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Sydney Sucks

Hardly any game education.
No PS2 Dev kits.

Why does Sydney/NSW suck so much? Is this because NSW gov doesn't support game development or something?
What gives?


Submitted by davidcoen on Wed, 19/01/05 - 5:30 AM Permalink

they have the most poker machine developer than you will find anywhere else, i believe. And some film studio...

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 19/01/05 - 11:29 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by gullwings13
Is this because NSW gov doesn't support game development or something?

No, it's just that Sydney sucks [;)] Born there, lived there for 21 years, never living there again [:)]

Submitted by groovyone on Thu, 20/01/05 - 1:22 AM Permalink

NSW Govt doesn't really have any initiative when it comes to future planning of the games industry. They still believe film is their only hope and are only interested in companies when they bring in million dollar deals.

As I have said before, NewZealand, QL and Victorian Govt's are very enterprising when it comes to figuring out the next big international income. You can see they are encouraging game development in their states by funding dev-kits, some also provide aid with transport and acommodation to international conferences to attract business to Australia.

Unfortunately, after speaking with a representitive in the NSW govt' international business missions will only accept companies which have more than 3 employees, and generate over $50,000 per year. They don't seem to realize that small companies grow.

Setting up in Sydney without any sort of solid funding is suicidal due to the insane overhead costs (specially rent, land tax.. etc).

Submitted by gullwings13 on Thu, 20/01/05 - 4:37 AM Permalink

Bahhh! I am going to QLD or America... Actually i don't like America. QLD it is!!

Submitted by unknownuser2 on Thu, 20/01/05 - 9:17 AM Permalink

I'd like to add something worthy to this conversation - when we first advertised our company and its services, a representative from the NSW government offered to get together and discuss how they could foster growth in our business.

I have to add that tracking us down at that point would have required an effort of sorts.

Once I told them we were based in QLD they made it clear they were not able to help out and that a rep from the QLD would have to help - to this day noone from the QLD government has shown any kind of positive movement in that same regard.

Submitted by UniqueSnowFlake on Thu, 20/01/05 - 8:28 PM Permalink

Not meaning to sound picky HazarD or that I know what I'm going about [B)]

But doesn't the post on the main page suggest the QLD goverment is doing alot for the games companies/Industry with giving them PS2 Dev kits?

"The GDAA, with support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, is pleased to announce the launch of the Sony PlayStation2 Development Kit Program for Queensland developers."

Not to say that Sydney isn't doing there part its just that it seems as if QLD and VIC are putting alot more effort into these things.

*shrug* [^]

Submitted by CynicalFan on Fri, 21/01/05 - 1:41 AM Permalink

I don?t really see having no gaming related education in Sydney a loss, as most if not all of these courses I really doubt prepare anyone for game development, and I strongly question what it is they are teaching aspiring game developers and the credentials of those that offer them ? inexperienced academics instead of industry veterans. Anyway, it is not true, there are a number of gaming related courses like certificates, diplomas and degrees ? some are specific to games, others are not ? offered by private as well as public (universities) institutions .

You just have to look a bit harder for them.

My biggest gripe with NSW is the lack of funding.

I actually agree with NSW?s stance on only wishing to provide funding to more established and experienced studios / teams. I see a lot of studios that have popped up that have next to (if not) zero experienced developers on the team. If I recall correctly, most of the literature on establishing a studio found on the web, says quite clearly, that this is foolish, and that you really should learn your trade first by working in the industry for existing studios ? this way you have the context of experience to know what exactly your are trying to achieve and how to go about it.

So their stance is quite reasonable, as they wish to make sure they are backing a horse that has a chance. Unfortunately they don?t have much in the way of funding for such winning horses in the first place ? though I do hear they are quite keen to help out in what ever way they can, like pointing you to the right people.

Anyway, I hear that there are a few funding schemes that are on the drawing boards that will help with building a community in Sydney, but, talk is talk, not action, and I have yet to see anything concrete ? I wouldn?t expect to see anything emerging until next year either.

What hinders this all to a degree is the film industry in Sydney, but, this is starting to fade with the Australian dollar having grown in strength, and they are not seeing as much interest with film projects ? or at least this is what I have been told. If this continues to decline then they will be more interested in game development, but, they will most likely make the same mistakes they have done so with film, and focus on fee-for-service work instead of helping studios create their own original IP for a global entertainment market ? which is what they have pretty much done with film.

Submitted by unknownuser2 on Fri, 21/01/05 - 3:02 AM Permalink

USF : Definately I agree, but I wasnt commenting on that at all, just the surprise that someone from the NSW government had gone out of their way to track us down at a point were we had no website, and no clear avenue of being contacted.

Seems bizarre now that i think about it. Refreshing at the time, but bizzare.

I didn't expect that kind of attention from any state government.

Submitted by UniqueSnowFlake on Fri, 21/01/05 - 4:52 AM Permalink

maybe he was just a stalker saying he was from the NSW government [:p]

Submitted by palantir on Fri, 21/01/05 - 7:12 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by CynicalFan:
most if not all of these courses I really doubt prepare anyone for game development, and I strongly question what it is they are teaching aspiring game developers and the credentials of those that offer them

Now there?s a nice piece of flame bait?

I?ll bite. It?s a bit off topic, but it?s got me somewhat agitated. [:(!]

How can you honestly say that a course that teaches game development does not prepare anyone for game development? Of course teaching game development prepares people for game development. What exactly do you mean? I take it you aren?t talking about the technical side of what these courses teach, because it seems pretty obvious to me that they teach game development. Game dev is game dev is game dev, regardless of wether the teacher is an industry veteran or a game dev noob. They are still teaching students the technical skills and arts of creating games.

Or are you referring to the difficulties of professional development over being a student? Do you feel that the problem is that students often fail to understand the level of commitment and expertise necessary to be a pro? Because frankly personal motivation and drive rests almost entirely on the student. A student pays for an education because they want to be taught the technicalities of how to make games, and that is exactly what they are taught. When they graduate, they must then continue with the hard effort and self motivated study in order to attain the required skill level. Even when they attain employment, they must still continue to study and further their expertise in their chosen field. No course can magically turn a wannabe into a world-class developer. It?s up to the student to study what is taught.

It would be interesting to know how many game developers here have attended formal education in game development. I?ll bet quite a few. Sure, some courses are better then others, but the point is that studying is how one learns. Blaming courses for not churning out elite game developers is ridiculous.

Personally, I think it?s great to see growth in game dev education. Even though some courses may be poorly designed and have inadequate resources (human and otherwise), it must be beneficial to the industry to have so many resources and avenues of education available to all who want to learn. The end result can only be healthy for the industry.

To use my study as an example of why these courses are good: I attended a cheapish TAFE game dev course that was basically a shambles (poorly designed course structure and limited resources), but without that course, I?d still be dreaming of learning how to make games, instead of actually learning how to make them.

If a student is willing to work hard enough, they can be successful in any course (or even without formal education), but attending formal education will make the path to success all the more attainable. Besides, if someone is desperate enough and rich enough to attain elite education, they can always go overseas to the world?s best institutes, but in the meantime (until our industry and therefore industry education is truly world class), the education available here and now is sufficient.

Sorry guys about that meandering, slightly off-topic rant, but I feel strongly about the importance of education (in any field), and hearing someone being negative towards education got me fired up?

Submitted by Anuxinamoon on Fri, 21/01/05 - 11:23 AM Permalink

Palantir that was very cool, and amusing! [:D] You can't really blame the govenment, The game indusrty is still very new and also quite secretive. It will take a while before it holds firm in their books.

Submitted by unknownuser2 on Fri, 21/01/05 - 2:47 PM Permalink

I have to somewhat agree with the statement Palantir. Although not to the full extent.

Firstly id like to say - if someone wants to pay 10 - 15k for a course in Games Dev ( art or programming ) then im assuming they are not doing it for a hobby, but rather a chosen career path and im also assuming that because your paying this money you are intent on being the best in your field.

I think what Fan is trying to get across is this ( and correct me if im wrong ) Im also speaking from a Director & Art bias :

But if you were to take away forums / websites just like sumea, gamesdev , gamasutra, cgtalk ( which were introduced to me 3 - 4 years ago by tutors ) where people can gauge thier level of talent against others and get feedback to improove - the level of understanding of a graduate would be miniscule.

This isnt a poke at the level of talent that the tutors are at either - they ( more or less ) have to teach what the cirriculum dictates. Although it would be good to have Tutors with years of experience and some top titles under their belts to help pass on what it really is like to be at the top. The trouble is that kind of experience cannot be simply passed on. Its definately one thing to hear someone say "I worked my ass off 18 hour days for 3 months trying to meet this deadline, I'ts HARD work" but its a whole new ballgame to actually live it, breathe it *AND* come out the other end with a succesful result.

Now speaking from my own experience - artwise I would be absolutely nowhere without forums and work that was taught to me OUTSIDE of course ciriculum, by the same tutors.

Its a difficult industry if your aiming for the top. It moves so damn quick its not even funny. We are looking at games like Half Life 2 but not realising that the artwork and guts behind these games where initially being developed 4 - 5 years ago. So if we start development on a similar project - we have to somehow raise all of our collective talents to a level that will hope to compete, and hold its own 5 years from now. Just think about that for a second, and place your individual skills up against that.

If you feel you are maintaining a rapid learning pace and believe that right now your skills are above Half Life 2 / Doom 3 then your probably at a level where the artists involved in those games were at over a year ago. Your already behind 1 year behind [:0]. If however you feel your skills rank nicely up against Farcry 2 / Unreal 3 then congratulations! [:D] Stop turn around and look at how far youve come and what you did to get there. You are *sampling* what its like to fit into games dev as a top artist.

Here at Kalescent we have only been going full steam for 9 months - and already the level of talent within has risen unbelievably, I personally didnt think it possible. The guys here astonish me on a daily basis - Stephs hardly even touched a 3d program and in the last 2 months shes decided to give it crack and shes already modelling, zbrushing and sucessfully normal mapping high resolution characters and objects, utilising tools and inhouse exporters and all the little tidbits that go along with the numerous processes.

The guts of the matter is, because we wish to climb the peak, we have to push our skills, the learning of new tools, finding new and improoved ways of doing the same processes and researching new technologies or plugins on a daily basis. Its not really a choice, its a matter of simply doing it because we wish to be the best and maintain a pace that sets us apart from the rest.

And on a more personal level : My course did *NOT* prepare me for what I'm doing now at all. It provided a means and access to resources and contacts which helped me on my way. Thats the extent and quite simply the truth of it.

Having said that - I cant stress the importance of attending a games development course, the contacts and network of individuals provide healthy competition and lots of information to be learned, not to mention the fundamentals of learning to use some of the tools that will help you on your way to securing a job [:)]

Submitted by Jacana on Fri, 21/01/05 - 7:31 PM Permalink

Speaking from the programming side most people will tell you to go to standard Uni vs. a course more specific to game dev. There are quite a few fundamentals that are taught in CS degrees that you will not pick up in a course that is more focused and runs for a shorter amount of time.

At the end of the day what type of education you do is a trade-off for most people. Do a standard CS degree and learn the basics but need to learn game dev in your own time or do a games based degree and learn the basics in your own time.

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 22/01/05 - 12:13 AM Permalink


quote:Originally posted by CynicalFan
I don?t really see having no gaming related education in Sydney a loss
[snip, snip]
and the credentials of those that offer them ? inexperienced academics instead of industry veterans.

Given how few people are actually employed in the games industry in Aus, and how insecure many of the jobs are, and the kinds of games that mostly get made here, I for one think there should be *no* specialist undergrad game dev courses currently.

And I've done one.

Maybe when the issues raised by the QOL whitepaper have been addressed fully and on an industry wide basis I'll change my mind on that one. Moving out of the fee for service model would go a long way towards changing my mind too.


Who says industry veterans can teach, Cynical? Admitedly some academics can't [:0], but you are showing a common misunderstanding of what academia is about. It's about research. And imparting to students the ability to think things out and develop skills for themselves.

It is absolutely not about making a graduate factory for any industry- despite what some employers and govt departments seem to want.

At La Trobe there are quite a few people researching things that simply aren't done in current day games- one example is breaking out of rigid body physics: models that can bounce and ripple like rubber, melt into a pool, break, shatter, etc.

Developing new ways of making games.

This stuff is far more important in the long term than training up *yet another* batch of graduates to be the brute labour force in a studio until they get RSI.

All this is entirely IMHO, and is rather off topic.

I'm a junior academic, I teach Management Information Systems and Software Engineering. I research software audio synthesis, primarily for games.

Oddly enough my own personal reasons for thinking Sydney stinks dovetail with some of those listed above.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sat, 22/01/05 - 1:31 AM Permalink

Ah, nice to see some discussion happening here. I was beginning to think that either you guys weren?t capable of it or people were afraid to reply to my posts or something.

Unfortunately after a night of heavy drinking at someone?s birthday bash I cannot formulate a reply, hell, I can?t even take what you guys have said into my alcohol drenched brain.

So a reply must wait? until? tomorrow? or perhaps tonight? !?

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sun, 23/01/05 - 3:04 AM Permalink

Some nice points raised by HazarD, Jacana, Lorien and even Palantir ;)

Palantir, I am going out on a limb, and I am going to leap to the assumption that you are a game development hopeful who has yet to actually work in the industry, am I correct?

First off, I am not talking about the realities of working in game development, I am talking about learning real skills and know how that you can apply throughout your career. Most of what is taught at the TAFE style institutions is nothing more than how to use a specific application for a specific purpose ? how to be a cog. Where as the university institutions teach you very little about game development and the industry, what they really teach you is probably a mix of traditional ?commercial? (eg spreadsheet packages) software design and film methods ? one is not entertainment and the other is not interactive.

What little they do teach you about game design is the current academic theories that game developers had years ago and have since either proved or disproved and moved on. They do not teach you anything practical in use, and gloss over the more important parts of game development and the industry ? because they have not worked in the industry and therefore do not have the practical experience to realise its importance, and truly understand it.

Now, you may say that they can?t teach you everything, blah, blah, blah? but, they can sure as hell teach you the core knowledge that you need to succeed in a career in this industry, I doubt they teach you much of that at all.

I went to one game development (academic) event where the students were presenting their research to the attendees. All of the projects that were displayed were proving some little piece of technology that is meant to make a developer?s life better. Unfortunately it would not, as none of their theories and ?practical? methods that they had appeared to prove had actually NOT been proven within the context of a professional title. If they had they would realise that their methods are not as complete or practical as they first thought them to be ? but this was not the goal of their course, and was not required for them to graduate.

The impression that I was left with is that the teachers had no idea what they were talking about, showing very little insight into game development and the inner workings of the industry ? one didn?t even appear to know what a game designer?s role was.

These institutions of higher learning are actually businesses if I am not mistaken, they don?t give a toss (ok, maybe they do) as to what they teach you is going to help you or not, they only care as much as it affects enrolment numbers which affects their bottom line ? revenue. The tutors are also motivated by money, generally not by passion, and I think this really is the case with many of the University academics / professors, they have seen an opportunity to become an expert in a field and have taken it so as to get a paid position ? but hey, this is a generalisation on my part and does not apply to every academic. These institutions and courses are still in their infancy, and many have been rushed together to tap into the newly emerging game development study market.

Most of what the academics are providing is rubbish. If you really want to learn about our industry, read all the online material (especially from Gamasutra) and as many specific books on game development as you can afford ? and aim for the more specific topic books like on game AI, not the general game design ones, as they pretty much regurgitate the same generic outdated crap. But, a lot of this will not make much sense to you, you will know it without really understanding its practical applications, this will only come with experience working on a project. I would then suggest that you revisit / reread the material again after your first project to reinforce and tie it all together as well as any new material of worth you can find ? you should try doing this after every project, as you will gain new insight every time.

We already have our own academics, try reading a copy of (US) Game Developer or (UK) Develop, these have great research articles every month written by actual game developer professionals ? these guys know what they are talking about, and what they offer is practical and usually proven. If you can?t afford trade journals and books, then stick to the growing knowledgeable wealth on the internet.

It seems that the academics are under the impression that game development is some sort of new industry, and that the industry has not done its own research and made its own breakthroughs, they are wrong, it is an industry that has been maturing for decades and has compiled much of its own methodologies from practical experience and insight ? I?m guessing that the academics are still trying to define what gameplay is.

When I studied at TAFE years ago (not doing a game dev specific course BTW) all my tutors were industry veterans of the IT field. They new what they were talking about, even if it had been some years since they had worked in the industry. Most of not all of the game developer tutors that I know have not, but at best have worked in another industry like film ? which as I have said is not software and therefore not interactive.

Completing one of these courses will also not guarantee you a place in the industry. Something like the top 5% (maybe 10%) of students will get a job in the industry, the rest will not or will find employment in another industry if they are lucky ? another 10% at most. Of the 5-10%, only 5-10% of these will end up working in design, and probably less will end up as a game designer ? the most coveted of game development roles. If any of you are familiar with the 80/20 principal, then this should come as no shock to you at all.

If you really want to get a job, make friends in the industry by forums like this, and events like Free Play, and shuddering at the thought? the AGDC. If you read any of the literature in getting a job, and getting one in our industry, they pretty much say that most jobs go unpublished, and most go to candidates because they new someone on the team that recommended them and set it all up ? I worked with a level designer like that, and boy was he lucky because he had zero talent ;) Getting a job has more to do with who you know, and how good your personal / social skills are.

BTW: I never said that doing a game dev course was of no use, and that we did not need such institutions ;)

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 26/01/05 - 2:38 AM Permalink

"If you really want to learn about our industry, read all the online material (especially from Gamasutra) and as many specific books on game development as you can afford - and aim for the more specific topic books like on game AI"

Actually I do all the time. That's what research is about.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Wed, 26/01/05 - 4:48 AM Permalink

Lorien, did I strike a nerve? ;D

No need to take it too personal dude, if it is of any comfort, they are just my own ill-informed impressions based on my instincts, but? they usually are never wrong, well, most of the time.

Submitted by tachyon on Wed, 26/01/05 - 8:20 AM Permalink

I don't think you understand what academia is about CynicalFan. Academia is about research, purely for the sake of research, not about the practicalities of game development (or anything in most cases). It is about furthering the knowledge in the field. Academics can afford to investigate and try things which people in the industry could never do. I think your attack on academia was unjustified CynicalFan. A lot of stuff that is being done in academia is cutting edge, stuff which perhaps won't be practical in gamedev now, but you can be sure will be used in gamedev one day, for example Loriens examples of what they are up to at LaTrobe.

I for one, have a lot of respect for academia even though I am currently working in the industry right now.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Wed, 26/01/05 - 11:17 AM Permalink

First off, we need to make a distinction between the university (academic) style courses that are either game development specific or that have a game development segment ? I think some may refer to this as ?new media? ? and the college (practical) style courses like the AIE would provide.

Actually, first off, we have gone way off topic!

quote:Tachyon said: ?I don't think you understand what academia is about CynicalFan.?

Secondly, I will admit that when it comes to the former rather than the latter, I have very limited experience ? hence my last post ? though I am very familiar with the college variety like the AIE. But, as of this year I will find out, having being accepted into University with the aim of completing a degree part-time over several years.

So, I can?t find academia that bad if I intend to be a part of it, now can I? ;)

Now, I am going to try to explain my point-of-view without adding fuel to the flames, I will most likely not succeed as I lack the terminology currently to explain my views to academics, and this will most likely only lead to further misunderstanding :)

quote:Tachyon said: ?Academia is about research, purely for the sake of research, not about the practicalities of game development (or anything in most cases).?

I do understand that academia is largely about research, but, I?d say that most students do not go on to do solely research at a university but seek employment instead, applying what they have learnt in a practical real-world setting ? as far as I can tell, most people studying game development are interested in working in the industry and applying what they have learnt, not researching about it. And this is my real gripe, as I feel that these courses, both varieties, do not prepare you for it, do not give you a solid foundation for professional game development ? I think I have already given my reasons.

Now in regards to research, what is the point of such research if it does not have practical applications, and I just don?t mean for the present, I mean also for the future.

quote:Tachyon said: ?A lot of stuff that is being done in academia is cutting edge, stuff which perhaps won't be practical in gamedev now, but you can be sure will be used in gamedev one day, for example Loriens examples of what they are up to at LaTrobe.?

I do not agree that academic research is completely practical even if for the future ? or most of it. As I see many such academics lacking any professional experience in game development that would give them the context of experience that would allow them to make the distinction between what was and what was not practical in a commercial setting.

Game development is as much an art as it is a science, it has more to it that software design / programming and computer models like physics. At the end of the day, it is an entertainment industry, not a scientific industry, not a technology industry ? its aim is to use such technology in creating entertainment.

There are things you can get away with in those that you cannot get away with in an entertainment industry. Any such research (technologies) must be practical in application, part of being practical arises from real world use of such technology which places pressures upon it to be complete, robust and of an accepted quality in gaming experience ? as well as practical to use as a tool in game development perhaps. This arises from the context of having to work with other technologies, of having to work within the context of a titles design / budget & schedule, of having to have the goal of helping to create an entertaining experience, instead of merely a proof of how this technology alone works, as most academia research does not take place within this professional and commercial context.

This of course this can be countered, if the researcher has had experience in game development, or is in liaison with those that have such experiences and are willing to give critical analysis of their work ? this may come from professors and industry experts with professional experience, not self appointed experts. Perhaps it may come in the form of a joint-venture between a research think-tank and a professional developer?! Such a relationship would prove your research within a practical, professional and commercial environment.

If you are a reader of Game Developer, look at the May 2004 issue, and read the feature by Jonathan Blow titled: Miscellaneous Rants which starts on page 44 ? skip to page 45 and the heading: Problems with Academia. This will help explain my point of view a bit better, or, at least offer another persons with a similar view ;)

BTW: Regardless, I said that ?most of? (not all) of what comes out of academia is rubbish ? again I stress: not all! This is another example of the 80/20 principle that I mentioned earlier. Perhaps I should have used another term other than rubbish I think? anyway, some of it is of use, and will eventually be utilised in some shape or form.

quote:Tachyon said: ?I think your attack on academia was unjustified CynicalFan.?

My distaste for the existing ?academia? (Game Theorists) is based on an interview I read in an Australian gaming magazine ? it was in either PC Powerplay or Atomic. What I read ? don?t ask for specifics as I only have an abstract impression left for the most part ? did not impress me in the least, one specific interviewee said that he did not see game development as an important industry / field, and thought that nothing of any seriousness will come of it.

His views was that computer games would stay this way and not evolve and become Interactive Entertainment, an entertainment medium with depth of meaning and substance ? personally I think many games fit into this category, one that quickly comes to mind is Deus Ex. His view was that computer games were pretty much kids toys or meaningless casual entertainment.

I would have thought that game theorists would show compassion and conviction, and would the be first to advocate on the potentials of game development as a powerful tool of social change, as it is a medium of interactivity and active learning, unlike film, TV and printed media forms of entertainment. Who would deny the impact these have had on society, and the way they have contributed to human culture?

Another aspect that stuck me about him was his age, he was not a young man, yet he was part of a new field ? more or less ? in academia. He struck me to resemble a certain Australian minister ? communications I think ? who did not see the importance of broadband internet, and saw the internet of only of use for downloading porn ? someone who was only interested in a pay check, and showed no depth of understanding or interest in their profession.

This particular minister has since changed his mind about this, as I am sure he wanted to keep his job in the face of the unwavering truth to the opposite.

In regards to game development academics, I did say something about this being a generalisation on my part, meaning that I am sure this is not indicative of all academics, I am sure a few are passionate about what they seek to understand.

Now did this quench the flames, or am I starting to burn at the stake?

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 29/01/05 - 2:09 AM Permalink

Yes Cynical this does strike a nerve for a wide variety of reasons which I'm not about to go into.

I suspect you are going to find an undergrad degree (it sounds like undergrad) rather dull. You would probably be better off with a grad dip or coursework masters with a research component.

"I do understand that academia is largely about research, but, I'd say that most students do not go on to do solely research at a university but seek employment instead"

Yep, I agree, but I think the difference is in attitude: educating someone with the goal of helping them develop the thought processes to figure things out for themselves is a whole different kettle of fish to educating someone with the goal of preparing them to work in an industry.

"this is my real gripe, as I feel that these courses, both varieties, do not prepare you for it, do not give you a solid foundation for professional game development"

I think it depends what you mean, imho educating someone with the goal of developing creativity and originality *should* be preparing someone for what a games job ought to be (again imho!).

Kipper (escape from woomera Kipper) said this quite some time ago:
"It's perfectly natural that entry-level applicants wouldn't and shouldn't come fully skilled for tiny (yes, compared to other industries, tiny!) specialist industries "out of the box". Training was provided on the job in the past and to change the rules expect kids to foot the bill nowadays is just unfair - and moreover locking out a large section of talented people from the industry who can't afford the technology and training for a vocation they only have a *chance* at securing paid employment from. I object to the idea of one day kids being forced to get a PhD in texturing dogs' bollocks to get a game dev. job just because the GDAA has been whinging for years in the media and to gullible government bureaucrats with the old "it's impossible to find good help these days" bullshit. Given that many senior local game developers who have been made "redundant" over the last few years are often finding it hard to get back into the industry, i find the one-sided rhetoric rather dishonest and disrespectful. It's also not uncommon for game dev. companies to keep advertisements permanently posted for positions they're don't currently have open, "just in case", or the positions are dependent on some contract that is currently in la-la land, waiting to be signed by the publisher fairy. Insisting on "heat and eat" (metaphor whole-heartedly intentional) game developer graduates is not going to increase the level of professionalism in our industry. It sure as hell takes two to tango, and I'm not seeing much genuine effort being put in on the other side of the dancefloor where the employers are standing. Let's give the kids a break - they deserve it."

Kipper has been "in the industry" for quite a few years now... You can read the full rant at

As for research being commercially relevant: well it's a rather fuzzy term because it changes all the time, and what is not relevant now may well be in 5 or 10 years. But I personally try to keep the door to the ivory tower (mostly) closed, and my involvement with games research is purely as a postgrad student (as a junior academic my position is not a research position).

Also you seem to be talking about "Game Theorists", which is a small sub-branch of academia, and (yet again imho) one that is likely to be completely preoccupied with producing theoretical publications in order to keep themselves on the gravy train. There are other branches and younger academics.

One more thing, I can't not suggest having a read of Chris Crawford's "The Education of a Computer Game Designer" which, while completely off-topic to Sydney, is very on topic to this rant [:)]…

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sat, 29/01/05 - 5:24 AM Permalink

I?ve already read Chris Crawford?s article, and I am in agreement. I never said all education was useless, I just said that the game development variety was in my opinion. I would suggest that completing a degree in another area would be better, one that is meant to teach the skills you suggest, skills that can be applied through out your career ? and also read all the free material on the web on game development, makes some levels, join a mod or work on your own indie title, so as to impress the local studios into giving you a job.

I remember having a discussion with a studio head (3D art and animation), and he said something along the lines of: ?all our artists are classically trained, we only hire these sorts, real artists can always learn how to use the tools for the job.?

Though I have not said it nearly as clearly as he has, but his meaning is that they are university grads (classically trained) in the visual arts, and have learnt the finer points of their trade and are ?real? artists. They have learnt the know-how that allows them to apply their skills though out their career, they haven?t just learnt how to use a tool for a specific task, instead they learn what tools they need in order to apply their artistic talent ? as required.

I will not mention what he referred to the artists that were not classically trained ;) ? and BTW this is what he said, not me, so we need not have any posts on the matter :)

quote:?I suspect you are going to find an undergrad degree (it sounds like undergrad) rather dull. You would probably be better off with a grad dip or coursework masters with a research component.?

Don?t say that, I?m stressed enough as it is wondering if it is the right move for me, and how this will affect my career? arsehole!

Though, perhaps it is a taste of my own medicine? anyway, either of those is useless without an undergrad degree, and an honours for the latter option.

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 01/02/05 - 12:29 AM Permalink

either of those is useless without an undergrad degree, and an honours for the latter option.

Not true, you just need someone high-up (eg an associate professor or postgrad coordinator) on your side and a really, really good portfolio and CV. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. And honours isn't needed for coursework masters (including those with a research component), it is pretty well compulsory for research masters and phd.

Don't say that, I'm stressed enough as it is wondering if it is the right move for me, and how this will affect my career? arsehole!

Actually saying you might find it a bit dull is a compliment.