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Posted by Dilphinus on Fri, 03/01/03 - 10:14 AM


I'm new to this forum and have an interest in animation and games design (that's why I'm here!).

I've searched for schools that offer Games Design and apparently only AIE and Qantm offer the course.

After looking at the past topics, I realised that Qantm is not much recommended.

I've lived in Brisbane, but have not been to Canberra. I'm not Australian and therefore, I believe I will be charged the high International Student Tuition Fees :(. Are there any courses that you can recommend me to take in Australia?

I've got a Diploma in Film and TV and did a minor in Animation and Digital Effects. I've learnt 3D Studio Max, Softimage, Flint and the usual Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash etc... I'm also interested in programming (which I know is realli tough!).



Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 03/01/03 - 11:05 AM Permalink

For game design I think that's about it, although coming from the game design roundtable at the conference the best way to get into the design aspect is to start with the art aspect (although programmers could still get there). I'd jsut say look up a nice art's degree in your local TAFE or college, or university and make sure that you're good at it.

If anything I might suggest you try to do a bachelor of arts, learning towards the comptuer side of things or something. Although I'm a programmer and doing a uni course in Computer Science.

Some advice though from the Game Design Roundtable (at the AGDC) is that you should read all books - not just sci-fi or fantasy, watch movies and tv shows, play all sorts of games, to get inspiration from. These sources then enable people to make good games and have good ideas for games.

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 03/01/03 - 1:02 PM Permalink

From what i've heard one of the best ways to get into game design is to work your way up as a level making a few levels in unrealed or something might not hurt.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by GooberMan on Sun, 05/01/03 - 7:50 AM Permalink

QANTM was good for a year, because Christian Schladetsch was a teacher there (I was lucky enough to have been there for the same year that he was). Now that Christian has gone, it will no doubt suck (especially since I heard rumour that they're going to be going back to their idea of using other people's engines for making games instead of doing your own stuff).

Submitted by souri on Sun, 05/01/03 - 9:43 AM Permalink

Steve Wang , producer at Microforte, wrote some VERY helpful advice which would be useful for you at

quote:Everyone with an idea thinks he is a designer. That doesn't mean you aren't, it just means its hard to assess. So much depends on a good designer. Design is far more than just ideas. The 'wouldn't it be cool if?' school of design is great for contributing brainstormed ideas as part of making a great game, but certainly does not make for a designer.

Often designers start off as QA staff, involved in the testing cycle. Here they demonstrate many qualities that are needed in a designer, including the ability to analyse gameplay to articulate clearly what doesn't work and why, and what suggested improvements could be made and why. This also helps develop an understanding of what can and can't be done, and what the cost of developing it is. For example its clear that it would be cool if you could be both a male or a female secret agent. Its very clear to a good designer that this means going to a large amount of extra effort to distinguish between them: different voice actors, different cut scenes, let alone (one would hope) different game play styles. Worst case, doubling your effort in producing the game. Its not that we wouldn't want to do it, its just that you need to ask yourself, could that extra 100 man months of programmer and artist time be better spent elsewhere?

Read the rest of his comments at that link..

Submitted by Dilphinus on Mon, 06/01/03 - 3:25 AM Permalink


I'm deciding if I want to go to Brisbane this July to do the Games course or just go to Tafe. But I have an offer to QUT to do their Creative Industries course. I'm kinda lost cos I've also a chance to be trained as a Art Teacher in my home country. It's a good choice cos I loved ART but I've to be in my home country for the next 8 years. The time factor is not too favourable to me cos I want to move to Australia.

Are there any other courses which I can do in Australia?

Many Thanks.

Submitted by Dilphinus on Mon, 06/01/03 - 11:30 AM Permalink

Thanks once again!

I thought the course at Charles Sturt University is no longer offered. I'll take a look at University of Queensland. But their fees for international students are really high!

Submitted by Meatex Salami on Wed, 08/01/03 - 12:43 AM Permalink

I have heard the University of Canberra is offering a games design related course this year or next.
Couldn't find anything about it on their website but they don't have anything on the degree in Forensic Chemistry which i know they run.

It is infact ants who are the true rulers of this world!!!

Submitted by davidcoen on Wed, 08/01/03 - 10:59 AM Permalink

ever thought of studying architecture or some other disipline with a focus on 'design'? or even find a good library and take a while to look for books that deal with 'how to design'... could be better then many cources about 'game design', and cheaper too IMHO (after studying architecture myself had little time for fluf book about 'game design', they tended to miss the point..)

Submitted by Dilphinus on Wed, 08/01/03 - 11:54 AM Permalink

Yeah, I've thought of doing interior design or multimedia. My background is in TV and animation. I've been accepted to do Media and Communications at QUT in July. Will be doing electives like interactive writing and stuff...

Another question...

Is the Games industry growing in Australia? How are the job opportunities like?

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 08/01/03 - 12:24 PM Permalink

It's definately growing. Many overseas publishers look to australia because we are cheap and produce high quality work. Blue tonuge recently went on a hiring spree i believe, and MF are also STILL hiring for those positions to work on bigworld after they got their deal with microsoft. Creative Assembly (UK company i think. Did Shogun:TW etc.) are starting up a house in Queensland sometime this year.
There aren't HEAPS of job opportunities. Houses tend to not hire on staff until they get a publishing deal from what i can tell and then they hire a lot. It's very competitive (which is why i'm going to school again this year :) )
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Dilphinus on Wed, 08/01/03 - 11:34 PM Permalink

Hi Blitz,

Which school you going to and which course are you doing?

Thanks :)

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 08/01/03 - 11:55 PM Permalink

Going to the AIE in canberra to do 2nd year Diploma of computer game development (programming).
Finished a Bachelor of Comp Sci degree last year. Unfortunately, i found a lot of the subjects uninteresting and didn't work hard enough to get good marks :)
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Meatex Salami on Thu, 09/01/03 - 1:33 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Blitz

i found a lot of the subjects uninteresting and didn't work hard enough to get good marks :)

Hahahaha i know what you mean
had the same prob
If you want to get into design even though you could learn more quicker in a public library. It's better to have a degree of some sort.

It is infact ants who are the true rulers of this world!!!

Submitted by Dilphinus on Thu, 09/01/03 - 12:19 PM Permalink

Any idea how much is the course at AIE for international students?

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 10/01/03 - 12:22 AM Permalink

It's the same for everyone. It's a private school, so it doesn't have HECS or anything.
The Diploma is about $7000/year
The Cert IV's are about $3000/year if i remember correctly.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Dilphinus on Fri, 10/01/03 - 1:27 AM Permalink


What course should I do if I have learnt 3D Studio Max and Softimage. I've not used 3D Studio Max for about 2 years. Should I do it again?

I've got basic animation skills.

Or shall I try for the 2nd year Diploma course?

How do AIE go about accepting students? What do they look for in the portfolio and what's the rate of students getting in?

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 10/01/03 - 3:42 AM Permalink

Just visit their website and send them a few emails, I forget what the website actually is, but there should be a link from the developers section on Sumea.

Submitted by Dilphinus on Fri, 10/01/03 - 12:40 PM Permalink

Can advise me how much is the rent in Canberra. I've emailed to AIE but have not received any reply from them yet :(

Blitz, how much are you paying for your course?

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 10/01/03 - 1:50 PM Permalink

No idea on the rent in canberra...i'll be finding out soon :P
AIE are probably on holidays and so may only be in one or 2 days a week, so just hang in there. I've got no idea what they look for in art portfolio's. I'm doing programming there so i only know what they do for that :)
I'm paying $650, but thats because i have a fully funded place. As i said before the normal cost for the diploma is about $7000/year (and it's a 2 year diploma).
Thats about all i can help you with i think. Perhaps someone else who's done the art courses at AIE will see this thread and help :)
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Dilphinus on Fri, 10/01/03 - 10:41 PM Permalink

The cost for Certificate IV in 3D Animation and Film is A$8700 per year. :(

Submitted by Blitz on Sat, 11/01/03 - 6:28 AM Permalink

Brain, if you're itnerested in it it's still worth taking a look. If they offer funded spots for that course, and you get a funded spot, it's only $650 for the year, which is pretty good value.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Doord on Wed, 15/01/03 - 2:27 AM Permalink

I just finished at the AIE last year, and highly recommended it. You being an overseas student there is no who doubt that you will be paying more. But with two years only costing me $10000, I think that it would be a hell of a lot cheaper then any other game course you will find in Australia.

Just one thing to remember it that you will need about five years game experience before you go into game design. Mainly because it is a job that everyone wants to do.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 15/01/03 - 2:44 AM Permalink

Doord, what course/s did you do?
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Crystalmesh on Wed, 15/01/03 - 8:33 AM Permalink

Pfffffft, formal education, who needs it? All you end up with is a big giant HECS debt. Just go buy a few books, read em, practice practice practice and practice some more, when you think your at a level where your portfolio stands out from the crowd go job hunting.[8D]

Submitted by inglis on Wed, 15/01/03 - 9:14 AM Permalink

im with that! :) especially after spending a year doing a 3d course where i learnt 95% of what i know myself....

Submitted by Dilphinus on Wed, 15/01/03 - 10:35 AM Permalink

I think going to a school will be getting to know people, learning to work in a team and how to get along with others. These are very important skills which you can't learn alone from books. Besides, you can learn how to use a software from books...but can they tell you the perspective and lighting etc? The books can't criticize or give comments. That's why we need to go to school to interact and have professionals guide us. Most of the time, we are expected to be independant and do our research and learn on our own, but we still need teachers and friends in order for us to improve ourselves and our skills.

Submitted by inglis on Wed, 15/01/03 - 10:45 AM Permalink

doing a course was good to bounce ideas off fellow students, feedback and motivation and for the first month good for the introduction to 3d.
i dont know about 3d books, i haven't read any of them.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 15/01/03 - 1:15 PM Permalink

Many companies these days say they are looking for people who have experience working in a team etc. so having a formal education may be good simply for that reason. Whether it's actually any use or not....
During my 3 years of uni, we had many group projects...about 3 or so a year. Out of those groups, only one group i was in was not an incredibly annoying and stressful experience where 1 or more people did not do any work, or even worse, they would say they had done the work, and then the night before it was due i find out they haven't done it and i have to do it and not sleep...
Here's hoping the AIE will be much more enjoyable :)
CYer, Blitz