Deakin Uni - Games Design and Development

Ok, well.. Just to bring everyone up to speed:

I am looking at where to go for uni. I was looking at Deakin because that course would possibly get me to places other than games design. I live in Geelong (just west of Melbourne) and would prefer the Waurn Ponds campus for easy of access but the Burwood campus has one of the motion capture labs.

What I would like to know is:

1) Does anyone use the motion capture technology in Australia?

2) Would the Bachelor of Information Technology (Games Design and Development) be able to get me a job in some other IT field?

3) Do you think this is the best option for someone that wants to become a game designer but also wants to leave his options open?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

-- Sabre.

AppleStrudle's picture

Hey Sabre,


I've just finished my Bachelor of IT ( Multimedia Technology) at Deakin Burwood and was able to sneak in a few of the Games Development units as electives. The course seems to be definitely tailored towards the Game Designer role. Most of the units teach Design Document structure and Pipeline processes, whilst touching a little on programming.

Anyway I'll try to answer your questions :)

1) Don't let the Motion Capture studio in Burwood hinder your decision to go for the Geelong Campus. As awesome as the lab is, we didn't utilize it in any assignments or projects related directly to the Games development course, just the odd walk in, stare in awe and walk out. If you choose to base a fair few of your electives in the Art and Digital Art Faculty, that's if your working towards an Artist role, then you'll work with the MC lab. The Unit chair is also based in Geelong which is also a good reason to stay.

2) Definitely. The core units you will study are all based around the general IT field. Units like IT Fundamentals, Web Design, Programming, System Analysis and Database are all part of the core stream every IT student at Deakin or any other Uni for that matter must complete. The Games Design and Development stream is a specialization, in 2nd and 3rd years you will start to learn more about this.

3) Not too sure on this one mate, I'm still trying to squeeze into the industry also :)

Best of luck with your decision, and let us know how it turns out :D


Cheers
-AppleStrudle

Anonymous's picture

I'm in my second year of game design + development at deakin uni, burwood and so far its been excellent, the course has been changing recently to teach games programming as well as design. I certainly recommend it if you want to work in the games industry. During the third trimester i did the mocap boot camp unit and it has been my favourite unit completed so far. If you want more info about it you can contact me on mrmun at deakin dot edu dot au. I think i've seen your username before attending the state library of victoria event which me and a group of students at deakin regularly go to.

Lantree's picture

Problem with MoCap data, is that most artists just can't use it out of the box. The information isn't complete nor acceptable for the model completely, so artist has to spend time adapting the MoCap data. A lot of animators prefer just to animate themselves using reference material.

BTW a lot of uni's are doing gaming courses as a major now.

I went to Uni this year, even though I've been around the games industry professionally for a while now. I nearly chose Deakin, they were the easiest to get along with in terms of Admin, but none of the content would of challenged me, so went for computer science elsewhere instead.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry to say it but I disagree with AppleStrudle here. I have completed the Games Design and Development course and although I finished it 18 months ago when I left:

#1: The motion capture studio you will never see bar a field trip. Unless things have changed it was the only choice we got and it was to be done on a day off.

#2: When I finished the course the units allocated were very here and there. I was quite good friends with the head of the unit as well as the head of games at Waurn Ponds whom both admitted to be that the course, being a new course had not developed 100%. In my opinion it was stretched very thin and by the end of it I was left with very little knowledge viable to getting a post-graduate position.

Being almost two years on I can say with a fair certainty that the course should have corrected many of these problems, hopefully including the complete lack of c++ work, (we did none) which left many students high and dry after the completion of the course having no adequate programming, visual design or development knowledge.

The teachers there were fantastic and the topics were enjoyable I just think that many students didn't get their moneys worth. I would certainly recommend checking the current core unit subjects before proceeding.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry to say it but I disagree with AppleStrudle here. I have completed the Games Design and Development course and although I finished it 18 months ago when I left:

#1: The motion capture studio you will never see bar a field trip. Unless things have changed it was the only choice we got and it was to be done on a day off.

#2: When I finished the course the units allocated were very here and there. I was quite good friends with the head of the unit as well as the head of games at Waurn Ponds whom both admitted to be that the course, being a new course had not developed 100%. In my opinion it was stretched very thin and by the end of it I was left with very little knowledge viable to getting a post-graduate position.

Being almost two years on I can say with a fair certainty that the course should have corrected many of these problems, hopefully including the complete lack of c++ work, (we did none) which left many students high and dry after the completion of the course having no adequate programming, visual design or development knowledge.

The teachers there were fantastic and the topics were enjoyable I just think that many students didn't get their moneys worth. I would certainly recommend checking the current core unit subjects before proceeding.

AppleStrudle's picture

Is a very long time, and things have changed dramatically in terms of the course's core structure.

I do agree with you that the degree was very flimsy in the early beginnings, stretched thin it definitely was. But I was merely pointing out that other than the specialized game units, the core units would assist Sabre in getting a job outside of the game development field.

To my knowledge C++ is also addressed now in the unit "Game Programming"

Don't be sorry to disagree man, we are all here to share :D

Anonymous's picture

Hi, Im currently doiing my Games Major at deakin in Waurn ponds..

The course now has a Massive focus on c++ programming.

All assignments, Tutorials, Lectures and Exam was a high focus on C++

Anonymous's picture

C++ is a good start.

The other main issue with a course like that is you need to learn a mixture of software engineering and computer science related topics to be a good games programming.

So you need to understand things like algorithms and data structures, ideally some sort of discrete mathematics, software engineering principles etc.

RMIT/Monash both do a reasonable job of that in Melbourne. RMIT game programming course being based on computer science with "gaming" electives.

Also the industry is a bit nasty (but bound to improve) at the moment. So if you pick something like a Computer Science degree and choose a bunch of gaming electives your going to be so much better off for employability. Can get a decent graphics job maybe in a military contract or something.

Anonymous's picture

C++ is the only way. Even Unity will be moving to C++ in the near future (yes you read it here first), as its very entrenched in the industry.

It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are focused on obtaining a games programming job, I would suggest you attend a game school instead of a university as its much more project based and less theoretical, with numerous lectures and less prac work. In the end, its actually about doing the code than learning about various systems and principles that you may or may not use at work. As far as the industry is concerned, right now in Seattle there are something like 170 open job offers for programmers. Seattle has 15,000 game developers ! About 7 times the size of the Australian industry, so why not consider getting a job outside of Australia when you graduate ?

Regarding mocap, its not widely used in Australian game studios, and when its used (THQ,EA) its usually done in the US with the leads travelling there to get it done at their HQ or at a contractor like House of Blues.

Anonymous's picture

One issue is oversees immigration departments who approve you getting those jobs in the US want a 4 year degree.

And generally if you're wanting your degree recognised the more traditional the better. You have to contend with both immigration departments and the companies and while the companies may know the degree, overseas its unusual to have the specialised tailored degrees like we have in AU.