterwork of our own ideas, but being able to express and deliver a content filled, well executed work is a very valuable skill to have and a very rewarding one too.

I think that's what Lorien means between the difference between learning our respective field as an art and being 'pumped out' by a technical training college.

Anyway, hope this all makes sense...

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:21 AMPermalink

"Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too."

A good way to verbalise this is the "cool" syndrome. Characteristically summed up by the majority of effects stuff coming out of hollywood. How many times have you heard someone say "Wow that is so cool".

But really, what does it mean? What other purpose is there for such an elaborately rendered shot other than to show off how 'cool' it looks? Does it push the narrative along, does it help build tension or character development? No, it's just a superflous exercise in demonstrating the concept of 'cool'.

I'm not against magnificent technical ability, but when it's all at the sake of good content and coherence, then it's just not worth it. What's the point of a short 3d animated film? To have the most sophisticated shot with millions of objects animating at once? No. It's to convey a narrative. While it's 3d animated, at the end of the day, it is still a FILM.

Think back to the original Pixar shorts. I can't remember the name of it, but it consisted of a lamp and a ball. That's IT. Yet it works so beautifully because it wonderfully uses film language to build tension and ultimately, an engaging narrative that entertains the viewer. Nothing elaborate. Simple, succint, excellent.

The Matrix is the best example of something gone wrong. Technically, freaking beautiful. That final scene with the battle in zion, jaw dropping technically. But the 2nd and 3rd movie were pretty terrible and after 15 mins of robots blasting each other I was yawning and wondering just when would the narrative move forward? Engaging and meaningful? No. Eye candy? Yes.

While you might say cool stuff is still good and eye candy always entertains, why just strive for shallow level entertainment when we all have the potential to make both meaningful and well executed works??

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:29 AMPermalink

I agree with you jason - what i was trying to get across in my last post was simply this.

For anyone to be good at something, they most likely have got there through experience ( some yes are naturally gifted in some areas, but majority speaking )

The only way to get experience is being able to create something using the tools we need to create the masterwork. being that the technology and everything used in the computer games industry is relatively young compared to other industrys, we only have a few years of experience to hand down to the future generations, as opposed to something like music, which has generations.

Submitted by cutty on Fri, 26/03/04 - 1:47 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Pantmonger
Art does not have to have meaning it be valid, aesthetics can be valid unto themselves.

I don't think he was saying that at all, after all aesthetics for their own sake is centuries old by now in the so called high arts (and i'm only talking about critical reception here..i believe the people who actually make art have always recognised purely aesthetic appeal)
I think he was just making a point about the relative sophistication of said aesthetic(s)..not resorting to cliches, trying to avoid the commonplaces of expression etc.

As to there being no masters of computer games, i disagree. I'll even nominate one: Anyone played 'Calendra's Legacy' by Anthony Huso (aka 'Purah') for Thief 2? I'd rate it higher than virtually any commercial game i've played in terms of artistic and literary quality, and on par with much fantasy literature in quality of story-telling.
Master Pros: Looking Glass Studios. Shame they're no longer operating.

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:29 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien

There are more important things in life than "getting into the games industry before you're 21".
Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being.

For you maybe, some of us here find it to be our calling and want to develop our potential within that context, get of your high horse.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

The technical training institutions are about "getting in quick", and they don't provide much of an education at all.

Nice open ended, general assumption there. It took me quite a few years to get my foot in even with training, can't say I took the easy way in.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Sure they help people learn to make tight models, textures and animations, but technique is only part of being an artist, and it is the easy part.

Well isn't that the biggest, most obvious, comment of all time.
Of course they only teach technique, they are technical colleges!!They don't have 20 year courses, doesn't make it less valid.
I won't feel totally comfortable calling myself a true artist for years, I am constantly learning, does that mean I should have been 85 years old before I dared to get into games industry and call my work art?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

What about making good content? I mean something that is really going to touch people and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A masterwork.

Don't paint the whole industry with the same brush my friend, its naive, and just plain rude. Yes there is a glut of stupid repedetive games out there but there are those striving for pefection also, just like the music, film and literature fields.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

I haven't made one yet (I've formally studied jazz guitar, classical composition, and music technology, as well as computer science), but I strive towards it.

So how about you do before telling a whole industry they are no good.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

To create a masterwork you have to transcend technique. For an exceptionally gifted musician this normally takes around 20 years of constant practice. It seems to be about the same for visual artists too. Most people never manage it, and I have only for brief moments.

Yawn...exactly what every art teacher will tell you. tell us something we don't already know.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too.

I think you'll find alot of commercial companies would love to make games that really delve into the emotions of the players. Maybe you need to point that accussing finger at narrow minded publishers instead?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Which is worse: bad technique and an interesting work or good technique and an empty work?

They are both bad...your point?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

To make a really worthwhile artwork requires technique, concept, and content. The technical training institutions make no attempt at teaching two thirds of the equation.

And I don't see them alluding to be teaching it either, they teach technique so that an artist can comfortable use software to express there own ideas.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

I can present a very strong argument that the entire entertainment industry is the wrong path for the truly gifted (especially in Australia), but this post and forum is not the place for it.

I don't know what makes you an expert on what makes someone truly gifted but if you have a insightful, meaningful argument then don't just say it.

Present it.

One final thing, I know quite alot of traditional artists that are making a good to great living as artists and are respected in their chosen fields.
Not one of them looks down on or thinks badly of the artists in the games industry, in fact alot say that if the money wasn't so good in what they are doing they would love to have the chance to bring their art to life as I get the chance to do.

Yes they comment on the lack of real story and depth in alot of games but they also do that for hollywood, the literary world, music and especially high art which are all full of fake, unimaginative, repetative posing pieces.

Submitted by bullet21 on Fri, 26/03/04 - 10:23 PMPermalink

2 to the game developers and the industry, 0 to lorien :P
[:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!]

quote:If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

What about if your are both impatient and gifted. What if i live by myself and want to get in the game industry just after graduating from a technical institute. Do you want me to work at coles and in my spare time perfect my art. NOOO!!! I spoke with a guy from wicked witch yesterday and he says it can take years for you to become completly efficient with a program like max. So according to you i should graduate, work at coles for half a century before even considering getting a job in the games industry.

What you did was you came in to a game developers site and you told every wannabe artist and professional artist that they aren't truely talented just cos they didn't wait till they got grey hair or went bold before applying for an artist position.

Also your comment about Tech Institutes being the easy way in can't be anymore wrong. In the game industry i dont' think there is an easy way in. People with a gazillion degrees still dont have a quick way in.

To sum up artists according to you there is no such thing as a young artist, only people with experiance can be artists. I suggest that you go to jistyles website, look at his age and his work. I suggest you go to doords website look at his age and his work. I suggest you go to the sumea challenge and check out the entries and the age of the entrants. Then wait till you are fifty and try and top them, i bet you couldn't.
[:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!][:(!]
3 to the game developers and the industry, 0 to lorien :P

Submitted by Maitrek on Sat, 27/03/04 - 12:52 AMPermalink

Moderators anywhere?

While we are off the subject. Lorien is simply promoting that people should consider carefully what art can mean, he just has a different interpretation of what qualifies as artistry. Okay, a fair bit of his post is high horse crap, and some of it highly presumptuous, some of it is plain wrong, but honestly is it worth having another bitch fest about? You have all put everything he said in the worst possible context that you can come up with - like fuel to a deep-set psychological trauma that instigates a desire to bitch.

If he had put 'maybe' and 'possibly' about four hundred times in his post would you guys be happy then because you would no longer be able to interpret everything as a personal attack???

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:11 AMPermalink

Well I'm glad I've stirred up something :) No insults or anything like that were intended btw.

Pantmonger I have no problem with you taking affront. I'm not saying "this is how things are", I'm saying "this is how things appear to me", and debate is healthy. Thanks for contributing, I don't mind being flamed, so long as it constructive flaming.

"Nice blind insulting stab in the dark.": have a read of
http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/Game%20Design/The_Education_of_a_Game…
it is by Chris Crawford, who is one of the "godfathers" of game design. Enter "Chris Crawford" and "game" into google.

Read what I wrote again, and try not to get angry :) I have explained why it is the wrong path. Has to do with sales v/s full-on works.

I see Jason has understood what I was saying, though I'm not discrediting anyone. Everyone has choices, but 21 is very young, and there is a lot more of the world to see and experience, and imho better works are made after having experienced some of it.

"I think that's what Lorien means between the difference between learning our respective field as an art and being 'pumped out' by a technical training college."

Thanks Jason, that's it.

0xBaaDf00d: Hendrix had very sloppy technique, but he was an absolutely amazing musician. Training is fast-track without understanding, education is slower-track with more understanding, but with both you get out what you put in. IMHO any undergrad education is not enough to make games.

spageto: you got it too, however just whose interests do you think an industry created traning college is going to serve? Yours? The industry used to provide on-the-job training, but of course this costs them money. Persuading you to line up to pay for training that used to be provided is not in your best interests!

I find it amusing that the AIE only show Hail in their Dip Comp Game Dev gallery, when all the Hail programmers were university educated. And I find it amusing that leaving the "www." out of their URL takes you to the MicroForte web site. Try it: http://aie.act.edu.au

Cutty: I like your chice of games :) But things are changing too- do you know about Escape From Woomera? http://escapefromwoomera.org or acmipark? http://www.acmi.net.au/acmipark.jsp

I'm not saying either are masterworks at all, but they are much more "art" oriented than sales oriented.

I worked on acmipark.

Malus:

"For you maybe, some of us here find it to be our calling and want to develop our potential within that context, get of your high horse."

Fine, if that's what you want. I wonder how you'll feel about it in 10-15 years time. If getting into training was hard then just wait... (I'm not bitching btw, I've turned down several games jobs recently because I just don't want them).

And as for being on my "high horse": Telling me this indicatetes you're on one yourself. Do you have something being showcased at the GDC? I do right now. And I'm presenting my own work at a major international games conference next month.

And I'm completely independent of the games industry.

As for painting the industry with the same brush, IMHO Thief 2 comes closest to having good content, but still... Companies are about making money, and that is fairly mutually exclusive with content. Can you immagine a commercial company making Esacpe from Woomera?

"I think you'll find alot of commercial companies would love to make games that really delve into the emotions of the players. Maybe you need to point that accussing finger at narrow minded publishers instead?"

Fair enough, but this stuff doesn't come out as mods, expansions or even easter eggs. But I agree that publishers are much worse than studios for encouraging mediocrity.

And I don't look down on artists in the games industry. Nor programmers.

BTW I'm going to present my argument. Come to the indy conference.

####

I didn't mean this to be taken as flames. I have big problems with technical training for the games industry, I'm a scholarship winning grad of the AIE, and this seemed like a relevent place to post.

I have plenty of education and technical training behind me, rather than just one or the other, I'm old enough (31) to be able to stand back from it, and the commercial training institutions thrive on hyping theselves. Look at this as a break from the hype.

Submitted by Gazunta on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:11 AMPermalink

Hi folks.

Just a quick word of "advice".

Anyone going into the games industry with the back of their hand firmly planted on their forehead moaning about great art and transcending majestic visions blah blah blah...is going to get themselves booted up the ass real quick.

"Games Industry". It's two words people. Games are a unique, new and deep artform that we've only just scratched the surface of. Everyone here loves games and what they are capable of as a medium. My team (and everyone at my company) are tremendously gifted and creative people and it's great that they can express themselves so well. But it's an industry, too. If you're put to work on a FPS (for example)...well, no amount of bitching about how FPS are derivitave and boring and we should be making a yoga simulator instead is going to change things. Make it the best FPS you can given the constraints.

Back to the topic. I liked QANTM. There were a lot of students there that had similar notions to the poster who started this argument about how things would be better if they were in charge, but didn't want to, well...you know, work or anything. Go in there, use every resource you can, and make something that will turn heads.

And Mr. Monger: Half the problem is with the publishers, yes, but the other half is the mainstream who LIKE buying the same familiar thing over and over again. :)

Submitted by bullet21 on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:18 AMPermalink

High horse offensive crap. I am only in high school and i am getting offended. I can only imagine how offended the people who went through a technical college and are employed would be.

Submitted by Malus on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:31 AMPermalink

Maitrek: Your right, as a Mod I should know better than responding to flame bait.

Lorien: Fair enough, maybe I took your comments the wrong way but too some degree you really can't blame anyone when you didn't voice your opinion in a concise, well thought manner, to be honest it was full of holes and came off very unfriendly.

I am currently working in the industry and no I do not have something showing in GDC, does that make me less talented? I don't believe so. But good luck with yours, its obviously important to you.

No unfortunately, I won't be at the conference, I'll be too busy working and trying to refine my skills.

even though I still totally disagree with the outlook you are taking on the industry I do apologise for getting personal .

Gazunta: I agree totally.
Spageto: Sorry for highjacking your thread.

Submitted by Kalescent on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:56 AMPermalink

The lines got to be drawn somwhere - lorien, youre no different from Mr Anderson delving into the depths of the matrix rabbit hole.

Some people dont need everything justified with purpose and fact. they are just happy to live there lives doing what they want to do and how they want to do it.

What your bordering on entering is a psychological debate, something which doesnt really have a place @ sumea IMHO.

Having said all that - your only expressing your oppinion, which as offensive as it may be to others, is STILL your oppinion, and i do respect that. Just quickly click on MALUS's nickname next to his post - and read the quote under " My Favourite Quote " i think that applies here.

The other thing, why must you post something like "ive turned down several games job's recently, because i just dont want them" and then make a comment like " no insults were intended btw " at the beginning of the post. - A great deal of the forum members im sure would LOVE to be in that situation, but they arent, and saying something so casually im sure is only going to spark more debate, or induce ignorance.

Posted by spageto on

Hi all,

Now that we're all clear on all the gamedev courses available in Australia (thanks Souri!)...

I am looking at doing animation with Qantm or AIE. AIE seems well regarded by many on this forum. Qantm was heavily bagged a while back (long thread in 2002) but I've heard that the courses have been overhauled and improved.

So... if you are or were recently a student of AIE or Qantm, or you know heaps about either, would you recommend one or the other for animation and why?


Submitted by shiva on Wed, 24/03/04 - 2:19 AMPermalink

i did qantm about a year ago.
You are only going to get out what you put in. I know very little of AIE, but i would imagine the same holds true.

Take note, this is NOT a bad thing, if you work hard then it is worth it. imo of course...

Submitted by Kalescent on Wed, 24/03/04 - 2:51 AMPermalink

i was with shiva at qantm last year - and ill be a picky prick about it - true enough youll get out what you put in - but i believe that a learning institute should be there to giuve you a push into doing more - so you get more out - not just leaving you to do it if you wish.

qantms location was ok - however if you dont mind sitting in a class of 25 odd students with one lecturer and 15 students all asking questions,.. and you being 7th of 8th in line , waiting for like 2 hours before the lecturer gets to you for help, only having just recieving help and your class for today is almost over, then qantm is fine.

From what i hear - the student intake has boomed so youll be looking at about 30 students per lecturer [:S] and dont expect to good of a morale from the poor lecturers having to take on more students than they can handle [;)]

Submitted by Malus on Wed, 24/03/04 - 9:16 PMPermalink

Heres hoping this doesn't turn into a Qantm flame again.

I believe Shiva's fundamentaly right, you are an adult and as such the master of your own destiny.
That being said, yes, you should be in a professionally structured course with good avenues of communication, but that definately doesn't mean AIE or QANTM should spoon feed you as alot of past students have wanted.

Hazard:

quote:but i believe that a learning institute should be there to give you a push into doing more - so you get more out - not just leaving you to do it if you wish.

Too a large degree I believe your right, you are learning and should be in a environment were that is nutured but they shouldn't have to spoon feed every student into doing some work or helping themselves,I can tell you there were many times I was left to do my own thing at QANTM, the thing is I proactively found things to do and told management about the issuses I had with being left to my own devices.

quote:however if you dont mind sitting in a class of 25 odd students with one lecturer and 15 students all asking questions,.. and you being 7th of 8th in line , waiting for like 2 hours before the lecturer gets to you for help, only having just recieving help and your class for today is almost over, then qantm is fine.

If you are in a classroom with 25 people and not being heard, you might just have to speak louder, its not meant to be like High school, its not meant to be easy, try going to Uni with 50 students etc in a lecture, heres another idea, instead of sitting there waiting, get up, go to the lecturer and tell him you have been waiting for 4 hours and really need some of his time.

If you want to get the most out of a course you need to put 150% in to every thing you do.
AIE or QANTM or University are much the same, its what you put in that matters, if you feel you are being screwed then talk to management don't wait til the end of the course and whinge like alot have.

Now to Spagetos question, finally. [:P]

I haven't been to AIE or UNI but I have heard good things about both, it mainly depends on were you live in my opinion, if your in Brisbane and feel you have limited time maybe give QANTM a go as the courses are shorter, if you have the luxury of time try get a place at Uni, its not necessarily better but its around 3 years to QANTM's 1 year, if down south replace QANTM with AIE. [:)]

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:34 AMPermalink

Thanks Malus. I have been to uni and used to sit in lectures with literally hundreds of other students, so 25-30 - while not ideal given the nature of the subjects - sounds okay. I also agree that you get out what you put in. Again, using uni as an example, many of the lecturers had little contact with students outside of giving lectures and marking exams, so it was sink or swim. What I'm really interested in, though, is the content of the Qantm / AIE courses - how basic or advanced was the subject matter? Did you end up graduating with the knowledge that would enable you to walk into a job?

Submitted by Kane on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:44 AMPermalink

good question...i was pondering whether or not to go to AIE, so im interested in an answer to that too...by the way, i chose to go to Uni...

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:46 AMPermalink

i wouldnt say walk...... i completely agree with Dean all round, you definately will get out what you put in, if you suck the lecturers dry, and dont mind climbing all over people to be noticed - then youll increase your chances of obtaining golden knowledge that lets ya "walk" into a job, basically what ive found is that if you can display the talent thats required by a specific job - uve got a better chance than a guy who cant - yet has a diploma / degree.

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 2:21 AMPermalink

Hazard - at Qantm, did you do the diploma or the degree? What's the difference (I don't want to do another degree if I can help it, but I do want to get the animation skills I need to be a gun)?

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 4:05 AMPermalink

i did the diploma - im an artist but i did the diploma of IT which was a coding course, i basically did it for purposes of understanding what needs to be built from a codeing perspective, id say i learnt a helluva lot - and also figured out why coders and artists are always at each others throats and always point fingers at one another :D - my fiancee did the diploma as well but went down the animation path - she said the best thing out of qantm was the fact that your in an environment where every other person is doing the same thing as you are - and that way you do learn alot and in some cases more from just being 'IN' with everyone else.

The degree course is a whole bunch more in depth - the diploma which was my course was a really hectic year - lots of things packed into 1 year. also its still a bit broad for me, the report i got back from my fiancee is that the animation course at qantm is about 75 / 25 % towards screen production and high poly work - NOT low poly game stuff. but then again that was last year now - maybe it has changed a bit.

The best thing i would say to do man is to rock into qantm and ask to have a look around the palce so you can see what kinda environment it is - see which place feels more like home to you :D then just go with your instincts.

Submitted by spageto on Thu, 25/03/04 - 9:24 AMPermalink

Thanks HazarD. Yep, I'll ask the powers that be. Feedback from real, live students is always better though! [:)]

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Thu, 25/03/04 - 1:00 PMPermalink

Just on the topic of waiting in line for tutors etc... I learnt absolutely shitloads from other students in the class - dont forget, everyone has a skill in something else. Learn from your peers too - they'll be the ones giving you a leg up in a couple of years time (or vice versa).

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 25/03/04 - 9:44 PMPermalink

100 % agree with JKerr in that one - thats exactly what my fiancee said in her animation course - she came out learning more from being around other people than from the actual tutors there.

Submitted by redwyre on Fri, 26/03/04 - 12:31 AMPermalink

The Qantm courses have changed every year afaik, so no-one can tell you exactly what it will be like, but they are at least trying to improve.

But it always comes down to how much you put in (especially in your own time, I know that most of the people that got jobs are 100% devoted to games), how much you pay attention, how much you talk to and learn from others (be it peers or lecturers).

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 26/03/04 - 1:15 AMPermalink

I totally agree with John also, if it wasn't for like-minded students who had skills that I was lacking I wouldn't have learnt nearly as much as I did.

Submitted by lorien on Fri, 26/03/04 - 6:34 AMPermalink

I posted this under the "game development courses" on monday:

There are more important things in life than "getting into the games industry before you're 21".

Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being.

The technical training institutions are about "getting in quick", and they don't provide much of an education at all. Sure they help people learn to make tight models, textures and animations, but technique is only part of being an artist, and it is the easy part.

What about making good content? I mean something that is really going to touch people and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A masterwork.

I haven't made one yet (I've formally studied jazz guitar, classical composition, and music technology, as well as computer science), but I strive towards it.

To create a masterwork you have to transcend technique. For an exceptionally gifted musician this normally takes around 20 years of constant practice. It seems to be about the same for visual artists too. Most people never manage it, and I have only for brief moments.

Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too.

At the AIE one of the staff expressed the view that what is wrong with high arts is that content and concept have replaced technical expertise. I mostly agree actually- there are a lot of truly technically bad examples of the high arts out there. But in the commercial arts technique has replaced content and concept- it doesn't say much at all except "look how flashy I am" and "buy me".

Why do you think the term "eye candy" started being used? Candy is mass-produced junk food loved by children, and is mostly made from sugar with artificial colours and flavours. Sometimes even the sugar is fake.

Which is worse: bad technique and an interesting work or good technique and an empty work?

To make a really worthwhile artwork requires technique, concept, and content. The technical training institutions make no attempt at teaching two thirds of the equation.

If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

I can present a very strong argument that the entire entertainment industry is the wrong path for the truly gifted (especially in Australia), but this post and forum is not the place for it.

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 26/03/04 - 8:36 AMPermalink

Firstly, the games industry is still young / music has been around for generations... you simply cannot compare the 2 - the computer game industry is a mere child in comparison, so you simply cannot expect there to be ANY masters with decades of experience who TRANSCEND technique in computer game art. and even if there was these MASTERS that you speak of, they would be unsatisfied due to the technology not being able to reproduce their MASTERWORKS, on screen.

Secondly, regardless of whether your gifted or not, its the passion of wanting to be in the industry that drives the individual - someone can be an incredibly talented artist but choose to make a career out of being a tunaboat fisherman, simply because his heart lies with the sea and catching fish.

Thirdly - i do agree with you regards spending time in actually learning about how to create good content, but this goes back to my first statement of the industry being too young, even the concept artists and modellers for SquareSoft / Square Enix will not reach the stage your speaking of for a good few years, but already they are as close to MASTERS as anyone else could possibly be.

All in all i think thats a pretty disheartining post Lorien, especially for the people whos hearts are in Creating games, NOT becoming someone that can produce a MASTERWORK.

Submitted by Pantmonger on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:01 AMPermalink

I am sorry but to a large extent I take affront to your statements.

Most of your statements come across tainted by your not necessarily shared view of the validity of art.
In my opinion, there is value in the purely cool. Art does not have to have meaning it be valid, aesthetics can be valid unto themselves.
So you think that making art that lacks message is less then it can be and that commercial art by default falls into this category, that is your opinion and you have a right to it but you must realize the volatile and potently insulting nature of comments like.

quote:There are more important things in life than getting into the games industry before you're 21.
Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being

The obvious inference being that those who do strive to get into the games industry before turning 21 have not achieved their potential as creative and aware human beings.

quote:Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too

Nice blind insulting stab in the dark.

quote:If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

Both an insult to those who have undergone this path as well as a gross generalization ?But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path? with no facts to back up your statement .

In short you have posted on an industry site comments that are bound to enflame people due to their insulting nature and comments that seem based on an egotistically driven ?understanding? of what is required to create good works of art as well what is required to be ?a creative and aware human being.? As a consequence I?m not sure what your actual intent in this post was.

Pantmonger

Submitted by 0xBaaDf00d on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:49 AMPermalink

I Can Agree to what has been said by all parties, I hate to admit. Lorien though that is true that education is a fast track to skills, Mastering as you put it, is something that EXPERIENCE brings. Something that can not be taught.
Teaching students, is a process of teaching people to learn and extend oneself. The drive that drives most people to extend themselves is that of the excitment of being the next Carmack, or romero or any number of there idealised developers.
What drives these people further towards their goal, is there passion to make games that rival their Favourite games, made by there favourite developers.
What would happen if a person who hates platform games designed one and a publisher published it. My Gaw. would it be the biggest load of #### out there.
With out this enthusiasm for music, movies, games, art, what have you! there would be no Giger, there would be no hendrix. And if that means they dive in Pre 21. so be it they get Kudos for getting more experience then you. An the become the new Carmack (though I doubt to see this happening anytime soon.)
I do admit at this time games are Dull, games lack excitment, games are repetitive and more formulaic at the moment, this will change. At the moment all industry's including the music industry is moving towards a comercialist existance, this formula worked for spice girls lets re hash it.. why wont it work now mentality.
I myself am currently doing a masters, YES, a masters in IT, and my focus for this is goint to be on Game Play - analysis, what makes a game fun. As currently i dont see anything fun in games, i see corporate giants trying to make fat wallets with repeatitive formula's.

My 2 Cents!

Point Experience is worth far more than teachings, but teachings get you closer to getting the experience.

BaaDf00d.

Submitted by spageto on Fri, 26/03/04 - 10:24 AMPermalink

My thread has been sabotaged [:I]. But seeing as we have gone in this new direction, I'll add my 2 cents too.

Firstly, I don't think obtaining technical training and pursuing art are mutually exclusive. Whether it's music, writing, animation, computer games, whatever, you need to learn some technical skills before you can even create that piece of art. For example, you're not going to write a piece of literature if you don't know basic grammar. By the same token, unless you know you're way around a 3D animation program, you're not going to be able to create a 3D animation work of art.

So, somehow, you have to gain some technical skills. Sure, you could teach yourself, but there are big advantages in doing a course: you can learn things you wouldn't necessarily pick up on your own, and you can get objective, expert feedback.

Secondly, the "technical training institutions" (as you describe them) are not responsible for anyone's lifetime education, or their ability to create art. They are responsible for transferring a body of knowledge to the student, and it's up to the student to decide whether to learn more (beyond the course) and to pursue an artistic vision.

If you're indirectly comparing institutions like Qantm and AIE with more artistic oriented places like VCA and AFTRS (I'm thinking of animation here) then yes, the emphasis appears to be very different. Qantm and AIE seem to focus more on preparing students for working in the industry, while VCA and AFTRS seem to focus more on helping students create art. But at the end of the day, no school can create an artist - it might push the student more in that direction, but it's still up to the student to be imaginative, have a vision, and go for it. I'm sure there are students and graduates of Qantm and AIE (like yourself?) who will take the technical training they've gained and go and create a "masterwork", simply because they've got the burning talent and desire inside them.

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:07 AMPermalink

I don't discredit the achievements of those that have entered the game industry at a young age, but I agree with Lorien on some points. Though his/her post was phrased slightly condescendingly...

A lot of employers look out for individuality and originality of concept combined with proficient technical execution.

While Lorien may be a bit off in comparing the young games industry to high art, that's not the point. The point is, as creators and 'artists' we should be striving to create the most original, compelling, content driven as well as technically proficient works as we can. Regardless of how young the industry is.

That's what's going to differentiate you from the rest of the fanboys busy rendering spaceships flying through space and mechs that look like second rate rehashes of the hundreds of sci fi games and anime films.

Really, anyone can learn the software. People are so strung up on learning all the techy aspects of this industry. "What 3d app do you use?" "Do you use a wacom" "What graphics program do you use?" etc...

In the end they're all just tools, a means to an end. I think what Lorien is getting at is that there seems to be an unbalanced focus towards the technical when really, a lot of fundamentals are being overlooked.

Things like narrative, story telling ability, illustration skills, lighting skills, visual communication skills and of course, the ability to break from the mould (to work through all the bad ideas). All things you can learn away from the computer regardless of what latest 3d renderer or app you used. Truly, there are a lot of people out there that draw their inspiration simply from playing other games (3d, concept art, game design etc). While it may make sense to do so, it doesn't bring anything new to the table, it just repackages old ideas. (how many sci fi FPS games are there? Anyone up for a fantasy MMORPG? Sigh)

I know with postmodernism, everything is recycled these days. But I think in the game industry, there's still a significant amount of new and creative ideas to be explored, and that's why it's up to us to always be striving for the highest level of mastery regardless of how young the Australian games industry is.

A naive perspective in an industry that is really about creating a commercial product for profit, but hey, I can at least hope we can all continue to work passionately. :)

There's always going to be a compromise between creativity and commercial goals (IE: Creating something that sells). Of course we wont always get to create a beautiful masterwork of our own ideas, but being able to express and deliver a content filled, well executed work is a very valuable skill to have and a very rewarding one too.

I think that's what Lorien means between the difference between learning our respective field as an art and being 'pumped out' by a technical training college.

Anyway, hope this all makes sense...

Submitted by Jason on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:21 AMPermalink

"Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too."

A good way to verbalise this is the "cool" syndrome. Characteristically summed up by the majority of effects stuff coming out of hollywood. How many times have you heard someone say "Wow that is so cool".

But really, what does it mean? What other purpose is there for such an elaborately rendered shot other than to show off how 'cool' it looks? Does it push the narrative along, does it help build tension or character development? No, it's just a superflous exercise in demonstrating the concept of 'cool'.

I'm not against magnificent technical ability, but when it's all at the sake of good content and coherence, then it's just not worth it. What's the point of a short 3d animated film? To have the most sophisticated shot with millions of objects animating at once? No. It's to convey a narrative. While it's 3d animated, at the end of the day, it is still a FILM.

Think back to the original Pixar shorts. I can't remember the name of it, but it consisted of a lamp and a ball. That's IT. Yet it works so beautifully because it wonderfully uses film language to build tension and ultimately, an engaging narrative that entertains the viewer. Nothing elaborate. Simple, succint, excellent.

The Matrix is the best example of something gone wrong. Technically, freaking beautiful. That final scene with the battle in zion, jaw dropping technically. But the 2nd and 3rd movie were pretty terrible and after 15 mins of robots blasting each other I was yawning and wondering just when would the narrative move forward? Engaging and meaningful? No. Eye candy? Yes.

While you might say cool stuff is still good and eye candy always entertains, why just strive for shallow level entertainment when we all have the potential to make both meaningful and well executed works??

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 26/03/04 - 11:29 AMPermalink

I agree with you jason - what i was trying to get across in my last post was simply this.

For anyone to be good at something, they most likely have got there through experience ( some yes are naturally gifted in some areas, but majority speaking )

The only way to get experience is being able to create something using the tools we need to create the masterwork. being that the technology and everything used in the computer games industry is relatively young compared to other industrys, we only have a few years of experience to hand down to the future generations, as opposed to something like music, which has generations.

Submitted by cutty on Fri, 26/03/04 - 1:47 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Pantmonger
Art does not have to have meaning it be valid, aesthetics can be valid unto themselves.

I don't think he was saying that at all, after all aesthetics for their own sake is centuries old by now in the so called high arts (and i'm only talking about critical reception here..i believe the people who actually make art have always recognised purely aesthetic appeal)
I think he was just making a point about the relative sophistication of said aesthetic(s)..not resorting to cliches, trying to avoid the commonplaces of expression etc.

As to there being no masters of computer games, i disagree. I'll even nominate one: Anyone played 'Calendra's Legacy' by Anthony Huso (aka 'Purah') for Thief 2? I'd rate it higher than virtually any commercial game i've played in terms of artistic and literary quality, and on par with much fantasy literature in quality of story-telling.
Master Pros: Looking Glass Studios. Shame they're no longer operating.

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 26/03/04 - 9:29 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien

There are more important things in life than "getting into the games industry before you're 21".
Such as developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being.

For you maybe, some of us here find it to be our calling and want to develop our potential within that context, get of your high horse.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

The technical training institutions are about "getting in quick", and they don't provide much of an education at all.

Nice open ended, general assumption there. It took me quite a few years to get my foot in even with training, can't say I took the easy way in.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Sure they help people learn to make tight models, textures and animations, but technique is only part of being an artist, and it is the easy part.

Well isn't that the biggest, most obvious, comment of all time.
Of course they only teach technique, they are technical colleges!!They don't have 20 year courses, doesn't make it less valid.
I won't feel totally comfortable calling myself a true artist for years, I am constantly learning, does that mean I should have been 85 years old before I dared to get into games industry and call my work art?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

What about making good content? I mean something that is really going to touch people and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A masterwork.

Don't paint the whole industry with the same brush my friend, its naive, and just plain rude. Yes there is a glut of stupid repedetive games out there but there are those striving for pefection also, just like the music, film and literature fields.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

I haven't made one yet (I've formally studied jazz guitar, classical composition, and music technology, as well as computer science), but I strive towards it.

So how about you do before telling a whole industry they are no good.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

To create a masterwork you have to transcend technique. For an exceptionally gifted musician this normally takes around 20 years of constant practice. It seems to be about the same for visual artists too. Most people never manage it, and I have only for brief moments.

Yawn...exactly what every art teacher will tell you. tell us something we don't already know.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Commercial companies aren't interested in masterworks, or in artworks that challenge people or make them think- they are interested in sales. Look at Hollywood movies- lots of technique and bugger all content, and I have to turn my brain off to watch one. Look at what comes out of the games-training colleges too.

I think you'll find alot of commercial companies would love to make games that really delve into the emotions of the players. Maybe you need to point that accussing finger at narrow minded publishers instead?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Which is worse: bad technique and an interesting work or good technique and an empty work?

They are both bad...your point?

quote:Originally posted by lorien

To make a really worthwhile artwork requires technique, concept, and content. The technical training institutions make no attempt at teaching two thirds of the equation.

And I don't see them alluding to be teaching it either, they teach technique so that an artist can comfortable use software to express there own ideas.

quote:Originally posted by lorien

I can present a very strong argument that the entire entertainment industry is the wrong path for the truly gifted (especially in Australia), but this post and forum is not the place for it.

I don't know what makes you an expert on what makes someone truly gifted but if you have a insightful, meaningful argument then don't just say it.

Present it.

One final thing, I know quite alot of traditional artists that are making a good to great living as artists and are respected in their chosen fields.
Not one of them looks down on or thinks badly of the artists in the games industry, in fact alot say that if the money wasn't so good in what they are doing they would love to have the chance to bring their art to life as I get the chance to do.

Yes they comment on the lack of real story and depth in alot of games but they also do that for hollywood, the literary world, music and especially high art which are all full of fake, unimaginative, repetative posing pieces.

Submitted by bullet21 on Fri, 26/03/04 - 10:23 PMPermalink

2 to the game developers and the industry, 0 to lorien :P
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quote:If you are impatient perhaps training rather than education is what you want. But if you are truly gifted it is the wrong path, your impatience could cause you to miss developing to your full potential as a creative and aware human being, and you may not create the works you could have.

What about if your are both impatient and gifted. What if i live by myself and want to get in the game industry just after graduating from a technical institute. Do you want me to work at coles and in my spare time perfect my art. NOOO!!! I spoke with a guy from wicked witch yesterday and he says it can take years for you to become completly efficient with a program like max. So according to you i should graduate, work at coles for half a century before even considering getting a job in the games industry.

What you did was you came in to a game developers site and you told every wannabe artist and professional artist that they aren't truely talented just cos they didn't wait till they got grey hair or went bold before applying for an artist position.

Also your comment about Tech Institutes being the easy way in can't be anymore wrong. In the game industry i dont' think there is an easy way in. People with a gazillion degrees still dont have a quick way in.

To sum up artists according to you there is no such thing as a young artist, only people with experiance can be artists. I suggest that you go to jistyles website, look at his age and his work. I suggest you go to doords website look at his age and his work. I suggest you go to the sumea challenge and check out the entries and the age of the entrants. Then wait till you are fifty and try and top them, i bet you couldn't.
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3 to the game developers and the industry, 0 to lorien :P

Submitted by Maitrek on Sat, 27/03/04 - 12:52 AMPermalink

Moderators anywhere?

While we are off the subject. Lorien is simply promoting that people should consider carefully what art can mean, he just has a different interpretation of what qualifies as artistry. Okay, a fair bit of his post is high horse crap, and some of it highly presumptuous, some of it is plain wrong, but honestly is it worth having another bitch fest about? You have all put everything he said in the worst possible context that you can come up with - like fuel to a deep-set psychological trauma that instigates a desire to bitch.

If he had put 'maybe' and 'possibly' about four hundred times in his post would you guys be happy then because you would no longer be able to interpret everything as a personal attack???

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:11 AMPermalink

Well I'm glad I've stirred up something :) No insults or anything like that were intended btw.

Pantmonger I have no problem with you taking affront. I'm not saying "this is how things are", I'm saying "this is how things appear to me", and debate is healthy. Thanks for contributing, I don't mind being flamed, so long as it constructive flaming.

"Nice blind insulting stab in the dark.": have a read of
http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/Game%20Design/The_Education_of_a_Game…
it is by Chris Crawford, who is one of the "godfathers" of game design. Enter "Chris Crawford" and "game" into google.

Read what I wrote again, and try not to get angry :) I have explained why it is the wrong path. Has to do with sales v/s full-on works.

I see Jason has understood what I was saying, though I'm not discrediting anyone. Everyone has choices, but 21 is very young, and there is a lot more of the world to see and experience, and imho better works are made after having experienced some of it.

"I think that's what Lorien means between the difference between learning our respective field as an art and being 'pumped out' by a technical training college."

Thanks Jason, that's it.

0xBaaDf00d: Hendrix had very sloppy technique, but he was an absolutely amazing musician. Training is fast-track without understanding, education is slower-track with more understanding, but with both you get out what you put in. IMHO any undergrad education is not enough to make games.

spageto: you got it too, however just whose interests do you think an industry created traning college is going to serve? Yours? The industry used to provide on-the-job training, but of course this costs them money. Persuading you to line up to pay for training that used to be provided is not in your best interests!

I find it amusing that the AIE only show Hail in their Dip Comp Game Dev gallery, when all the Hail programmers were university educated. And I find it amusing that leaving the "www." out of their URL takes you to the MicroForte web site. Try it: http://aie.act.edu.au

Cutty: I like your chice of games :) But things are changing too- do you know about Escape From Woomera? http://escapefromwoomera.org or acmipark? http://www.acmi.net.au/acmipark.jsp

I'm not saying either are masterworks at all, but they are much more "art" oriented than sales oriented.

I worked on acmipark.

Malus:

"For you maybe, some of us here find it to be our calling and want to develop our potential within that context, get of your high horse."

Fine, if that's what you want. I wonder how you'll feel about it in 10-15 years time. If getting into training was hard then just wait... (I'm not bitching btw, I've turned down several games jobs recently because I just don't want them).

And as for being on my "high horse": Telling me this indicatetes you're on one yourself. Do you have something being showcased at the GDC? I do right now. And I'm presenting my own work at a major international games conference next month.

And I'm completely independent of the games industry.

As for painting the industry with the same brush, IMHO Thief 2 comes closest to having good content, but still... Companies are about making money, and that is fairly mutually exclusive with content. Can you immagine a commercial company making Esacpe from Woomera?

"I think you'll find alot of commercial companies would love to make games that really delve into the emotions of the players. Maybe you need to point that accussing finger at narrow minded publishers instead?"

Fair enough, but this stuff doesn't come out as mods, expansions or even easter eggs. But I agree that publishers are much worse than studios for encouraging mediocrity.

And I don't look down on artists in the games industry. Nor programmers.

BTW I'm going to present my argument. Come to the indy conference.

####

I didn't mean this to be taken as flames. I have big problems with technical training for the games industry, I'm a scholarship winning grad of the AIE, and this seemed like a relevent place to post.

I have plenty of education and technical training behind me, rather than just one or the other, I'm old enough (31) to be able to stand back from it, and the commercial training institutions thrive on hyping theselves. Look at this as a break from the hype.

Submitted by Gazunta on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:11 AMPermalink

Hi folks.

Just a quick word of "advice".

Anyone going into the games industry with the back of their hand firmly planted on their forehead moaning about great art and transcending majestic visions blah blah blah...is going to get themselves booted up the ass real quick.

"Games Industry". It's two words people. Games are a unique, new and deep artform that we've only just scratched the surface of. Everyone here loves games and what they are capable of as a medium. My team (and everyone at my company) are tremendously gifted and creative people and it's great that they can express themselves so well. But it's an industry, too. If you're put to work on a FPS (for example)...well, no amount of bitching about how FPS are derivitave and boring and we should be making a yoga simulator instead is going to change things. Make it the best FPS you can given the constraints.

Back to the topic. I liked QANTM. There were a lot of students there that had similar notions to the poster who started this argument about how things would be better if they were in charge, but didn't want to, well...you know, work or anything. Go in there, use every resource you can, and make something that will turn heads.

And Mr. Monger: Half the problem is with the publishers, yes, but the other half is the mainstream who LIKE buying the same familiar thing over and over again. :)

Submitted by bullet21 on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:18 AMPermalink

High horse offensive crap. I am only in high school and i am getting offended. I can only imagine how offended the people who went through a technical college and are employed would be.

Submitted by Malus on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:31 AMPermalink

Maitrek: Your right, as a Mod I should know better than responding to flame bait.

Lorien: Fair enough, maybe I took your comments the wrong way but too some degree you really can't blame anyone when you didn't voice your opinion in a concise, well thought manner, to be honest it was full of holes and came off very unfriendly.

I am currently working in the industry and no I do not have something showing in GDC, does that make me less talented? I don't believe so. But good luck with yours, its obviously important to you.

No unfortunately, I won't be at the conference, I'll be too busy working and trying to refine my skills.

even though I still totally disagree with the outlook you are taking on the industry I do apologise for getting personal .

Gazunta: I agree totally.
Spageto: Sorry for highjacking your thread.

Submitted by Kalescent on Sat, 27/03/04 - 1:56 AMPermalink

The lines got to be drawn somwhere - lorien, youre no different from Mr Anderson delving into the depths of the matrix rabbit hole.

Some people dont need everything justified with purpose and fact. they are just happy to live there lives doing what they want to do and how they want to do it.

What your bordering on entering is a psychological debate, something which doesnt really have a place @ sumea IMHO.

Having said all that - your only expressing your oppinion, which as offensive as it may be to others, is STILL your oppinion, and i do respect that. Just quickly click on MALUS's nickname next to his post - and read the quote under " My Favourite Quote " i think that applies here.

The other thing, why must you post something like "ive turned down several games job's recently, because i just dont want them" and then make a comment like " no insults were intended btw " at the beginning of the post. - A great deal of the forum members im sure would LOVE to be in that situation, but they arent, and saying something so casually im sure is only going to spark more debate, or induce ignorance.