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Local studios having problems....

Mentioned in the discussion here ( that quote:Perception are heading south, and starting to hemorrhage staff I knew a couple of people left but didn't know there were any real problems. A little birdy also told me that Torus was experiencing difficulties. Any truth to these rumours?

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sat, 26/11/05 - 5:44 AM Permalink

Fair enough Simon. You seem like a smart and genuine guy that wants to help others and not necessarily just himself [8].

Submitted by Kalescent on Sat, 26/11/05 - 6:09 AM Permalink

70% seems a staggering figure of sucess! Thats excellent! [:D]

How many people would attend AIE in one year if you dont mind David ? Im curious on the actual number of students that do go through.

And lastly, I dont suppose youd be able to reveal the details about where all these students are offered work ?

Purely curious - as we do get alot of student demo reels some from the AIE, so I'm trying to gauge what level of skill these students reach before they are accepted into overseas or au development studios.

Submitted by Mario on Sat, 26/11/05 - 9:27 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by HazarD

What I was hoping for was studio's with a deeper and more gnarly set of roots to perhaps offer advice - Is there anything else you think that Kalescent Studios could do aside from the current action plan above that could bring on board alot more respect, anchor our name firmly in the minds of au developers - or just generally increase exposure.

Some quick comments on this before I nod off (Sidhe has worked on about a dozen outsourced art projects in the past of some significance which might give these tips some credibility)

- there are many companies offering the same services as yourselves, I'll get such emails every few days for example, so its understanding the interest and response rate might be low

- related to the above, "cold calling" emails are fairly useless. Phone calls are a step up. The very best thing you can do is meet people in person and try to develop a relationship. AGDC and GDC are good places to do this, though you can also take the opportunity to do site visits to studios around Australia. Spend the money to get there and chalk it up as a marketing expense.

- Australasian companies don't have as much to gain from outsourcing in terms of cost savings as much as US and European companies do. I'd target overseas customers primarily as they tend to be more compelled to outsource and will pay much higher rates.

- when pitching to overseas clients, make all estimates and payments terms in their local currency (makes it much easier for someone on that end to make comparisons and makes it easier to work with you). Set up a foreign currency bank account if possible. Build in a buffer in your estimates and rates to accomodate possible currency fluctuations.

- try to avoid unpaid "art tests" where possible as generally they are a waste of time as every man and his dog is doing the same test.

- be cautious when assessing jobs that don't have very explicit requirements or specifications. Those are the jobs that are very susceptible to feature creep and blowouts.

- key things people look for in outsoure partner include value for money (which includes efficiency), talent, studio size (which implies ongoing availability), your ability to scale (so you can grow with their needs), and communication (which dictates how easy it is to work with you). Make sure to highlight the strengths of your studio in these areas in all marketing.

- Attend talks along the lines of "the challenges and opportunities of outsourcing" or "managing studio growth" at AGDC or GDC etc, or better still get involved in them from a speaker point of view. Keep an eye out on the studios asking questions about outsourcing and approach them afterwards.

- I'm not sure whether your team is actually limited to the 6 people on your website, but thats a really small team for most studios to consider using as it doesn't imply much in the way of capacity. As it stands, the profiles themselves don't add any extra credibility to your pitch as there isn't any particular experience cited, so you are actually probably better off dropping them completely and keeping your team size ambiguous.

- Even if character work is what you want to concentrate in, I'd suggest your online portfolio is too limited. I'd look at adding any environment and vehicle work you have done to add some depth to your portfolio.

- Hopefully you can do work in both Maya and MAX. If that is the case, advertise that on your website and your marketing materials.

- Get free company listings on industry sites like and

Thats all I can think of for now. Hope it helps.

Submitted by Kalescent on Sat, 26/11/05 - 12:20 PM Permalink

Excellent advice Mario - I really appreciate you taking the time to give me some critique! will take that all on board.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sun, 27/11/05 - 5:49 AM Permalink

Nice effort on your part Mario ? solid and sound advice clearly from experience. [:)]

Submitted by David Giles on Mon, 28/11/05 - 11:20 PM Permalink

Just a few more details about the Melb campus

In 2004 we graduated about 20 students, in 2005 it will be around 30. They are working at Bullant, IRGurus, Firemint, E.A, Reflections and Crystal dynamics.


Submitted by Caroo on Tue, 29/11/05 - 12:05 AM Permalink

I would go to the AIE.. i was so very excited about it as it looked like something you could leave having allot under your belt to show others. but two issues faced me to knock it back.

For one. The cost, I?m about drawn on the povvo line of society and $20,000 over two years is next to impossible with the exception of spending ever other waking moment working to pay that course off... of course then you would be to frustrated and tired to acally do your best in that course..
They have a national bank student loan scheme operating but that has an anti-loop hole for the poor. You need to put a house on the line.. BUZZ..dont own or know anyone who owns a house. I?m automatically ignored by them

Point two: The AIE accommodates artists and programmers.. And does so to a high degree. However I want to become a game designer.. Anyone know of a place around Melbourne that could teach you game design.. Could such a thing be acally taught?

I'm not angry at the AIE, there trying to make money to pay for the stuff that is used and the last thing the industry needs is a bunch of freeloaders. Still. I find my personal situation very frustrating.

AS it stands I?m gonna start my own folio at home once im done healing form my operation. Its gonna take me 6 months and im gonna have to be working very hard...

But im confident I?ll be able to create something great.

Cheers.. I?ll suit up now. XD !!!

Submitted by grantregan on Thu, 01/12/05 - 9:05 PM Permalink

I know this is off-topic somewhat but I just want to say having worked as a concept artist at Perception until Feb 2005 and seeing the quality Kalescent's work firsthand, I can vouch for their talent and professionalism.

A talented bunch of peebs. :)

Regarding the thread that prompted this discussion, as someone who worked in the Sydney office of MF on CZ, I strongly reject any suggestion that the team lacked skill or professionalism as some may've suggested. Most, if not all have since gone on to find positions in the game and film industry here and abroad. Midway Australia, Tantalus, Perception, Crytek, Bioware, Pandemic, THQ, Animal Logic, The Lab, and myself and a former colleague are now here at Funcom working on Age of Conan and Dreamfall.

My two cents on this...