Please recommend best college/ tafe in sydney for game programming

Hi all,

I'm currently looking for game programming courses in Sydney area, preferably part time.
What i'm aiming after i finish is to be able to create playable demo games if possible in 3D or mini games like diner dash or probably more complicated than that.

I basicly have zero knowledge in programming, but i have 6 years experience in 3d modeling and animation and some 2d skills.

Im particularly looking for tafe because its a lot cheaper. COuld someone recommend best tafe /college to study game programming

Cheers

souri's picture

Hey, I know this isn't the answer you're after, but if you have some spare time here and there, why not check out MIT's youtube videos. They've got around 24 * 1 hour long videos of their "Introduction to Computer Science and Programming" course up, and it's pretty good if you're new to programming. They're using Python and they explain / demonstrate things really well. Well worth a look.

Shapie88's picture

I currently attend Qantm College which is near Central Station in Sydney.
I see this course being adventised around the college and thought i would let you know about it, Qantm offers online VET-FEE Help approved courses.
I found this for feel free to take a look
http://qantmonline.com.au/public/pdfs/Short_Courses_online.pdf
Further Information can be found here
http://qantmonline.com.au/public/index.htm

Anonymous's picture

Hey. You're in Qantm college? I'm thinking of going there myself. dropping outta unsw to go there :O How's it like?

Anonymous's picture

don't bother

Anonymous's picture

Read the list of places on the GDAA's website under the careers tab; good starting place..!
JB from BTE (Melbourne)

Anonymous's picture

anything, seriously, anything other than qantm...

Andrew PapaD's picture

As far as TAFE's go, the Illawarra institute has a game dev diploma:
http://www.illawarra.tafensw.edu.au/index.pl?action=course_search&select...
There is also the AIE which is a 20 min walk from Central Station: http://www.aie.edu.au/courses/index.php
From what I hear the AIE is very good as they work very closely with the companies in the area.

Just bear in mind that C/C++, C# and Objective-C are the main game dev languages currently being used in the industry. There are others but these are the main ones. Out of those C/C++ would be the main ones to focus on as they are currently the industry standard. If you are just looking to create some demos to show off your 3D skills, it might be best to do it through various online courses like Souri mentioned. You can do it at your own pace and it will be a lot easier on the wallet.

Hope that helps! :D

Anonymous's picture

I have seen this question asked a lot so I'm going to post this reply in various sections, so sorry if its a bit spam like, but I want to share my views with as many newbies as possible as this is a critical decision.

As a industry person who is involved in the hiring process I can probably shed some light on this topic especially when it comes to hiring, I focus on taking a look at an applicant's demo. If you are a programmer, you better have made some small games either as a team project or on your own. I am more focused on this than where you obtained your degree or diploma. I'm after what is in your head and not what is on a piece of paper.

Its not about the graphics per se but about the game itself and what you coded in it. Its not important that you have developed all the systems yourself, rather, you need to be able to explain the systems you developed and any engines you may have used such as AI, Physics etc. Clean code, with good documentation is a must. In most team environments you will most probably have to deal with other people's code, not just your own. So good code writing and documentation is a must if you want to make it into an elite code team. Specialisation comes later, especially if you are just starting off and trying to get your first programming job, although strong interest in certain areas i.e. like I have developed a demo on a PS3 or Xbox 360 usually helps if the company is looking for junior programmers for console dev. Even more exotic, if you have particular expertise in, say, in network code and they are looking for someone to handle client/server issues, then this will help. So if you are able to specialise it helps, but having a broad education is probably more important when you are starting off. Specialisation actually occurs in your project, as you will be assigned various tasks on the project probably working under a senior dev and by and large this will in the end build up your specialist area - the code work you end up working on.

So getting to the point, it probably best that you focus getting a degree in a games school and not a university. The problem with degrees from a traditional university is that while they may be games focused, they simply do not have a culture as an organisation that focuses on games. This means that they will have a limited set of teachers/tutors that are games focused, and it generally is too academic. For example, large lecture rooms and limited lab time is a big problem with these courses. This is something that I'm sure the academics will disagree, but its just a fact when it comes to hiring as under grads from universities simply have not spent enough time coding, and they have coded in too many languages, so they are not specialists in , say, C++.

Game schools are very focused on limiting lectures and focusing on learning structured programming usually on a particular language like C++ or C# and an industry relevant engine (you have no idea how many students we see who have done their uni course using a 'free' engine provided by their uni which is not used by mainstream development houses like ours), producing game demos and entering competitions, which in my opinion are very important. Working on game projects while at a game school is by far the best way to gain an education as you are emulating a team environment and learning the dynamics of organisational behaviour. So without getting into the argument which game school is better, you need to think about what experience you want to have and what you want to take away with you once you have finished your course. I would argue that you want to go to a school that is very strong on project based learning, one that may have industry people working in their courses and perhaps working on small industry projects (I've used this as a hiring platform as I get to 'try before I buy' and get to see both the programming and art talent work together - sometimes great individual talent simply does not work well in a team environment so I pass).

When it comes to doing very complex code, we do look for university graduates *only*, mainly focusing on students who have gone on to to a PhD and have completed a particular project that involved strong programming and research skills. For example, if we are looking to develop a new AIE system we may look for PhD graduates who have developed a particular thesis in this area or related area. In this case we are looking for individuals who have demonstrable abilities to do some deep research and thinking. We dont hire many of these type of developers as by and large we are looking for programmers who can churn out code in particular areas and we dont have a huge budget for research types. We also look for students who may have won a university medal or graduated with honours first class. Again, we hire vey few of these students, partly because they are very hard to find (try competing with google's base hiring salary offers and you will understand) and its too competitive.

In the end, whatever decision you make, remember - its what you put in it that counts. So if you find yourself in a university course, dont despair ! Focus on developing a mini game on the side, and not just going to lectures! Develop your mini game on engines that are used by industry. If the uni is not focused on competitions, just enter your team on your own. You need the milestone razor sharp focus that a deadline competition provides to harness your teams energy towards a goal, much like we do internally, but its usually motivated in making sure our company gets paid so we get paid !

Best of luck