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Year 11 Student looking for Tertiary Education

Posted by Robbio on Sun, 07/09/08 - 8:25 PM

Hye everyone. As you can no doubt tell, I'm a Year 11 student at High School right now. Basically, I'm really interested in the gaming industry, either as a programmer or animator (I'm pretty good at both). I live South-west Sydney and am wondering what sort of uni's/other sorts of places offer courses that can open up into a career in the games industry that are in or around Sydney (I'm not all that keen on moving to somewhere else)

I've looked at Qantm and seen that they have a Bachelor Course allowing either majoring in Animation or Programming, however, 2 things I'm worried about is: a) A degree from Qantm wont be considered as much as a degree from say, UTS and
b)I'm unsure if Qantm allows for HECS.

If anyone could clear up either of these questions and/or provide info on other places, it'd be great.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/09/08 - 2:30 PM Permalink

Hi Ronnio,

QANTM should be able to offer HECS places next year in Diploma and Advanced Diploma/Degree courses.

There's really two different things here. First, if you're looking to get into the games industry, then going to AIE (who are opening in Sydney soon I believe) or QANTM is the way to go. It's nt just about training - it's about getting access to the industry. Most unis don't have good relationships with the industry, and so will teach you stuff, but you won't get any industry access. Then you graduate and have to get your foot in the door some other way.

Alternatively, if you want a degree, then go to a Uni, get a degree. A degree doesn't get you a job, but it does give you a chance to really get into something, like programming. If you're good enough at things like low-level graphics programming, then you'll find plenty of work.

Another option: see if there's a good uni that gives you credit for completion of a diploma or advanced diploma a QANTM. If so, then don't get a degree from QANTM - get an advanced diploma; then either you'll be working for the industry, or you'll be over it, and you can go on to do another 1-2 years and end up with a degree from a regular uni as well!

My advice, tho - don't follow the career; do what you love and do it brilliantly and the career will follow.

Submitted by Neffy on Mon, 08/09/08 - 5:52 PM Permalink

An option since your in year 11 is to take up a School based new apprenticeship you could look into obtaining one at a local game studio, your paid for your hours and the employer gets money from the government for having you. Id ask your schools careers officer for more information as there's generally only certain career areas that allow it, you might be able to get it under a multimedia certificate.

Generally places like AIE and Quantm are printed out certificate for your money if you want to be taught outside of the mandatory follow this tutorial that comes with 3DS max and wait for the teacher to finish playing a game before he answers your question. I would go to a University. =)

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 08/09/08 - 7:56 PM Permalink

There was a huge thread recently about a guy in the exact same position. is the thread.

Most game companies respect a computer science degree more than a QANTM degree alone. A lot of students go off and do a computer science degree then swap over to doing something like QANTM after that. I would suggest looking into a traditional uni degree first.

The answer in terms of hecs for qantm would be a yes.

The reason is a lot of the "game" specific courses aren't really cutting it in terms of the engineering skills you need in games. At the same token though, the games courses tend to teach you the working in team environments etc, since they get you to work on a games project with other students.

So start off with the uni degree, its going to give you the most amount of credit in terms of getting into the industry then consider doing QANTM after that for the team skills. (Don't let it stop you from applying after you get out of Uni though to prevent having to heft up more HECS from QANTM)

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 08/09/08 - 8:03 PM Permalink

Also don't do Uni degrees that are just about games. Uni's just tend to hack on games to get people in the doors. If you do a computer science course though (this is assuming the programming stream), you can some units relating to games with most of the uni's around the place. Don't go for "Bachelor of Gaming' or something like that unless its with Qantm or the AIE. They don't relate well to what we want in the industry.

Also make games in your spare time, you need a portfolio of games you've been doing to show to your potenial employer. Get used to frameworks like XNA etc and start making simple games. Have fun while doing it :)

Submitted by Robbio on Mon, 08/09/08 - 8:19 PM Permalink

hmm, I've been looking around at different courses, and I've found a few that have a focus on programming, but are there any courses around at uni's in Sydney that are Coomp Sci/equivalent that have animation as a part of it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/09/08 - 8:16 AM Permalink

If you're looking at a University Degree, just make sure it's a respected course and that future possible employers will recognise it.

After that it's down to you, no matter what degree you chose to follow in a programming field, if you can show talent, flair, good grades along with a commitment to working on some extra things (don't expect to just hand in the same courseworks as everyone else in your class and stand out as a good candidate) you'll get on fine.

At the end of the day the degree and good grades will show you can see things through to a good standard and on time. The extra work in either demos, open source projects or working in the mod community is what will set you apart from other applicants when you're looking at getting into the industry.

I graduated from a games technology degree in Scotland, worked at a small company there for 2 and a half years then moved to Melbourne to work for EA so don't let yourself be put off by people putting down any particular course as second rate, just be aware of the consequences of your choices, doing a games degree means you're stuck if that doesn't work out but there are plenty of jobs out there for talented, committed and passionate people so that's only going to happen if your hearts really not in it.

Submitted by StephenWade on Tue, 09/09/08 - 10:33 AM Permalink

Uni's don't hack on games to get people through the door :P Most games degrees are basically rebadged computer science degrees *anyway* with slightly different curricula.

Uni's don't have the money and resources to make a dedicated curriculum of 72 units (or whatever equivalent in other states/unis) to make a whole bunch of 'hack' computer game subjects. They just teach computer science with a few core units replaced with relevant gaming ones.

Of course - some exceptions to that statement applies. Maybe you know of one or two, but I hope you don't think I'm arguing with you for the sake of arguing Lantree :) Hehe

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/09/08 - 9:37 PM Permalink

fortunately most of the programmers from our year are in games job though Neffy, which is nice.

I wouldn't say my time at the AIE was a waste of time. i built good friendships ( read: industry connections ) and I also learned a fair bit about the industry etc, although i do think the course wasn't worth all the money ( about 14k all up for programming ) Especially when you ask for help or whatever and the teacher is too busy working on their own project or playing a game to help. It was great that everyone was willing to help each other though.


note: Those captcha's can be WAAAAY too hard to see sometimes...

Submitted by Lantree on Wed, 10/09/08 - 10:53 PM Permalink

I agree with you actually in terms of the rebadged computer science degree. The only reason why they add the games part to the name of the computer science course is the bums in seats philosophy. Aka why not make them electives and call it "Computer Science" not "Computer Science with Gaming Technology". People get a false expectation that they'll be doing nothing but games in the course, not really the case.

Swinburne do a dual bachelor course, Bachelor of Multimedia and a Bachelor of Technology focusing on game technology. Its focuses mainly on games. The ex-training manager of Krome was one of the guys behind the course. He was one of the senior lecturers at Swinburne and his wife had worked at Melbourne House/Krome for years.

Submitted by Neffy on Thu, 11/09/08 - 12:16 PM Permalink

Yes its good that most people get jobs, I wouldn't put it 100% due to the AIE but more due to there own commitment, passion and hard work. I also agree the friends and connections are the best part of the course and I got to a stage I wouldn't even ask the teachers for help id just ask my mates and theirs something wrong about that to me what if there was no friends to help.

Note: Make an account :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/09/08 - 3:15 PM Permalink

I'll echo that sentiment. It was a very similar deal with my QANTM class.

Game degrees are not totally without merit, but in terms of content they have a long way to go yet if they want to become a qualification respected by employers. I actually took my degree qualification off of my resume and had more success.

I think there was another comment that suggested following a more specialist degree with a games degree or diploma to really increase their employability. That was a pretty awesome suggestion.

Submitted by drewand on Tue, 16/09/08 - 2:53 PM Permalink

Studying at the AIE is not as "printed out certificate for your money" as Neffy is making out.

The teachers for my year are extremely hard working. Making time to answer as many questions as possible when they are asked. More often than not providing more than enough hints so you can find the answer yourself, not spoon feeding answers.

I have found the AIE a good place to study. The team work in the second year of the games Advanced Diploma course is especially good and gives some insight into what it is like to work in a real game development team.

The AIE has been a good place to make industry contacts, mostly I play basketball with them at lunch time.

Well, all in all, AIE pretty decent place to study.

Submitted by Lantree on Tue, 16/09/08 - 3:38 PM Permalink

Expense was the major issue that made me not go towards the AIE back in 2004 when I was wanting to get into the industry. The price has climbed since then and as current they don't have HECS support (although I understand they have applied for HECS for 2009).

Luckily was able to avoid the whole AIE study thing and was able to get in with samples/examples of my own work.

My personal gripe is those who are able to make it through the AIE to get a job, already really have the skills to go off and self learn and get a project together. Aka you need to be a self starter and working on your own stuff constantly.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/09/08 - 9:42 AM Permalink

There is also a big difference between AIE Campuses. At the one i went to ( Canberra ), i had the same issues neffy and Anon where talking about.

But i haven't really heard anything like that come from students of the Melbourne campus ( which for the record looks far more posh )

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/09/08 - 5:32 PM Permalink

I'm currently studying at aie melb, and the only thing they have going for them is contacts, industry and the others in class are great contacts to gain, i must say however if you think its a place to learn your mistaken, i myself and others i've spoken to havent learned anything this year from staff, we swapped from max to maya with very little help adjusting, im sure some would say this a good chance to get used to using different 3d packages that companies use, but im sure most companies would atleast give support. The teachers themselves are nice enough but seem lacking in the teaching side of things.

Submitted by Eve on Thu, 18/09/08 - 3:10 PM Permalink

Hi, for those of you that aren't at AIE, I teach at AIE's Melbourne Campus...

It’s a shame that you feel that way, Anonymous. Our decision to use Maya as the primary software package was driven by the needs of the game development industry, a factor that we did not feel it would be appropriate to ignore. Decisions to change software are not taken lightly, and we adjusted the curriculum as much as possible to compensate for that, with more lead-in time and a smaller number of projects throughout the year.

The teachers at AIE are continually working to improve the curriculum. This year, there have been smaller class sizes and we’ve offered increased opportunities for students to receive very detailed, individualised feedback on their folio work, and, based on students’ preferred career goals in the industry, teachers have given a lot of suggestions and advice about tailoring folios to more appropriately meet those goals.

The internship program has also been more formalised, resulting in increased attention from senior developers, and more chances for students to meet with developers and ask questions about their disciplines and the industry in general, in a friendly, face to face environment.

If you feel that you’re not progressing as you’d like, talk to us! If you feel that you’re not getting to grips with a particular topic, you can ask us. If you feel unhappy for some reason, then let us know and we can work to solve it.

We’re here to help. We like being asked. We want to teach you everything you need to know to succeed in your career. We can give you feedback and direction that will give your folio an edge. And we want you (and all our students) to succeed.

Submitted by stormwind on Mon, 29/09/08 - 10:58 AM Permalink

I'm currently studying programming at the AIE Melbourne Campus. Aside from a few network issues this year, it has been great. The course that I'm in teaches you the fundamentals of making computer games. They provide a lot of advice, and if you need more help all you need to do is ask.

They don't teach you a lot of theory, more practical skills. If you want to learn the why as well as the how you have to do it yourself, which is my problem, but they have provided good advice about how to do that.

To get a really well rounded education I would suggest doing a uni course (the basic degree not the games speciallised ones) first then skip the first year and do the second year at AIE. Though if you apply yourself at uni and try to make games while you are there you'll have the skills already, so you won't need to do the course. I notice a big difference between myself (self taught programmer) and the second year students who have come from uni courses. They have a more thorough knowledge of the theory of programming and understand quicker, but they often haven't used that knowledge much if at all, so they can't program nearly as well as I can. That's what this course offers uni leavers, a chance to practically use what they've learned.

The cost is prohibitive, however it looks like they will be getting HECS this year for 2009, so that will help a lot. And if you just do the second year that helps a lot too.

Hope this helps
Dominic McDonnell

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 31/10/08 - 3:44 PM Permalink

I study at AIE melb. AIE has been possibly one of the worst experience of my life. I was totally pumped up to do this course at the beginning of the year but what I found when I came here was virtually no instruction and a complete lack of vision. There is practically no curriculum to speak of and the teachers I have had have been reasonably helpful, but not nearly skilled enough to teach. This institution suffers from the common misnomer that somebody that is good at a certain topic is also necessarily good enough to teach that topic and it is simply not the case. Being skilled in an area is no garauntee that you are able to impart that knowledge clearly and succinctly to anybody else. This is the worst part I think. It's very frustrating to see your teacher be fully able to solve your problems but be totally unable to show you how or to give you an overview of the process involved or point you to any good recources for the topic. Explanations almost always take the form of "There should be some tutorials on the net you should read"

When the course costs so much and delivers so little I can do nothing but strongly dissuade as many people as possible from taking it.

With regard to Eve's comments above I must say they strike me as being simply false. I know more than one of the teachers here have little to no experience using some of the programs that are relied upon, and when software changes do occur they may not be taken lightly but they are certainly not taken with due consideration as to the ramifications. New software is introduced without teachers having the proper knowledge/training to confidently and efficiently operate it let alone teach how to do so to others.

Additionally a great number of things that are advertised as being taught in the curriculum were simply not. There was no explanation of why this might have happened, and our requests for the teaching of this sort of thing were met with comments such as "we don't have the liscences for that" or "I don't use that much myself" This smacks of both lack of preparation and false advertising.

This might come off a little harsh but it's the honest truth. I just hope that either this place gets it's act together, or others don't get so horribly burnt like I was.

Anon. (for obvious reasons)

Submitted by Arcane_Artist on Tue, 04/11/08 - 12:00 AM Permalink

I am currently studying as an Artist at AIE in Melbourne, and I am beyond grateful for everything that school has provided for me. Forgive me, if this comes off a little blunt, philosophical, and somewhat tangential. But I feel this needs to be said.

When I started in 2007, I was probably at a more advanced level then most, having been working with 3D programs and graphics software for 3 years prior. I didn't think I was going to get anymore out doing this course then I would in my last (that's another story), only a few easier steps into being connected into the industry. But instead of sitting back and coasting through course, I asked the teacher to provide me with extra work if I ever ran into a situation where I could. And they did. Whenever I took the initiative to take it a bit further, I was encouraged and supported in my decision to do so.

Since I've joined there I have done the following (because I took and was given the opportunity)
Attended Master Classes - Because I put my hand up fast
Awarded the Sony Foundation Scholarship for 2007 - because Joe, my teacher, encouraged me to do it. I wasn't going to, but I did, and look what happened.
Nominated for Verve Trainee of the Year in Art and Culture 2008 - because Eve, my second year teacher, sent my work in without me knowing and surprised the hell out of me. Which was awesome.
Wrote a Large MEL Scripted Toolset for the AIE Game Projects - wrote, managed, and maintained, with full encouragement of this responsibility.

Yes, I agree, that transition to Maya was rather bumpy, and yeah... using Gamebryo was even more bumpy with excessive amounts of profanity, and sure, sometimes the teachers didn't quite know what to do, but that didn't stop them from figuring it out with us. Nor did they ignore our problems.

Teachers don't tell us how or what to do, nor are they a Magic Tolem that we can pick up and use to increase our intelligences by +10. They guide us, and give us a better direction in where to go by applying their experiences to your work and giving you better ideas on how to break things down and do things. They don't have all the answers, but they do help you get to them a bit easier. That being said, you need to be paying attention, and also you need to have an open mind, when they do.

But even then, it's still up to you to do what you need to do, and they can only go so far. Take on the responsibilities to learn something yourself, because doing things yourself is vital to self improvement. If you can't do that, then that says nothing about the people teaching you, who have done all the hard work, taught themselves, and have become teachers sharing their experience.

Yes, you are paying quite a bit of money, but that should be nothing compared to the knowledge you will gain by actually talking with and working with teachers or classmates.

Personally, money over self-improvement is bulls@#t.

Metaphor: It's like paying to go on a holiday, and staying in the hotel room the whole time. Then coming home and saying "My holiday was crap!". If you don't take it upon yourself to enjoy where you are by talking to the people there, or actually doing anything more then just sitting around, all you'll have is a bitter taste in your mouth, that only you can taste (and other people in the same situation). Sorry to say, but it's your own fault.

If you don't want to talk about it with the people you have the problems with, then those issues aren't going to be resolved. Like Eve, Joe and Paul have been saying for most of this year, if you don't talk to them about it, they're not going to know about. In the end the only person that's going to be missing out, is you.

Sorry if it's blunt, but you went about it the wrong way. No one else at AIE deserves to be penalized for something that you didn't take upon yourself to fix leaving you with this bitter interpretation.

A bit of preaching: Yes, I'm aware I'm pointing the finger. But I'm doing it to make a point that, if you don't start blaming yourself about the things you learn, you will never take the opportunity to learn things yourself. Instead, you will be too busy blaming others and bitching about something getting nowhere. In the end you'll only end up 2 steps from where you started when you could of been on the roof already.

For anyone considering joining AIE, do. AIE is an awesome place, and the teachers are equally awesome x3. The work environment is friendly, fun and the overall experiences are definitely worth it. Even if you think you know how to create 3D Art or program games, you're still going to walk away with way more knowledge then you did when you began (if you take the initiative to do so).

The only downer is the facilities with occasional network glitches, and an elevator that has a tendency to make a really high pitched noise continuously. But what school's facilities aren't somewhat glitchy? And since when has an elevator not been entitled to making it's own noises?!

Art Student @ AIE Melbourne
Alex Tuckett

P.S. To the Year 11 Student caught up in all this. My advice before making a decision should about what you want to learn, not how much it's going to cost, although sometimes it is a big deal, you shouldn't make it into one. How much the paper costs doesn't mean much either, although the paper does prove that you've done the course, the skills you acquire a far more valuable (cliche). Either way, good luck with your course choices, and sorry for the flaming that was going on.

Submitted by PaulCallaghan on Mon, 10/11/08 - 1:33 PM Permalink

As with Eve's introduction, for those of you who don't know me, I teach 2nd year at AIE Melbourne along with Eve and Joe.

First off, Anon, I'm sorry you've found AIE one of the worst experiences of your life. It's difficult when a student doesn't get what they want out of a course, especially a course that you develop and deliver. However, by voicing your concerns here, anonymously, rather than bringing them to us as teachers it's almost impossible for us to do anything about them. As we've continually said in class, we aren't mind-readers so if you've been having problems, come and see us. If you do that and you're still having trouble, then there are other people here that you can confidentially talk to, including our Head of School.

I would like to address some of your points though.

With regards to their being no curriculum, it can be difficult to see the structure of a course when you're inside it. However, our courses, across both disciplines, are carefully structured to give you the skills you need to get the job you want in the games industry. These skills may not always be apparent, but they are there. I know this because they're the sorts of things I was looking for in juniors when I hired them, and I talk to people in the industry all the time about what we teach, as do Eve & Joe.

To expand on Eve's comments about transitioning to Maya - The 2 main software changes we made this year were the introduction of Maya and Gamebryo. As part of both decisions, I can tell you that neither were made lightly nor were they made without consideration. The transition to Maya was because of the shifting landscape of the industry and the transition to Gamebryo was because of Renderware's shrinking relevance. There is no easy way of making either change, especially in a teaching environment like ours where the demands of each individual student and project is significantly different from year to year. There were bound to be issues come up, and in fact there have been, but our position as teachers has always been to deal with those constructively and proactively, and to trust in our experience & ability that we'll know how to solve whatever might come up. Those are the sorts of skills that I personally want students to leave with - I want them to confident in being able to solve problems on their own and so I do my best to provide a safety net and support, as do Eve & Joe, but we all want you to be prepared for what things will be like after you leave.

Like I said at the start, I'm sorry this has been a bad experience for you, but throughout the year, I and the other teachers have encouraged the whole class to come to us with issues and problems because we know that things that we can't predict will pop up. Anything you say to me, or to anyone else here, will be treated with the utmost professionalism because as Eve said, We're here to help, we like being asked, and we want all of our students to succeed, but we can only do that if we know you're having trouble. It's a 2 way process though, so you will need to come forward.

To the year 11 who started all of this, the best thing to do is to look at the sort of learning experience you're looking for, to speak to all of the institutions, find out how many of them have people teaching who've actually worked in the field you're interested in, try to talk to anyone you can find at local developers and ask them their experience of the students. There's a lot of information out there, so get as much of it as you can and work out what to do based on that.

Paul Callaghan
Senior Programming Teacher, AIE Melbourne

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/11/08 - 12:25 PM Permalink

You got a job out of the AIE Jess. Doesn't that make it worthwhile?

One thing you might want to realise is that by ragging on AIE, the teachers, and other students work (I saw your blog post about the Sumea comp, before you removed it that is) you really aren't doing yourself any favours in relation to keeping contacts and building a positive reputation within the industry.

You should never burn bridges, because you will never know when you might need them again.

Submitted by Neffy on Fri, 14/11/08 - 5:51 PM Permalink

Perhaps I should of taken a page from your book and posted behind an anonymous tag if I was so worried about burning bridges. Thankyou for your advice ill keep it in mind next time I wish to provide a honest yet controversial account of a topic by playing safe and not jeprodising my reputation by associating my screen name with it.

However I am not ashamed of what I said, I do not regret bringing forth a topic which is so healivy disputed and divided apon in this industry. I posted my name because im not affraid to speak and openly support them. This is a trait that has gained me more respect then "burnt bridges" I will not suger coat a realitly to prevent somebodys touchy feelings from being hurt, as I look for and expect that exact same honesty in return.

Whoever you are and whatever wrong doing I may have done to you in the past if i have done such your welcome to bring it up with me privately. Please judge me for my current values and standing within this industry now as I have grown considerably since joining it due to the support of the wonderfull contacts I have gained and maintained.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 17/11/08 - 11:13 PM Permalink

"You should never burn bridges, because you will never know when you might need them again."


Yep it seems that this is the exact reason that people can't really voice their immense frustration in some places. I'm very glad to hear that some people have had very positive experiences with AIE because it means that not everybody feels like they've been totally ripped.

About the staying in your hotel while on vacation analogy; I totally agree that you only get out what you put in, but when you're only getting out the same amount that you'd get out from studying by yourself at home (due to virtually no instruction), I'm not sure what the point of paying all that money is. Asking teachers for help when you need it is brilliant but when they can't or won't or are too busy to help you it's kind of pointless. When this happens on a reasonably regular basis it gets very irritating very quickly.

As for Paul Callaghan's claims that people haven't been raising their concerns this is incorrect. Anonymous feedback forms were given out earlier this year (an action I wholly endorse) and a number of other people that I have discussed this issue with and myself voiced our concerns very frankly and very clearly in our feedback. As a result of that nothing was done.
Additionally the comments about the curriculum being hard to see when you're inside of it are also incorrect. It is in fact plain to see what the curriculum should be when it is spelled out to you at the beginning of the year in a pamphlet detailing the curriculum. It is also plain to see that the curriculum is not being adhered to you when you are not taught the things listed on the curriculum pamphlet. Complaints about this also went completely unheeded.

I'm not trying to cause damage to AIE out of petty spite, (though I'm sure that's how I'm coming accross) but I hate to see institutions abuse the power they have:

Students won't come forward in a non-anonymous way when they know that by doing so they are possibly burning future bridges. Additionally why come forward when anonymous complaints/feedback going completely unheeded makes it perfectly clear that the institution will not fix the problem? As a result educational institutions can continue to harvest young naive students' money and either help them or ignore them as they see fit, with little fear of consequences.

And so people like me who don't want to burn bridges because they love this industry are forced to post anonymously on the internet, sad as that may seem.

Just as an aside I have nothing personally against any of the people at AIE I have found them to be a very nice bunch, I just think they are in desperate need of some organisation/listening/teaching skills.

Submitted by waffleShirt on Tue, 18/11/08 - 10:33 AM Permalink

So like many of us here at the A.I.E I have been watching this thread and I'm starting to find it getting a little out of hand. I'm a second year programming student, and anyone in second year will know me either as Tom Burridge or waffleShirt.

First of all Ill do the obligatory "my experience" part of this post. Much of this might be useless as the problems raised in this thread seem to be entirely from an artists perspective, but someone might find it useful. I came into first year at the AIE straight out of high school and was pretty excited to be finally learning C++ and some real programming skills. I came out of first year with a very strong knowledge of C++ and programming skills that are applicable to games and software development in general, as well as skills related to game design. The year wasn't without issues, we had three different teachers which caused some disruption but the class was hardly affected by it due to efforts made by the school and the teachers. Paul Callaghan committed a lot of his time to make sure the class continued to be taught and all the students were grateful for this.

Second year hasn't been without issues either. This is the first year the school has used Gamebryo for its game engine and as such the students and teachers are learning its pitfalls at the same time. So far there hasn't been a problem that couldn't be worked over from either an art of programming perspective. This has been due to hard work by both students and teachers working together. I personally had some issues during the year related to course content and I raised them in the anonymous feedback forms and at least for us programmers the issues found were raised in class. At this point I expressed my issues and after some discussion everything was fine again. My issue was the course not containing a lot of theoretical depth to it, but thats not what the course is about and I understand that now. With only 3 weeks to go of the couse I'm genuinely disappointed to be leaving the AIE because ive enjoyed the last 2 years so much and now its time to go deal with the real world.

A lot has been mentioned about getting jobs out of courses at the AIE and I am fortunate enough to be in the middle of an internship at Transmission Games. Were it not for efforts spearheaded by the school to get developers to come to the school and pitch their internship and job offers I would have had to go it alone. Though I may not have a job as soon as I leave the AIE I've learned the skills, and arguably the harder part, gotten industry experience, necessary to help me get a job early next year.

The thing thats been bothering me in this thread, and something that I find almost completely devoid of any sense, is the "burning bridges" argument thats been raised recently. To quote the piece I'm having trouble with:

Students won't come forward in a non-anonymous way when they know that by doing so they are possibly burning future bridges. Additionally why come forward when anonymous complaints/feedback going completely unheeded makes it perfectly clear that the institution will not fix the problem? As a result educational institutions can continue to harvest young naive students' money and either help them or ignore them as they see fit, with little fear of consequences.

And so people like me who don't want to burn bridges because they love this industry are forced to post anonymously on the internet, sad as that may seem.

By coming forward in a non anonymous way with your problems I cannot see what "bridges" you'll be burning. Though its now almost too late, had you come forward sooner your problems could have almost certainly been addressed. Yes the anonymous feedback forms may not have worked the way you hoped but thats all the more reason to step up and make sure your problems are known. As Paul Eve and Joe have said on a number of occasions there is little they can do if you don't come forward and voice your concerns directly. As has also been said before, anonymous posting on forums is fickle and unprofessional. I suspect that things have gotten beyond the point of fixable and now this thread is just full of complaints for complaints sake. I recently had a conversation with my lead programmer at work about the size of the Melbourne games development industry. He stated that word of mouth can go a long way down here and if someone is known to not be a good team player they are less likely to be recommended for a job. Though it may sound harsh, if anyone were to find out who you are, Anonymous, you may have just put yourself in this situation. Had you come forward sooner and raised your issues id say that you'd have burnt less bridges and appeared far more professional. And ultimately your issues with the course could have been solved.

If you have any problems with what I have said, post here, or better yet come see me in person. Im in classroom 4 every Monday and Tuesday in front of the window. Im intrigued to find the face behind this almost senseless issue.

To the rest of you at AIE reading this, good luck with the last few weeks of term. And for Year 11 student you've been given good advice by people here. The AIE is expensive but its not impossible to pay the fees and you should definitely check out as many institutions as possible to find what best suits you.

Tom Burridge

Submitted by Arcane_Artist on Sat, 22/11/08 - 1:37 AM Permalink

*sigh* I was really hoping I wouldn't have to post. But... *sigh* v_v

Accepting what is your fault and what isn't are two completely different things that make different people.

The one that accepts that it's their fault can move on, step passed it and improve on it will go further then the person that can't, and continues to hang themselves on an issue they refuse to believe isn't their fault. Although you might say, "well this is something that's past and won't effect me on what I'm doing now", is denial, and it's part of us to continue to do things that way until we pull our head out of our own *ahem*.

Regardless of what you believe, everyone is seeing you as someone who has walked away quite bitter and will defend that belief regardless of what people say. So the reason why I'm replying is to just say, stop, if your one of my classmates, in a class that I considered to be extremely talented, then you should have more sense then dealing with things this way. Your only digging yourself deeper into a personality trait that won't help you, especially when your contradicting yourself. So stop now, save yourself an ulcer, and save a student from having to write a rebuttal. Because it's just getting silly.

Alex Tuckett