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IRC chat

Posted by Ash on Tue, 16/05/06 - 7:59 AM

As a weekly event I'm running an IGDA IRC chat channel every Tues 8pm AEST Brisbane time (7pm in Melb/Syd due to daylight savings) to answer games industry questions for students and others looking to get into the industry, or to discuss industry topics with hobbyists. Occasionally we get guest speakers from industry. A bit of background - I'm a Designer and mostly know about the Brisbane industry and I've been helping run the IGDA Brisbane Student Chapter since before I had a job in the industry. However, questions about any field are welcome, I'll answer them as best I can and if i can't I'll do my best to get answers from others at work. Others from industry are very welcome to come and help answer questions :)

For web browsers use:

Or if you prefer to use an IRC client:

mIRC instructions:
Add Server:
Connect then type: /join #igda

Ash2006-10-31 05:34:21

Submitted by Ash on Sun, 25/06/06 - 9:48 AM Permalink

Cool, thanks Souri :)

Submitted by LingoManiaC on Fri, 30/06/06 - 1:30 AM Permalink

Hi Ash, sorry but i'm not going to be able to make it to tonights chat, i was wondering if you were able to get any opinions regarding the question i asked in the last chat session from any of your colleagues?

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 30/06/06 - 7:32 AM Permalink

Sure lingo, read below.

Transcript 7

Session Start: Thu Jun 29 19:24:36 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
hello :)
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* nexx has quit IRC (Quit: nexx)
ok so it's 8pm, got any questions for me?
huge turnout!
Sure is. If this keeps up we might crash the server!
party time!
have u played world of warcraft
No, my backlog is way too large at the moment.
And I'm too cheap to pay $15 a month.
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Hi nexx!
hi :)
ok i got a question from last week answered
The Question (edited): My Java experience far outweighs my C++ experience at the moment. Is it was hard to jump from the Mobile Phone game dev industry (Java) to the more traditional game development industry?
I had a physics engine coded up in java but when I demo'ed it in a job interview I got the impression they believe any experience that isn't in C++ is useless, even though something like Verlet Integration and constraints as concepts are independent of the language it's implemented in.
The Response (edited): Java experience is useless. Saying "concepts are independent of the language" is absolutely right. They are totally independent of language, and these skills ARE NEEDED and tested as well as C++. BUT language is not independent of language, and given all non mobile games dev use C++ -- you need to know C++.
It takes time to learn a language and be totally comfortable in it. Don't cling to Java or any other language -- you need to learn C++ to get the job, so learn it now.
any new questions?
where is everybody?! :p
Probably forgot, someone didn't put the news post up on sumea.
souri said he made it into a littler news headline on the side instead
he's working on some new notifications feature
instead of having text in the main page column
Ah. I see now.
The flashing doesn't help that much.
Well, I have some incredibly stupid questions that would be a complete waste of time to answer, if you want them.
ask away, it's what i'm here for
Okay, as a designer do you ever feel constricted by the IP publishers get you to make games of?
yes but it's a necessary evil since we need to make money somehow. there's are weekly meetings between the leads and publisher/licensors to sort things out and come to agreements
Cool. Do have some sort of dream game you'd really like to be a part of?
the restrictions can be very frustrating at times
me personally for the dream game?
Yeah, like do you have some special game you'd love to make someday that you put ideas iside for if they don't fit in other projects.
yeah i'd like to work on a fps/rpg set in the modern world. to work on a game that is regarded as a work of art by the mainstream
Sounds cool.:)
:) i hope so
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Come to think of it, there really aren't that many games set in the present, either is the future or the past or something.
yeah most tend to be medieval or futuristic
any other questions?
cant think of anything :/
Soooooo... What's everyone playing at the moment?
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Donky Kong Country on my gba lol
hey Scrow.
psychonauts, sof2 and wow
I'm playing Psychonauts, too.:)
I might try and get back into CoD2 on PC.
i'm about 75% thru psychonauts, i like it
I dont even know why I left..was so much fun online
As well as Oblivion, Titan Quest, Osu Tatakae Ouendan, Trauma Centre: Under the Knife, and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow,.
whats Osu Tatakae Ouendan
I think it translates as Go! Fight! Cheersquad or something. Rythem based game, being localised as Elite Beat Agents. On DS.
any more questions?
Not from me.
k i'm gonna head off in 5
thanks for another night..shame about the turnout again :(
Yeah, shame there weren't many people.
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so this is the IRC chat, hmm first time I have tried it via a web app
got any questions?
Yeah, has EA started dev in Melbourne, I'm hearing rumours
i've haven't heard anything about it
nice english lol
ok i'm gonna head off, thanks for coming everyone :)
Session Close: Thu Jun 29 20:56:30 2006

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 07/07/06 - 7:41 AM Permalink

Was just a general chat and discussion this week, nothing to report.

Transcript 8


Submitted by Ash on Fri, 14/07/06 - 8:19 AM Permalink

Transcript 9

Session Start: Thu Jul 13 19:43:34 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
* Topic is 'Sumea Chat 8pm'
* Set by Carlin on Thu Jul 13 17:48:50
Hey Ash :)
hows it goign
pretty good, been so crazy hectic
moving back to brisbane :S
how long ago did u live here
hey ash
hey carlin
i left brisbane about 18 months ago now
So nice where we are now
wish i didnt have to move :'(
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Hey Rawkser
lo rawkser
I think im the only person alive in here.
Hi Carlin.
oh no !
So whats been happening people, anything exciting?
I see the frontpage news item on sumea was that au is crying over a skills shortage!
still reading the article
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Hey Mook :)
hi :)
hello mook
oi oi
just thought id come along for a listen =)
To be blatantly honest i think the core of the matter is " There is a shortage of highly skilled people who wish to be paid 28,000 per year in australia! "
8pm. my name is matt and i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer. if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and i hope you can help me with answering questions :)
* caroo has joined #igda
hey caroo
g'day mate
Hey Caroo
hey caroo
Hey Caroo.
how are you all?
not bad, how r u
a few grey hairs from 60
any questions?
I have a question for you Ash - In THQ with regards to your Asset development pipeline
go ahead
whats your take on this?
Im not to bad.. came to a realisation though
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whats that carro
When someone has a cool idea, for lets say a new gun to make up, what process do you usually go through to get it into game ? I mean can you give me a brief of those steps ?
I would like everyone to help me out on this.. It's about australias current state and need of TALENT
Was just moaning about that myself Caroo
XD haha. alright. heres my take on it
Hey LingoManiac :)
hey all :)
for a cool idea, the person would go to a designer or the lead designer, it would go through some discussion stages and approval. if approved it would be written up as a design then implementation spec and built by all depts in collaboration with each other, tested and iterated for polish
The industry thrives on creative people. And from what ive seen and experenced. the current industry is in for trouble. Mainly becouse the Word Talent is a very flexable word. How do we define talent in this industry?? A persons skill with a program? Their flexablity? How much they are willing to learn and not act like a tool? .. it got me thinking
Caroo - How about we take a radical angle just for thoughts and to excersize the brain..
Hazard - Im more thne willing for that.
being more flexible that is, rather than following the preprod design to the letter
Everywhere you look - in every industry, all over the world. Things are changing because of 1 reason. Money.
The consumers hunger for bigger and better is merciless like a snarling beast.
Money means everything in a business aparntly. There is no denying or escaping that truth.
" the food is crap " " this leather is crap on this handbag " " the wood is cheap alternative "
on that article carlin it seems true, a lot of seniors at thq are being hired from overseas, most juniors are local
Business exist not because it would be fun, but because they have money to burn. And if they are wise, can use that money in a way that generates more so they can extend that period of fun.
well hopefully the juniors will stick around to gain the experience to become more senior staff
Now next gen games... content creation pretty much double.
the management teams gets sunk because production team needs to scale up
so lots of people are hired up
because the deadline and consumer hunger is equivalent - its not going away, so the dev times are not really giving way.
The original Neverwinter Nights took 4 years to make and with 120 odd people
*listens to hazard for th emoment*
but tools and dev techniques used today are better than they were...
your average game developer will NOT have that luxury of time UNLESS they are one of the very few
who have alot of that money accumulated for a long burn time.
for anyone who doesn't know, Hazard is the Director of Kalescent Studios
Tools and Programs i agree are shitloads better and more powerful, computers are too - but the people using these tools still need to learn the same way
there is no avoiding this
no matter how fast or powerful the tool - a student still needs this time and repetition to become that designer or that animator or the good artist or programmer
Hazard: Ah but thats one problem im seeing with this industry. It's education and "talent nercering" structures.
games are always going to increase in quality (at least by graphics), dose this mean the industry will have to double every generation? when will it stop?
where this is all going is that in general that development times are still the same
as 4 - 5 years ago
a blockbuster like neverwinter nights
except now, you need bigger teams, more of everything, scientists, musicians, geologists, weapons specialists and you name it to collaborate on your project
and its packed into the same amount of time to get that product out
hazard, do u think development practices, scheduling and management will improve or will most companies still use crunch mode as a given for many years to come?
Expectations of these developers are increasing to the point where that when a student has finaly completed that reqirement that the developer yerns for. The requirement is no long adiquite.. his is understandable to a degree. But are we teaching students to be all they can be? Do we take the time to sit them down and tell them IN DETAIL what these studios dream for?
carlin, the industry and companies tend to be scaling up every few years to match higher production values and generations of hardware
i think it will continue
the only way to achieve this is the almighty dollar. And moreover my belief is that its that pressure from the publisher / investor to get the best milage for his dollar that pushes developers to look in times of great need not for quality but for the cheapest option.
only to force a situation ( not saying its an amicable end by management or the team for that matter ) that is not really the best for makeing GOOD and wise future proof decisions
its a whole pressure cooker type thing going on.
Ash - I thikn it will improove - i think it has to improove for it to maintain any sort of direction
Though i think the buckling of recent months and years might be showing that it needs to pick up more and more.
and we as developers need to realise or at least remember that - hey we are making the product here. we have the power.
though maybe thats all a bit too much gung ho and ' we have the power ' for existing management to fathom - those are my beliefs.
the technology will always go up.. and we as students are aware of the pressure and stress put onto the experienced. We know it's not easy for you. We know you dont have the room for work experience or tours.... but i beleave.. i really beleave.. that if this industry wants talent. it's gotta stop waiting on it's ass for it to come to them... they have to start investing in the most important componant. The people.
not the computers.
yeah i certainly hope that crunch times relax a little
Not the programs... the people.
People are the only anomaly in the equation. Unpredictable humans!
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I think Crunchtimes will be there
and always be there
i forgot about this chat again, heh :P
hi guys
not due to poor scheduling and whatnot
They are unpredictable. But they are also the dream makers. A computer program connect make you an awesome game. it's only a tool.
i would guess that much, but i read articles about work conditions in general getting worse, and crunch times being longer than they have to be and working conditions outside of crunch time not being much better Also. let it be known i've gotten off my ass and have started to be productive again.
i mean i see them as a must, but i still think that at some places, possibly due to poor management skills or whatever, its worse than it has to be
But because even the best of the best teams will crunch hard to ensure their product is the best it can be. Having worked in several consumer based industries i can say that we arent the only industry that 'crunch' thats for sure
though i agree lingomaniac i think we are one of the only ones who still ( a majority not all ) do not reward extra time
Ash - Does THQ reward yoru overtime ?
or have some kind of policy regarding Overtime etc ?
Time in lieu etc
ah, i would expect any industry that has deadlines to 'crunch' it sounds like a logical combination to me
hi scrow
Well... we designers are "customer service." and to a degree the entire games industry is. movies and Tv tend to tell people what thy like. games on the other hand HAVE TO try and appeal to the people.. if it doesnt appeal.. it wont sell.
Hey Scrow :D
they scrow
hello ash, Hazard, caroo and everyone else
hey scrow
and Carlin!
hey scrow
Hey Scrow.
to LingoManiaC and Rawkser i also say hello ;P
And going back to the original discussion Caroo - i think its not really a lack of talent to be honest. I think money comes into this also.
playing devils advocate here... (6)
Oh do tell Hazard XD
The talented people want to be paid fairly.
at thq we get time in lieu for public holidays missed, overtime is otherwise rewarded by a yearly bonus
how do they record overtime?
clock in and clock out like the sheep dog and wolf from those old cartoons? :)
To be paid fairly is really fair enough.. what constatutes fair? same perks and pay adaquite to those in other countries like america and the UK?
And this unfortunately comes as a shock - as a good artist with a couple of titles under hsi belt and the skills would ask for 65 or 70k ( example ) and have a counter offer of 40k thrown at him.
the managers keep track of days in lieu, but daily hours are not officially recorded
sometimes the team will get a day or afternoon off at the end of a milestone, or a free outing to the movies which is fun
hehe that sounds cool :)
of course if the negotiations continued and the best the company could offer was $47,500 the artist then thinks to himself. I did an extra 7 years of school and art to be paid $45,000 in australia ?
sheep dog and
looney tunes
ya :)
Hazard - And this isn't ether. I very large development companie in australia offered another designer who had 2 years experence 30,000 take it or leave it.
other perks we get are shares in thq that vest over 3 years
I know of 5 top class artists, from australia all who have left for this exact reason. They were friendly enough to discuss with me those reasons.
Ash - thats sounds good to me, looks like THQ is the place to be guys - get in there :P
Caroo - exactly my point.
yeah, does sound like they look after their guys
So how does one remidy this underpay issue? Can it be fixed? will it take time or will lack of publisher interest in australia doom the aussie industry to be a slaveshop?
So its not a lack of talent.
To be precise
Its a Lack of Talent thats willing to accept underpayment.
Ash - do you know of any programmers on ur team that started out as QA testers?
All this talk of the world collapsing in on itself makes me thirsty. I need H20. brb
lingo - nope, not at my current work but i've heard of others that have done so
mmm H-twenty =)
mook: lol :D
i think it's something that'll improve as the industry matures in this country. i say that sitting atop my amateur armchair analyst though, so.... :P
It has to improove to survive, evolution says so.
everything needs to improove to survive :P
i was looking into out of curiousity today, but publisher offices are harder to locte than development studios seeing as they normally us based and when they have an office in australia its only one of many all over the world and probably don't do QA there, like just marketing and distribution
LingoManiac - Auran publish as well as develop - you could try QA there perhaps ?
Ah but remember that all the tradisional animation studios once in australia are all closed down. becouse of lack of interest and bad pay. We have to remember that this industry can die here as quickly as it's grown.
hmm yes thats one possiblity, though i currently based in sydney, so i am starting sydney at sydney then sprialling out
ahh okay - Good luck with that :)
hehe yeah me thinks it would need more than luck
Caroo - The almighty dollar is hard to get and even harder to hold on too these days.
disney pulled out the last big animation studio in australia last year for reason still being argued.
i've got a question for the industry types. it's been said that it's rare to be hired straight off the street into a designer position, but that entering the company through a testing/QA position to work you way up the position you desire is a common and viable method. My question is, what things can someone do in terms of a portfolio and resume to improve their chances of getting hired to a QA/testing position?
but thanks hazard, that is something i will think about :)
yeah i beleave it's money aswell.
or is it one of those roles that isn't very hard to get hired to in the first place, so not much work needs to be done prior to applying for such a job?
sounds to me like an interview for QA testing position would be pretty damn tough
when businesses make big decisions like that, or closing, merging, any kind of 'movement' its not because they feel like creating some shocakwaves, its because someone somewhere up the top end of the ladder poking way above the clouds caught a wiff of some nice new coin.
that guy screams back down the ladder ( through the clouds ) to move left and right
the guy uip on top doesnt care what the guys are going through down below the clouds... just that the smell of coin is getting stronger by heading west
damn i am painting some grim images tonight.
scrow - show qa skills and enthusiasm, research testing methods and show your ability to find systematically bugs and exploits in games, your understanding of focus testing, regression testing, bug types, grades of bugs, etc, and that you will be dedicated to being a good tester, not someone who's only doing it as a halfway house to design (at least appear that way)
tough day at the office?
Its been a tough couple of years Lingo - a tough couple of years.
ah :(
heh :)
the only joy is truely right down in the production line
all that jive talkin and banter about each others mom's etc, thats where friendships are made and good times are had :D
But anyway.. the reason why the talent issue got me thinking was becouse of this: I've been working my little ass off for a while now. Game design documents, game design theory, level design, concept art, story writing.. and thne this comes out and tells me there is a lack of dedicated and talented students/people/monkeys. At this point of feel compelled to gave someone the finger becouse aparently all that work i've dedicated 2 y
<.< then again i could just have my period
soak testing is another buzz word to now
soak testing?
never heard of it
running the game on a console for days to see if it crashes
is that for testing memory leaks and the like?
Caroo - Some of those very people who are screaming there is no talent, are the same people who turned down some of those artists i was talking about earlier.
haha hazard :)
without resetting the console
makes sense i guess
i mean that's what testing is about really. checking the upper and lower limits of as many facets of the software as possible.
Memory leaks are the bane of me i swear. My qantm end of year game ( programmed by myself and one other ) had the biggest memory leak... after about 15 minutes of gameplay the 512mb ram was all but eaten.. and we have about 2 fps.... awesome!
Hazard - Yeha mate. I'm quite aware of peoples double standards. I work at coles. you'll never at another job meet a bunch of back-stabbing managers then when facing the slaves of a store.
Being an artist - and having the job of fixing up memory leaks in Auran Jet - i felt right at home.
the only thing worse than artist code is programmer art ;)
it goes without saying that on industry night, we restarted every 15 minutes to ensure our presentation was spick ;)
smoke and mirrors eh?
wizard of oz presentations are fun :)
alot of smoke and mirrors - definately.
they are your best friends Remember their names.
btw, is anyone going to that AIMIA thing on the 18th?
it's at qantm in brisbane
ASh - Do you guys at THQ talk alot with each other ? like alot of team communication about various aspects of the game ? ( not on a meeting basis i just mean casually ) For example finding something that looks bogus and just walking over to the responsible area and saying " hey whats up with this ! "
or is it structured alot more - complaints go up a chain of command etc
or bugs / errors i should say - not complaints
Scrow - not me unfortunately :'(
are you in brisbane?
Ok guys.. important question... I know for a fact that i will be having an interview for a level deisgn position at a studio. But i know quite well what they are asking for is something that someone else would probably do much better then me. But the interview is good becouse it has getten their attension. Heres the thing.. they have seen my work and think i could possably be adicite. do i tell them to maybe consider me for a game de
the text got cut off caroo
do i tell them to maybe consider me for a game de......
for bugs ppl tend to either go to the person or log a bug in the database
for a game design position while im there? or do i just focus on gettign the level design position?
Caroo - get in the door first!
i would agree with that
by "adicite" do u mean adequate?
:indeed i do. - ASHTHQ
You've seen my work guys. While it's impressive that ive gotten so far so quickly. it's not ps3 material. I'll admit that truthfully.
nice rhyme
:my level design stuff.
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i would say go for the position your applying for, if youre interested in a game design position you should make a separate application. you may not even be getting interviewed by the lead designer so they wont be able to help u anyway
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Caroo - you have to realise something - being an artist of any kind takes years. Its impossible and unfair to yourself to expect ps3 ready work at such a young age with no experience etc.
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Its something you really only see after a couple of years making game art of any kind. ( from experience )
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how old are you caroo?
Caroo - im 19 <.<
hey souri
Hey Souri :)
hello, I just got home :o
aho k, yeh impressive indeed :)
Hey Souri
caroo is your level finished?
Getting there.. i havn't worked on it latly due to moving and a more focus on game design. I will get back to it soon tohugh
I just wrote a hefty article on my favorate game. you guys can check it out at sumea design section.
does it have crates
It has chairs with pyhisics XD
and do they explode
exploding barrels!
can be done...
Souri - Haha. That comment reminds me of a game art book im reading at the moment.
Half Life 2 had exploding barrels everywhere
yeh hehe they were awesome :)
ahh the breakable crate or exploding barrel.
exploding barrels rolling towards you, exploding barrels being thrown at you
i'd love to play a FPS without a single crate or barrel one day :P
no level is complete without.
ragdoll physics + expolding barrels = entertainment dynamite
ah ok, play wolfenstein 3D and get back to me on what you think ;)
I would LOVE!! if someone made a mod game that just took the piss out of every popular FPS out.. like.. a barrel saying. "i'm full of suger" and when you shoot it the level explodes.
the classics
a physics level
and at the beginning, there' a tram ride
And one must have weapon. the " I'm compensating for something" gun .. it's like 4 metres long
kills everything
hehe yeh
i was so surprised in doom 3 when i found the bfg and it was so small
doesnt even need to shoot it..enemies just explode when you point it at them
enemies that explode for no reason = that would rock
reminds me of the microwave gun in duke 3d atomic edition
combines the last 2 comments almost
totally - so the intensity of encountering a beast so terryfying that it doesnt explode when you point it at it... makes you go....... "woah, now its time to actually use this gun "
every stinkin fps has some small crazy animal that's a pain in the ass to kill. Like headcrabs.
i found those flying buzz saws to be more annoying
or metal frogs
yeah, pests
oh.. and dont forget the gripping storyline!!! ---- Errrrr..long time jesus.. BAD BAD stuff happened..aparently where you are right now...and's back to kill you.. no one else..just you..for no reason.. heres some guns.. kill it!!"
before jesus eh!
oh yes. waaaaaayyyy before Jesus
murlocs in wow
murlocs can be pretty hardcore sometimes
aliens threatening earth is a favorite
thats the name of the game aswell. "it happened before jesus!"
lets see - doom, half-life, quake, serious sam...
the players character must be mute
i want to see an elemenstor or sorcelator game, would be a cool spoof of the fps genre
Brillent!! give it the state of the art grathics and it'll sell millions MWHAHAHAHA!!!
needs more headcrabs
how about crabs with human heads?
that work for ya?
yeah, in doom they felt so bad that hell wasn't an alien planets that they had to make it filled with aliens or something
i still haven't finished doom 3 yet
neither have i
Can we hit their weak spots for massive damage?
i should reinstall
Lingo - your not missing out on a lot.
i only downloaded the demo
that sounds like doom3, the crabs with the human heads idea
winning formula for fps - aliens threaten earth, average man defeats them, a couple of gameplay innovations
oh wait
they were jus heads.
XD id - leaders in technology and effects... creativity...not so much!
i think there were spider like enemies with human like heads, except the heads were upside or something
yeah the doom 3 engine was great, if only they'd make a game with it
any other questions or world problems that we can solve through freedom of speech people ?
hey the master chief is not the average man, don't belittle his triumph ;)
Hazard - do you ever plan to create your own full development studio?
yeh there's a lot of space for that in sydney ;)
Master Cheif - IM A GREAT HERO....without a face...or personality..people like me becouse im green.
"whats he like, is he tall?"
i liked halo and halo 2 :(
so did i
oh their great games.
he's well liked because he's cool
I saw Halo on the PC and that was it.
but the master cheif ticks me off
action hero
Caroo - planning began 3 - 4 years ago and put in motion 2 years ago. Going into hibernation for the next 18 - 24 months will come out the other end with something to show.
ah PC lacks coop, which i thought was best part of game, unlike doom 3 where you play stripped down version of game without the plot, more like Doom Shitty
Hazard - in other words. "give it time?"
did you guys hear that apparently denzel washington was cast as master cheif in the halo movie?
Yep , Give it some time.
I have fiath in ya mate!
nope, didn't hear that
i thought he might fit as that sarge guy
well, not cast YET. just rumored to be one of the top picks
but the master chief definitely sounds like a white dude
NO!! master cheif has to be a girl. it'll be the biggist twist ever XD
Master chief never akes his helmet off, right
thats crazy
thats like casting chris rock for duke nukem
Apparently in the novels or something it says he's white.
at beginning of halo 2 you see his helmet on a table and he puts it on, but you don't see his head while he does it
I bet he sleeps with it on <_<
AshTHQ: were you planning to go to that AIMIA thing?
How does he take a piss.. i really wanna know?
same way most astronauts do i suspect ;)
or is that something im just not supposed to know?
he squats.. <_<
You see Caroo, its minds like yours thats forcing developers to think of every minute detail!!!
its how his super space fusion suit is powered
nope scrow
I LIKE DETAIL!!!! XD hahahahaha
he's really a robot with a lego man head
Im an ass when it comes to analising stuff.. it's like the USS enterize.. it's scematics say it only has ONE TOILET!!
galixy class*
people in the future don't need to go to the toilet as often :P
they probably just beamed that stuff out
what are you supposed to do.. piss in the replicator and turn it into coffie?
Souri - ROFL
mmmm thats some gooood piss coffie
hey, thats what they do in Waterworld!
the future rocks
what schematics caroo?
Did you see the big touchscreen on beyond tomorrow ?
<.< gotta have nerves of steal to drink purified piss..... you can buy the blue prints for the USS enterprize glaixy class.
they got schematics for the enterprise in some book
yeah they do.
i thought every room has a shower/bathroom from watching the series
solar water used.
sonic shower
how do they work o_O
sonic..thats right.
they emit sounds they only dirt particles can hear
clears em the hell out of there
it's like those dog whistles
man, thats no fun
thats what i love about sci-fi.. babble on enough and people will just give up and beleave it.
hehe yeah, but i must say star trek has the craftiest techno babble
while when you watch star wars you realise str8 away they don't know what a parsec is
dr.who's 'reverse the polarity of the neutron beam' cannot be beaten
I resintly got an anime thats very tradisional sci-fi .. when in space theirs no sound apart from chatter from suit to suit
saves money on pointless sfx i spose
i like space opear
It's kinda a boring series.. buy dvd one for the realistic space craft and eqipment designs and screw the rest.
the space suits are really well designed aswell
only the gloves and helmit have to be indivigualy fitted to the person and the rest of the suit is a fits all.
Okay People, thanks for the chat - im out - see you next time. Ill be back in Brisbane then! Booooooooooo
where are u now?
cya Hazard.
cya hazard
Sunshine Coast :D
thanks haz, seeya
hehe cya
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does anyone have a question for a deisgn student? just curiously
why do u want to work in the games industry
any aspirations?
I have a grand master plan!!!!
can't imagine doing anything else :)
to be a chess champ? :P
I I'll be good at it
yeah same here i can't imagine doing nothing else, its not just the nature of what we producing, but in terms of programming, i'd just love to work on consoles where you work so closely with the hardware, and being able to fiddle with new hardware as it come out
Being the meglomaniac i am. I wanna open up my own studio one day. not just for games. but for toys and other creative media. But to simply be the boss form start is a suckers bet. the goal for right now is to get into the game industry and help others with their goals for 10 years or so.
Earn experience and trust. Travel a little. Become a wiser man.
good stuff
all of u
if a big studio becomes impossable to do by that time. create a designer studio. A small studio that focus's on making quality designs and design related assets for games and toys.
why'd you get into game development ash?
hehe yeh, starting a studio would also be my dream, but i try not to think about it at this stage seeing as i don't have any experience in the industry to know whether or not its something i would like to do
I want to be able to look back and see that i have made something big, or at least a part of it
don't know whether or not as a studio head i would be a john romero or a ben lenzo
I dont think you wanna be either :o
i wanna be an optimus prime.
to create art that means something and get games seen as a valid artistic medium
no better leader then an optimus
by the mainstream
and the juniors i will call bumblebees!!
I suppose you're getting there, we're at the "x is evil!!!!!!11111111" stage now, art wne the same way.
i reckon john romero won't do too bad, i reckon slipgate will do some cool stuff
Anyway, I am off guys. Have a good night :D
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im off to. cya guys
night caroo :)
have a another fun filled week!
i am off too, night all :)
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im off too, bye
thanks for comin everyone
Bye Ash.
cya man :)
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* Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Jul 13 21:58:17 2006

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 24/07/06 - 5:42 AM Permalink

In 2 weeks time, we will have Jason Schroder, a programmer from Krome Studios. Jason has been working in the industry as a game programmer for 5 years. Thanks Jason! Students, get your questions ready if you want to know anything about being a programmer in the games industry, or how to get into the industry as a programmer!

That's 2 weeks time - Thursday 3 August at 8pm on the IGDA IRC channel

Submitted by Carlin on Fri, 28/07/06 - 8:11 PM Permalink

Did anyone get a transcript from last nights chat? I missed it unfortunately.

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 04/08/06 - 8:26 AM Permalink

Transcript 10

-Language Warning-

Session Start: Thu Jul 27 19:56:48 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
Hey Ash.
* caroo-afk is now known as caroo
g'day all
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hows it going
So hows your week been Ash?
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Something went boom...
haha you get that mate
Did I miss anything?
* Scrow has joined #igda
booya! hello.
Hey Scrow.
hey guys
anyone here catch my level design post this wek?
whats doing
my weeks been ok caroo, working and stuff
yeah i watched the video
I watched it, too.
r u guys watching my name is earl, its funny
my mates have mentioned it
btw ash, i met someone from your work the other week at that AIMIA event
what did you guys think of it? I spent it off with a few resumes around the country. they would have arried to the studios on wedsday. so im hopeing they'll take a look at my stuff.
remember the name scrow?
steve middleton
oh yeah steve's cool, he's the gm
i mentioned these chats and he knew who i was talking about
what was the intention of it, intro tute, stealth? i didnt see any enemies or shooting in it
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i noticed a couple of spelling mistakes
* Guest01 is now known as linda
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hello linda
hi scrow
enimy paths havn't been inserted yet into the level. also currently making a outdoor segment.
hi rawkser
hi ashie
the frame rate was a bit choppy
that was due to the screen capture and the game running a the same time. the game runs at 60 frames min on itself. there wasn't much i could do about that one sadly.
actually, that's something i wanted to ask you ash. would it be considered acceptable and "professional" to have an online portfolio/resume which links to youtube videos of your work?
what program did u use?
Fraps is pretty good
i think of bad things when you say youtube :(
what's wrong with youtube?
... there's porn on youtube?!
well it's what is on the front page sometimes. teens whining about crap. some guy making a suss video and posting it
pritty much.
they remove porn and ban the users
oh, i've never really noticed any of that stuff.
if you check latest uploads it's ususally like that
i usually just get linked directly to a funny vid
yeah and lot of funny videos
but yeah. this week i complied my resume and folio together. went down to the printing place and made some really nice A3 folded print outs of it. complied a few cds and sent them to a few game studios. with any luck i'll get a reply from one of them.
are they folded or in a folder?
Per studio. each one got one CD with game design and level design content. And one colour double sided A3 sheet thats folded. thats what my colour resume was printed on. I wanted to make a good impression.
yeah i'm not sure scrow, it would be better to host it on your own website or send them a CD if the files are large
when i did my graphic design course, we were told to NEVER fold our resume and mail it off in a large envolop etc...
its kinda a different type of resume. i'll show you in msn later.
what field are you talking about scrow?
While a junior position in ethe rgame or level design is the prize. And while i do beleave that the requirements are meet to a stanard. I'm not expecting anything in job terms. Although if i get no reply what-so-ever form any one i'll be pissed.
programming, design, art, etc
design. like if i made a mod and wanted to create a show reel.
ill ask at work
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and rather than paying for space and bandwidth required for video, just putting it up on youtube
fuk do i change my name
my ISP only provides like 60MB of space and fairly limited bandwidth
/nick MyNewName
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hey mate
ay mate
im denz, work for creative assembl0r
What as denz>
what's your role there?
character artist ay
good stuff
whats it like there
you ash?
he's got some awesome 3d work :)
haha. C.A. was one of the places i sent a folio to.
yea ca is sweet ay. pretty casual
ah yea, i havnt seen any in a while, will look out for it, wats ur name
ur too nice linda haha
Chris Watts. it should of got there wednsday. In a next-day deliverly slip. its a game/level design folio.
ah ok sweet
thanks mate.
how long u been there newname?
dont see anything on anyones desk ay, somone proly stil holdn onto it
over a year now ay
how long u been with THQ mate
almost 2 years now
what do u do?
if anyone's got character art questions, nows your chance
go for your life
well i know caroo and myself are interested in game design. what about Rawkser and linda?
Not me.
Interested..passionate.. hard working..jobjess peoples XD ... ok i'll ask a question to New.
yeeess good lad
For a charater to model - texture - rig - test and refine.. if its a model like a main character. how long would it take?
where i work, theres no real main characters ay, cos rts
ok then. A unit?
but. spend a week on character. thats in game working, done
that would be a hazard question
does CA australia work on the total war series?
like. most of the time spent on texturing, cos pretty low poly shit
yea mate. medieval 2 is all aussy
first game theyve taken on by themselves i rekon
Sweet. Do you guys follow the mod community around the total war games. ive seen alot of mods made..and some a just funny.
heh um.i'm sure people do ay
i don't really know anything about it
but like, ca def do wana support the mod community with tools n stuf for med 2
is medieval the game you're working on now?
ill be back in a few mins, my dog is whining and sticking his head in the bins cos he's hungry for dinner
fair enough mate.
first game you've worked on?
i worked on barbarian invasion
so yea, pretty much first
do yas live in brissy?
i do, yeah
student at QUT
ah yea. sweet
final year!
are you a self tought artist or did you study game art formaly.. melbourne here.
heh good shit. qut looks sweet. jog past there everyday, ladies everywhere ay
i studied at qantm. bach. of interactive entertainment
which campus? i assume garden's point?
to say that i studied art there, i would be lieing
well you must of been good to get into the industry.
cool. yeah it's nice been next to the bot. gardens
i'm between both campuses though. GP and Kelvin Grove.
i did work hard. but qantm was pretty shit. i'd definatly reccomend a proper art course of some sort.
ah yea sweet
didn't like qantm eh?
not really man
why is that?
had sum good points aswell i guess
yeah, same with uni. good and bad. more bad then good though :)
just, the teachers were slack ay. like alot unorganised. 3d theyd just giv us internet tutorials n baby sit us
ah okay
linda would know :)
* MyNewName is now known as denz
feel kinda robbed when lecturers/tutors just give your tutorials off the net. it's like, "i'm paying for something i can get for free at home?"
happened last semester in one class
heh yea, exactly mate
thats povo
thus why im studying at home.
itsa exactly that, robbery
just self teach caroo?
pritty much. brought some books off amazon dot-com. take a look at the deisgn section of's pritty muched owned by me XD
i mean, at least take the time to plagarise the work and claim it as your own, so we at least feel like we're getting our money's worth.
hehe yea i see u post alot ay
haha yea scrow
yeah i just wish someone high up saw all my work XD
thats cool caroo. wish i went the self taught sometimes ay. with internet n shit, its a good idea i rekon
aight dudes. im spose to be bugfixing
talk to yas later ay!
its good as long as you have limitless directiona nd motavation..and trust me you can only do something by yourself for so long.
i could see that you'd put a lot of work into the art, layout and scripting of the UT demo caroo
thanks denz, seeya
only definite positive i can say about study at tertiary is they often set group projects as assessment, which is great for folio work.
thanks denz
hammer those bugs
Scripting and technicals was something i wanted to stress in the demo.
the vo was a nice touch
The be a lot better.. but that comes with time. I'm going to lengths to try and show the technical things..VO?
cgtalk tuts> qantm 1000 times also free
voice over?
voice over
Like the gun firing particles. That took 3 paritcle types, a trigger, two textures and a whole lot of tinkering to get it to fire int he right direction.
and being on a diaginal firing. it wasnt simple
it would be nice to make those computer push button puzzles a bit more complex
It would be mate. but it comes down to time aswell. for that sequence in the life support room. the main script was 60 triggers.
60 events sorry
door goes down. 7 events happen all at once.
the lighting - the animated texutre - the voice over - the sound effects - the camera shake - movign the doors
all requires imput. Thats exacaly why i choose to do a single player map over a multiplayer. Far more complexity.
thats a lot of triggers
multiplayer = equal arena = equal placement = equal weapons.
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It is alot of triggers.
but it as worth the overall effort
G'day Doolwind
hi doolwind
evening everyone
sorry a bit late :)
names Alistair, work at Auran as a programmer
Nice ot meet you mate.
you too
names chris Watts. Wannabe game/level designer. XD
how long u been working there alistair?
Auran, a little over 2 years, in the industry just under 3
you're at THQ i take it :)
yeah, designer been there almost 2 years
name is matt
so what's it like working as a programmer at auran?
pleased to meet you
you working on fury mate?
I love it...we're just polishing up for a milestone on one latest (secret) project :)
if anyone's got programming questions, nows your chance
nope, a different secret project
yep, fire away :)
... ok.. lets see.
where were u before auran?
Fuzzyeyes, small startup Sunnybank
*at Sunnybank
ah the fuzz, do u know Paul G?
and dan streatfield?
yep, know both of them :)
Being a wannabe deisgner. I wan't at least to know the prinsiables of just how programming works. errr hard for me to explian *grunbles*
sweet, they are great lol
hah paul. use to work with him ay. bastard drank like 2 litres of pepsi before lunch arrived hah
Dan is a top bloke.
that's a horrible habit
lol denz
haha yep, when he found out we have free Coke at Auran he wanted in straight away :)
caroo:well, basically we get a bunch of requirements (from the designers or lead programmers) which we then turn into code that runs the game
there's research saying the artifical sugars are actually really bad for your body and its hard to process it and does quite a lot of damage to you in the long run
Doolwind: what game you working on atm? (if you're allowed to say)
I'm afraid I can't really say anythign at the moment, hasn't been announced, suffice to say it's already a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to showing everyone :D
heh, cool. you working with or know matthew ford?
sounds interesting
yes..hmmm how to put it..would you know of any books or website links..that would be able to explain how coding works. what it involes doing.
yep, he's my project manager
ah okay, heh. i've met him several times through the IGDA meetups
well a great place to start is of course
been there. registered
yeah, he's heavily into the IGDA which is great to have someone with such experience around
had a look through. its given me a few book links.
yeah, personally, I learnt C++ through C++ Primer
I also highly recommend Code Complete
how did you find it?
prescribed textbook at university :)
I might invest in c++ Primer
yeah, it's a big book, but it teaches the core techniques really well I found
ah programming. it took me a while to realise it wasn't something I wanted to do full-time as a career. :)
latest version:…
it just does my mind in
big books dont scare me. ive studied thorugh a 900 page book ont he uinreal egine. ive found that as long as you stop and take important notes it sticks with you.
especially when you get into computer graphics and all the maths that comes with it
unreal engine*
yeah, definately, note taking is the best way to absorb
Scrow: yeah, most people look at my screen full of code and wonder how I put up with it 8+ hours per day
lol it's fun making words do things on screen
"its like building lego...without lego."
I must admit graphics programming is one of the most rewarding forms much visual feedback :)
yeah. i could sit down, read through it, understand what's happening (in a fairly general way) and maybe even hack the code a little to see what happens.... but I wouldn't want to do it as a full-time job.
yeah, can turn us kinda nuts after too many hours, too much coke and pizza :)
hahaha. i bet.
*hint* add rum, JD or whatever mixer you want to the coke ;)
rum just makes em write angry code
Doolwind - mate. i know i'm probably asking the wrong person. But you got any idea on wether Auran hires junior positions?
lol denz
depends exactly what you mean by junior positions..I started out as a Junior I think so :)
i think caroo specifically means junior designer positions
junior game or level designer..most studios cringe when i ask them about it. it's like a hex word.
as in entry level, first job in games perhaps
haha, well I can ask around if you like
i know halfbrick hired a guy to a designer internship. i'm working with him on a project at uni.
The best thing to do is usually send your resume in and see what they say
Would be apprichiated mate. melbourne is pritty closed off to the newbies.
I did that this week. not at Auran sadly.finding aurans postal address i gave up on.
you involved with the melbourne IGDA caroo?
i know some guys from qantm who did mid year holiday work at auran, then were offered jobs there once they finished qantm
as programmers
Scrow - whenever informed mate.
yeah, i saw them around, we hired one of them if I recall
or do you want mailing specifically? i'd probably just link them this webpage.. the designer section.. XD and most of the posts are mine...ok im kidding. mailing please. i'll send them i nice pritty resume.
pm'ed it to you Caroo as it's multi line, don't want to spam :)
choice idea.
so how is Auran to work at Mate? weve all herd of the crappy things form the year 2000. I aussume its alot different now.
what uni did u go to doolwind?
QUT, Bachelor of IT majoring in Software Development
Auran's a great place to work, with Fury going strong, and our new secret project there's heaps to do, lots of experienced people around to learn from and free lunch/coke :)
cool, i had a friend travis who did IT at QUT, did u like it?
yeah, there were no real game courses around when I went through so it set a really good basis for my learning. The best thing I picked up was learning an entirely new language using a book and the net :)
that being C++?
cool. i'm doing the double degree of IT and creative industries (comm. design). it's the game course that isn't a game course.
at QUT i mean
I learnt, C, C++, java, VB.Net, C#, haskel, lisp, to name a efw :)
interesting, a guy at work did one of the QUT games subjects, seemed really good, wish they had it when I went through :)
QUT is bringing in their first game dev specific course in 2007 now.
C++ is the standard in game engine creation right?
pretty much, there are a few people starting to use .Net, but it's all mainly C++
The industry must be shitting its pants about all these new courses comming up. sure we'll get better juniors..but we'll have a lot more people entering aswell.
[21:35:10] cool, i had a friend travis who did IT at QUT, did u like it? <---- did he do a HL2 mod called dystopia (or something like that)?
i don't think the industry would be, perhaps those that are worried about their jobs. I've heard there's a shortage of GOOD people around at the moment, so an injection of new people would be great
* Retrieving #igda modes...
yeah ive been told a funny thing about the industry and its cry for talent.
can't say though.
you're confusing me
you definately can't say :)
nah that was a different travis scrow
if this is going to be posted. I bette rnot say. it's not my words..but i dont want to insult the industry at large.
ah ok, no problem then :)
Whimp. lol
the travis that did the hl2 mod did a degree in some sort of design i think, forget the exact title
they cried for talent, then they found DENZ
AshTHQ: i think he did my course
hahaha good one denz
so what's your opinion on the state of indy dev in QLD guys?
better then melbourne.
its fukn sweet hah
i'm just asking based on this:…
yea nah its good in here ay. see game devs walkn round the place. krome shirts, pandemic shirts
anyone else been reading the melbourne house post brewl on that age blog.
too long and bitchy
oh god. some better men in that fight.
he did a mod Wivenhoe: The Fall of Ravenholm (i played it, very good) and some dystopia stuff i haven't played. he's working at fuzzy eyes now as a designer.
not better*
the climax of wivenhoe is really good
bat fight
yeah, all that bitchiness doesn't help anyone and makes the people who are posting it look fairly immature.
alright everyone, i promised a friend a game of hyperbol before I head off, was good speaking to you all, will try and make it each Thursday from now on :)
later doolwind
Sweet mate. later Dool
come to the next IGDA meetup XD
ah, I should...I've been to one, a LONG time ago...will talk to Matt and make sure i try and come next time :)
i think it's meant to be a pub crawl. heh
heh, perhaps I'll come to the next lan then, pub's and crawling aren't my scene :)
but but but.... beer
i think most pubs will be serving it ;P
seeya doolwind, thanks a lot
ah well. later man
np, good talking, laters
for coming and answering questions
milkshake pls
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where yas pissn up scrow?
i was watching tv and this guy went to the bar for the first time and tried to order a milkshake... funny
denz: dunno yet
matt will send a newsletter closer to the date
cheers. yea i gett hat newsletter
my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
hay ash
can i pik ur brain for a sec mate
do yas get overtime pay at thq?
not on an hourly basis but we get some time in lieu off, free dinners, end of milestone events (e.g. movie day) and end of year bonus
how about CA?
ah yea sweet. i guess thats alright ay
yeah i'm happy with it, it's fun work anyway
anyone here from Brissy go to the lucasarts recruitment event?
yea none aswell ay. we get dinners aswell. hopefuly we get a sweet chrissy party heh
make sure u check out vids caroo, give u an idea of a good demo reel and mods, travis got an entry level design position from his work
there's a Showreel download on the front page
ash: i can't download the "super secret" one. what's the deal with that?
dunno, i cant access it either
username and password
oh its on the dystopia website i think u need to register a login for it
the webpage comes up as fordidden for me.
grr, i hate signing up for stuff
go to that one instead caroo
it says forbidden but works lol
yeah, just a 'fake' title in the html code
if you tell me he did all that buy himself including the art assets im gonna chuck a spazz.
the wivenhoe mod reused hl2 art
but you know that's qantm for ya
dystopia has a heap of guys working on it, not just travis
ok then.. i can happly accept that.
i gotta say. Every texture and mesh in my mod is done by myself. takes forever.but when they ask. "what did you do?" i can just point to everything XD
there's actually a thread on cgtalk that's 3 years old and it has a few pages dissing qantm courses
But yeah. this guys level shits all over mine really.
few dudes from here work on dystopia. but there leaving, cos nuclear dawn is really shaping up to take the cyberpunk hl2 mod cake
what does "shits all over mine" mean?
"far superior in design and aspectic quality"
wow nuclear dawn looks really nice
they selling it on steam?
that's one thing that i discussed with someone at uni yesterday. because valve is encouraging mod teams to sell their games on steam, they're less willing to support other teams making other games because they want to keep their secrets to themselves
so the support network for the source engine and hammer isn't as strong as the Unreal mod scene for example
what was that, they only support teams that will sell their product through steam as opposed to releasing for free?
unreal is so strong due to the versatility of its editor.
I can say that with assurence. It's one of the most comprohensive editors. Requiring no programming knoleadge to make a full blown level.
ash: i mean in terms of the community itself. for example, forums for source mods aren't as active and supportive as similar forums for Unreal.
travis also said unrealed was better with certain editor features
It's very complicated and has a very steep learning curve. but it's ultalisations are worth the extra effort.
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personaly. Unreal as a game while prtty..lacks something. online people only ever play 5 levels. and those are the basic ones. But the engine itself and editor is powerful.
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wow, check out the team:
all over the world. that sort of effort and coordination blows my mind
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that is the most sus lookn smiley ive ever seen heh
one aussie on that project one of the best website design summary and examples collection
something really sad i noticed
on gamedev net they have postmortems and diries of people working on a game and what went right and wrong for the game. but people stoped sending that stuff in after 2001
yeah, they say it's rarely timeline, budget, or technology problems which hamper projects... but people problems.
you at work?
bugn it up
i thought you were a character artist?
yea, we do art bugs
art bugs...?
like. vertices fukn up, textures fukn up. we fix em, since we made em
oh i see
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but ay
im goin, ccyya dude, good luk with the studies ay
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* Guest13 is now known as mav102
hello mav
missed all the action
yeah, lots of general chatter
were there more ppl before?
ah ok
g'day mov. introduction?
you work in the industry or student?
not in the industry
where at?
not games related
what's the course?
are u guys trying to break into the industry?
oh im doing marketing
yeah. i'm in my final year.
programming or art?
im designing..wannabe
oh interesting :)
well.... not art really.
hehe cool
not the "fine arts" as they call them anyway.
hmm yeah
though i think u'd need to choose a path
dont know if they hire art/programmer hybrids, except for maybe technical artists
heh.. found a farmer in WOW
i'm looking to get into game design mav
ah cool
is anyone here in the industry aside from ash?
basically balancing, problem solving, getting things to work conceptually
denz was but he left
i see
where does he work?
you mean me caroo lol
Creative Assembly if i remember correctly
i have a phone interview with bigant coming up
for what position?
3d artist
no. someone whos doing nothing but battling the same things int he same area for 4 days now.
yeah though theres not much info about them online
makes me wary...
at lvl 60 people do that to get rep lol
i think i know a guy chris that works as an artist at bigant
oh yeah i emailed a chris asking about them
awaiting a reply
chris is a good dude
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cool, did he ever say anything about big ant to you?
that youre willing to disclose of course
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sorry my account needed a reset..
i havent talked to him for a couple of years, but he said it was good there
cool thanks ash
damm. this thing hates wow
anyway guys im off. i'll check you all later.
Keep working hard.
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me too, seeyas
* Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Jul 27 23:08:40 2006

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 04/08/06 - 8:32 AM Permalink

Tonight we were lucky enough to have Jason, a programmer from Krome, who came along and answered many questions. Thanks Jason!

Transcript 11

Session Start: Thu Aug 03 19:52:54 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
Hey Caroo and Ash.
hey all
* Linda sets mode: +o AshTHQ
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hey jason!
it's been about 10 years since i last used irc
hello Jason
hi caroo
just a couple more mins till 8pm
OS how is everyone this week. Doing well.
but well enough
good stuff mate.
im alright
how u been caroo
morale is high. did you all see my work being posted up ont he sumea frount page! very pleased about that.
* Linda sets mode: +o Jason|Krome
alright 8pm, got a special guest tonight - Jason Schroder from Krome studios! Jason has been a programmer at Krome for more than 5 years so if you've got any programming or general games industry and career questions, he's your man!
I cook a mean stir fry too
Hahaha. fair enough.
as always, we are here to help out students looking to get into the games industry so any and all questions are welcome, don't hesistate to ask anything related to games!
to start off, can u tell us a bit about what u studied before you got into games jason and your career path up until now?
Jason - Well mate. a question i have to ask that. since you've been in this biz for 5 years now. You might have had alot of experiences. form all this time. Do you have your own personal take on aussie games industry and the industry alround.
I played a lot of games growing up, from c64, atari 2600, sega, snes, etc.. so I always had an interest in games.
It wasn't until uni that I started thinking about actually pursuing a career in games. I studied B. IT at QUT Gardens Point.
I selected Software Engineering as my major, expecting to work on business related software, database stuff and the like.
I took an elective in computer graphics, that was about as close as it got to game programming at uni. So I started experimenting with my own projects at home.
I made a little tetris game with Auran Jet (the first game to be made available with Jet as far as I'm aware), and a simple 3d model viewer.
heheh cool
I was doing contract work, boring database stuff mostly, for 6 months after graduating from uni where I saw an ad for a job at Krome, and the rest is history.
i think the little tetris game along with the model viewer probably helped more than my degree with getting the job.
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I remember the guys being more interested in the quality of my code and understanding of games than my degree
Jason - haha The tihng i find funny is that while so many companies ask for degrees. The bottem line is the quality of your product and more so then none it will surpass any paper.
caroo: my experience is from the perspective within Krome, so take that into consideration ...
an interesting point, do u find that games companies see demos and game mods as very important?
we've had a good run, with a healthy flow of contracts since Ty1
in the past 5 years I've seen the local industry grow quite a lot, with many companies also closing down
so my personal take on the aussie industry at present time is that we do seem to be slugged with doing a lot of contract/franchise work, and not enough original IP work
there's a lot of reasons for this ...
Were cheeper for one and less solidated?
caroo: yeah that is the bottom line
Ash: definitely, mods and demos show a level of commitment, a level of understanding, a level of passion for making games
I'd take a person with a lot of passion and little experience over anyone with lots of experience but little passion
caroo: The aussie dollar factors in, other factors include publishers are first and foremost in the business of making money, their money just happens to come from games
I like your way of tihnking.
these days the bean counters get to make a lot of decisions regarding which games get picked up and which dont
so it's up to developers to pitch games that they not only want to make, but games that show as little risk as possible to publishers
franchies/sequels/contract work, whatever you want to call it, is lower risk than original IP
<.< sadly this means a 5 year steak of Fantasy games on PC with little Sci-fi XD
yeah, publishers like to bank on a sure thing :)
oh like harry potter?
that would be quite a sure thing
harry = $$$
no brainer :)
yeah you go through the game hearing the toon say weird words as spells
I went to the games store yesterday. half the games in the PC are fantasy.. and whats worse is that their visual styles all adhare to wolrd of warcraft - just naother thing to minimise risk.
so that's some of the reasons why I think aussie developers are in a bit of a rut, with little original content coming from this part of the world
hmm yeh
team bondi's detective thriller sounds good though, if it ever gets shipped
do u see any changes happnening with things like internet publishing and steam?
yeah I really liked the concept of their game
there haven't been many games like it
Well lets hope it does. *shudders at the word steam*
yeah it sounds like it going to be pretty hard edge
yeah definitely Ash, Steam and Live Arcade particuarly - they both offer digitial distribution with a solid back-end behind them, and good consumer visibility
yeah i think live arcade is a gold mine
I'd love to work on a small scale Live Arcade project
about fantasy games looking similar... perhaps massive black had something to do with it too hehe...biggest outsource art company
geometry wars and most recently street fighter 2 seem to be the only things there worthwhile, and maybe cloning clyde
yeah Live Arcade has a lot of great little games, i've bought a few
* can't wait to get supreme commander*
so any good fun project on live arcade will be scooped up by the masses
oops i mean RealArcade
same sort of games and ideas tho
I'm keen to see how Live Arcade plays out as the number of games increase, and older games get "pushed off the shelf"
geometry wars was a great game, it definitely demonstrated that fun quality software was within its potential, but i'm dissappointed with a lot of the other garbage there, like frogger etc...
yeah i've read some of the problems with virtual stores such as RealArcade and Live Arcade and mobile games is that it still becomes a struggle for advertising space, u can still get "pushed off the shelf" if your not on the top 10 list as such
i'd also love to do some coding for a quality live arcade game
I've got some ideas for some simple fun games, just don't have the time to work on them :x
Jason - always the case mate
well i think the good thing about live arcade currently is that there is the 'recent new release' filter, and given the slow rate at which games are released currently, that list is rather short, allowing ur game to get the spotlight for a week or so
and hopefully if its good it won't need it for longer than that
thats a good thing
haha well i am sort of wishing anyway that there is someone out there looking to start a studio in sydney, starting off with live arcade stuff with some good ideas, i would definitely think its a good place for a programmer like myself to get a start
i think we can safly say now that if your gonna start somewhere. chanses is that it'll be in QLD.
yeah it's getting crowded here :)
yeh i'll bet
Krome seem to be posting jobs out like theres no tomorrow.
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Must be dunting working with that many people.
yeah we've had to ramp up for a couple of projects
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i don't know half of them!
i heard a lot of free xbox 360's were recently given out
Hi Guys :)
hi hazard
Hi Hazard
Hey Hazard.
A question for the queue: "when it comes to programming demos, do they only appreciate what they see on the screen, or do they take the time to talk with you about how you designed the architecture etc..."
word spreads quick Ash ;)
hey hazard
heheh :)
mustve been a nice perk
yeh i'll say =D
Problem is that you need a digital TV to get the real power form a 360
yeh true
Lingo: it's a bit of both, visuals give an instant idea of what of whats going on.. the next most interesting thing is what's going on under the hood .. same as when you're checking out a new car
use an old tv and it looks pritty much Xboxy
ah ok thanks
I've got a spare 24" monitor for the 360 :)
XD hahaha
cos for my demo i am going to the trouble to make it extensible and flexible, tweakable etc... i was just wondering if that was a waste of time
Lingo: a good understanding of common data structures/algorithms is always a good thing to demonstrate
sweet :) i just wouldn't see the purpose of the demo otherwise ;)
Lingo: i wouldn't say it's a waste of time.. that stuff is good, especially if it's some kind of tool. An extensible demo game though? I don't know on that one.
hmm ok, its more like a game engine
oh ok
i figure i could re use it to make several game demos
how much time would the employer typically spend looking at the code of an applicant jason? a quick browse, an in depth look?
yeah that's a good idea
What kind of work culture does Krome have? Are you all pritty lax and flexable with your tasks given. Do you have a few hours a day of solotery and intence work?
Same question for you Ash ^^
and i also don't want to do some thing hacky like just have linear code that renders the screen, updates the physics, reads input, renders the screen etc... seeing as that doesn't give me much way to go when i want to increase the framerate, but process managers etc.. take time to think about and write
We usually have a few guys look at an applicant's demos and code, usually the programming leads of the game teams and the engine team. How long they'd look I'm not sure. Depends on how much code there is! It doesn't take long to get a good idea of a person's understanding, unless they bury their own code amongst third party code.
caroo: we have project managers and leads that track our tasks and make sure we get things done by milestones. during the day we work solitary or with others as needed, either in person or via email or msn. it tends to be more relaxed for the first few months of a project, whereas in the final few months tasks and schedules are much more tightly detailed and scrutinised
Personally I value a person's own code over their ability to use middleware - it's great to see it all combined into a game and all, but ultimately you're looking to hire someone for their ability to write good code, adhering to consistant programming guidelines, etc.
caroo: work culture depends on what stage your project's currently at. For me I've been flat out since feb, far from lax. Starting a new project is a different story, there's a lot of pre-production going on, a lot of planning, a lot of meetings. It's more laid back between the start and mid-point of a project. Then it gets serious :)
at the beginning of a project we usually have weekly schedule update meetings, towards the end of a project they happen once or twice a day (usually in the mornings) to track tasks
certainly :) i agree, i'm writing pretty much everything myself, though i get architecture design tips from various books etc.. as my first project didn't go so well, so i figured it would benefit from someone elses more extensive experience by way of design
So you would both agree that the work culture acomadates the tension and clumate of the project?
culture wise we are pretty relaxed and friendly, chatting about games and comparitive systems and ideas here and there
caroo: most people are self-supervised though, likewise at Krome we have a system for allocating and scheduling tasks, which gives the project leads a snapshot of the progress toward the current milestone.
besides, in my personal experience, if coding is done in a lax environment, it normally means you get very little written
Krome does fun things to help relieve tension in busy times
like our Dreamworld trip a month ago
hehe that does sound pretty cool :)
movie days and stuff
it's getting harder to organise now due to our size, the organisers of the dreamworld trip in particular did an awesome job
they got the adelaide guys up and everything, was great
sounded like it really went well
i heard about that, sounds great
any other programming Qs?
do you know any particularly good directx references?
hmm, not off hand
I'm a game programmer =P
i'm looking which treats directinput and directsound as well
got a list of your favourite programming books?
yeh but i figure you might need it for xbox 360 proggramming or something
* Linda sets mode: +o Hazard
Ash: book list - AI Programming Widsom 1, 2, 3. Programming AI by Example by Matt Buckland. The Programming Gems series. 3D Math Primer for graphics and game development. That's for a start..
any thoughts or experiences to share about programming for next gen? how is krome going with it?
I just got a few books in today actually..
which ones?
3D Math Primer for one, I had been borrowing someone elses till now :)
ah hehe ok
Umm what else
do u specialise in a particular field of games programming at krome or do u do a multitude of things?
I left them at work :P
i've actually read through that one, pretty good :) but i was a math major so i had numerous other textbooks that covered the topic ;)
C++ for Game Programmers, AI Game Engine something or other.
do you guys know who chris Taylor is?
and how about other programmers at krome, do u have a lot of general games programmers or specialised ones?
TA designer?
Of course Caroo :)
yeah you sound like you looking lot into AI at the moment
I've been reading some of his stuff. Like this design document example. I love this :
Philosophical point #1
This game is trying to do this and that. Fundamentally I am trying to achieve something that has never been achieved before. Or. This game will not try and change the world. We are ripping off the competition so exactly that I can?t believe it. The world will be shocked at how we are using an existing engine with new art.
gas powered games man
Ash: I can't wait to get into next-gen programming. I haven't had the luxury yet. You'll see some more screens from Hellboy coming out soon which look awesome, and that's not just coz i'm biased :) The lighting, shadowing, and depth of field stuff in particular looks amazing.
dungeon siege and total annihilation and your fav upcoming supreme commander caroo
Yep yep. One of my Favorate designers.
i would be super exciting about programming for the Wii
Lingo: I've been doing AI since Ty1
ahhhhh i see now ;)
I've discovered you can never have too many decent AI books..
I have a few of Chris's books, really good reads Caroo.
i wouldn't be surprised, its not as easily available on the net as graphics gems either
Hazard - any chance on telling me where you got them from?
Ash: our game programmers tend to specialise in one or two areas, sometimes we get pigeon holed, and takes a new project to try a different area. We do have a few jack of all trades as well.
You can never have enough books
Borders BookStore lol
lot of physics programmers?
i went to a lecture by chris taylor at GDC 2003, he was hungover from the previous night's party, rattling on and going off in tangents. very funny guy
or does middleware make them little rare?
and his preprepared lecture was good too, lol
Heh heh. The guy does try. We have to give him that.
Lingo: yeah we've got a few physics programmers
Something to maybe try to live upto.
ah ok cool :)
Lingo: it's a mix, we've got our own and middleware being evaluated.
ah hmm ok
though from what i saw in perfect dark zero, even thought they used havok, they could have used more physics programmers
what tools do the programmers and designers use at krome?
I think 1 or 2 is all you should need, if all they're doing is physics and using middleware
Other programmers should be able to make use of physics enabled actors/props without needing to be a physics guru themselves
yeah true
though there was something really funky going on with the physics in perfect dark zero
it looked like someone set some of the parameters to a silly value either out of nnegligence or desperation to pull the frame rate down
Ash: programmers use Visual Studio for most work. We use CodeWarrior for GC/PS2 builds. For Spyro we've been using FinalBuilder for automating the multi-platform build process.
another quote:
like made the number of iterations to low or something
Describe enemies or monsters in the world or whomever the player is trying to defeat. Naturally this depends heavily on your game idea but generally games are about trying to kill something
We also use the various platform specific tools for profiling and analysing game performance..
Thats true funny enough. games are usualy about killing something XD
what about version control? is perforce still popular?
Design wise: game designers write a lot of docs, so you know, Word, MS Project, and our inhouse task management system called Todo.
Level design is done with Maya for initial and final mesh design, and our inhouse tool for prop placement, scripting, etc.
Ive been told it was quite similar to unrealED
We switched to subversion for source control on Spyro, all other projects have switched over now too. Before that it was all Visual Source Safe
Subversion is awesome :)
ah cool man svn, i use that too :)
yeah i use it at home, so simple, yet so powerful and user friendly
yeah its so damn good, i'll bet its a huge improvement on sourcesafe
not even microsoft engineers used sourcesafe
yeah it's amazing, makes special builds much easier to do
well, its really good to hear that its used commercially :D
when you first started out, do you remember how hard ti was to bring urself up to speed with the tools and stuff you used, like the APIs for the various platforms etc...?
i would imagine its pretty daunting
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When I asked for the job, I asked to be a game programmer. I didn't want to do engine work. So that said, I'm pretty much shielded from the various APIs by our engine. We write game code once and it works on all platforms we support.
oh sweet
ok guys i'm off. watching season 2 of beast wars.
is that still C++ or is it some sort of script?
So the hard part was just learning the engine interface, so that's a single API i guess
You all have a great night.
cya Caroo, good luck with your design work.
yeah thankx caroo, you too :)
it's still C++
Thanks all
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thats really cool
i didn't know they managed to abstract it away from the platform that much
There's basically a single interface, and then it's implemented as common as possible for each platform, with some parts implemented specifically for a platform
so the engine guys have the tough job of making something work the same on all platforms
yeah that got to be pretty hard
especially with sony's bizarro API
in your opinion, how many people do you think it would take to make an xbox live arcade title?
game teams have the tough job of making the same game perform the same on each platform, with each platform having different amounts of memory
do you think 1 designer and one programmer could pull it off within like 8 months?
it might be a bit hard to understand the difference between game programming and engine programming. engine prog is writing low level directx, ps2 api code, etc for the consoles, whereas game programming is writing functions specically for systems in the game, e.g. a gun that shoots which makes use of the engine functions. is this right jason?
(sorry, don't mean to be piling on questions while you in mid answer for a previous one)
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did i miss the party?
if by that you mean caroo, then yes ;)
Lingo: I'm not sure, my understanding is that Geometry Wars was mostly written by 1 guy as an easter egg for PGR originally, and he was the main person behind the one that found its way to Live Arcade.
just kidding, its still going :)
Lingo: so that said, yeah it's possible, depending on your game :P
had to go pickup a suit for a wedding on saturday and got stuck in traffic on the way back :(
ah ok cool
You'd need access to an X360 dev kit at some stage, but a lot of the work could be done on PCs
hmm yeah
MS dev kits are so damn expensive
someone's getting married hey!
i hear you are forced to buy at least one of the US$10000 ones
lot of money to pay for a mac
one possibility might be to pitch a PC prototype to a game dev company, and see if they'd be willing to help port it to X360 for live arcade
it shouldn't be too much trouble, XNA should be pretty close the DirctX
but who knows
yeah it's bound to get easier
Ash: back to your Q above, yeah that's spot on :)
cool :)
little off the topic, but....
has anyone tried getting scummvm to work on the DS lite?
i haven't tried any homebrew DS stuff yet
i haven't got a DS lite, but i would buy one if i knew it would work
monkey island 1 and 2 on the DS would be awesome
why on DS instead of PC?
maniac mansion!
ds lite is nice. :)
on the DS cos it means monkey island anywhere any time hehe
i c :)
i'm also just interested to see how well the stylus would work for such games
I want to see lemmings multiplayer on DS
never played monkey island games, but heard they're awesome. do they play anything like grim fandango?
the fourth one does
the 4th one used the same engine as grim fandango
have you played DOTT?
Ds needs for more adventure games! I was hoping Double Fine would announce some, but no luck. :(
cos the first 2 were made with that engine, but older versions of it with worse graphics
Psychonauts for DS!
it could work..
haha yeh i heard psychonauts was a great game
It would pwn if it did.
im upto the napolean level in psychonauts
i only had 2 hours to play it though
and still didn't get a single psi power
haw haw haw
I just finished the Milkman level today.
i haven't gotten it yet.. it's on my todo list
its well worth playing
they should put it on Steam :P
does psychonauts have any of that characteristic tim schafer humour?
lots of it
ah sweet :)
comedy in games is really a fine art, tim schafer is one of the only people i know of that has pulled it off nicely
Rare with Conkers..
u have these suitcases with unhappy faces (i.e. chests that needs keys), u find the "key" and they do a little happy dance and fly off. its really childish and wtf but so funny :)
The guys that made Goblins 2 and 3, forget who
but you're right, not enough comedy in games
Spyro has a little, but it's by no means a comedy game :)
who wrote the dialog for spyro?
yeah, i think its got to do with the timing, comedy needs good timing and in games players control the timing, and jokes in cutscenes aren't as clever as jokes in game
The script was written by a guy hired by Vivendi, an actual script writer! OMG
ah okay
yeah so it's not bad :)
i was wonderinf if it was done in-house or not.
What happened to the horn on Spyro's nose, btw?
he had a horn?
on his nose?
I think so.
i don't think he did
... *shrug*
I'm pretty sure.
not sure. never played a spyro game. Krome's will be the first XD
Man I'm stupid.
I'm checking websites, 1 sec :P
how many people and projects are there at krome atm?
yeah no horn in a hero's tail
No he just had pointy nostrils. lol
There's about 180 people at krome bris, and about 20 in adelaide
krome is teh big
I can't comment on number of projects, I think SteveS mentioned a super top secret project somewhere, so u can count that 1, plus spyro and hellboy
Spyro GBA sort of went through krome, but was done by BigAnt
oh? i didn't know bigant was doing it.
i forgot who the dev is for the DS though?
they did the last DS spyro game
same one as previous DS spyro
i haven't seen DS spyro since an early build
it was looking good, very much like the console version
yeah, i read about it the other day
some of the touch screen stuff sounds fun
here's a link for goblins btw:
ah ok thanx
2 and 3 are a couple of my favourite games of all time
ah ok :)
i havent played them, what did u like about them?
the creative use of the 2 characters, the comedic interaction between them and the other characters in the game.. and having to solve the usual adventure problems with what you find lying around
puzzles, not problems
i thought DOTT had a creative use of 3 characters in the adventure game genre
not saying DOTT is like gobliins or anything though
cos its obviously not ;)
any other programming/industry questions?
nope, not from e
thanks for answering my questions :)
you're welcome
[21:38:44] any other programming/industry questions? <--- what're you working on now? :)
I'm nursing Spyro toward gold right now
i thought it already went gold
he's almost there
well looks like we're wrapping up
btw, how old are you jason?
i'm 27
ooh, will we see the GC version of Spyro here in Aus?
<--- 24 and STILL at uni :(
Yeah should do Rawkser, ultimately it's the publisher's call, but we made both ntsc and pal versions
and i haven't heard otherwise
Enjoy your uni days while they last Scrow :)
Cool. I'll get that then PS2 controller=Yuck.
i'm kinda fed up with uni. been here too long.
alright guys well unless there are any more questions I'll be heading off
will be glad to get out into the workforce at the end of this year
a change is as good as a holiday they say :P
yeah it is :P
you posting this chat up to the forum ash?
k, i'll read through what i missed later.
i will do last weeks as well, its been sitting on my computer
you coming back next week jason?
thanks so much jason for coming
i might, if there's any interest
got heaps of great answers and insights from u, much appreciated!
no problem Ash
yeh thanx again :)
night guys
righto, i'm going to head off and do some research on 6th century fashion O_o
later y'all
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night :)
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Session Close: Thu Aug 03 21:52:55 2006

Also got an answer from my design boss at work about the previous week's question: "Would it be considered acceptable and "professional" to have an online design portfolio that links to for videos of your mod showreels?" Answer: "Yep, no problem with that at all. As long as the link works, I think it is not a bad way at all. No problems with codecs, or dvds etc."

Submitted by Scrow on Fri, 04/08/06 - 9:22 AM Permalink

quote:Also got an answer from my design boss at work about the previous week's question: "Would it be considered acceptable and "professional" to have an online design portfolio that links to for videos of your mod showreels?" Answer: "Yep, no problem with that at all. As long as the link works, I think it is not a bad way at all. No problems with codecs, or dvds etc."
cheers. thanks for that Ash.

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 14/08/06 - 7:56 AM Permalink

Transcript 12

This week we had Dale, who has been working in the industry in QA for about 4 years now. He's worked at Torus, Perception and is currently at Atari Melbourne House. Thanks Dale! Dale will hopefully be coming back in future weeks for those who missed him this week.

Session Start: Thu Aug 10 19:42:54 2006
Session Ident: #igda
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hey guys
I finally rememebered to come in this week :P
doesnt look like a big showing this week :(
no special guests
got a QA guy coming up soon as guest
in future weeks
ah cool, anything interesting been discussed in the past weeks?
should be on the forum
where is the QA guy from Ash?
he is from Atari Melbourne House
did you go to the IGDA social pub crawl the other week?
did u?
nah, couldn't.
had a wedding the next day and had to drink with mates :D
didn't get to sleep till 3:30am and had to wake up at 8:30... so yeah
so, u guys have been here before, got any questions?
or things u want to discuss?
hmmm, nothing really comes to mind. been kinda busy with the wedding and uni.
i popped in to read everyone else's questions and answers :)
oh actually, i applied for a job at Krome the other day
that's good
level scripter position. it wasn't advertised, just word of mouth type thing
how'd it go
ah, like normal i dont have much questions to ask :), just poped in
i emailed my application with links to my resume etc. and they said they'd get back to me by the end of this week.
so i'll expect something tomorrow i guess. if not I'll send a followup email
>> We also have positions vacant for Level Scripters, if you have any
>> students interested in the Games Industry, please feel free to
>> pass on
>> my details.
good luck man :)
am i right in interpreting that as they don't mind if the applicants are still currently a student?
or would they mean recent graduate?
i imagine it means students or graduates
one of the programmers at THQ got hired before he finished his final year of uni
yeah, well this semester i have ass loads of time on my hands.
only have to go into uni on wednesday (all day)
every other day is completely free
so i've got lots of time to dedicate towards a job.... if they give me one, heh.
the other cool thing is i'm part of a supervised group project at uni which is about virtual environment and game design (using Hammer/Source engine), and my responsibility in that will actually be....... level scripting.
so that'd work well
that's excellent
what's hammer?
just need to get to the interview stage -_-;
hammer? that's the world editor for Valve's Source engine.
what was used to develop Half-Life 2
like how Unreal has UnrealEd
i c
usually developers use their own inhouse world editor right?
yeah a lot of them do
why is that? i mean wouldn't it be cheaper and time saving to use an existing engine/editor?
lots of companies just like to customise and write their own, sometimes because its easier to maintain and understand your own software to do exactly what you want, other times i dont really know why it just seems like an industry mentality to roll your own rather than reuse
hmmm. seems like a wasted resource to me. there's also the factor of (particularly in Unreal's case) of a huge support network from the community of modders.
but then i have a limited understanding of how dev companies operate, so i'm probably missing an important piece of the puzzle
sometimes games are just so customised that there isnt a generic engine or package that can support it, unless you want to totally rewrite major portions of it in which case you may as well start from scratch
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hey all
hey ^^
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what's your job at Krome again Jason? I forgot :/
hi all?
hi grover
game programmer
hey jason, got a question before, why do so many developers use their own engine and inhouse editors instead of buying a third party one?
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Ash: every developer probably has their own reasons. Control is a big one. Control to use your own engine/tools as you see fit, control to modify them, ownership of how things work, can be built specifically to meet certain requirements. No licensing fees also factors in.
being in Australia also makes it harder to get support from companies overseas
heh, we're stranded on an island
thanks jason :)
What's THQ using Ash?
So Ash and Jason what are your roles at your companies?
inhouse or mix, or all third party?
i'm a senior game programmer at Krome
we use our own cross platform engine and in house editor. we were using RenderWare a couple of projects ago but not using it anymore
artists and animators use Maya
i'm a designer at THQ
You guys have been in the Aus industry for a while?
almost 6 years
Ash: how are your level designers going with GameMonkey? Do you do much scripting yourself?
about 2 years
I remember Ken being all excited about GM when he first joined THQ
not sure if he's still there or not now, haven't heard from him in ages
yeah i do a lot of scripting in GM. the majority of other designers (except for the leads) do a lot of it also, it's quite good
yeah Ken is great, he's still here :)
tell him i said hi :)
and to stop playing WoW or whatever hes hooked on now
sure thing
how has it been for non-programmers learning GM? We're planning to use it on my next project, and how level designers have only been using our own basic scripting systems so far, which is far removed from coding.
What scripting systems do you mostly use in game engines? Gamemoneky?
pre-empted answer :)
So Gamemonkey is pretty good?
Looks alot like a GBA scripting engine I have used before.
nonprogrammers have struggled with it more than others but they manage. myself and others with programming backgrounds cope with it fine
why would nonprogrammers be using a scripting language anyway?
Grover: it has a C/C++ syntax, so it's very easy for programmers to pick up, and has pretty much all the features you need in a scripting language, including a debugger
GameMonkey is a custom scripting language that was created by our Technical Director (above the programming leads) several years ago. it's based on Lua and as far as i know it's only currently used at our THQ Studio Australia
Scrow: so the programmers like me can bludge while the designers do all the work ;)
Yeah, just had a look at the webby - looks similar to a script system my friend Jeff wrote for a GBA engine ;)
i've got a programming background, but my interest is in design..... so ;P
Ash: other THQ studios don't use it yet?
Gamemonkey is based on Lua?
the programmers do all the low level engine stuff, the designers use GM as a higher level language to script game objects, events and properties in the levels
has similarities to it, according to wikipedia
feature comparison wise they're fairly similar, not sure what debugger support Lua has.
Hehe. Just a quick look at the source, and bytecode - I think not.
oh it was developed at Auran? heh
not as far as i know jason
our inhouse editor has a debugger for GM
it's not possible to update the script at run time is it?
Matt Riek from Auran is our tech director
no you have to repack the level and script (takes about 15 secs)
So what advantages does GM have in compaison to Lua for example? I have been using Lua pretty heavily so would be interested in a comparative assessment
Hrm. So no compiler?
or.. no runtime compiler.. Im guessing.
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can't edit and continue
yes it compiles scripts when you pack the level
I notice Scite is in the package - thats very kool :)
i dont know Lua that well for comparisons
or scintilla.. for editing.. my current fave text editor.
there's a good comparison of Lua, GM, AngelScript and Python in Prog Gems 6
my copy's at work tho :P
Tah. I'll have a look at that.
Im interested in fast runtimes - and low bytecode footprints (I guess they are related). Since a little project I have been trying out uses a script kernel as the core game system controller.
Fast dynamic bindings too, are very useful as well - GM looks the good there.
what do you use for debugging scripts Grover?
Hehe my own little 'mongrel' :)
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here it is here:
it only takes a couple of seconds to recompile really, the rest is just overhead from packing the level file
It can bind to pretty much any Lua state..
back in 20 mins.. gotta take wifey to work.. Doh.
starting work at 9:00pm? :(
* Guest52 is now known as paulm
hrmm that's better
hey hey... looks like a bunch of Aussies
sure is
when did this thing come up?
I haven't heard anything about an IGDA chatroom
a few months ago on the Sumea forums
shows how much I pay attention to the Sumea forums then :)
i should probably post to the IGDA forums, not sure if i ever did
how'd you find it paulm?
Groverino linked me up
which state you from Grover and paulm?
so we have Ash from THQ (Brisbane? or Melbourne), caroo who is Chris I believe in Melbourne, Jason's in Brisbane most likely, and Scrow and vivin I don't recognise
i'm in brisbane
brissy too
go bris vegas
im from nz :)
we've got most of Oceania represented then
yep bris here
ur from adelaide paul?
yes sirree, also known as the Game Industry Desert
although I guess Krome and HardCover are both working here...
a small oasis in the desert :)
yeah there seem to be a few low-level indies hanging around... not sure if they're going to do anything, I guess well just have to wait and see
are you a student, industry professional or other paulm?
<--- final year student
hey guys. i'm back from dinner. nice to meat you all again
hi caroo
hey caroo, seems to be a few more people in here now :)
*nods* its been a busy week. with a good up and a big down.
whats been going on caroo
well.. good news and bad news my friend.. Good news is that I got and went to an interview at a local game design studio.
I though i did realy well. Answered there questions truthfully - Didn't lie and tried to come across as a casual and nice guy.
thats good
and bad news?
Bad news - A week later. I get the standard "you didn't get the job" e-mail. And It kinda realy hurt me. Becouse i though for a moment there i was so close to finaly getting that job. But again i'm at square one. And they didn't give me any infomation as to why i wasn't picked.
tough luck, still, was worth trying
did u give a humble follow up email asking for any pointers and things you can do to improve your chances in the future?
you could email back asking politely why you didn't get the job
err, what ash said
i had to do that a few times
I've done just that already I havn't got a reply yet.
Hopefuly they will give me some direction.
bummer, don't give up mate you'll get there in the end!
Yeah. Well i'm not feeling to crash hot. It's mainly that i feel i've somewhat failed. These things take time and take determanation and pationese i know this all to well. But i'm on a time clock due to family issues and sooner rather then later is the better option. I went into this knowing i didn't have the laxury to goto UNI >> [con]
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it sucks man i know the feeling
* Guest87 is now known as Rawkser
hi rawkser
But i tell you mate. I'm hardly invincable. I'm a normal guy. And spending months in your room studying. buckling down and trying so damm hard..and getting a lukewarm reply like this. It hurts. Out of 6 of those kick ass folios i spent..only one studio took the time to give me a reply via an e-mail.
I know the feeling carro, it sucks
You know that in reality its nothing personal. And they will always take the more experienced or the guy with the design degree in something-babble. You simpathise with these companies who don't have the time to train people..but still... it's..hard for me to discribe now i really feel.. I know it's no ones fault..but you still wish you could blame something rather then your own lack of experience.
Woot back.
Kool.. ppl talking :)
heya Grover
Hey Scrow
yeah, people turning up late this week :)
Well its that SA time thing.. and wife and trekkin her to work thing :)
actually a question just occured to me for the industry types here
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what I miss?
there was a naked monkey running around.. and it exploded.. was kool.
in regards to my university group project.... there will be many people working on the same environment, but how do you handle version control to ensure people are all working on the same page, so to speak?
use a version control system :)
not so much code (though that's relevant), but map files
Subversion can handle files of any type
though my experience is mainly code
subversion? is that a program or just a method of doing things?
It's a source control system
We use subversion .. darcs.. and have used others. I prefer darcs ;) mainly because its a changeset based system and that it doesnt pollute your folder hierarchy
and it's open source
*googles* for darcs.. and subversion is at tigris isnt it?
i hardly notice the folder pollution :P
it's a non-issue in my books
mmm darcs
I'll be back... gf calls
hehe btw paul.. found a way around that darcs prob.
yeah folder pollution isnt a biggie.. but it can be if you need to do comple data builds.. ie run tools across a daat set that is in a repo..
what about CVS?
at thq our maps are split into several sublocations that artists and designers can work on independently, they get linked when compiled by a user with the latest versions. uses our custom inhouse engine and editor, maya also
The changeset is the best beauty of it darcs and I can see why Linus prefers those style of versioning systems.. makes manage huge numbers of commits much easier.
Yep - are the maps within a svn repo tho?
soz Scrow.. CVS is a bit of a baddie for binaries :)
And has problems with commits (not atomic)..
Actually SVn has similar issues on the server side of things - can be very easy to break a svn server.
we'll have to try harder, don't think we've broken ours yet :)
Darcs is changeset, which means every repo can be later (or currently) used as either a core repo or a client repo.. then you do pushes and pulls to cross commit data.
i mean honestly, i don't believe the group i'm working in will adopt any sort of formal version control for the project. but it's good to know :)
Well youll need it :)
You will find branching and tagging to become your friend :)
we busted our svn server a few times, but there are issues when working remotely.. and through ssh. and svn has a lovely habbit to needing a little push every now and then ;)
Mind u .. darcs has some pretty big problems if you do a fresh pull from a large repo - you watch that haskell stack blow up :)
u should at least copy, paste and rename backups of files into a backup folder scrow :)
Amen :)
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i wonder if we could get away with just an agreed filenaming convention?
start each filename with the date it was edited on
You could use Macs and the new OSX.. with TimeMachine :)
Or.. MS's Sync..
but hey.. Id never use that sorta gear for 'work' or creative data..
Whats the main prob with people using a version system?
If you use svn, you can use things like Tortise that integrate with the OS.. ie.. rightclick to do things in the drop down command list.
yeah, perfect world we'd use some sort of version control system, but we've got a wiki and a forum and not everyone is using it.... so i doubt we could get everyone using a version control system too
there's about 8 of us
You thought of using something like sourceforge?
* Guest77 is now known as frostblade
Where you can have the project and source easy access.. and simply use their svn server..
make managing a project a bit easier too? possibly? .. saves on having to manage a tun of resources in any case.
As an example, heres my little muck around proj on luaforge (similar to sourceforge but for lua apps only)
that'd be great, but i dunno if we could get any value out of it if not everyone is checking at least twice a week and contributing to it consistently
But I dont use the versioning even, because I use darcs, but at least I can upload major version changes, thus keeping a very basic versioning online as well as my own darcs setup.
that said we don't even have resources to check and manage yet. we're just coming out of the "conceptual stage" now
the mappers/level builders should be working on something this week. once everyone in the team has something tangible to work within i think some sort of control will be necessary, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there i suppose.
i'll run it by the project lead now actually, if he's on MSN :P
Id imagine youd want some form of safety net at least. Versioning systems can provide some help there, but they are primarily so you can all collaborate together on a common project, commit data and not 'bang heads' so to speak :)
As well as the history trails, and branching, and tagging etc that comes with versioing systems these days. The benefits far outweight the very little amount of heartache involved :)
i remember doing a programming subject a few years back where we had a group project to develop online software (databases, javascript and all that), and the subject coordinator actually suggested we use a version control system of some type.
just so we could learn its usefullness, i guess
the automatic reaction from the group was, "meh". never even touched the cvs thing that was setup for us
we passed the subject with flying colours, but it was still a missed opportunity.
using version control software will get u some good, relevant experience for industry
thq uses Perforce, other studios use Visual SourceSafe, Alienbrain or something else
Krome's switched to subversion
yep, subversion too i forgot to mention
ARGGGHH did you say SourceSafe???
ClearCase is used pretty heavily too..
Pandemic used to use sourcesafe.. used to.. a quite a while ago..
yeah we used to aswell
got a special guest a bit early, was gonna come in a future week (and hopefully still will). Dale Pearce has been working in QA for about 4 years now. He has worked at Torus, Perception and is currently at Atari Melbourne House
what about bug tracking? that's specific to code, but i'm still interested.
what a pain in the ass.. the thing i like about subversion is how it doesn't interfere with your workflow.
* ChiggenWingz is now known as Dale|QA
if you have any questions about working in Quality Assurance (QA), he is your man to ask!
* Dale|QA wavies
hey Dale
yah.. SS was plain nasty.. corrupt DB's.. made for very timid moments at release time ;)
for those who don't know QA involves, want to explain it fully Dale?
Bug tracking.. thats a good q.. there are a tun of good tools.. we have used Bugzilla.. and many homegrown hear.. and THQ's bugtracking web based gear ;)
okie dokie:
yeah, i've got a question about QA. is it usually a job of finding actual glitches/bugs or is it more about playability of the game and ensuring its fun to play and flow well?
oops, didn't read the chat while typing :P
hrmm seems to be a few in here now
Basically, with the Dev working furiously getting the game working and adding content, its our job to basically make sure what they've added works and doesnt disrupt other sections of the game. Basically we test to make sure every feature, every bit of art, all controls and sometimes gameplay works well and is in a good enough state to submit to publishers so the game eventually gets sold
in a nut shell
And drivecoders and artists nutty.. :)
when a problem occurs, we analyse it, write up a report (a "bug") and forward it to a logging system that keeps track of each bug and has them all catagorised
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QA are sometimes responsible for checking that the game adheres to the GDD
* Guest79 is now known as anonguy
what sort of things do employers look for and expect of people who apply to get into QA jobs?
hi all
game design document
Game Design doc
hi anonguy
woot, it's an AC
the bug will go through the process of being assigned to whoever needs to fix the problem (if the bug is deemed to actually be a problem), the person then fixes the problem, updates the bug stating its fixed, and it comes back to us. We double check that is has been fixed (if not we send it back with additonal information) and we mark it off and thats settled for that problem
ah. the Internet. home of acronyms :P
if that all makes sense :)
Actually I have a q specifically about THQ QA.. who signs off the bugs? I was under the understanding that the Tester goes back and retests the submitted bugs, but I was recently told that their manager must do that?
Jason, which project at krome are you working on?
in your past experience on projects, typically how many bugs are there at alpha or beta stage?
it depends on how each company runs
anon: I've been working on Spyro
at some places it works like this :Tester make bug->bugs goes to programmer who fixes it->programmer updates bug and sends it back to QA->bug is double checked by QA->bug is marked as "fixed" by QA->Lead QA/QA Manager closes bug
sometimes that format changes
if its a small bug, the general tester can close off a bug
othertimes a few people will need to sign off on the bug before its closed
is the project far into development or early stages? if youre willing to disclose of course
its a case by case basis normally.
Yeah. had one 'unsigned' bug on the DB for nearly 2 weeks.. and the excuse we got was that the tester couldnt sign it off.. very odd.
distribution of responsibility XD
anonguy: it's basically done :)
Grover are you at a game company now?
hmm ok do u know of any other spyro games in dev?
at thq, bugs are can be logged by anyone but they are verified by our internal QA or overseas global THQA staff. they get regression tested by QA or THQA before marked as final fixed. the project manager mainly focuses on overseeing the major A bugs that can stop a submission to Sony, MS or Nintendo, because his head is on the block along with others if it fails
Or ports?
Yes. technically.
anon: other than ours? There's also DS and GBA versions of our game.
Scrow: sorry not to answer your question from way back... I guess I'd classify as an indie, though I've done some concept artwork for games...
ahh i see
i'm talking about alpha, beta and final disc masters regarding submissions
is there no PSP version?
no PSP version has been announced at this stage.
Yeah. we were at alpha.. and it held up submission to nintnedo.. was pretty damn annoying. Esp when the fix was in two weeks earlier.
oops.. beta.
hehe alpah didnt even have story mode in it. :)
Hey Jason - what PSP title are the guys in Adelaide working ? Any clues?
Hehe, wish i could say.
need any more coders - I think paulm might be keen ;)
Doh ;)
no idea :P
aha I'm keen for a lot of things
Damn secret mens-aus-game-industry-business.. :)
I'm always keen
yeah wish we could spill the beans on everything we're up to
its like a secret pissing contest...
"uh yeah, I'm working on... stuff"
yah.. NDA's rule the world :)
Dale|QA: how long have you been working in QA?
yeah no kidding
Scrow: about 4 years now, a few lull times between projects and jobs
currently im teaching my self coding for all the automated testing thats going to be needed in the upcomming years
i dunno if it was already mentioned or not, but what's the most recent game you worked/working on?
currently I'm Test Drive Unlimited for PS2 at Atari Melbourne house
Dale: what bug tracking apps have you worked with? which one did you prefer the most?
we're starting to get near the end of that
Dale you referring to regression testing? With what you mentioned about QA automated testing?
i'm just going to repost a question Ash asked before cause i think you missed it (or maybe i missed the answer) ;)
[22:25:58] what sort of things do employers look for and expect of people who apply to get into QA jobs?
Jason|Krome, lol, I still havent found one that I personally liked the best. "PR-Tracker" was my first step into bug tracking software, that was pretty good until one of our testers buggered up the database, then I used AlienBrain's "BMX" which was an utter garbage bug tracker, dont ever want to use that again, currently I'm using Bugzilla which I dont like either, everything is too cluttered and you cant edit the main core of y
..fix up spelling mistakes, change a quick details etc
your text got cut at: everything is too cluttered and you cant edit the main core of y.....
still yet to find a decent bug tracker, I'm tempted to start looking into writing one my self. But my opinion of a good bug tracker is somethign that itergrates into a design doc and we can sort of see how bugs relate to design and features of a game
"currently I'm using Bugzilla which I dont like either, everything is too cluttered and you cant edit the main core of your written bug to...."
We've been using test track pro for 5+ years, seems pretty good.. I'll have to ask our QA guys for an honest opinion.
dale: in your past experience on projects, typically how many bugs are there at alpha or beta stage?
Grover: From what I know of "automated testing" its basically writing scripts/code and such to test features of a game. A simple example is to make a test level for a feature, which I've done in the past, more examples would be to take AI code and attach some more code onto it so that I could get them playing the game (eg, deathmatch, car racing etc)
that asnwer what you were asking?
dale: what sort of things do employers look for and expect of people who apply to get into QA jobs?
ah ok.. so input drivers.. etc.. kool.
Scrow: each employer is different on how they hire testers, I was lucky to get my break through a friend, I know testers have been hired int he past becuase they have written game reviews (as in they have analysed gameplay and can give contructive opinions on it) instructional writing is good, good communication, and most important, confidence
at THQ we are using AQDevTeam inhouse and THQA international uses a custom web-based program that works similarly
Jason|Krome: Yeah I'd be intersted to know what TestTrackPro is like, I should hunt it down one day to play with at home
for localisation we've used TestTrack Pro because that was just the program the localisation team was using
Yeah. Im pretty impressed with the online one.. have used that for a year or so now.
DevTrack is another one, which some publishers like to use
AshTHQ: I cant remeber specifis on how many bugs we've done in the past per project, its very much relied on how many testers we've had, the type of project, the size of project and how good the relationship is with the dev team. Eg, instead of writing a bug I could simply point it out to a programmer and they'd fix it on the spot, or I'd be checking a debug version and would call over to a programmer when somethign went wrong
* Dale|QA shudders at the thought of publisher testers
another QA task is managing publisher bugs
and I hate it
they write such trashy bugs
Dale|QA: what exactly do you mean by instructional writing?
publisher bugs?
publishers have their own QA departments
and their own bug tracking software
Scrow: Instructional writing, you probably did this through high scool. Just writing an essay, report, small document, outlining what to do. Eg, like the VCR manual on how to program the timer to record shows. How to make a cake, etc. I always got high marks in instructional writing so I slipped into the role well.
Basically Step by Step instructions on how to do something
oh, you mean they write crappy bug reports. when you just say "bugs" i'm thinking about something which exists in the actual build of the game.
like flow charts.
ah yes yes, i see
Making it easier for us dumb programmers to reproduce a bug is always a good thing, saves time, and hair.
programmers don't need hair
you need to pull something out when you can't reproduce a bug that QA swears is still in the build :)
Ok guys. I have a question. In my quest to be a better designer and get a job in the games industry. Does have anyone have any advice on what i should focus my future efforts on to make a folio good enough to get that junior design position. For those who arn't yet aware. I've been working for the last few months at home making design theory and Level design examples. anyone hav
certainly improves head scratching performance.. with no hair...
Scrow: What I mean by publisher bugs.. Some Dev companies have an inhouse QA team, which is where I've normally worked, as the project is on the final few weeks/months, the publisher will use their QA team, or hire a 3rd party QA team to also check our game making sure everything works. I totaly understand why its needed, but the quality is not always good...
caroo: I was going to e-mail you a few days ago, because I think you're doing really good work
i actually remember instructional writing excercises where we had to write a list of steps explaining to an alien how to use a can opener.
caroo: i'll have to check your stuff out first
Paulm : thank you mate. ^_^
but Australia is a small industry and getting a job as a designer anywhere is hard, even in Melbourne which is supposed to one of two epicentres
what about Adelaide thats a gaming Mecca!!! :)
paulm : mate...hard.. is an understatement
fuck yeah it is
Yeah paul's right, my advice would be to start in QA if you can.
... what I mean by that, is that the in house QA team and Dev team will have a repore, we both understand each other after a few months/years working with each other, Dev teams knows our writing style, and we know what information the dev team needs. The pubisher testers tend to be Game Testers who dont fully understand what is....
... needed when writing a bug an they will omit details, be slack on writing steps to follow or write bugs that just dont make sense at all
I mean, half of the game dev houses don't appreciate designers half the time anyway, so it may not necessarily be a bad thing you being rejected
Also, you'll find that there are often not a huge number of game designer roles in Aus industry compnies with probably a couple of exceptions..
but don't get sidetracked
keep pushing for what you want and keep working on your folio
What do you do again Paulm? ^^
actual Game Design is a tricky area to get into. Level design is a bit easier.
ahah I do a lot of things :)
most companies use programmers.. and artists.. and producers to help with game design :0
I've done plenty of design :P
Although it has been improving in the last couple of years..
A lot of game designers have coem from level design background
well thats why ive been doing so much level designing.
level design helps you understand the finenite details on what makes a game good and what doesnt
Yah.. ditto.. my kids have even game design credits :)
also experience in the industry will help gain respect
caroo: you've got a broad folio... you may want to focus on something like level design to keep it focussed
I've worked with some crappy designers in the past who were hired not on their merits to design a game, but their ability to communicate or write a story, while this is all good, it doesnt help when we are trying to explain to them why things can or cant be done
having knowledge of the technical aspects of how a game is developed is another good asset for a designer, either being from an art or code background doesn't hurt either.
To compensate the theory. To give myself something more tangable to couple int he folio.
Work on a MOD project :D
big bonus points for getting into the industry
Hehe I remember at one unnamed company, the game designer was a promoted failed artist, they didnt want to fire him, so he became the game designer by default.. omg.. what a bad idea..
caroo: I like that you write on game design theory as well, that's always a good indicator in my eyes.. but I'm not hiring anyone unfortunately :)
Grover, and they wonder why the aussie game industry doesnt and out, lol
man, where's CF when you need him
Yah.. its a bit messy.. in some places.
I think the role of the designer has been far too underrated in the past
WAY too underrated
<.< CF... ah that guy. what a guy. I gotta say. he knows his stuff
yeah he does know his stuff
you should chat with him
I should.. i really should.
well he posted on your thread
who is CF?
yerp.. although there are other good examples.. ie at Pandemic we had on a team of 11.. 3 designers 3 coders.. and 4 artists.. imho.. a brilliant balance.. and we knocked out a PC and PS2 game in 12 months..
Grover + CF + Lorien == The Grumpy Three
damn acronyms!
haha bastard
wheres CF work?
No where at mo.. although I think hes looking..
[22:57:57] yerp.. although there are other good examples.. ie at Pandemic we had on a team of 11.. 3 designers 3 coders.. and 4 artists.. imho.. a brilliant balance.. and we knocked out a PC and PS2 game in 12 months.. <---- who did the sound?
but i wouldn't wanna come onto him as someone begging to get a job. Something in my gut tells me hes very high up int he experience ladder.
where did he work?
Scrow: I did. :)
the sound engine.. anyway :)
Grover that is quite an acheivement
what game was it?
i meant sound recording, design and editing :P
AMRTS.. doh ;)
I don't think we're allowed to say where CF works or has worked :) it would give him away :)
was offshore.. US based.
We had most of it done at the LA Pandemic studio
is he US based now?
oh wait, you're talking about something else
no.. the AMRTS sound.
whats AMRTS? lol
Army Men RTS
ArmyMen RTS :)
go the acronyms
But what do you guys feel the industry need..this aussie industry needs. A game designer who is focused around gameplay and mechcancis of fun instead of story and docs. Or a level designer?
soz.. doh..
caroo: It needs a lot of things
Jason / Dale / Ash would best answers here.
I know you can get into game deisgn from scripting (film/story) .. and its a reasonably strong way to do it - but not sure in Aus. Level deisgn wise.. I think youd prolly get in Aus easier, but probably not OS..
Jason do you know if there are any other dev studios involved in the spyro project? that youre allowed to say
the game industry doesnt need "another" designer, Its not a one fix solution, theres lots of things the game inudtry needs, and thats people with experience. So work your way up the ladder, not need to try and jump into a major role right away, you'll do years in the industry always learning more and more, and when the oppotunity comes, you'll probably slip into a design position really well
i think a mix of both gameplay gurus and level design gurus are needed for a solid game
caroo, also do a lot of things outside gameing, possibly take up acting, a bit of hoppy filmaking, some short story writing, etc
caroo: story can be done by professional story writers, and IMO is usually best not left for the game designers to handle, they have enough on their plate.
all the experience you get from that and other things will help a lot in game design
Grover - OS?
Jason|Krome, true.
Over Seas?
depends on what type of designer you want to be, you could be a gameplay designer, a story/director designer type position, technical designer and so on
caroo also do some programming, or HTML work, PHP anything
it will help you communicate VERY well with the programmers
although don't do too much
OH! Do some macromedia/adobe flash stuff as well, more and more designers are starting to use it for menus, prototyping flow, and genral other things.
anonguy: Krome developed Spyro, Vivendi are publishing it, they hired a story writer, hired the voice talent, and handled the voice recordings. They also organised a company for handling the CG cutscenes. We did pretty much everything else.
I've always been tempted to put togther non interactive game feature demos togther in flash and let it play out like an animation
Dale QA - I just wanna be helpful. But i feel for this industry a game content and gameplay designer would be my strengh i beleave. And ive done some flash work before.
Yah OS - OverSeas. Most of the game designers I know overseas, have all come through a higher level education system. Either an actual media studies course, or from the art/code side..
caroo: that's where you seem to want to go anyhow caroo :)
You might think it hard to get to be a game designer here, its doubly so in the US imho.
caroo, yeah it sounds like you'd fit best in as an assistant designer to start off (but it would be better for you in the long run to do level design work first) you'll end up working on menu flow, sometimes multiplayer, maybe a bit of weapon work such as balancing etc, and generaly helping the lead designer
I need to get some sleep guys, been interesting chatting with you all.
l8r Jason|Krome
seeya Jason
Ciao Jason.
[23:06:16] OH! Do some macromedia/adobe flash stuff as well, more and more designers are starting to use it for menus, prototyping flow, and genral other things. <---- heh, i used flash for assignments and a design doc i've been making to explain concepts and mechanics which are difficult to explain with text.
seeya jason, thanks for coming
* Jason|Krome has left #igda Dale QA i did this about 9 months ago. basic but still an idea
yeah that is a good point
i prefer to SHOW rather than explain
its like a better powerpoint :)
we're gonna have flash stacks now :)
caroo, grab a swag of talks and videos from GDC seminars and stuff
they are very helpful
And books :)
ever thought about doing your own thing?
Dale - I've been reading a lot of postmortens on the gamestura website.
Soak up the info.. and in 5 years when youve learnt it all.. start again ;)
you should be able to as a designer answer any question put to you as to why a certain feature is the way it is. Eg, why does this weapon kill the enemy in 2 shots yet has the accuracy of a retard throwing a pie?
my own tihng?
you know, get a mod team together or something
It's temping. It really is.
Well tis a good way to show caps.
dont start a mod team first off
join a few first
MOD teams have a lot of problems the game industry doesnt
that is true
especially Moralle and keeping stuff happening
commitient is one
is know this from experence.
heheeh commitment.. hehehe
yeah well you are a pretty committed guy caroo
thats one
join a mod team that know what they are doing and have already released screenshots or have some sort of prototype
I did 6 months volentary work for a guy wanting to make a MMORPG
you don't need many, you just need to one or two really
yeah no kidding
stay away from MMORPG!111
I know that..this guy sadly didn't
yeah, thats a given, hehe
Yerp. Heres a good example. People often think it take a huge number of people to create very good things. have a guess how many ppl it took to build SNSystems entire PS2 tool chain.
after playing mmorpg you may need
how many.
including debugger.. VU debugger.. compilers.. linkers.. visual integration.. etc..
3 ppl.
I like that number
3 people is a good number
but i did 6 months doing concept art for a race for this game.
concept art is niche
it was fun. It was an excuse for a school grathic design project aswell
you could be doing level design as well
hehe now thats coming from someone whom may have been there :)
hey paulm where do you work?
where do I work? In adelaide...
ahh ok
I don't work at an actual developer
I just sound like I know something :)
well technically you did do some art for me ;)
yeah and for Void War too
not to mention programming
ahah Grove, didn't you do all the art for the pinball game though? I never got around to that :)
I know i'll never be real concept artist. but i like to make character and building deisgns. But after that i realised my strengh was in design not art. But i use artistic ways to convay infomation to others.
yeah concept art is not easy, trust me.. ugh
talk about competition
hehe my art resides in all sorts of nooks and crannys ;)
Paulm - oh god no. i've seen the pros do it. I'm not even close XD
you sound like you would do well doing a lot of the more abstract design stuff... you should go read some of Eric Zimmerman's books... they're good food for thought
But to give credit to myself my drawings arnt stick figures. they do have life.
yeah it certainly helps being able to draw :)
im in the the "can draw but cannot make money form it" catagory.
eh, its getting late here, sorry for not chatting much, maybe next time :P. cya all
AshTHQ: just curious, but what software program do you use most often in your work?
This is a guy I recently worked with.. pretty impressive art.
Ciao anon
and if it isn't obvious what it does based on the name, what is it for?
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as a designer i use our inhouse editor called Ned
world editor?
yeah pretty much level editing and scripting editor
like Hammer or UnrealEd like i explained before?
I'm going to buy a game design book next week. Earnist adams on game design.
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earnest adams is a hack
shop around
you cna never have enough he now?
To simple?
Hey hey.. earnest had a very good article the other day.. i give him thumbs up. ;0
that's my opinion, but I'm opinionated
that's nice artwork there grover
Gotta say I like chris taylor.
try borrowing some from the library, some design books are only worth a once read (maybe notetake or photocopy a few pages)
yeah earnest adams is like that really... I just don't like his articles on Gamasutra
Hes a guy i'd like to get as good as.
ahh yes this article
this is a pretty good read. Many of his are.
it's something I agree with :) but then, it's something that people have been trumpeting for a while
yeah, i liked his "Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!" series
Yeah.. thats a good series too.
I just think he's more of a popular writer than a good designer
only its not his ideas but readers twinkies
Oh you mean from a game creation point of view?
I got a whole lot more out of reading "Rules of Play" than I got out of Earnest Adams
Yah. thats fair enough..
is that zimmerman et al?
Salen and Zman
I think..keep in mind ive yet to be in the industry. is that the designer is the guy who has to be the least arrogant of the group. he must be the one most willing to accept and learn things.
i've read some of that
it's kind of mindbending, but cool
gets a little too.... academic for me sometimes
caroo: oh yeah dude, I mean you'll never stop learning
it's just good for taking different points of view on game design
its a bit more theoretical
and i'm kinda fed up with academics after doing tertiary study for 6 years
Yah.. biut like "A theory of Fun".. by Raph Koster (Everquest and such)
alot of pschology..
whereas earnest adams is a little more "This is how you design/create a game"
yeah I haven't gotten around to reading that
I think Raph is a bit of layman's Eric Z
from his writing style
The idea of doing a mod has been in my head. My problem is as small as i try to tihnk. it always ends up big in scale. a good example is the level ive been creating for the last few months
Yah.. sorta.
scrow: I understand your pain... 6 years of pain myself
Theres plenty of heavy gear.. just because it has a pretty cover, dont be fooled :)
but there's academic and then there's theoretical... they don't always go hand in hand
i can't wait till it all ends
october.... so far away
caroo: think small
you know you're getting to be a designer when you can cut features
Its only a few rooms..yet ive textured and meshed everything int he level.. and in that i've learned odles of things art wise..but altimatly its taken far to long XD
because they don't go in the overall design
caroo: yeah it takes a while to learn, but once you get the process, y ou keep repeating
[23:25:25] The idea of doing a mod has been in my head. My problem is as small as i try to tihnk. it always ends up big in scale. a good example is the level ive been creating for the last few months <--- make a simple and fun 2D platformer or puzzle game in flash *shrug*
yeah that's true
hell, go get TGB or something and play around
or yahooligans..
acronyms again.... what's TGB?
Torque Game Builder
it's there 2D offering
lotsa little games..
Next level i design will be comprised of unreal art assets so i can focus more so on the fun of the level and less on the art.
yahooilgans aha
I have a good idea in mind.
one problem i have with that adams article is its easy to say in theory that we should do this and that with games, make it awesome and AAA and artistic and insightful and magic sound, etc (i would like to see that too of course) - in theory. its another thing to actually design and build it, get a publisher, write it, layout the levels, make it fun - thats the hard part
so write it down, flesh it o ut
imho.. with over 50% of online gaming going to "Puzzle/Card/Little games".. its a pretty good place to start.
Ash: Yeah the thing about games is they've always been quite commercially oriented
casual gaming for the $$$
the theory is easy, the practical is hard. at the end of the article he says, Yeah i might design a game like that sometime for fun, maybe...
oh dont worry i have no deluions that this is a money business. I know that what we are making is profit. Doesnt mean i can't have fun though.
ahah he does rant a lot
caroo: I think that's the point
Ash: Yeah exactly. Thats what Merchant Ivory (the company) was all about. They had the fund and investment, to really do what they wanted. So until someone with the same sort of innovative ideas and cash comes along, its a pretty moot point.
I think we're slowly approaching the point where the infrastructure is starting to move in place so things like that can happen, but it will be a while off yet
Not here.
well it's never here :)
yeah. i know a few wannabe designers like myself tohugh that havn't quite realised that the deisgns they make have to attract money rather then their own fantasies.
caroo: true, but you're at a learning stage, so sky's the limit
Also, with game design, imho the cornerstone is being able to write an 'accessible' and high quality GDD (Game Design Doc). With a brill GDD, almost the dumbest team cant fail :)
what makes a good GDD? :D
Very good q ;)
Scrow : being precise
to the letter
yah that helps
I don't think that ALWAYS makes a good design doc though
the larger the team though, the more precise it would have to be
Yeah. But with the ability to stipulate guidelines that both artists and coders understand fully. So its often about context and detail.
And i tihnk room for ethicial flexabily.
you are the designer.. but the whole team is to. your just the guy who filters.
what works..what is needed..what is an add on..what can and can't be a "maybe" feature.
Hrm.. the game designer should be like the conductor in an orchestra.
yeah see caroo, you know what you're on about
I think you just need to keep moving in the direction you're going and you'll get there
someone you trust and respect :)
Making sure that the game design always has the 'game' in mind.. not features.. not tech.. not art.. but the game.
I'd love to see Tetris' GDD ;)
Paulm : Because I want to make good games. wether it be a mandane lisence is beyound the point. you still as a deisgner are oblogated to make the best game you can. to listen to the team and suss out what will add to overall effect and presentation.
i'm gonna go afk for a while, still logging the chat. if your not here when i get back then seeya and thanks for coming!
Tah Ash. Catchya.
Cya Ash
talk to ya later
one thing I've always wanted in a game design, is a table next to each feature that states either Not Implemented/Place holder/Implemtned/Completed so that everyone knows the stats of each feature
l8r ash
Hrm.. thats a kool idea - you use the latest PDF publisher (editor)? Some of the tagging in that would be pretty useful for that sort of thing.
tell your designer that :)
if it's something that can make everyone's job easier
the designer at Perception was hoping to use something like that for the second project, but as you probably all know Perception shut down before the first project "Stargate" saw the light of day
one system for ideas i would use is a postet note ranking system. Write one idea on a postet note and stick it to a wall. The higher it is on the wall. the more chance it has to be imprimented. So people can see where ideas for the game rank in priority.
Yeah thats what the new pdf editor has (in fact I think its a couple yrs old now)
And you can list a table of notes.. and so on
caroo: that is the role of the designer, whether it's a licence or not doesn't matter. I'm just saying, with your folio now, don't stop creating. Keep moving with it.
Paulm : I will mate. I havn't gone this far to simply give up. Theres just alot of extrimuating curcumstances that are giving me alot of pressure.
I mean A LOT!
yeah I know that feeling too dude, don't worry :)
feeling it right now :)
but you also have to look at the big picture
if a job is that necessary, you're better off getting a job that isn't so cutthroat
family and economics mostly. I live in middle-low class so things are getting hard. I'm thanking my stars i work at coles at the weakends.. i might hate this job alot. but its giving me money to play wth.
im gonna have to call it a night, catch ya all hopefully next thursday :)
my advice. Never..ever..ever work at coles..cya mate.
no worries, have fun Dale
thanks for coming and sharing some advice
yeah I worked at a call centre for 3 1/2 years... I now work at a pub
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I came from the gutter dude :)
well mate what is your goal?
WELL, I'm 80% of the way to getting my own startup happening
too drink beer.
I wanna be a great desginer. Thats my dream.
It's far fetched.. my not impossable.
what's the other 20%
hah, getting my remote programmer to work :)
primarily I consider myself a game designer, though I trained as an illustrator and have been programming for 10 years, so it's been a long road
bah.. why program when u can script.
one person takes up 20% of getting a startup happening? that doesn't sound right ;P
well, we've NEARLY finished our product
and well... he just kind of stopped
You said that 6 months ago ;)
you know my pain!!!
hehe soz.. I was actually joking!! :)
that and there's all the legal bullshit
well it's been like 3 months now
Start ups are a tough business. I've vowed not to do it until i get adiquite industry experience.
I need a beer.. Tonka hell is about to start again..
poor Groves
man you need beer
Im a kangaroo admittingly XD
I have $0 in the bank account right now... no beer for me
not until next week :(
so yeah I'm living off two packs of noodles a day and all the tea and cheap fake coca cola I can jam into me at the moment caroo
Ouch mate.. very hard.
it's what you gotta do
welcome to life eh
if you want any advice in getting anywhere like this, Jeff Tunnell said it pretty well
Right size your life
indeed mate. We all start small and grow. right size>
and man, that is the first thing you need to do if you want to get anywhere
right size?
it means taking care of all the bullshit in life so that when you DO start making a game, you're not pressured by it so much
in your case, that might mean staving off trying to get a designer job, and trying for more shifts at coles... or getting a better job than coles
in my case right now, that's getting another job since my current one doesn't pay a lot :)
wise words mate. Well. As pubby as you make yourself out to be. you sound like you've had some prior experi

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 18/08/06 - 6:28 AM Permalink

Next week on Thurs 24 Aug we are going to have Dale! Dale has been working in the industry in QA for about 4 years now. He's worked at Torus, Perception and is currently at Atari Melbourne House. Please come along and ask questions to get the most out of this opportunity!

Submitted by Ash on Fri, 25/08/06 - 6:33 AM Permalink

Session Start: Thu Aug 17 19:58:24 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
Hey Ash
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hi, i'm a designer from THQ here to help students or ex-students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions or topics that are games industry related, ask away. if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and feel free to help answer questions
any questions?
or topics for discussion, recent events?
yeah: do developers make changes and choices to their games based on media impressions, or do they kinda just take note of it for future games?
Well. I finished and posted my mod map for unreal. You can cheek it out here i designed and pumped out the level in a week. I'm quite happy with myself fo that.
just wondering how much influence, if any, it has on a game's development.
some would make changes, taking into account focus tests and the actual target market as well as media gamers. others may not
Also if members would like to give a brief introduction that would help brake some ice. My real Name is Chris Watts . Currently in melb and studying level and game design at home to become a game designer. Don't be shy
i remember reading about blizzard on gamespot's Behind the Games series, where they released starcraft in an early stage of dev to the media, which was mostly a mod of warcraft 2 in space, and the reaction was ho hum, so they took it back and really reworked it to make the gameplay unique and stand out
<---- final year student, QLD Uni of Tech. IT & Comm Design double degree
i think that was after they showed it at an e3
oh, that's cool ash.
My real name is Adam C. Clifton. I use my middle initial for personal amusement. Currently in Toowoomba knocking up games in my spare time.
My name is Dave, I'm basically a contract programmer and have been in the industry for about 15 years. Will be in and out for the next 20 minutes or so as I'm trying to get the kids to bed.
hi adam and dave
g'day adan and dave
what companies have u worked with dave?
oh, i didn't mention i was looking into becomming a professional game programmer
do companies prefer resumes in any particular format? (doc, pdf ect)
i believe doc or pdf is fine
Ash - Beam, Torus, Crawfish, Tantalus, Oceanic Studios, Razorback, Bigant, and now Firemint.
u in victoria?
yes, but moving to Brisbane at the end of the year
brisbane's nice, i moved here about 10 years ago
what's bringing you to brissy Rodent?
Personal choice really. We've lived in the same place for too long and need a change.
Melbourne can get like that.
anyone lived overseas?
Bouganville in my childhood, and Malaysia when I was a teenager.
I worked in London for a few months. Does that count?
so what was it like living in the freezer
i mean london
Bougainville is a little island east of the main land of Papua New Guinea, btw
i thought u meant "boganville" lol
Summer is nicer than Melbourne, winter I have never been so cold in my life.
yeah, it's a running joke with my mates and any new people i meet.
"i'm from bogan ville"
is firemint brisbane based?
so have you scoped out work in brisbane already?
I was offered a job at Halfbrick the end of last year, but I'm contracting to Firemint so I can work for them anywhere. So I'll continue the work for Firemint as long as it lasts and then look for work if I need to.
for working for 15 years i bet that experience comes with some tales about this industry. Whats your view on the industrys current state and where it's heading?
halfbrick eh? i know of someone who is doing a design internship there atm.
aspiring coders can have a read of…, might find it helpful
hey dave, what the advantages and disadvantages of contract programming, and how come u choose to do it?
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My computer froze.
halfbrick does internships?
i guess so
i really should send an application tomorrow
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Hey Dale
hi dale
i miss much?
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[20:38:30] halfbrick does internships? <--- apparently it has become more of a university collaboration though. not sure of the details though.
do you know of any companies that do have internships?
wouldn't have a clue
Perception use to
anybody really
auran does
i thought auran said on their site they did not
its always dependant form applicant to applicant mate
i think they only do it through qantm with their students only
Ash - which i might add i feel is personaly wrong.
hand pick the potential talent :P
Dale - pritty much i beleave.
caroo did you see the article on slashdot the other day about the Designer of the TV show Survivor?
i dont know if internship is the right word tho. they have qantm students do holiday work there and some get offered jobs when they graduate if they liked them
No i did not.
what was it like?
pretty interesting
look for a few days ago
"survivor" or somehing
might be in
will do that later
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they design good games on survivor
not much of a reality tv watcher
cartoon man myself
yer, but the theriores behind it and how the guy has to think of all the factors is pretty good
gotta admit i didnt give to poosabout the show before hand,71581-0.html?tw=rss.culture <---- that the one?
I wish that we could get more designers into this chat. One has to wonder how many in the industry acally read sumea.
a lot of us at perception did
same at torus, a few there
Scrow: yeah thats the one
u browse the forums?
me, not so much
very rarly
im always lurking there..though that would be obvious by now.
maybe people in the industry only visit when they get sick of their current employer
haha. i would hate to tihnk that to be true
doesn't appear to be any more questions so i'm gonna go watch the end of Enron
ok, thanks
as its really the only australian forum we have i tihnk its important that we sould partisapate
for game dev i mean
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interesting article btw dale.
i eckon
i haven't watched the exile island series so i don't really understand the nuances of how it effects the game, but I certainly understood what he was saying about viewers getting bored because they knew what would happen.
that's why i stopped watching it
having already watched a few seasons, the progression became more and more predictable each time.
never much liked reality tv. i watch tv to be taken out of real like into a fictional world..but seeing someone made a dick of themselfs.. theres expections like the biggist lozer which i though was good.
i thought it was funny towards the end of the article where he was saying about his kids hardly watching TV anymore, and spending most of their time online and using DVRs to watch their shows but skip past the ads.
eh, there's really no such thing as "reality tv" imo. it's simply unscripted... that doesn't make it "real" though.
still..cartoons and star gate for me
people are still placed in un-real situations and so their actions and behaviour aren't really natural.
yeah, i've really gotten into battlestar galactica lately. awesome sci-fi.
It's not to bad. I got the first few seasons of beast wars.
Dale|QA: i forgot, where do you currently work?
what's the current title they're working on atm, if you're allowed to say?
I remember going to an interview [test] for a MH position at the start of this year.. didn't get it
their working on test drive
Test Drive Unlimited, PS2 and PSP
QA position X3
ah yes, last week's discussion is all coming back now.
qa position x3?
no its not. I'll stop my whinging there XP
is this time of year usually pretty full on with trying to meet deadlines to get games out in time for christmas?
oh god yes
when does it usually begin winding down?
after it ships
which could be after xmas
or a few years later
or if the game is canned before xmas
yay for the game industry!
you're doing a terrible job of selling it to me ;P
disatisfaction on a plate!
oh the game industry isnt for those who want stability
or money
or a 9 to 5 job
that said i still think it's the only area of work I could see myself enjoying.
definatly. thats a given
its got enjoyable moment, but a lot of stress comes with it
its not an easy industry
i know some people love ever min of it
but i've becme a bit jaded
hasit ever been a stable industry?
back in the 80s early 90s
when games were cheap to make and buy
everything started going down the hill in the late 90s when dev times went up
Evil cycle of customer demand against profits
theres mistakes along the whole way of the game industry model
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i could moan and groan about it for hours, but its well covered on sites like, gamasutra, forums on sumea etc
I bet mate.
Cynical fan is making us well of that
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though we little noobs not in the industry have our plans.
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wether they pan out..who knows
G'day Kratos
good thing though, you get experience in the games industry, every IT industry wants you afterwards and will pay you much more
hey Caroo
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Dale - have you considered going down that path
caoo, we all have plans to make things better, its just that lots of things will hold you back, unless you start your own company
You a student or a Dev Kratos?
finished AIE dip of game last year in canberra
caroo, yeah was offered a kick ass co-ordination job at a Slot Machine company, but turned it down because i wanted to stay in the game industry, kinda wishing i took it
Dale - yeah i know it's a hard battle. but its the same thing in all industrys.. theres always someone higher undermining your intelligence..and sometiems hes the one with the money.
Kratos - how was that?
exactly, thus why im feeling frustrated today, lol
yeah it was good .. did some work exp with MF
whats john demargariti like?
Dale - the slot mechine company pays big for anyone. smart or not
Always smiling :) .. looking into the future alot
hows he treat his workers, does he interact with everyone, or mainly sticks to the vets?
Dale - i know a designer who got a job there at one of the slot machine comps..he couldn't really design for beans. But he had great charisma.
No he interacts with everyone .. awesome guy
Kratos - currently looking for jobs like most of us?
yes correct
Artist or programmer?
yourself ?
its a hard industry I hope you get in. I know a few good ex-AIE students who havn't getten in yet. I'm a designer
thanks . ..thats a cool job
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Back.. :) .. whats the topic tonight? :)
topic is a leaf on the wind ;P
how to cook a loaf of bread
how not to whinge..
hehe sounds a little familiar.. very Aus industry like.. :)
anyone read the imagine fx magazines ?
no sorry.
awesome magazine .. has alot of inspiring photoshop work, indepth interviews and tutorials
ner dont buy mag's any more.. pretty much only publications I read regularly are the IEEE ones.
I also download this magazine
Art wise I love ballistic publishings Expose series. They are pretty amazing. And aus publishers too.
yes expose stuff is amazing
IGDA is a queensland game developers association ?
They are an Adelaide company, have worked with a few of the people whom run it. They are a pretty talent grooup of ppl. Its good to see Aus companies like that leading the 3D CG..
IGDA - Independant Game Developers Association :)
ah okay thanks
There are chapters in Qld, Vic, Perth..
OMG my sister is becoming EMO :(
Anyone seen the meet the artist thread on cgtalk ?
Would be nice to have some events down here in melb. i was annoyed that there is no more freeplay
Yah. bit sad about Freeplay.. although was inevitable with a couple of core people that ran it leaving ...
caroo: no more freeplay, where was that said?
Well not this year in any case.
:well its not on this year.. and as said most of the organisers left.
And .. I have grave converns for any future events..
I would make an event..but i wouldn't knwo where to start
So does it look like atari melbourne house will close down at the end of the year ?
Yeah. Katherine was the main organiser of Freeplay.. and really without someone of that expertise.. its going to be difficult to get anything like it happening again.
kratos1, i dont think it will
cool .. thats good news
I'll have to bug Kath as to why she isnt running it any more
Shes orf to Europe.. as far as I know :)
left earlier this year.. I beleive..
im fairly sure shes still at MH
mh katharine right/
well im off .. later all
Katherine Niel..
personaly i'm seeing the communication gap between students and devs getting wider in melb. I mean the lan party a few months back was great..only hardly any students knew about it.
Thus only a handful came
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And the organiser for that event left to queenland.
anyone know much about that Game Connect: Asia Pacific event which is meant to be happening in Brisbane at the end of November this year?
caroo, is that the torus lan party?
Its only going to get harder and harder. I have recently heard of a few major PS3 contracts being dropped from Aus developers.. so there are some big companies here that aregoing to be suffering if they cant get backing for their projects..
Dale - yeah. i was there. fun time
Grover - any reason on why they where dropped?
usual.. missed milestones.
not team bondi right?
Some of the companies involved are quite surprising.. though.. utterly unexpected.
Team Bondi is one.
go on, tell us :)
wow, didnt expect TB
Thats a shame. does a title being dropped equal shutdown for these studios?
Sony has dropped them.. they did very badly.. but there are some problems happening there.. doh.. oil well..
bugger, i was hoping to work there at the end of the yar
Grover - do you beleave that the missed milestone was due to lack of talent or lack of support and money?
They are still hiring.. so I can only assume they have a backup plan. But yer.. some of the personell things that have occurred.. are the root causes..
Yerp directly due to lack of exp.
bugger : They recently lost their fairly experienced lead programmer.. due to a 'reshuffle' of positions.
Grover - the continuing outcry for experienced indiviguals continue i guess
Might be a reason why irrasional are comming down to melb to try and get a few experienced people
Yerp. But its one of those catch 22's if you dont have exp ppl to teach ppl to help them become experienced.. all you end up with is a whole heap of people floundering through every project..
Grover - this is the problem im seeing. a whinge for talent. but no real desire to train talent
seen tat a fair few times now
yerp. exactly.
therefore equaling no talent
frustrates the hell out of me
fustrates me to
It doesnt help that the gov doesnt really have a decent tech infrastructure to support the industry to help nuture talented ppl.
For example.. in adelaide we used to have a place called technology park.. which was all about getting IT organsiations together.. sharing.. and basically biulding experienced pool of ppl..
that is now so under-funded.. it really doesnt exist..
theres too much emphisis put on people with Uni degrees i think (but thats just one problem in a larger set of problems
The only funding from IT development here.. now comes from defense.. (they are rolling in cash)
Yeah. agreed.. the degree is only part of the solution.. you need job training too..
i should really look for Bohemia Australia, see if they are still around, i wonder if they want testers :P
and you need the degree to be the correct format too.. which is pretty rare.. anyway..
as a wannabe trying to become a junior. I've been working hard for a while now. But with no degree its hard to get a companie to look in your direction. And when they do they would rather look at whats wrong with you then whats right.
Imho, theres only a couple of decent studios in Aus Id even consider these days.. and even they are being undermined badly.. In fact I'd sooner move OS than work in Aus at all in gaming.
yeah its the way to go atm
aus industry isnt doing to well
Dale - do you beleave that it can become better
The two I think are great workplaces are CA (now Sega) and Pandemic.. but yer.. Pandemic I have some concerns about.. and CA.. now a Sega entity.. yeah.. who knows what will happen.
i think a chunk of the problem is we under sell our selves, we try to get the contract by being the lowest bidder, but then we stuff up scheduals, underestimate technology and research, and thigns just keep going wrong
Or will it die off like the tradisional animation industry?
caroo - everything could become better, but its gonna take a big name to shake things up and show how its meant to be done
wont die off
well I think thats the core problem - trying to compete with fee-for-service contracts.. is going to kill our industry..
theres still a market for games
although I been saying that for years.. I htink its too late now.
I do beleave what Dale says is true. Australia needs leaders
not leaders, we got leaders,
we need something bigger, something global to change the way the game industry works
I think there are niche markets where companies will survive.. but the Aus game industry as we knew it is gone. I dont think there is a way out of that regardless of what happens.
and austrlia doesnt have the greatest track records when it comes to meeting milestones
thats why i like Jogn Carmaks talk recently, he said he was feeling good when they only made 50% of their milestones
and thats id software, core team who know each other
Dale - i personaly think the industry is to pressurised and needs to vent
Yeah.. Im afraid attitude to milestones here in Aus is horribly poor.
Grover, I think we may just end up working on SpongeBob squarepants games, and lots of licence budget stuff for a long time to come
and its not a bad way to go
it keeps people experience, and they can then move over seas
I dont think that will last.
If you look at China and India at the moment.. and how they are ramping up their IT sectors.. they will get those contracts everytime..
i love how everyone talks about india and china that way
they will be cheaper to use, but you watch the quality
it wont be good at all
because we dont have good work records.. and because many companies in Aus dont really take it seriously about milestones.. its simply going to be a hard haul..
Thats true and thats something you wont be able to beat. however. let it be remembered aussie companies go to these sectors to get art and programming assets.
it'll be 10 years before they are up to scratch for full price games
Dude.. I have worked with Indian teams - their quality shits aon anything coming out of Aus.
I've seen too much garbage
Yerp. And thats on Mil Spec Sims.
im working with an india QA department atm, they are shocking, they need to be spoon fed instructions
Grover: which game?
DSTO simulators - 3D battlefield sims.. and naval contracts.. all 3D.. all waaaaay better than anything available in Aus...
And about one tenth the price..
I tihnk it always comes down to the team and the people..not the country
these ppl will be doing games no problems..
fairynuff then, I've yet to see it, but a Sim is a Sim, I'll wait until they get onto creative stuff
caroo: also true
erm.. no Sims are games..
but its fun to generalise :P
thats why they hire gamers to make them now :)
yer, Sims are games
but when it comes to a kids adevture game, will they capture the characters well?
In fact I got a whole team of gamers to help make one of the better sims in Aus :)
team of gamers?
You cant presume that out of a billion ppl they cant come up with more better quality creative people than a country of 20 million.. the odds simply say otherwise.
Personaly.. i have no objections form getting an american based job. I love americans. But i need a few years here beofre i can do that. and personaly i don't care where i start. I'll do my bloody best whereever i am. thats a promice to everyone. but if the sky is more blue in another country. don't i have the right to try and grab it?
caroo, yeah, just go whereever
yeah.. I organised a a group of fellow game developers.. to build a sim in 9 weeks..
which one?
all paid for.. and some pretty crazy crunch.. but we did it.. with full character anims.. and so forth..
Personaly this mentality with some people that if you go overseas your a trator is poop.
caroo, i dont know anone that has that
Its the only place youll get the necessary exp..
Dale - i know one. ^^ but just one
besides. spend a few years there. come back a wiser man.
but the money will be better over there
The sim was with a local company here who does tuns of sims for defense and gov - Sydac. We did a 2 million dollar VR train driver sim.. for the NSW VR Centre :)
If i wanted money mate i wouldn't of choisen game design XD
A 30 foot train driving game.. that lets you run over ppl.. and stuff.. was very good fun ;0
i woulve done car design.. or slot machine design
Grover, i think i remember hearing about that
Yeah.. was a couple of years ago. But yer.. was nuts the contract - when I was told 9 weeks.. I almost spat the dummy..
9 weeks?
thatw as the contract lenth?
But when you see the huge VR Centre.. hehe it gives you alot of motivation :)
we had to stretch it to 12.. because they wanted a couple of extra features..
that was 6 ppl.. pretty nuts when I think about it.. the sound guy was in heaven tho.. with a true pisitional Lakes huron sound system.. he didnt care about the hours :)
well. my ultimate donno..15 years form now.. would be to create a design studio. Like a outsourcer.. but speicalising in top quality design documtation - scripting and level design.
At the time SGI were a little blown away by the results too.. we got some game artists on board.. and compare to most sims at the time.. it was pretty superb ;)
As 15 years form now.. the need will be damm huge
Like Mystwalker or w/e?
Yeah.. beleive it or not.. I think remote work contracting roks..
I think thats the best thing about game dev.. its one of the few jobs that can work well remotely.
Mistwalker* sorry.
I tihnk for design it can be done well if the people know what there doing. thats why i said 15 years form now.
Although I think 15 yrs from now.. things are going to be built _very_ differently :)
You better be thinking visual programming.. and design :) because thats the future :)
oh yeah. it's everyones task to adapt to new technology
designers are no exclution to that law
Im just voicing what is being echoed through the halls of Sony, MS, Nintendo and EA.. they are all moving away from hard dev, and looking for high level solutions - very high level.
better forget C/C++/Java even C#... its all no goot for the future generations of hw..
what do you mean by "hard dev" and "high level solutions"?
As in what engineers have been doing for the last 10-15 yrs :)
Tools like Matlab (although not a perfect example).. and systems like Siemens Simatic.. basically graphical development of software..
minor data entry.. and lego building..
C++ and lower level programming will always be needed, they'll always need a way to squeeze more power out of a console
bzzzt ;)
well lets hope its not going to become a highly eletist career.. a little bit of eletisem is much kills the fun of an industry.
Thats just a fallacy.. same sort of thing that C++ coders say about asm these days :)
and ASm is still used extensivly
ner.. not elitist.. more generic. Ie.. provide the ability for complexity in the modules (see Matlab and Simatic for examples).. and allow designers to create..
Who uses Asm on PC?
pppffttt, pc
its used on consoles lots
How far detached do you think PC development is from Console.. esp in this next-gen with PS3 and X306?
everything changes. This is true.
Its all about development, and time, and robustness.
its all about money
pc is totaly different in a lot of cases from console, such as consoles have standard hardware which is what saves a lot of time, and which is why you can make a cosole do a lot more than a pc for less grunt
With project sizes growing exponentiially.. the move will occur regardless of what programmers like/want :)
not really, the top games will have top programmers on it getting every drop of power from a console and in a lot of cases that means ditching APIs and crappy libries
so you're talking about "cookie cutter" tools for games Grover?
Look at Renderware as a previous generation example - 30% of all titles on PS3 use it.
Money + Time = Profits and publishers want 3x return minimum on their game. so if development is 5million they want 15 million in sales. damm hard to achive.
* Dale|QA rofl at renderware
thats such a crappy engine
Its not about the package.. its about the time saved.
thats the thing, middle ware doesnt always mean time saved
Thats a very typical coder answer - you need to see the big picture.. because performance will become less and less of an issue.
its not true
I have seen the changes occur in the PLC industry over 10 years ago..
performance is always an issue
all the programmers on PLC then.. all scoffed at it.. now its the only way to build code on PLC's..
performance... will be diluted.. it alreadu is.. Renderware is the example.
Sony, MS, and Nintendo all have strict rules that the game has to run a certain way, and throwing things tother with middle ware doesnt get that, they why they need to optimise, and optimising needs to be low level
Look. My good friend Aaron was involved in perf anaylising games at Sony US.. and most games (80%) never even come close to have decent performance..
yeah i know
thats why theres a mad rush to optimise like cray
For example.. you know nearly ALL games even on MS.. have pixel overwrites of 3 or more ?
all games submitted to Sony etc, all perform badly unless they are utterly horribly basic graphics
Thats not true.
but as the game wraps up everyhting gets optimised and eventually it hits the minimum of 30fps
That may happen in Aus development houses.. but Im afraid thats not always the case..
true its not always the case but it happens a lot, and you'll find not many games use standard middleware
they change it somehow to suit their needs
even the unreal3 engine isnt up to snuff in a lot of cases
hell the unreal2 engine was trash
but we could debate this all day, lets do something else
I know you'll all scoff at me for this, but I think the best "game engine" out there in terms of accessibility to non-programmers, immediate gratification * Rodent has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
you gonna try and enter the upcomming aussie demoscene party?
Hehe. I wish I had time. I happen to getting a development tool ready.. as well as normal work.. plus wifey and two kids and a couple of other side projects.. and helping couple of startups :) little busy ;)
Hey Grover. Whats your opionion on what you think would make a good designer?
Someone who really cares about making something _theyd_ love to play.
And focus.. and docs. :)
sorry.. dreaded docs word.. but damn.. I tell u that makes me aggro all the time when docs are ignored.. in game design - just recently had a go at my US employer about thta.
Well its becoming aparent that as this industry gets more complex where going to have different degrees and types of designers. I want to be a designer who focuses on gameplay more then anything.
brb, running benchmark
Yeah. good point.
The complexity of projects leads to that in coding too. You sorta have to bucket yourself into a particular style/role.
We have level designers..we have a hell of alot of writers.. but ..i'm not sure how much credability this has.. but were lacking in designers who stress good gameplay and try to maintain te game to be fun at all times if possable.
just form what ive seen form my outside view
I guess as a "gameplay" designer doesnt have much to give in production terms he might be looked on with confusion and uncurtainty though.
I think I said last week - that a great designer is like a great conductor of an orchestra. They are the ones that have the overal view and aim in mind. And hopefully if the orchstra plays well, you end up with an magnificent work :)
yeah thats a very good way to look at it.
i love explaining tihngs with an example like that
The hard bit is keeping the orchestra in line.. and making sure any single instrument doesnt try and override the rest - ehehe programmers and artists are the classic here :)
haha yeah i bet
It really is about teamwork though - because as humans we all have our own egos we are trying to grow.. so a good designer is also a very good diplomat ;) Knows how to get the instruments to play what he wants without making them feel left out :)
well that will be something that i'll work on when i get the job. I can't really diplomat much without a team XD
hehe. yeah.. its definitely a fine art. Im not particualrly good at diplomacy.. but have worked with some amazing designers..
Well i really hope to become a great designer.
Its a humbling experience to work with talent folks.. I do sorta miss that I must admit. Thats the worst thing about remote contract work.
just gotta be given the benefit of the doubt first..but im wokring on that XD
what do you do contract..programming?
Hey. Your off to a brill start - imho.. asking q's is the best way to get going. Shows you are keen, motivated and inquisitive.. damn good designer attributes imho.
At the moment.. have been doing bits and pieces.. some defense.. some sim work.. and GBA games.. and DS games..
Well i wanna be great. Not to apease my own ego but to make great games.. whats defence work like?
Can be pretty interesting - can be _horribly_ boring :)
hahaha i bet.
Interesting one: We made a rocket launcher sim.. the mechanical engineers made a complete mockup of a shoulder launcher.. we used a head set and 4 pc's (for multiviews).. and built the 3D engine from scratch.. was pretty good fun.
Also done things like make a '3D sandpit' that the dsto dudes could test flare UV spectrums with.. and different image capturing techniques.. and path following.. etc.. yeah.. it can be pretty kool.
haha i remembered someone made a militery project that had kangaroo meshes and enimes.. and becouse the template for the roos was form the enimes..the kangaroos had a bug where they has weapons and shot at you. lol
was quite embarising for the militery when they showed it to the yanks and they didnt know about the bug
Yeah.. had heard of a similar story.. although never saw anything like that at dsto.
floating around somewhere
Most of the time the sim gear is extremely crap gfx and such tho.
Mainly because of the 'off-the-shelf' tools that the dsto requires ppl to use - because of mil-spec requirements.
I love the post mortems at gamedev..sadly no one has wirtten one since 2002..a damm shame as it gives valable insight
But that is slowly changing which is kool. Yeah.. gamedev is essntially ded isnt it?
sadly.. i think im gonna buy a few more postmortem books off amazon dot com.
people experences form games are highly valuable in my eyes
gives you multable views
I used to visit there alot - was a great site.
Gamasutra has good postmortems too.
Although, I really wonder about some of them.. they dont always tend to share the truth about why projects fail.. or why they are late - invariably is HR problems.
as i said you get alot of views. but you dont take them to be 100% true
hehe. amen.
"only trust half of what you see and non of what you hear X3"
The view from inside is _very_ different to the way the media portays it. thats for sure.
old paraniod quote from beast wars.
whats your view?
hehe .. is it paranoid.. or good sense :)
its good sense..but not for everything. if you trust no one nothing will ever get done
yeah. thats damn true - sadly this business can make you a little twisted and cynical. Mainly due to the people that are in it. Some just shouldnt be involved - most of the time Ive found this is hopelessly true for Aus industry. Not quite so much for OS tho.
what are the downfalls of these people. Ego? Being put into the industry thorugh friends and them having a lack of skill? whats the main killer of the aussie industry?
Not sure - I think its ego, but hard to put your finger on it. Its more of a real arrogance of 'kool'. Im not sure if that makes sense. Most of my friends OS are extremely humble ppl, they have managed to get to the tops of their professions, without saying boo.
In Aus.. it seems even the slightest event is blown up into "woot woot look at us".. and while its funny the first time.. after 5 yrs.. its actually starting to really worry me.
In others words we need more hard workers and less gloters
bed time for me, catch ya all l8r
cya mate
gloating is so fun btw,
later dale
hehe. can be ;)
* Dale|QA has quit IRC (Quit: )
i bet it can be. but dont gloat over welcome XD
I tihnk the yanks learned that a few years back
its ok to be proud..but to be overly cocky and your asking for shit to happen
Some of my good friends.. whom I met at Ratbag, have all gone on to do some pretty amazing things. It sorta gives me a kind of faith in the fact we do have great talent here. And they are all in places you wouldnt expect, and ppl rarely know about, but I think it says alot about what you mentioned - hardwork.
then again. I'm yet to form any solid view. I would rather just be an inquirer and observer for now. I beleave hard work through ALL team members is key
And pre-planning.
it pays off - work hard.. beleive in what you do.. and you will climb the mountain.
Yeah. The team thing is soooooo key.
Maybe thats what Aus teams are missing.. that true team spirit.. geez.. we had that at Pandemic.. man that was good.
LA or Brissy pandemic?
Whats pandemic like. I like those guys. the only guys who take the time to reply to my applications XD
what'd you work on there? DAH?
well I was there in 2001..ish.. so was a while ago :)
when they first started.
Was part of the setup team of 11..
we did Army Men RTS first.. then at the start of DAH.. I came back to Adelaide (mainly due to family problems sadly)
did they derive from auran or krome. i know it was one of the two
ner - they wer from LA..
Many of the guys came from Auran originally..
i was told auran. before that i thought it was LA
then went to LA.. when Activision signed up Dark Regn..
They stayed in LA for BattleZone.. and BattleZone 2.. then came back to aus.. and started up the company.
Battlezone 2 was a good game
innovative..buggy..but innovative
It was a core group of a few guys - Andy, Adam, Brendan, and couple of others.. Brad.. Brian.. etc.
well im glad their doing well
Yeah.. BZ was kool.
Yeah. Alot differnt now tho - most of those ppl are gone.
I tihnk we have to support all our industry work. why did they leave? change of business and disatisfaction?
And its _alot_ bigger..
Yeah.. more problems..
always problems.. thats life. XD highs and lows
there were various odd problems.. a couple stayed.. Adam is still there.. Andy came back just recently.. brill proj manager (best Ive ever worked with)..and Brad and Brian artists.. brilliant.. still there.
well. To be honist.. Pandemic was one of my "would like to get a job there" companies
Keeping a great team togther.. is an utterly difficult thing to do. Ratbag was abrill example there.. man, they had the best in the world, and thats no understatement.. the best.. and lost the whole programming team in 6 months..
but as tight as the aus industry is now. its hard to be picky
what happened for them to lose the programming team in 6 months?
yerp. thats the prob - cant get better.. sadly.. its going to be very difficult.. then next 12-18 months.
hehe one person.. but yer.. I cant say his name.. hes i quite prominent in Aus industry now.. doh.
Well one problem is that standards for entry are rising higher then students cna learn
And hes a lawyer.. so would prolly sue my ass off.. for slander or something.
My skills match that which was descibed on the pandemic disriables list for a junior applicant 12 months ago. not any more sadly XD
Yeah. Sadly.. after 2000.. Ratbag.. and many other Aus developers.. started hiring tuns of OS coders and artists..
mainly because its hard to get the exp ppl they need..
but how do you get in-exp ppl experienced.. without hiring them.. damn silly.
ah but thats always the two handard sword..and it hurts them more then us. thats what i mean grover
The aus industry crys for talent.but is hesitent to train.
I can sympathafise with them. maybe a compromise has to be made
Yeah. Yerp thats where it needs a supportive gov. Assist in helping dev companies hire students to help train.
Session Time: Fri Aug 18 00:00:00 2006
give companies the chance to setup some form of traineeship system.. have specialised trainee projects that wont impact their main projects.. etc..
Just an idea
But what if one of the very experienced people writes a document outlining what they want form the goveremnt in terms of a formal tranie system and submits it
have they tried to yet?
Having been involved with gov... when working with ARage .. yeah.. erm.. lets say its a bit of a closed loop.. without going into too many details.
closed loop?
hrm.. funding.. assistance.. and even consultation.. is all through the GDAA..
the GDAA is made up of people from companies in aus..
hence closed loop.
thats a shame..sounds counter-productive
hehehe.. you may have heard such comments from ppl like Lorien.. and others.. thats because theyve experienced it.
well my idea for a school was this. Why not base a two year project on the format of a game companie..not a school. a companie.. the students have deadlines to reach techical goals that help as a whole..this would weed out those who just don't have the heart for it.
Its a real pity. But I understand the gov prob. They cant know the best for the industry.. so they use an industry rep body to help make decisions.. but that body isnt interested in helping others, because all the little compnies its made of.. needs all the gov help they can grab.. so its very self defeating..
A school based on the most real thing posable..instead of a school enviroment..
though that would lose the school money.. so it'll never happen XD
Yeah. But how do you get the experience to produce a project pipeline? People think its as simple as just making it.. but its soooo much more.
yeah hence the great flaw in my cunning plan
Short of making a simple puzzle game.. a half decent project requires quite brilliant managers. Of which we have _none_ in aus.
Although Andy is back.. ok.. one.. I know of :)
and maybe George..
none? i seriously doubt we have *none* in all of australia
hehe u gotta see it to beleive it :)
You remember how dale talked about missing milestones?
^^ hahahah. well i'll see i then beleave it
Its such commonplace in Aus.. to miss milestones.. its just scary.
How do we avoid it?
Work harder? work smarter?
stop making deals with imposable goals?
good project managers
Mind you. I should point out, that managing a next-gen project for instance, takes a frikkin brilliant manager anyway. These ppl are just not common anyway.
woah you people are still going
Alot of producers I know for instance, in Aus.. are simply promoted through the ranks.. ie.. ex artists.. or ex coders..
a damn good manager.. isnt something thats really thought alot about (although again thats slowly changing)
what makes a good maniger?
good manager would listen to everyone's opinion in hope that their idea will push the project forward and make people feel respected.
geez.. welp. I'll descibe Andy, because Imho.. its the ideal way to describe what I feel is one of the best.
I was coding away on the PS2 engine for 5 months.. before I found out that Andy was the manager :) Everything was scheduled.. all tasks would just get given to me.. as I completed one.. and yeah.. it was seamless..
And he was sitting next to me coding every day..
so in other words hes optimus prime XD
Optimus Prime = Good leader
You know a good manager when the project was just running smooth as.. no-one is stressed.. and you hit a 12 month project date within 7 days..
We only worked on saturday ;) .. always 9-5pm./.
XD hahaha 7 days,thats extreme.
and we knocked off a PC and PS2 title in 12 months..
worked one saturday.. soz.. spellig
Session Close: Fri Aug 18 00:17:20 2006

Submitted by Ash on Sat, 16/09/06 - 6:01 AM Permalink

This is changing to Weds 8pm instead of Thurs starting this week!

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 25/09/06 - 10:23 AM Permalink

Transcript 14

Session Start: Thu Aug 24 19:53:49 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
Hey Ash.
who's gonna go see Snakes on a Plane
not me.. best movie name ever though
is anyone going to see it?
i wont see it unless its uber
hi, i'm a designer from THQ here to help students or ex-students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions or topics that are games industry related, ask away. this week we have Dale who has been working in the industry in QA for about 4 years now. he's worked at Torus, Perception and is currently at Atari Melbourne House
any questions for dale?
Any questions for me?
I like questions X3
* Dale|QA wavies
I tihnk all the good questions come out around 9o clock. dont know why.
maybe they are watching tv
well this is the thing that kinda confuses me. here you have a great FREE resorce.. students form many different courses can come here to ask questions..yet they don't.
That was from Grover before.
i honustly dont know how to answer grovers question
Ok. A more theoritical question for all of you...
EA is the most profitable publisher in the games industry atm so they must be meeting market demand
their just a publisher
its like saying WarnerBrothers are meeting market demand
serialisation is a different issue
i don't quite follow dale
more like supply your own opionion. But it's becoming ever apparent that game genres are turning out to be like movie genres.. a formula that has strict rules and often very little veryation is made. How do you all feel about the fact that genres are being made to be extremely simlair.
Is this a good or bad thing overall for the whole industry
EA has a lot of sports games that come out year after year i'm not interested in, on the other hand it has some games i like such as Battlefield, C&C, Medal of Honor
that i like
i just said that lol
Ash - Well thats the funny thing. Westen Fantasy and WW2 games have been the trend for the last 4-5 years as far as computers go. but with a publisher focus so strong in one area like WW2 does this hinder varity?
Although thruthfully find this to be a bigger problem on the concoles then on the PC
PC if your looking hard enough theres plently of differernt games..they just don't sell in the mianstream market.
yeah it gets a bit boring as you get older and have played lots of WW2 games
well honistly i there much difference in gameplay between Medal of honor and call of duty?
it's like a red and green apple..still an apple..just looks different
i tried playing Call of Duty 2 but after a few levels i quit - not because it was a bad game. the level design and gameplay is very good it's just that i got to the point of thinking, I've played so many games like this before, i'm not gonna get much out of spending another 20 hours of my life on another one u know
i'm sure younger or first time gamers would love it
i have a great example of this. Spellforce 2 : plays like warcraft3, looks like warcraft3 ...kinda the same story as warcraft3
anyone played oblivion?
I'm playing through it, but got bored and stopped...
* Scrow has joined #igda
looks impressive..also looks like it lacks soul
hey scrow
hey Scrow.
how y'all doin?
i was so excited about jumping into this world, but its so freaking big
* Scrow waves
Oblivion is it's own undoing i beleave.. it's for the hardore RPGer really in my eyes.
anyone new to the genre jsut to fable
i don't like RPGs much. especially eastern RPGs.
any new questions for Dale about Quality Assurance/Playtesting or did u ask them all last week?
im not too fussed if theres not a barrage of questions
* Scrow tries to think of some
i shoud be here most weeks
Dale : Has there been bugs that have gotten you larghing.
Bugs that are just so odd it's funny?
i'm gonna be afk for a while. i have an assignment due tomorrow :P
caroo, heaps
had one yesterday that caused cars to float in the air frozen
then at a certain moment they'll all have their original velocity, thus looking they had all exploded in a different directions
yep had that
thats awesome..wel. its not the game. but things like that have to get you larghing.
is anyone here from uni's that have mailing lists or usenet forums?
larphing :D
hey scrow. what course you doing again?
hmmm, QUT might but i dunno
Bachelor of Info. Tech. and a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Comm. Design)
Soz.. back :) killed three bugs.. and ready for a nightcap beer i think.. :)
well if anyone is, please post a link to for me to advertise this chat
Scrow - anyone else in your class doing computer games as their standard.
Seems similar ppl are back again :) .. hrm..
Grover - yeah you wish other students would partisapate.
not sure what you mean by "as their standard", but yeah lots of people doing this course have an interest in game development/design
I think caroo means as final project.. alot of CS students do a final proj.. and some do games :)
the mad ones anyway ;)
i'm going to have to kill off the competition
at least this way they're close >:D
well it must be a good experience to be surrunded by other like minded people scrow
and team work to. very important.
it has been really interesting doing this tabernacle project
and there's some really talented people in the team too
Soz.. to prolly ask same q again.. didnt see what uni/course you are doing Scrow?
Bachelor of Info. Tech. and a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Comm. Design)
oops.. I meant where :)
Queensland University of Technology
I find with designer courses... i've seen a few in play and have been given a few accounts.. but in that group of say 20. you'll get 15 know hardly work.. and 5 that do nothing but work.
the university for the "real world" i'm told :P
ahh awesome.. had a friend lecturing there a while back ;0
what subject?
its pretty good .. from all the ppl Ive talked to about it.
if anyone can help advertise this chat to other students, usenet, forums or other mailing lists you have easy access to but i dont, please post a simple link to
but i wouldn't take it for granted. i guess it all depends on the people.
hrm.. hehe was couple yrs ago.. not quite sure the subject.. I think it was AI related from memory.. Iam Masters..
haven't done AI subjects
Hes not there now.. went orf to do his own thing..
but the names sounds familiar
Also the guys at Pandemic often have good words to say about the quality of ppl coming from QUT.. theyve hired a few..
hopefully they hire ME
Pandemic are nice blokes if anything.
but thats just from what ive seen of there HR
Yeah. I think there are many good teams around..
though i think most of they people hire from QUT is for programming/software engineering
yeah possibly.. although Casey was a QUT grad for art from mem..
Pandemics HR..rather then ignoring applicants usualy e-mail back with links to resoures and helpless tips. Thats a small gesture but it helps anyone alot.
or related multimedia studies..
helpful* not helpless
Yeah.. the HR guys are good at Pandemic.. mind you I had good experiences with Auran.. Krome.. and Evolution.. too..
RIP .. evolution.. soz..
Krome i've heard a mixture of good and bad stories from. Auran i have no idea
30mins lunch breaks at auran from what I've heard :(
My friend Mike is lead coder at Auran ;) .. its alot better than it used to be.. hes had alot to do with that.
what did he do?
hos it better now?
hos = hows
Hes on the mmo..
Ok.. odd questions. but does the aussie game industry have a union?
It used to be alot like Ratbag ;)
no game iniustry union and i want to se one started
how'd he make it better i mean?
I find that odd. most IT sectors have unions. They are important.
Ahh soz.. well he was from Sim/Defense industry.. and works normal solid 8 hr days.. lets say he helped evlove a bit better strutured env :)
then start one Dale :)
im tempted
im learning a lot about workers rights
but im not a big enough name to actually start a respectful one
the gamers union of "shut the hell up"
there is the GDAA - Game Developer's Association of Australia, and the IGDA - International Game Developers Association which is global chapters and a Quality of Life Special Interest Group (QoL SIG)
Yeah. workers rights are good, but hard to implement on contractual salaries..
*which has
well has the GDAA done positive things for the aussie game industry?
lots. :)
eerrr : If you have been around since 2000.. :)
thats good to know.
Although GDAA has had a bit of a revamp.. and its trying to be a bit more proactive.
always a good thing.
I guess internal politics got the better of it for a little while.
i remember being told about it's state by one of the attendies back in 2003
he had mixed feelings.
Yah. I dunno Dale / Ash if you remember all the crazy rivalry of the past between MF, Auran, Ratbag and friends.. hehe man it was alot of chest beating :0
And to think most of these ppl running these companies were board members, secretaries, and such on the GDAA :)
fist fight over dollars.. :)
nope, didnt know about that
what.. over who gets the bulk of money?
"my companie is better!" "no. we have a better track record!" <-- that kinda stuff?
Yah.. Greg (CEO of Ratbag ran GDAA for a while)... Greg from Auran did too.. Tom from ratbag now at Blue Tongue I think was secretary for a while..
And MF members popped in and out of the board like daisies :)
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sup all
hey champ
you need to write up a acount of all this grover.
* Guest44 is now known as pwnasaurus
hehe cant
ahh its all the sumea peoples
yep. who are you Pwn? a student?
pwna is a 3d artist
Grover - one of those things that just shoudn't be put to paper?
im a wannabe :>
yeah.. sadly all those ppl have some lawyer backgrounds.. etc.. so theres no point prodding the bull..
but yea day time im a 2d/3d artists
u a member of gdaa?
and its all history now.. so it doesnt really matter.. the good thing is that the gdaa is on track..
no not a member..
I tihnk it's kinda small to have to get legal battles over rivaly..
its a little to rich for a contract programmer to pay for :)
where do you work pwn?
fuzzies in brissie
hey do u work with travis
creative assembly before that
well as long as it's back on track well let it rest.
travis sounds familar
does he look like gordon freeman?
yeah lol
the designer dude right
haha yea ima buy him a crowbar for his bday
haha coo
he's a recent QUT graduate i think
yea he was, landed a design position
get him one of those headcrab plushies too :)
fuzzies are pushin to expand like lots of places aye
haha yea
whats in the future
nice to see a fellow designer get in
ok Im old and slow.. fuzzies?
fuzzy eyes studio
haha fuzzyeyes
hehe thats about how i feel at the mo.. :)
what stuff u working on
the ass of the aus game industry :>
60 bugs to go.. two weeks late.. :)
3d action rpg ala prince of persia
grover - ouch!
still fairly early days tho
hopefully it doesnt suck ass
Oh.. anyone here who has a copy of Unreal2004 dont forget to try out my new gag level TANK BATTLE! it's on the design section of sumea
do u know if they gonna release gears of war or some unreal 3 engine game on pc soon for new unrealEd and mods?
that reminds me.... i really need a new computer for all these new engines
-_-;   anything unreal MOD relevent can be found here
all i care aobut is getting a computer that can run supreme commander when it comes out
any u guys do indie games as side projects?
Yah :)
pwn - i focus more on theory and level design. i dont have programming skills yet XD
I only wish I could get the three I have going finished :)
i'm doing a supervised group project at uni. not technically "indie", more like a research/experimental project.
ahh coo, yea i dabble too :>, strictly after hours tho
Not having artists always stuffs me up :) .. luckily one is a strat type thing for the dsto (or they are interested in any case).. so doesnt need a tun of art.. the other two are more art heavy.. and not getting the attention needed :)
I'll make it a mission to learn a scripting engine on the side when i get a job in the industry.
caroo u should try blitzbasic or some high lvl stuffs
just ot even out my art skills with some program to. high lvl?
I've been told Lau is a good one to learn
even i can pick that stuff up easy, good for you if your more interested in actually doing up demos and stuff without doing all the hard stuffs
blitz is abrill fo mucking round.
my bro uses blitz
yeah you can do some cool stuff on that
what we talking about?
yeah.. used to use it on the old Amiga :) inline asm.. roked :)
blitzmax/blitzbasic or watever its called
i'll look into this blitz program
good for prototayping stuff
modding is good 2 man, i mean, depends what your aiming to create
cheap too.
unreal modding has a bucket loads of tutorials
and is fairly solid now
also try multimedia fusion, game maker if you want to go even easier to learn
yah.. nice editor too
altho results will be more..... sh*tty
still ok for prototyping tho
Oh unreal is aweome. i've learned quite a bit on that thanks to a book
You know. if your smart about it you can make some really nutty things in unreal. Tank battle is basicly a rolling desert arena with 16 vs 16 tanks.
anyone into the demoscene here?
i feel ashumed to say no.
coolies, I'll give ya some links for downloading fun :D     download the "Chaos Theory", ~64kb, and have a watch
OH! you guys seen the leaked transformer movie models
URL me
yeah i like the demoscene
demo scene!! :) WOOT! :) From amy waaaaayy back :)
woo fan ;)
assembly 2006 was awsome this year demo scene wise
kinda wanting to goto next year
Yeah thatd be awesome..
thats all
VIP 2, Counting Clouds, Beyond, The Product, some of my favs
oooh.. the product.. man.. they kik arse :)
VIP 2 is brill..
you seen the "Popular Demo" yet ash?
the dancing shiny guy right
the product was one of the few groups that really sparked my insterest in the demoscene on pc..
i wanna enter the aussie demoscene comp if its happening enxt year
popular demo roked.. mind u most of the product's gear has been impressive.. even that game they made :) ok..that made me largh
interesting way they chose to do the robots
fr08.. was one of their first ones that really freaked me.. 64kb.. and just nutter demo..
yeah, wikipedia states that it was the first modern pc demo that showed off you can have a good looking demo thats also technically brilliant, thus it changed the demo scene more towards good looking other than being simply technically brilliant
yah.. did you ever see the products tool kit? they released it for free.. is utterly awesome.. cant remember the name, but so easy to knock up slick looking demos..
havent played with all the tools yet, Consiracy released theres as well which is pretty good from what i hear
the shader tools are just nice.. the whole interface really.. very easy to use.
here it is :)
they havent updated their site in a while
Farbusahs cant spell
can dl here:… is a brilliant site
great for getting all the files
takes a bit to get your head around which ones are good
the popular data set for werkzeug too is available..…
good site for finding out what are the good ones
ahh yeah :) thats a awesome site..
just going though all my old stuff now, good to see my old demos that use to run bad on my old system going good now
yeah ... they often push the envelope a bit :)
better than 3dmark
cept im watching one now, and it keeps pasuing, looks like its got problems with my modern system :(
raytracing :p~~~~~
i had some that were written during dos days that wouldnt work in windows
Dosbox :)
ahh raytracing.. thats a bit of a personal fave.. esp terrain :)
yet to learn all that
looking forward to it
questioning why it is why it is :P
21inch monitor is better too to watch these on :D
X3 hahaha. i got myself a 17 inch lcd a month ago. i love it. expensive though
21inch CRT are dirt cheap thats why i got it
triniatron too
nice picture quality
but i think im copping cheap lazer eye surgery from it though
a lack the space for a crt now. my new room is small.
Hehe.. soz.. was playing with "the popular" demo in the toolkit.. hehe thats wiked stuff..
the music and art.. is just outstanding..
time to dry some dishes, I'll here but sorta not typing quick
laptops rules btw
yea same cept im pixeling
<--- tethered to a desktop :/
i'm off guys, seeya
cya mate
cya Ash.
i like my compy X3
* Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Aug 24 21:56:13 2006

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 25/09/06 - 10:24 AM Permalink

Transcript 15

Session Start: Thu Aug 31 20:06:03 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
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Hey ash
hi, i'm a designer from THQ here to help students or ex-students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions or topics that are games industry related, ask away. if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and feel free to help answer questions
hmm election day mail hey
I went computer upgrading today..oooh boy is that ever fun
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what did u get
i make the silly mistake of buying a sata harddrive and i currently have an Ide.. my Mother bored supports both but i can't get the sata to exsist on wondows or anything.
on wondows hey
hey caroo, how did the interview go
which interview mate X3
didnt you get an interview?
whats an X3
is it a bum
smily cat face - X3
oh i thut it was bum cheeks heheh
the red ant interview. that was fun. didnt get it. i also did a QA interview last friday for IRGurus. yet to hear back form them.
we've got a level designer from Ubisoft Montreal coming in a few weeks btw, should be great!
awesome stuff!
Ubisoft Montreal is one of the biggest studios in the world with over 1000 employees, PoP, Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell, Assassin's Creed, etc
nioce. any advice is good advice. so yeah as i said i went computer part shopping and ive been hanging to find out whats gonna happen with this QA job.
so whats been going on with you guys?
go hard caroo
hi carl
how do you mean go hard?
ive been working late this week, getting busy
keep pushing for a job
you know i always do.
youll get there
even tohugh i get crabby sometimes
or obvious reasons
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hey carlin
what do u do carl?
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he quits!!
im a student
lol he left
then probably comes back
same person. the java thing was screwing up
O.O double ganger!
what are u working on now, caroo
OH! alo. i brought a 500w power supply with more cables on it then i've ever seen. 1gig of ram tkaing me to 2 gigs. and a copper heatsink/fan for the cpu.   Well Souri. that depends on this QA position.>>[cont]
: if i get it. i'll be spending ever seccond of my life doing both QA and gathering info on how people work in a studio and the spasifics of their tasks.. if i don't get the posistion. i'll..probably whine for one day..get over myself and start to plan and write out some more up-to-date and profession game design docs.
the day after not getting the big ant job.. ooh i was emo to the max..but supringly i got over it quickly and moved on and made those two unrealED multiplayer levels.
did they say why you didnt get the job?
hahaha. i wish.. then i could improve on what i did wrong..but no. i e-mailed thme aksing why and what i needed to do to answer.. i gotta admit that is what gets you down. not the fact that you didn't get the job..but the fact that they give you a one paragrath "not what where looking for blah blah blah go away!!!" e-mail that most of us are all to aware of.
I just made the flashing IGDA text on Sumea a bit bigger o_O
gotta admit not all companies are like this. Pandemics HR is i say one of australias most organised. Every time i posed to them they took the time to post back.
Yeh, Pandemic are really cool
well i cant say anything about any other sector of them. but i'll give credit to their HR. definatly the most responsive i've known. hell. for a guy like me. getting a e-mail reply is great news..even if it's a no can do
And one has to admit. If the studios want and desire juniors of high standard and quality who will fit in into the job without much training time. Then it's good PR to respond in kind. If the leads of each despertment of a studio could write out a more detailed "this is what you should do" document and send that out when an applicant isn't quite to standard it would make them look both interested and respectable.
Yeh, from my experience, Pandemic are pretty organised and have people to do that stuff
well i'll think i'll leave that subjet on that. anything else will probably be whiney. Does anyone have any questions or topics they would like to throw aobut?
whats the meaning of life
not 42
but it like 42
42 is a clever answer if you read into it
NO! 42 is the mark of evvvvillll!
i've read all adems stuff
funny bugger. he died far to young.
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G'day Adam
i keep forgetting about this
I just remembered at 8:11pm
I totally forgot last week
why is 42 evil
wait, this is meant to start at 8?
no reason ash. i just like to make no sence
yeh, 8pm
i thought i was late for an 8:30 event
got any games industry questions or things u want to discuss?
Adam - the talk is suffeirng from "lack of questions" syndrome. so by all means..have a question. ask
not really, i was mostly planning to listen in and gleam some knowledge
any programmers here?
i used to be a programmer, but not in games
Caroo posseses - knowleadge on ... student perspective - design theory - bullsh*t - amerue cartoonist/arts
you were in here two weeks ago, yes?
ye syes
yes yes*
and Souri runs sumea?
hey adam
and good effort on his part for it. Without sumea the aussie industry wouldn't have alot to promote on.
hi Carlin
tis a good site
i found a job i was qualified to apply for on sumea
i guess it would be nicer to say i found a job thanks to sumea
but we'll see
you in OLD or MELB adam?
a fair few people get jobs from the site
what did you apply for adam?
i was planning on making indie games on the side whilst working a real job but now i'm kinda torn
junior programmer at irrational
any call back or interviews?
they emailed to ask for the full source of one of my games
have not heard anything since
(about a week)
makes you paranoid waiting doesnt it mate?
adam can i see some of your work?
what r u torn about?
being a full time game programmer or just going indie
you can scroll down to the block blitzkrieg game which i think is my nicest one
why does it says Bananas, Pickles, Cookies on your contact details?
i didn't think i should be publicly putting those out on the net
i put my mobile on sumea..i've gotten no prank calls XD
i would suggest putting something like (Available upon request)
its more professional
is a good idea tho
changed that now, thanks for the input
just.. curious to everyone opionion.. what do you beleave is more important for a game dev employee. Professional Craftmanship or Professional Apperence . both isnt an aceptable answer. pick one ^^
Personal Hygene
apperence to get through the door, craftmanship to keep the job?
he said not both :D
craftmenship I say
well apperence unless you know somone in the company
pro craft
craftmanship i beleave. Appearenc eis deceiving in my eyes and anyone who place smore values on looking pro then acally being pro is annoying.
and it can get that person into a world of strife
its like saying if they'd wanna see a solid portfolio or your degree at uni
well you were giving an either or decision, so if you had great craftmanship no one would be able to tell beacuse of its poor outward appearence
but i guess the craftmanship would be able to speak for itself
Adam - this is true aswell. but i do beleave work will speak for itself.
caroo, which companies have you applied for?
Souri - so many..yet not enough. would you like me to list them?
yes please
Ash, is there a chat log from last week?
melbourne house - torus - Big ant - Blue tounge - Pandemic - Krome - Irrasional - IRGurus - Tantalus - team bondi - Creative assembaly - THQ   the majority of these never replied to mailed and e-mailed applications.
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did you send it to their hr person or jobs email?
hey dale
did you send it to their hr person or jobs email address?
Always Sorui.
caroo how did the interview go?
I'd be pissed
yep there is adam, i just haven't edited it and posted it yet. i will get onto that
ok cool
for half of them. i'll admit.. i was probably under the junior requirement. But as of late i beleave i've gotten at least enough to get an initial junior place. I dont know how others see my work tohugh. and hey Dale. yeah i tihnk i went well.
hey dale
when do you find out Carlin
caroo i mean
The QA manager said sometime this week.. in other words. i'll be given torus a ring tomorrow afternoon to find out.
IRGurus sorry
i've applyed to so many places XD
i think one of the guys from where i work is also applying for the lead position
Do you beleave he'll make a good lead?
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and souri.. as motavated as i make myself out to be. rest assured i've had my hissy fits over the "getting that first job" barrier. But i have a lot of stake so i can't really quit at this.
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stupid microwave
[21:38] Do you beleave he'll make a good lead?
was the last thing i saw]
yeah i will make an aright lead, but he hasnt got the bug hunting experience i have
nothing else was posted mate. well.. every job is experience so it'll help him as it would help the casual QAs
what company do ou work for, dale
use to work at percceptioj
i met you last year
oh, ok heh
when you were talking to pete and dave at freeplay
yeh i remember
i was dramatically good looking wasnt I :)
ehehe saw a test drive poster today at a game store
yeh I was a bit drunk, I think
i remember drinking in the afternoon at freeplay with a few sumeans, then going off to drink with an Atari guy, then off to drink some more at freeplay, then off to a bar with some blue tongue people
i miss freeplay
yeh, wonder if they're going to do any more
first one was great though
I miss freeplay more
IF.. i had thr status and money.. i would so hold an event for down in melb
but i have notihng to offer XD
did you go to both freeplays, caroo?
i went to the seccond..and asked many many questions.
one comment has stuck in my mind
I think the second one became a bit too adgc like..
(not that Ive ever been to one)
i think it was nice
had a bit of respectability aout it
about it
didnt feel like a hack job in an abandon building
that was the charm of the first one though :)
you couldnt talk to people, was too nosiy and squishy,
the comment ..that stuck in my mind was one of the designers of melbourne house saying that he got a design job by practially walking off the street. how when i see the same designers tell me i need a 4 year degree in so and so. i can't help but snicker.
getting into a workshop was impossible hehe
yeah tooo many designers are off the street and it shows though
but then again the degreee designers have no creative talent
but im watching tv now, so I'll chat intermitadly
we need monkeys!!
i mean.. i'm not haivng a go at these seasoned designers.. but i think it to be a little unfair that requirements have gotten so high so fast.
I can imagine it being pretty hard to get a job as a designer, compared to an artist or programmer due to the limited numbers of positions available
caroo, did you go for QA jobs?
limited positions - lack of clearity.. honistly most junior designers i've talked to have said they got in by lucking out XD.   you bet your sweet ass i did sorui. did an interview aswell
i'll bug them about it tomorrow
that was torus, wasnt it
torus was me typing on crack
crack helps in being a designer?
i almost got a position at torus a while ago.. the producer was impressed with my work..the designers wernt XD
what sort of opportunities do designers have to study a game related course?
maybe you need a storm trooper uniform?
do they have anything like that at the AIE or qantm?
Souri - this i'll say at my own risk..but frankly we need alot mroe striaght talkers so i'll say it anyway ---
While in melburne there are "game design" courses..3-4 i tihnk all from univeristys.. i've been told from students relitivily the same thing. it's an expensive way to play games
one uni has a game room. they just play game sand review them and point out faults and positives. and the deep stuff is somewhat lacking.
caroo, do you have a sumea profile?
and why not
couple this witht hat fact that some courses are 3000-7000 a year.. for two-three years..
himm i have a profiel ont he forums.
nah, I mean like a journal profile on Sumea
well. i think i might make a profile tomorrow then.
you looking forward to mucking around with the unreal engine 3?
<.< trying my best not to come across as a ranting git.. oh defenatly..and next year i'll probably dedicate time to learning Lau aswell. Supreme commander is going to be moddable with it.
But you'd still be making rts games with it though, right
yeah. more so to maybe make a padody mod with it X3
I wanna get all the stuff Ive planned for Sumea done so I can do a small mod sometime next year when UE3 comes out
A scripting engine
i was just making sure that's what you were talking about when you said "lau"
i'd like to make something in ut2007
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there's supposedly some designer friendly tools so you can make different kinds of gametypes
hi grover
Hi grover.
Hey Souri, Rawker Dale an co :)
is grover the guy from sesame street?
Everyone dled the XNA SDK :)
There've been rumblings here and there that the UE3 engine tools are pretty sh*tty at the moment though
Yeah :) thats me :)
heheh he's funny
Sorui - an engine is what you make of it..if you don't know what your doing in unrela i garintee it'll tka eoyu less then 10 mins to crash it.
it'll take you*
god i hate this wireless keyboard
hehe.. "not all engines are created equal"
Grover - adsolutly true
it isnt so much the inexperience of users of the tool rather than the tool being buggy and a work-in-progress thing
yo Grover
Yah. Some tools/engines werent really made for console - Unreal has shown that to be fairly true. Ask the poor Perception lads :)
Unreal ed is a pritty has many symbols and buttons..which makes it need to know what these buttons do and if they're needed. i good example is in unrealed for 2003/4 the music tab is still there..but it's not useable.
PC engines often dont go well into PS2 :)
Peter was telling me how much memory leaks the unreal engine had..
Grover - i'v ebeen told that alot acually. anything pc is hell for ps2
not good for a console
Hehe yeah. Unreal aint exactly mem friendly ;)
is this Peter that worked at Perception?
you still in contatc with him?
yeh, I see him pretty much every month
in syd or here in melb?
in Sydney, he's still at Team Bondi
yeah, I'll be applying for qa up there
Dave has quit games programming and is now a .net web dude. XD
Caroo yer right - PC design is simply bad for PS2.
i knew he quit
didnt expect him to go onto that stuff
what is xna like grovwer
Dave is a talented programmer... hey I have a funny sotry actually..
go on :D
nfi :) .. only just dled it.. but need to install a heap of other junk.. and register.. not sure I wanna do that on my work machien at the mo :)
whats everyones opionion of the current education programs australia is offering?
dunno, never been to one :D
Yah.. the design has shrunk quite a bit from original concepts..
caroo, nfi
is it sorta like a Quild Wars?
Yerp. in fact thats what Mike descibed it as "poor mans version:" :)
oh god i hope not
guild wars makes babys cry
Mah.. theres a fair old market for these things.. esp in asia.. that where they are targeting I beleive..
That StarGate MMO which was using BigWorld for the entire project is now using UE3 to handle the rendering
Im sure theyll make some dosh.. few ppl thought Jet would make them much cash.. but half of my fave games use Jet :)
the response from Fury seems to have been pretty good so far, though..
well. i'll judge fury on it's own merits when it comes out.
Half your games are Trainz sims? :D
HAhah No fuddin way :)
what games are made with Jet? Indie ones?
HOI.. HOI2.. Europa Unversalis etc.. ;) The lads at Paradigm.. they used it in a few of theirs..
oh, ok
Happen to like their start games.. they have some pretty nutter games.
start= Strat
Whatever happened to Renderware
What.. the engine used on 30% of console titles :)
Even EA is licensing the UE3
current gen consoles?
Dunno about X360.. but yeah.. features hugely on PS2, GC and XBox.
thats the past, man. stop living in hte past :)
Hehe.. the next gen aint here yet - 5 million 360's really doesnt yet cut it :)
nextgen starts when Sony says so! *cough*
Costs v Profits.. yeah.. there isnt alot happening yet on 'current gen' :)
im too poor to buy any nextgen console anyway. I'll be upgrading my pc though
wont that cost more in the long run?
well.. that might well be the case - with 100 million user base.. hardly something to ignore.. even if they pick up 5 percent.. they will have as many as 360..
yeh, probably. Im not good at maths
the only game Im really looking forward to is Quake Wars, and UT2k7
I wish Dead Rising came out on the pc though
Hrm.. I liked Oblivion :) .. but not much else.. I wanna homebrew on console.. thats what I want. :)
kill me some zombies..
with trollies and umbrellas..
IM not much of a rpg'er... I've sort of settled into being a FPS loser these days
* Ash is now known as Ashafk
* Ashafk is now known as Ash-afk
Spore.. too.. Im keen on that little one..   yah.. Im not much of any fave of FPS or RPG.. Obliviion was interesting for a while.. purely form the physics point of view :) liked that.. just shooting dudes in the legs all the time with arrows :)
thats what I'd prbably be doing..
Yer.. turns out you cant run too much havok in some of the towns tho :) .. doh..
so yeh, Grover, did you reply on what you thought about XNA?
Yah.. havent fired it up yert ;) I dled it.. but havent installed it (needs a few components) and not sure I wanna do that on my work box.. so maybe weekend I'll install it on one of the kids machine
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is it something a non programmer could mess with?
Dunno yet - being C# based though, Id imagine it wouldnt be too massive a deal.
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I currently hook everything up I make to Lua anyway ;) .. so anything I make will be script driven :)
i remember a preview of that game studio express being like game maker or something
hey, that would be pretty cool
Ahh thats the Torque thing isnt it?
reeeealy simple stuff
klick and play kinda thing
is torque the renderer for it or?
Ner.. Torque have some tools for it I think..
Not sure if they are free tho..
i think torque has xna stuff now, marble blast on xbox live arcade uses it…
heres the dl if ppl wanna try it out.. 90 MB for the XNA.. and you'll need NET 2.0.. framework.. and couple of other things.
i'm told you can use any microsoft language you want with it if you are cluey enough
what sort of games are u programming, grover
since they all compile to CLR
main webby here btw: with forums etc
For work.. GBA/DS.. hopefully some more PSP.. and quite possibly some PS3 in the future :)
As well as PC junk I do.. :)
who do u work for?
a games dev?
I'll leave it as contract..
ah ok heh
you used to work for Pandemic, right
I work with an associate.. and we sorta keep a lowish profiel.
Yeah.. worked there on their first one Army Men RTS PC and PS2
and did you work at Auran before that?
and Ratbag.. R3... and couple of other places :) .. ner not at Auran but know a few there :)
ah ok
Have been contracting for last 3 yrs nearly..
it suits lifestyle very much :)
is it an easy gig?
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does contracting mean to stay at home to do your job. or is much more involved in being freelance then just that.
Yer. Dunno itd be for everyone.. if you get me. For example our overlords are in the US.. so there is often alot of 'US time'.. you have to spend up..
For example.. last 2 months.. I have been getting up round 4pm.. start work round 8-12pm.. then finish up in the morn.. and go to bed :)
my sleeping cycle was like that for a while..
you usually see me post news at 6am when it is
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This actually suit me and my wife and kids tho.. my wife is a nurse (often nights).. and kids are at school while I sleep.. all works pretty well :)
so you dont see much of hte daytime then? :D
Hehe yeah.. well.. early morn.. and afternoon :)
best time to work, i reckon.. less distractions
Usually only in crunch times.. though.. the last two months is a little unique.. because we just finished a proj.. only to be thrown into a project that was in sever trouble.
sever = severe
Gotta go pick up wifey.. back in 20. :)
whats that like? being damage control?
a man, I dont think I'll be installing visual C# to try XNA... hehe
im gonna head off
catch you guys next week
cya dude
Bye Dale.
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ok, I think I should be off also.. catchyas
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hmm, i'll preemtively say cya to everyone else
since you all leave fractions of a second after announcing your intent
ahaha okies
cya mate
are you looking for a job Rawkser?
Nothing. I was hoping to think of something while I said "Soooo..." but I didn't. So I'm playing Phoenix Wirght instead...
No, I'm only 14 atm. :P
i should go to sleep now
start early to get those 5yrs exp required for later on all those requirements things
That's the plan, I think.
Bye Adam.
i have one of those boring jobs to go to tomorrow
what career were you going for Rawkser?
Not sure yet. Thinking programming seems more future proof. If I don't make games I coudl be the guy who programs the mp3 playing toasters of the future or something.
why willingly throw yourself into a life of fustration? :p
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Heh, I'm not particularly creative or artistic so it's probably best for me.:P
graphic sucks bad to try and get in.
anything worth doing is hard to get into tho
All depends upon the passion
If you love something its not work :)
That's true.:)
* Ash-afk is now known as Ash
Im also a firm beleiver of people that they truly put in the effort, they will be rewarded - by gaining experience, and thus gaming skills that others need.
i'm off, seeya everyone!
See ya Ash.
Yeah, I need to put more effort into stuff, homeschooling has made me a bit more lax.
* Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Aug 31 23:28:14 2006

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 25/09/06 - 10:24 AM Permalink

Transcript 16

Session Start: Thu Sep 14 19:50:08 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
yah.. they still fair plain devvers imho :)
Hi Ash.
howdy ash
Ppl like the dudes from the product.. I have friends from that group.. hehe they are pretty insane.. 'hardcore'.. hehe :)
hey, i saw avatar the last air bender on TV for the first time today
i didn't know it was showing on ABC
i was just channel hopping and recognised the characters
Is that the anime thing?
well, it's not anime
it's an american produces cartoon, with anime influences
set in an ancient asia type fantasy setting
kool.. like dragon rider.. type gear..
don't know of dragon rider
If its the same sorta one my kids wathc on ABC.. hdeagon rider used to be on ABC too.. similar styling (might even be same ppl dunno)..
geez.. soz.. my typing is crud tonight.
it seems like a decent kid's show. the voices are terrible though. completely at odds with the setting and characters.
yeah.. the one I saw.. had a little combo of magic.. and high tech.. some floating cities.. with bridges between them.. quite stylish.. the art was nice.
nice animation, some action and cool abilities from the ep i saw today thouhg
did the main character (a kid) have a down pointing arrow on his forehead Grover?
and could control the wind/air
Yeah.. thing so.
so uh.... you there ash?
So anyone working on any new projects or anything? I was wondering if there was any interest in a community project.. or something.
hi everyone, i was watching tv
i just joined an indie project the other week
so whats everyone want to discuss tonight?
give me interview tips! :D
interview tips
got one on tuesday at krome
junior level designer position
let me collect some gems
Interview tips.. geez. thats a good one actually. :)
what sort of role?
i'm scouring the net and looking at university material on the subject already, but any anecdotal suggestions would be great :)
Art or Code or Design or Management?
scroll up Grover ;)
doh!! :)
Cant help then :) Code or management.. general tips from previous interviews Ive conducted, would be things like presentation - dress nice. Talk clearly, keep close to subject, answers should be short, but menaingful.
preprepare yourself for typical questions such as: "Tell me about yourself", "Why do you want to work for us?", "Why do you want this job?", "What do you have to offer us?" or "Why should we hire you instead of someone else?", "What qualifications do you have in design?", "If you had to make a game, how would you approach it?", "What are your feelings about working overtime?", "What are your strengths?", "What is your greatest weakness?"
And to teamwork focus.. I always look for that. Someone who readily works and understands the importance of communication and teamwork.
think about these before the interview, dont choke or ramble on - be positive and concise with your answers
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hurooo carooo :)
remember to smile and be friendly - they want someone who is positive and good to work with
present yourself nicely, dont wear anything daggy, but dont go over the top - suits etc is not necessary
wear something you'll feel comfortable and confident in
who you giving interview advice to?
yeah, that's probably the biggest question mark for me. what to wear, haha
scrow.. who you going to an interview for?
what for?
junior level designer
hope you get it mate. if your gonna start anywhere in QLD krome is a good place i've been told.
i'd have that job.. but i couldn't pay relocation costs T_T
but thats old news.
yeah, there's a bunch of good companies here i'd be happy to work at
make sure you have questions to ask at the end of the interview - they will usually prompt you for any questions you may have, typical ones can be: "What?s the best thing about your company?", "What?s the makeup of the team as far as experience goes?", "Am I going to receive training or mentoring?", "What tools do you use?", or reverse any hard or interesting questions they asked you
ash: on that note, would it be acceptable to bring in my own material such as questions to ask, rather than memorising them all?
or is it like an exam and i can't bring stuff in with me? ;P
memorise the names of your interviewers, and make sure you thank them each after the interview is over before you leave
oh sh*t. i'm really bad with names :)
after the interview follow up with a brief email thanking the main interviewer and summarising your strong points and your eager anticipation for a result (which may take a few days), you may also *very briefly* amend any bad answers you made
good with faces though
[20:16:03] after the interview follow up with a brief email <--- on the day of the interview?
if you didnt get the job, show your understanding and you can politely ask for any reasons why and leave it at that, e.g. "Thank you again for interviewing me. I understand you decided to go with another candidate and I accept your decision. I?d appreciate any feedback you can give me for my future."
don't oversell your skills. be truthfull in your abilites. if they say there gonna need you to something you have no idea about and sounds like you can't cover that in the time of interview to hire..just state you might need some training in that area.
yes on the same day
you can bring in a sheet of questions, but it is better to memorise them. you should only ask a few, so just stick to 3 or so of the most important ones
*caroo has an interview for a level design position for blue tounge on 28*
on the day you might find an interesting question to ask based on what your talking about in the interview
its best to memorise dot points of questions and preprepared answers, that way they flow out more naturally rather than sounding like your dictating a sentence youve written down
Actually caroo.. that is a very good point.
I actually like ppl that say things like "Look, Im not familiar with that but I am very willing to put in the effort to learn it".
grover - nothing worse then hiring osmeone who can't do the job i bet. getitng into the industry is well and good but i'm not going to oversell abilities i might not have.
open to learning and understanding.. and using reference material is a sign you dont 'know it all'..
always put a positive spin on things - if you dont have the skill or experience in XYZ they ask - mention that you've had similar experience from your uni work in ABC and you're passionate and determined to learn more, in and out of work time
yeah from your perspective.. oversell can be dangerous.. but from interview side, teams that have ppl willing to help and learn from each other and sources.. is critical.
i'll undersell with a 25% discount
i have no idea how i'll fair in my interview.. the guy that rang me up requested tif i could sent him a hardcopy of all my folio work though so they must want to look over it alot before the interview.
I have actually people that meet less criteria, but have better developed resources understanding (like uni ppl with great comm skils)..
actually people should be "actually hired ppl"
make sure you turn up on time or early, but not too early, e.g. walk in the door 10 mins early but not 60 mins early
turn off your mobile phone beforehand
make sure your breath doesnt stink :)
where a transformers shirt.
but my ringtone is the zelda overworld theme.... that's bound to get me bonus points if it rings right?
don't have a transformers shirt i'm afraid
and besides i'd probably wear a button up, collared shirt anyway :)
if they ask a question that stumps you - dont start rambling on and grabbing at words straight away, or feel embarrased - pause and think about it for a moment, repeat the question out loud as you think to give yourself a little time - then answer it as best and brief as you can
e.g. if they ask - "Why should we hire you instead of someone else?" and it stumps you - say confidently, "Why should you hire me instead of someone else... You should hire me because..."
summarise your skill, passion and experience
i can't answer those questiosn strightly.. i always come up with something silly like "I am the king of sporks!"
Did somebody mention sporks?
Hi Brisbane!
a mobile phone ringing gets dkp minus points, answering it in the middle of the interview even to say "I'm busy" gets mega minus points
hey rick
It seems this late at night the only people I ever talk to are in Australia!
haha poor dude. yeah i said sporks.
'Spork' is one of the things that dings me >:)
[20:28:10] e.g. if they ask - "Why should we hire you instead of someone else?" <---- in an interview years ago i once put that back on the interviewer by saying that there was no way i could honestly answer that question without first meeting all the other applicants.
i don't think it was the answer he was looking for
another question they may ask to stump you - "How much do you expect to be paid?"
heh, that would stump me
i don't really have a clear idea of that
no, i wouldnt say thats a good answer scrow - you need to sell yourself positively and push your good points above the others
i have an answer for that
anyone got a link to average australian wages for that kind of work?
$14 an hour for starting junior designer on a 40 hour week
how would u answer the pay question - its a tricky one <--- cool demo of the Wii's photograph organising software.
ok..real answer. "fairly and porportional to the skills and abailies i can bring to the groop."
more tips - dont slouch, mumble or speak too slowly. dont say bad things about previous employers. do your research on the company beforehand
good Seek advice page -…
good tips from Interactive Selection on interview answers -
Gee i just go into an interview shaving..well dressed casualy with examples of work and squeak in truth andhonisty to what comes out of my head. i try to tell myself not to overanalyse these things. if they want to hire me they'll look past formalities and errors and look more so for thats right more so then whats wrong.
caroo: Regarding pay, that's what I said for my current job. "Well, I'm making $14 an hour at my college, but I'm not getting many hours, so if I could make that fulltime, I'd be happy."
$14 ecomanicly in australia on fulll time is enough to live on well for a junior but it's not being greedy.
for the pay question - say based on friends and entry levels engineering positions (if you did computer science or software engineering) - about 30k. dont say 50k cos thats not going to happen and dont say 10k cos that under the legal limit and it gives the impression you'll work for peanuts because your desperate and undervalue your skills. a good, professional worker works for a decent wage
$14 Canadian is less, but I ran the numbers and figured that it was what I needed to live on my own.
Okay, I'm off to get some sleep guys. Cheers!
* Skorpion sets mode: +o Ash
seeya mate
See ya.
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what are the average wages for the australian industry? i remember there was a survey a while back.
* Guest52 is now known as Souri
hi Souri
dinne rtime!
* caroo is now known as carooafk
Hey Souri.
dont chew gum, dont smoke, maintain eye contact, shake hands, dont squeeze your hands as you talk
there was the ambit salary survery from 2004..
ah thanks Souri
that's the one i was thinking of
don't smoke? haha. i could just imagine someone lighting one up during an interview.
Oh snap, a bunch of Teasure/Sega fans just got reallly happy - Gunstar Heroes for Wii. Just VC maybe though...
cool. i got the GBA game
more tips -…
any other suggestions anyone?
a good question scrow! i hoped it helped you and anyone else in the future
cheers. thanks for the advice
oh, actually how should i broach the fact that I'm still studying at university for about a month and a half?
so i wont be able to work full time if they want me to start immediately
to bring it up
just say your studying it at uni for another month and a half
i mentioned it in the initial application <--- 9.     to mention or suggest for the first time: to broach a subject.
an interviewer usually wont hire you to work the next day, they can often wait a couple months if they want you. this often happens when people come from overseas or other companies - these jobs can be secured months in advance
Damn my limited vocabulary!
usually the first question they will ask is tell us about yourself - mention it as part of that
* carooafk is now known as caroo
ah yeah of course, good point ash
say it confidently, dont say it warily like its a bad thing, cos its not
when speaking to ppl, your reluctance will increase their reluctance, your positiveness and confidence will increase their positiveness and confidence in you
try not to over analysese a question they ask. they usually isn't any extra meaning to questions. what is asked is what they want to know.
okay, that's some really good advice for interviews in general. is there anything specific to the game industry i should know about?
know your jibberish.
if your going for a levle design position you sohuld know your jibberish like scripting objects and texture panners and so on so forth.
some of the stuff covered above is specific to the game industry, e.g. clothing, some of the questions, "How do you feel about overtime?" etc
what tools youve used relevant to design, etc
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* Guest49 is now known as paulm
hey Paulm
howdy paulm
hey guys
hey guys
yeah, there's an echo in here
anything talking about, or is this just a social call
where on about interview advice
i just got a welcome barrage of advice on job interviews
me and scrow are both going to seperate level design interviews.
ahh cool
yeah still waiting for an interview
* paulm pokes Grover
where was yours at again caroo?
its blue tounge at 28th this month. quite a bit away.…
Killer app!
what about you Scrow, where are you going for?
level designer at krome
i wonder how different level design will be for the two companies.
as design isn't a clear cut job.
yeah, that'll be one of my initial questions. narrow the scope of what the job entails exactly.
I don't think you'll find they'll do that much
you could be doing anything really, guess it depends on the game
from level design walkthroughts to item placement to scripting opening doors.
[21:17:06] you could be doing anything really, guess it depends on the game <---- yeah, but wouldn't they already have a game in mind for the position?
it's not like they'd be recruiting people without an idea of what they'd be working on
so whats everyone been doing with themselfs?
ahh not much
applying for programmer position(s)
applying for artist positions(s)
waiting for callbacks, wishing the industry was better in Adelaide, etc.
yeah it aint to big there.
ahaha big
its nonexistent :)
woot.. soz back. what been happenin :)
stuff and finely cut cheese my friend.
woot. cheese and wine.. my fave.
no, beer is your favourite :P heh heh.. phenox wright...
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Are people still talking?
they all seemed to have died.
i was looking at some videos
shame, what were the main topics?
i was asking for advice on job interviews
OK, I may be able to help you there
I do a lot of the hiring for one of the Melbourne dev companies
what sort of role are you going for
Phoenix Wright is awesome to the max and stuff!
krome sent me an email offering an interview for a level designer
i'm doing an interview at blue tounge soon.
junior position
OK, level design, I can't speak for Krome, but can tell you what we would look for.
who do you hire people for guest? if we can know.
Prefer not to say, but I have done it a fair bit for 2 melbourne companies now, probaly hired about 40-50 odd over the years
back to design, we would look for passion firstly
but you would have to back this up, its no good turning up wanting to be a designer
but not being able to show us levels you have created for any of the gamesout there which allow you to build your own content.
back up now. with examples of design work? for my level design position i have provided two playable levels and a video of a simple player level for unreal2004
Quake, Halflife, Starcraft, Counterstrike, gripshift, doesn't matter what
that would be great
basically someone claiming to want to design, yet not having any examples doesn't ring true
Also currently working on a level walkthrough document. that should be done in time to give the guys at blue tounge a hard copy of my work to look over as they requested.
Sounds good (I'm not bluetounge BTW), demonstrating you can comunicate ideas well on paper is also an important part of the job
however if the position is junior, some slack can be cut, as the role will probably be more
Well ther eis a question you could help me to answer. Is the standard for melbourne higher at entry for the standard in QLD? just form your view.
about implementing ideas already designed
Quality standard?
I think it is more dependant upon the company, not the state
yeah. the quality of entry for melbourne.
as to the quality of people who apply
I can only speak for melbourne
well the bigger companies that can afford to hire juniors.
What standards are they usually looking for in juniors ..apart form the passion and good nature.
hmm, I would have to say the stadard is high at both, at hte end of the day junior designers make up only about 6% of our workforce, so it is important to get good people, who can grow
OK, from the top of my head, passion, good nature, good comunicator, demonstrable levels
wide gameplaying experince
and as a bonus some understanding of game design theory (see gamasutra for a start)
any key skills? like abilities in curtain disaplines? and do you know how much a complany is willing to teach a junior designer?
OK caroo, I will answer the last question, but then ask you a few, and give you some feedback on your answers, call it a mock
Alright mate. sorry i'm juggling things here so i'm sorry if i sound pushy. just triyng to get advice :)
first the answer, in my experince a junior is really there to implement ideas that have already been designed, this process will give a fair bit of insight into why the design came out the way it did, so on the job training, yes
now my questions: whats your favorite game, you are allowed 2 answers current, and all time favorite.
All time favorate is Dark Chronicle for what it offers to the player and 2 current would be heroes of might and magic 5 and We love Katamari.
OK, what is it about Katamari that you like so much?
Do we all get to answer or only Caroo?
feel free, although confusion may reign
All time is LoZ: Link's Awakening, current is LEGO STar Wars 2.
OK Rawkser, why not Ocorina of time?
I love katamaris breaking the puzzle games set of rules. In katamari you play a small guy who rolls up things to make a bigger ball [called a katamari] this sounds siple but it's extremely well designed and addictive. and for 50$ it's very much worth it's money. colourful and different without being to obsure.
Not sure, LA just has a bit more charm.:)
I only wanted to answer the first question btw.:P
Hi Caroo, Yep I know what katamari is, but why does it stand out for you? You need to describe it in game design terms
how is it extremely well designed, why is it better than super monkey ball etc...
It has a visual consistency. people look like lego and cars and buildings and animals keep to the artictic style. The game isn't buggy and when a bug does happen the game will apoligise to you in a funny matter. It's something that really hasn't been done before. The level designs are clever in that you connect get stuck somewhere. , there is always something to roll up.
connect = cannot*
there are goals but the price of failre isn't big and painful for the player. levels are seletable and replyable which i like. it give sthe player freedom that many games just dont.
OK, thats a good start, to re-enforce it, think about things like:
player reward cycle
thats a biggie
not just limited to awards, but how the game keep sthe player hooked, introduces new elements, tepmts the player with something just out of reach.
second thing, think about how the player fails the game.
yes thats a good point. and the rewards are always perporsional to their effort.
nobody like slosing, but you actually lose quite a lot in a game, it is improtant how this is handled
the player must feel that it was their fault, not the games, next time tehy will get it...
other areas worth considering is accessibility, these days you have to ensure a player gets hooked quickly.
Rawkser, check out its interesting
alrighty then ^^ next question?
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carroo, OK given what I have just told you, why does Tetris work so well?
btw an anaylsis of my favorate game can be found here :
Tetris works well becouse its extremely simple to inital learn. but to master tetris requires a lot of practive. The game is fast paced and has degrees of difculty. It has a score system which makes it competivite to others playing. And it's grathicly simple making the game almost univeral in context.
The whole article or just the RE4 stuff?
Hmm, caroo, I think you have missed the core point that gave it, its magic..
Rawkser, the Ocarina stuff ;-)
Oh, okay,heh.
it's fun to play?
hmm, good point, but what I was driving at was the balance and very direct feedback,
* Looking up Scrow user info...
* Looking up Guest39 user info...
mess up and you loseplay area, keep cool and you can keep you area maximized
by doing this it demonstrated to the player the reason they lost was entirely their own fault
I can see a big stress for a designer is to make sure they never blame the game for losing. it has to be their own fault.
i liked tetris' risk vs. reward gameplay. to get a tetris (clear four lines at once) you actually need to fill the play area at least 4 blocks high (at least). but go to high and you risk screwing up while you wait for the long piece.
yeah, reason I picked Tetris is that it did his so simply, and he player always came back for more, becaus enext time they would not make the same mistake
bang on Scrow
tetris got a lot of things right, there is a lot to learn from that simple block game
yes giving a high reward for a high risk move.
I remember the first time I played Tetris... holy cow, I didn't stop playing for hours.
OK, last question
describe to me your thought process when designing a race track in a street race game.
woo for tetris and pandora's box and alexey p.
the creator
Yeah, met him once, when he worked for microsoft, very humble guy
oh sweet
the recent article in game dev mag was great
interview rather
well..before anything i would try to design a track that plays well before considering things like look and location and such. It would need to know what style of rasing game tohugh. if it's just using common cars then a track with alot of fun turns and drifts would be good. Then consider outside factors like traffic and any obstacles. i would commit msyelf to draw a few muck up tracks on paper aswell. then build around that track de
I wasn't saying OoT wasn't a great game or that it didn't have charm, it was just different and LA narrowly trumped it for me.:)
did that get cut off?*
There's a video on goodle video on what inspired Alexey P on Tetris and how Nintendo nabbed the rights for it etc.. pretty interesting
hang on a sec, back in a minute
then build that track de so,mething...
cont >> then built that track design from the ground up. I would place fun over the visual appeal of the level.
Souri: got a link?
I used to think chess was some inspiration for Tetris (for block shapes), but there's an old russian game where you put these pieces on a board and you have to fill it up with just the pieces seen in the tetris game
so form start to finish. finding out the contrants and facts of the game type >> drawing up the level frack >> adding features to the track like traffie and obstacles >> building an enviroment around it. >> testing to see what needs to be tweeked.
I'll have a look
Back agin
I think I have a game like that except it's a cube, and you have to put the blocks together so there's no gaps or bits sticking out.
I *think* it was this one..…
OK the focus on fun is good, forget the graphics at this stage, assume its a street racer game in a skyline, how would you design fun?
it has stuff about Atari, Nintendo, England game dev, then tetris
I think I've seen this.
Yep, I remeber now, it was good.:)
[22:23:49] describe to me your thought process when designing a race track in a street race game. <--- well for something as general as that i'd narrow the scope of the track. for example, would the player be racing on the track alone to best their times or with other racers (human or CPU)
what's the target length (number of laps AND actual track length), what sort of vehicle assuming land based, and hence the type of handling on the bike, based on the vehicle handling i'd then determine the severity of turns (i.e. whether to have hair pin turns) etc.
is it a sim racer like GT games or something more fun like mario kart, or f-zero
and so on
for a street racing game. making the track playable but mastering takes a few times on that level. Turns that require you to brake or drift your car. Add some smashable obsticles for WOW measure.
traffic has become popular if its manageable an dforgivable to the player aswell
and forgivable*
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hrm.. soz.. I have a problem with fun being a tangible and measureable thing.. its a bit like mearuing how 'good' a game is.. better to narrow it down to user requirements and expectations.
OK what I would be looking for is this:
short cuts here and there and underground segments also add a little mroe varity to a level.
with a racing game you have a very controled set of events you are going to present to the player, you know exactly the ordre things are going to happen, and
you also have a good idea of the pace
you therefor end up with a sort of timeline for one lap
using that you can then place interetsing events at a desired pace about the track, for example you may want the player to deal with a new situation every 3 seconds
Hrm. Is that solving the user expectations or the developers?
situations can then be things like, busy intersection, road narrows, road widens, face oncoming traffic, etc
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he'll be back
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sorry the window closed
its the simplest form of emotion graph for a level
gives you a chance to script where periods of intece focus, and periods of respite lie
a moments timeline, i agree, its what we use
nods* a timeline sounds like an important part of some genres game design.
a players emotional timeline
you know three act structure and all that
Like for story driven games?
about storyline progression and such. how theres a problem, you face the problem, you solve the problem.
I think it varies substntially.
* Ash is now known as AshAFK
For example a RTS is not the sort of thing you can easily attach to that sort of formulare.
doh. formulae.
Grover, I agree, but i do know the method I describe is used for some very sucsessful track racing games..
there is no one solution fits all
Youd also have a hard time doing it for many puzzle games like chess.. and alot of others.
well i wish to become a designer that focuses primarely on the fun aspect of a game...well fun is a bad word.. the entertainment value.
I think game flow charts help dramtically..
like the classic flow charts of olden day.. similar to script storyboards.
storyborads work well for FPS
OK Caroo, I hope that gave you some insight into some of the stuff poeple will look for
ok mate. any advice?
you just got it. lol
I know XD
always try to think of the problem in terms of the players experince, and what you want then to experince
jeez my spelling is bad
hmm always a hard thing to pin. as a player can be 6 months to 60 years old. it would be a very broad outlook unless th egame was very focused on one player type.
Story boards are used alot.. in all sorts of games I have been involved with.. RTS.. RPG.. you name it.. but they are more flow charts.. because they dont look linear.
yeah, well usually marketing will give you a tighter demograophic to aim for, 18-24 for example
alot of prior research into the games focus would be credited before the designer went to work designing.
yeah that would be workable.
and your racing a hotted up skyline around the streets, hmm thats not going to appeal to all.
yes thats true. Ok i've had a game design interview before for a melbourne studio. i thought i did well. but i didn't get the position. i e-mailed them asking if they could give criteuqe and advice but they didn't.. in your opionion what would be to the best way to approch a stduio that didn't hire you to ask for advice about your interview and work? an e-mail didn't really help.
this was for big ant.
Hmm, truth is I no longer give detailed feedback, I got into trouble once when the wife of an artist we rejected got very angry
in the end we had to go through point by point and explain why her hsubands work was actually pretty bad,
well. thats a bunner for all involved. I know it's not always doing but a bit of advice on what you could've done better alwyas goes a long way.
that hurt them, and don't wantt o have to ever do that again, so its a dangerouse game.
well I hope I gave you some pointers.
you did mate. thank you very much. youve been a big help
no worries, good luck
but there are others out there who respond to constructive crits well and make a concious effort to improve based on the feedback. i think it'd be a shame to deny them that valuable info based on one bad case.
Yeah. We always did feedback - Id personally feel bad if I didnt. Its someones life you are playing with and always best to help where needed.
true, but how do you spot those who can take constructive critism from those who cannot?
you don't
i have to agree with scrow. its half half..half the people will be insulted..half the people will be do you help and hurt 50/50 or do nothing at all. it's a hard call we understand.
Some of the people we didnt hire, I often gave encouragement.. because they were great interviews and applications, but we simply ended up with a good selection to choose from and you have to whittle it down.
Grover is right, sometimes it is no real fault of the candidate, just the level of compitition, in cases where someone got close, we like to tell them
we also keep them on our books, a number of people we have contacted when a new opening has occured
poor guest will never get out of here :)
no fire away, I wouldn't have logged in if I wanted a quite life
how many junior designers have you had apply for positions in melbourne over the last few months. i've always been curious as to the number of competition in melbourne for junior design positions.
I also have a q - what is the position ratio in your company. Ie coders, to artists to designers?
hmm, we probably have 2-4 cold call applications a week for design positions
when we advertise (which isn't that often), we get hmm 10-20 from mrmory, sometimes less
one person apply every 6 months... 27 weeks times 2-4 = 54 - 120 junior wanting designers in melbourne..maybe..
Grover, about hmm finger counting now, 9% design, 30% art, 40% code 7% production, 5% QA rest management/admin
ok... of those 10,20 that apply when you advertise. how many have tangable examples [levels and documents] to back them up?
caroo, yes, but the vast majority are not very good,
so what do you tihnk this lack of quality comes from? the persons own fault. a lack of good design education? or maybe they havn't reserched what they should be doing?
We ask for examples in the adverts, and will review them before offering an interview, but the answer is about half
Yeah. Sounds very much like alot of Aus companies :) I assume game designers dont control production flow.. ie. They dont do asset schedules, or features schedules etc?
They just level makers?
Grover, as you well know the man in control is the man with the money ;-)
that said the designers do a lot more than make levels, we have a lot of creative control over our titles
well. in terms of production if you look at some other companies.. you will find quite a different layout .. often 30 /30 /30
I think that will depend upon the types of games you are making
really the level of hand crafted content involved
and what really qualifies as "good" in design terms. would you maybe be able to post an example of a "good" level or "good" design document on sumea for those working towards a job to use as a template. it would be much appechiated mate :)
Caroo, a lot of people apply because it sounds cool, but they haven't really thought about it.
No.. its more due to task distrubution and allocation.
Some of the companies I refer to, use the designers to control production and task generation.. and its a very successful method.
Hmm, would have to find one on the web (couldn't post one of our docs), I know Gamasutra has a few good examples
In aus.. designers are generally used as level makers.. which is very different.
No.. only thru exp there.
Grover, yes and no, often a conflict of interest occurs, the designer wants to make the perfect game, at some point it has to be compromised to fit time and budget constraints
NaughtyDog.. is a good example. for instance.
Peter Moulynue is a good example of where it can go wrong
No, I think you misunderstand what I refer to.
Or even Warren Spector, great games, all have lost money
You still have producers.. and the like.. and management.
yeah i can see the fustration with develoers if they hired someone who had level idea of what game design is. i understand the caustion developers have when hiring juniors as the wrong desicion can get them a white whale...but in a juniors defence. i tihnk developers need to realise that a passion and will to learn is just as valuable as a perfectly crafted level design.
The people you refer to are core designers.. they still have teams around them.. their failures are less to do with one person, than the whole project.
The design teams I am talking about are like conductors of an orchestra. And not just level designers.
Grover, OK I stil do not understand, if the designer is controlling the production process, are they not really a producer?
These are usually quite skilled ppl to.
Not.. task creation and feature creation. They are involved with the core game deisgn as well.
They build the gdd (dont see that in Aus very often).. and they are directly responsible for the game design compnents need asset wise and tech wise. So then the producer.. works as a sceduler to allocate the appropriate tasks as needed.
carro, ahh, sad truth is you can exercise that passion, and learn out there in web land, there is a limit to how much will be done on the company dollar, if the next candidate has already perfected their art in the mod comunity..
And solve issue arising due to conflicts.. but isnt nearly as often..
grover, OK, I see, yep we work in that way to an extent, we build our own gdd's, etc, but as I say we have a lot of creative control
if you are doing gun for hire work, you get less, maybe a design forced upon you
US Nintendo event is starting! Hype+++++
Why us$250, in november, I'm there
For me at the moment - design is a contributive thing (even my kids are credited for game design :) ).. And the company Im involved with .. while working on handheld projects.. allow us alot more scope than in larger console projects.
guest - I understand that mate. and i've been training like nuts for the past 10 months on game and level design and all by myself. I've been trying very hard to get enough skill to become desirable to hire..and it's slllooooowly starting to bare fruit. but like.. i osted everytihng i did on sumea..and when you print and post 8 resumes and send them out. and they where very nice resumes..and only one studio responds to you. it hurts.
Thats a small team facility though which rarely occurs in the larger teams
did that get cut off?
Grover, have you talked to Brian Jakobson about the Valve method, they don't have designers, or producers, its very interesting...
valve rocks XD
Im surprised Valave has no designer though - since I know a couple :)
hi Caroo, its crap, but a lot of studios don't have proper HR and so get flooded in resumes, and don't get to respond to all those they recieve, give me some contact details and I will have someone follow you up, al worst i promise you will get constructive critisim
valve has designers
* AshAFK is now known as Ash
anyone played HL2:Ep1?
griver, according to Brian 8one of there tech leads) evryone is expected to design and produce, they no longer hire specifically for either role
So the coders design?
and they sit design test at interview
Geez.. I'll have to ask Matt what hes doing then..
Are you talking level design.. and game design.. or tech R&D..
personally.. Id NEVER.. ask a coder to design a game. EVER. :)
Its a long story, and I'm sure the details are more comples, but they way they build a lot of the game is in small prototype bursts, and these are often designed by the coder implementing them
each burst is about 2 weeks, and is ficus tested at the end
grover, Tetris?
So you are more referring to feature additions?
Tetris is the bedroom developer example.
As were most of the 8bit classics
hardly applies to console and PC.. does it :)
to me it doesn't sound so crazy to have everyone in the team to contribute to design of a game in a collaborative effort, because game design has always seemed to me to be mostly about common sense
still good design, I think it applies regardless of platform
Thats silly - because _scope_ has everything to do with design.
everyone..EVERYONE contributes ot the design with idea.. the designer just have to suss these ideas out to what will give the player the best experience in relation to context of the game.
I know.. I have had to make 15 minigames in 10 weeks.. lotsa little tetris's so to speak.. and the deisgn for those is _nothing_ like the design for an RTS.
Grover, see if you can get hold of Brian s talk from last years ADGC, it explains the approach in a lot more detail, its different, and seems to work for them, and yes it includes core features.
15 minigames in 10 weeks? what on earth for?
Part of a game :)
GBA too.. so.. not like its massive.. but still complex enough.. one of them was pinball :)
So what was the scope of Elite, 2 coders
in robin walker's presentation they had 3 cabals of about 6 programmers and 8 level designers each for hl2
<< off doom3...better then the acuall game itself
Dude.. why are you comparing 2 bedroom coders of the late 70's early 80's.. to 4 GB DVD console development.. even large PSP game dev?
design.. is not what like it used to be -in pure scope..
grover, the likes of Bell or Braben, or Will Wright started as coders, and they know good design, principles apply today as they id then, to say you would not let a coder design a game it shallow, depends upon the coder.
what do the designers do now if u say valve has no designers?
no - it relates to the idea of development and production.
ash: fetch coffee
i make really good coffee btw
Excite truck for launch!!!!!!!!!! zomgwtfbbq!!!!!11111111 Oh and Zelda.
You dont have an electrician do your plumbing in a factory.. and the same holds in IT productions. Skills are important.. and need to be used in the best places they reside. Multi-skilling only results in the detriment of the quality - ask Yakamichi..
soz spelling..
hehehe quite likely.
damn.. irc virus :)
about interviews... i was wondering. would it be acceptable/polite to ask during or near the end of the interview how many others this will/have interviewed and how many of the particular position is available.
OK point is valve will test there code and art staff, for design skills, and only hire those who can desigb, they are then explected to use those skills
scrow, seme slike a fair question to ask
"If you were to play Zelda all day to day for six hours, you'd only be scratching the surface..." GotY confirmed!
Rawkser: 5 years later people will be doing 3 hour speed runs though :)
Who cares we'll all be playing a new Zelda by then.:P
i was simply pointing out that those 6 hours is likely to be spent just figuring out what to do, not just raw content. ;P
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didn't realise this was still going on
* Pokes Paul back *
Who knows maybe the whole including sidequests=100hours of gameplay wasn't just blown hugely out of proportion.
6 hours setting up controller :)
dark chornicle was a huge time consuming game. by the end of chapter 8 [the bonus chater of the game] i racked up 89 hours.
yeah.. def big game.. like Faery Tale Adventure :) .. and other classics :)
I'll probably spend 6 hours making my little system acvatar guy for Wii sports, and checking out the photo editing software, browser, etc.
what the hell are you guys on about?
And Zelda
Soz.. Wii and new Zelda :)
No one messes with Adam We!
and yet again. i stop a convasation in its tracks.
So we can expect like $350AUD after the RTA?
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and import duties?
I know my little PS3 is gonna be way more expensive than Id like :)
its ok. by the time it comes out i can afford it!
and later, and slower...
yeah we'll have to import them from the US
bye everyone
cy aash
cya ash
likewise, time for bed
geez Guest39 - are you a bot from Team Xbox?
Pfffft PS3.... *waits for developers to announce games that check your local weather and adapt the game to match*
thanks for coming and contributing Guest39!
Bye Ash and Guest.
i'm sure your answers were a lot of help for some of the students here
Ciao Ash and Guest ;)
cya guest
nah, just disapointed by the price, wait, and recent downgrading of spec, we are developing on the thing and now the publishers are getting nervouse about its initial sales..
cya d00ds
what was downgraded?
hehe classic
Session Time: Fri Sep 15 00:00:00 2006
Price: I paid 1100 AUD .. in 2000 when I bought my PS2 at launch. :)
Ok goodnight
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the machine was 899.. and with extra controller memcard and game.. :)
ahaha no arguing there Grove :)
* Disconnected
Session Close: Fri Sep 15 00:00:49 2006

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 25/09/06 - 10:25 AM Permalink

Transcript 17

Session Start: Wed Sep 20 19:46:43 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
Hey Guest34 theres a box up the top there
wheres the name box?
Enter nick
i see it now
Hey Ash.
you must be hazza?
how did you know?
actually its harold but please to meat you
what's the time in usa capn skorp
hold on
Hi everybody!
all good then
im cooking a hearty stew, just got back from dropping my portfolio around
i think im in with a chance
give me some time to eat, ill be back tho
* Guest34 is now known as Hazza
what you applying for mate?
Ash: It's 5:49 in the morning. Also, I'm in Canada >: )
And it's no longer Speak Like a Pirate Day :(
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* Skorpion sets mode: +o Ash
just post it again then :)
lol @ frost
so hows everones week been?
looking for work
busy ! weve picked up a nice contract with japanese based companies :D
frost - always the case mate. i know!   Haxard - congratz. artistic based i assume?
so we get to work along side some of the artists from Square Enix / Konami! yeah!
wow that's great. i love those guys
Dante *droool*
vergil *droool*
Dante? isn't devil my cry a capcom game?
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* Guest39 is now known as bumskee
hey bumskee!
hey frost
Yeah its capcom :D
why does bumskee name remind me of "bumblebee"
is that a good thing?
of transformers. XD your a yellow little bumble car
not bums keke?
sorry just commenting on those 2 designs, not related to the contract we picked up :)
I thought u meant this fairy show I been watching in the morning
* Ash is now known as AshTHQ
bumskee - no mate..i'm not that mean
whats that fairy show ?
frost you don't want to know
actually it's not that bad..
how do i set a topic on mirc?
is that the abc show that's have people in costumes?
* bumskee can't believe he said that
no's on at like after 9am..
one of the fairy is hot though
and well you watch it so... it can't be that bad
AshTHQ: double click the chat area
is that the one with a blonde and burnnet fairy show with an elf?
* Retrieving #igda modes...
* AshTHQ changes topic to 'X'
that one
thanks scrow
Be back in 30 mins guys, gotta watch Spicks and Specks.:)
* Rawkser is now known as Rawkser-afk
Any questions ?
so hazza, how old are you if you don't mind me asking
or is it a general chit chat night
* Rawkser-afk is now known as Rawkser
what is IGDA?
Hazard - its always a mixture of both questions and chat. go witht he flow. you got any questions for any of us?
i asked all my important questions last week
bumskee, does that fairy show influnece you in anywa way artistically?
Nevermind not on for another 30 mins.:P
hi, i'm a designer from THQ and the purpose of this chat is to help students and others that want to get into the games industry. if you've got questions or topics to discuss that are games industry related, ask away! if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and feel free to help answer questions!
bumskee: International Game Developers Association
scrow thanks..
btw this chat is going to change again next week to tues 8pm!
frost, I am so going to paint up those fairies and mushrooms
hope that works out ok for everyone!
can we collab lol
hahah sure!
well it ain't for me that's for sure
Caroo - good point, Im glad you mentioned it. I have some questions for those who arent actively working in the industry yet.,
Hazard - i'm all ears mate. ask away.
What do you guys expect from a games company ? in terms of development conditions, team atmosphere etc ?
Or should i say, what do you assume it would be like in a local studio ?
ALL - BTW everyone. I finished my a Level Walkthrough as another thing to put into my folio. I don't expect you guys to read it all or even half but take a sqizzz if you can! tell me what you think.
and the link does work ^^
* AshTHQ changes topic to 'IRC chat moving to tues 8pm next week!'
do you have other works on the web that we can look at?
Hazard - ok.. going on ASSuming here. I would expect a friendly enviroment. like minded people with different personalies and triats with some clashing and disagreement here and there. I would LIKE my bosses to be flexable about someone who just started in the industry and lets them learn while they work [con]
I would like my opionions to be noted and valued. i know quite well it's not my game i'm working on but i would still like a say..even if small.
anyone else just get an email from the games connect: asia pacific group?
so hazard.. is that feasable to ask of the industry?
Caroo - i think so on that level - its a fair ask.
yeah bum?   
it's fair ask.
but I doubt it..
bumkee are you a artist or programmer?
but lets say.....
i mean that kinda sounds more like..
random thing.
it could happen depending on who u are working with..
but then again that's why u would ask for such things..
hazza, artist
<.< yeah well i'm impervious to a wide variity of sh*t.. remember guys i've been working at coles for 3 years.
caroo I think u will also have to understand it's still work
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I have to agree with bumskee about that
work is work
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I guess
wb hazza
i clicked the wrong button
nice :)!
dudes i know that. <.< if i didn't consider it work but who said i can't try and make it as forfilling for myself as i can?
bumkee, your a artist right
well that's thing caroo,
who else?
don't expect it to be much different I am saying..
can add photographer, chef too
oh wohaow, do you think i have a chance?
maybe you could hook me up with a interview
i think it will be more likely closer to something along the lines of - the studio that hires you may provide you with a computer worse than your home computer and not able to complete the tasks you are assigned without some rediculous work around - possibly a chair thats uncomfortable, no mousepad, a tiny tablet and so on.
try television industry
my computer at work is slow
annoys me
crashes too
my heart is set on games, i must get a job in games
hazza, at least u are determined
hazard - That i understand.. but you have to admit you've known me enough to know i'm past the conception that the games industry is a magic happy place..becouse i'm wiser then that. but as i said. nothing in the rules state i can't as least TRY to improve my forfillment and request that my values be at lease recognised and not ignored.
its very out there and arty... but if you guys realy want to see it ill have to post it then, whaho
if anyone wanna see cg girls. free digital mag
i know, caroo - but dont expect much from your peers in the workplace, the productionline is where friendships are forged, but theres a gaping chasm between management and production - and unfortunately management are the only ones that can do anything about your ideas etc.
not being downer - just thats my own experience
I agree with hazard
* bumskee nods head*
ive worked at kfc up north if that helps
opps wrong link
kentucy fried chicken
hazza how old are u
if u don't mind me asking
Hazza you mentioned you where a fine artist - what mediums ?
Hazard - Yeah mate. that i know. Don't worry i've prepaired myself to accept that i'll be a tool in the eyes of management for a few years.. just keep my head down. do my work and have some fun with the guys working next to me
im almost the big 3 zero
which is thirty
whats a medium?
u being serious mate?
isnt that like the line on the road?
medium stretch or somthing
hazza yes that's it!!!
sorry Hazza, i meant
What kind of art do you do
medium has many meanings in the english language
but in this context.... no, it has nothing to do with roads
medium in art means... what kind of paint, pencil you use
yeah what frosty said
well im a sculpter first and foremost
Caroo - definately thats the way
so i usualy make stuff out of what i find out of pops backyard
no preconceptions
wow i think i froze
Hazza thats awesome,
my machine is zigging out
sculptures etc ?
like clay and wood works?
yea i use sticks, rocks, and stuff
hazard what do u do?
Bumskee, Im the director at Kalescent Studios :)
kalescent studios
what does a director do?
are we talking business director or creative director?
hey ash
Bumskee - Yeah i think ive contacted you once before when i was looking for a concept artist
where do you work?
where's kalescent based again?
I hired Herman :)
I think you know him!
hazza: ash's name has a huge clue in it
he works at fuzzy
I got my warhammer figures an dpaints today.. do you know how hard it is to detail and paint a 1inch model!
Thats the one :)
actually bunch of my friends work there now
they must be doing something funky
i work at THQ in brisbane hazza
Scrow - K is based in Brisbae
Brisbane even
oh? i didn't know that
oh are u guys based in brisbane too?
are they hiring talented artists ash?
where in brissy exactly?
I...might be working at blue tounge..or I R gurus..its all int eh air at the moment.
valley, cbd?
I applied at THQ before..
never heard from them
Southbank - Saville
bumskee - such is life and most studios.
8th floor overlooking RiverFire!
yes THQ is currently looking for more skilled artists
maybe i should send my portfolio in
caroo, yes
THQ is in spring hill, close to the central train station
how much should I ask for in a interview ash?
i mean money that is
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don't ask hazza
you shouldn't ask hazza
hi min
hi ash
whats the bah for?
I am bumskee btw..
got disconnected
so if i dont ask how will I know what is fair?
oh, says your still here as bumskee
if u are a junior, they will send an offer to you and you can talk about it from there
yeah I know
it's weird
oh, well that doesnt sound fair
why is that?
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there u go
oh i forgot to say goodbue to bumkee
he was a nice person
* min is now known as bumskee
u can say good bye now
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Hey guys
wb Hazard.
welcome back
hey hazard
thakns Rawkser
hey hazard
thanks guys whats up this is nice
i'm off guys, seeya!
oh yeah! to the max
Bye Ash!
Hey did you guys listen to the english dubbing of Advent Children
I thought it was really damn good hey
the voices where outstanding
What's Advent Children?
it was great
story...meh..action sences rocked
* Disconnected
Session Close: Wed Sep 20 22:40:15 2006

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 25/09/06 - 10:25 AM Permalink

This chat is moving to Tues 8pm

Submitted by Ash on Tue, 03/10/06 - 5:34 PM Permalink

Nothing to post tonight

Submitted by Ash on Tue, 24/10/06 - 5:45 PM Permalink

Nothing to post from the past few weeks, just general chit chat. Big congrats to Caroo and Adam C for both receiving job offers! Well done guys!

Submitted by Ash on Tue, 31/10/06 - 4:32 PM Permalink

Note that due to daylight savings, the chat happens on Tuesdays at 8pm Brisbane time but at 7pm in Sydney and Melbourne

Submitted by Ash on Sat, 11/11/06 - 12:34 PM Permalink

Sorry i totally forgot about this week, i was working pretty late Tues night

Submitted by Carlin on Tue, 06/02/07 - 11:25 AM Permalink

Are these chats still happening?

Submitted by Ash on Mon, 05/03/07 - 1:57 PM Permalink

It was great while it lasted! But chats seem to have dwindled out since it started last year. Also due to late nights at work and other commitments i'm afraid i won't be able to attend regularly anymore. If you need any help or advice though i'm still around! Send me a private message via the forums and i can give you my msn messenger address to chat with one on one. Thanks to all those that came, i hope you got something out of it, and congrats again to the 2 regulars Caroo and Adam C that landed jobs!