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Education in Academia

i would like to study Game development ,is there anyone knows about AcademiA? is it worth in it's fees ? how about the quality of their courses?
Tnx

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/09/11 - 11:24 AM Permalink

"Game Development" is a very broad topic. What exactly do you want to do? Art, design, programming?

I can only speak from a programmer's point of view.

I honestly don't believe that there is any benefit whatsoever in doing a game-specific course. Do something more generally applicable, like Software Engineering or Computer Science.

The games industry is hard to break into. In Australia at the moment the supply of skilled game developers far exceeds the demand of the industry. Having a general degree will make it easy to get another job while you work on your game aspirations.

As for actually getting a game job, your portfolio will sell you much more than your degree. Invest the time and effort in building the requisite game skills in your own time. Make games the entire time you're studying. When you graduate you should hopefully have solid development skills from your studies and all the requisite game development skills from your personal work. You'll have a lot more opportunities available to you than if you go the game-only route.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/09/11 - 6:40 AM Permalink

i meant programing field,but my question about Academia is still remained,though ur idea is different ."I honestly don't believe that there is any benefit whatsoever in doing a game-specific course"
thank u any way for ur helpful comments.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/09/11 - 10:06 AM Permalink

My apologies. I didn't realise that there was actually a training institution called "Academia".

Still, my general opinion remains. The game programmers I've worked who have standard programming degrees often did a better job than those who had only done game courses.

Best of luck!

Education at the AIE

I am currently a year 12 student, and am considering studying at the AIE next year specifically in the course 3D anmation for film & TV. Just wondering if there is anyone out there who has studyed at the AIE, specifically at canberra, and what there opinion was on the place, and if it is a good place to learn.
A few questions that may seem blunt and straight forward, but lets get to the point/

How much does it cost to study? I have seen a few figures but they seem a little overpriced, so i am not sure.

What are the career oppurtunities like after completing the course?

What is involved in the course?

IS there anything else i should know?

Submitted by Chris (not verified) on Tue, 13/09/11 - 10:25 AM Permalink

I'm currently in my 2nd year at the AIE (and doing 2 courses). While I am not doing the film course I do have friends in there and all the AIE students keep each other well informed of what they are studying/doing.

About a week ago the film students showed off an 8 minute film that they had just submitted to a competition and it was very impressive. They spent the first term (roughly) learning specific film techniques for art (the 1st year is a combined class of game and film students so you don't get all of what you need in that time) which they then used to plan a big film project.

That lead to the 8 minute film which took about 2 terms (a bit less actually) to make and was very impressive. Now, for the last few months left in their course, they are doing portfolio work. That basically means they are all doing their own short film(s) to stick in their portfolio and hopefully get a job at the end of the year. The students also did a short CIT course about films (not sure of the details) but this was an extra cost ontop of the course (I think it was a 10 week course and cost about $500). They are also about to start a composting course (again about 10 weeks and about $600). This is simply to round their skills off and introduce them to other film techniques (not just 3d stuff).

As for costs, CIT subsidies the film course so for memory, if you pay upfront, it's about $5,000 for the 1st year and $4000 for the 2nd. If you take fee help (Hecs/Studying loan) then you pay about $20-24,000 (can't quite remember the exact amount). Your allowed up to $85,000 for fee help and you only start paying it off once you earn over $45,000 (and it goes up in a linear fashion). This applies to all higher education courses with fee help.

As for job opportunities. AIE has film grads in TV studios in all of the capital cities, there are one or two grads in Animal Logic and other film studios. I know of at least 5 ex AIE students who have gone to study further in Canada and land jobs in some nice studios overseas. Also there is plenty of incentive and support at the AIE to help get indie studios up and running.

One last thing I will say about AIE, it's not perfect (nothing ever is). You will get a decent eduction BUT you will get much more out of it if you do extra work at home (portfolio work) and jump on any opportunities that arise (short film competitions, 11 second animation club... etc). So long as you keep pushing yourself and keep expanding and improving your skills you should be able to land a job eventually (it may take some time but keep persisting).

The best thing you can do is come to an AIE open day (or even just drop by) and speak to students/teachers about the course.

Submitted by spae on Sun, 25/09/11 - 11:08 AM Permalink

Hi Timmy,

I'm a first year in Canberra this year, in the games course. I've been really disappointed by the school, but I hear the first year art students will be getting a much more awesome teacher next year, so lucky them!

- What Chris said on the price. With CIT payments, you can pay all in one hit or in monthly/weekly instalments. That's mostly managed through CIT, and it's quick and painless :)
If you're going for the games course for second year, keep in mind that CIT *doesn't* subsidise second year, so you'll be paying FEE HELP regardless for that.

- You get free education licenses for 3DS MAX and Maya as part of the course. This year the first year assignments were animation, character modelling, a little bit of texturing and environment modelling. We did one teamwork game level design assignment using Maya and UT Editor, and right now we're in the middle of a bunch of team animation assignments - I say animation, but we're doing modelling and texturing for that as well.
We also got a single-item booklist which includes a textbook on Maya, but you don't ever actually use it over the year. There aren't any readers or textbooks for the course itself, though there were very handy design briefs for assignments at the start of the year (the teachers seem to have forgotten about these come June though :( ). Also, like QANTM, a bunch of the written teaching materials are PDFs on the sharedrive that you can find online anyway, although occasionally you'll find one written by an AIE teacher.

AIE is very much a technical school, and the focus is on 3D. It is not an art school, and I've found that you will learn what the assignment requires of you and not much else. You should learn enough to get a basic understanding of 3D, even from first year.

Chris - on the pushing yourself - that's really true of any field. :P

Current state of the Industry? And advice on which areas are there demand in.

Hi,

My name is Matt. I studied the Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Master in Animation) at Qantm College in Brisbane and graduated in 2005. After graduation I applied for jobs, got some interviews, but never managed to actually land a job. Along with many of my classmates I ended up just working various sales/retail/service jobs. My most recent job was an assistant manager at EB Games for 2 years where I then quit to go back to uni and study business - I am now in my 2nd year and thinking about going back to games again.

The reason I am here is that I'm wondering what the state of the games industry in Australia is like. I have heard that it's been pretty tough, with multiple companies, eg. Krome, shutting down.

I love games. Games are my passion and I'd really like a job that has some kind of relation to games. Furthermore I don't want my games degree to go to waste. Since I have already done 3 semesters of business subjects, I've thought about perhaps doing something that combines all of my skills and knowledge - and have noticed that there is such a thing as a double degree - "Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment".

Perhaps I could steer my current business course and turn it into the above?

or

Perhaps I could change my major to marketing and do the "Entertainment Marketing" path. (I thought this one might be good as having a degree in gaming - knowing the development processes would give me an advantage over normal marketing graduates).

Perhaps I could just drop business all together and go back to purely games? Do a Masters degree? Self study? Build portfolio?

All of the above I'd be happy doing but I need to know more...

So yeah,

What is the industry like? Are there a lot of talented people currently un-employed already? All lining up for the next position to open up?

What areas are there demand in? Animation? Design? Marketing? Producers?

All info, advice, in any shape or form would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you in advance.

-Matt

P.S. I've been reading through some of the threads below and have read some mixed messages from various posts.

My view, which I think agrees with the majority of the replies, is that the most important things are:
1. having an awesome show-reel that stands out, showing not only your skills, but also your imagination (originality), your talent.
2. coming to interviews prepared (and having a substantial amount of polished work to bring with to interview)
3. a great attitude, massive enthusiasm, and also good communication skills

I know it's very hard to get your foot in the door, you have to stand out, etc. etc. that's not what this post is about however - as mentioned above I want to know about the current state of the industry, what are companies needing and also what path should I take given my current skills, experience and knowledge etc.

-thanks again :)

Submitted by P.J. (not verified) on Wed, 22/06/11 - 5:47 PM Permalink

In my experience, follow your heart and instinct. No, the industry isn't stable right now. However, I don't think many industries are right now. Main thing is to never have regrets. Choosing the 'safest' option isn't always the best option IMO.

Submitted by Xiroz (not verified) on Sat, 25/06/11 - 12:54 AM Permalink

I graduated the same degree (Game Design major though) Last year and it's been rough finding work. It's frustrating how much effort it's taken, but I know my sanity wouldn't last if I wasn't doing something I love. So I agree with P.J; safest option isn't always best.

Submitted by Bozo (not verified) on Mon, 27/06/11 - 2:35 PM Permalink

Go the business degree.
Once the childish enthusiasm has worn off you'll be wanting real money and prospects so you can take time off and not go near a god darn computer.
Everything is more stable than the computer games industry plus your in the wrong country.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/06/11 - 9:43 AM Permalink

I'd continue on with the Business Degree, assuming you are getting something out of it. In my experience there aren't nearly enough people in video games with necessary qualifications in business/marketing, which probably goes a long way to explain why the state of the industry is so bad at the moment.

Getting a job right now is extremely tough even if you have your foot in the door and plenty of experience. Perhaps you could have a go at making and selling iPhone or Android games in your spare time until things pick up on the job front.

Submitted by Justin (not verified) on Thu, 30/06/11 - 12:27 PM Permalink

Mate

You've got a Qantm games qualification under your belt, and now you're studying now a business course. Sounds to me like you're on the right track.

If games is your passion, go with it ... having yourself a business qualification as well can only help (IMHO).

The commercial games landscape is indeed just that - Commercial. Every company developing games for sale needs someone with these skills. If you've got a grip on marketing you could very well score yourself a gig as a Community Manager or something similar. It is of course one thing to post an app to iTunes. It's another thing entirely to get your game noticed (just have a chat to Firemint or Halfbrick - their attention to marketing is *massive*).

Games + Marketing = Good.

Good luck!

Any tips for a wannabe game designer?

Hey guys,

I have recently finished a Masters of Creative Industries (Interactive and Visual Design) and am lacking a direction in which to move forward. Overall, i'd love to be a game designer, but I have been told frequently that no one just applies to be a game designer, so I have been targeting QA. I have applied at a few of the Brisbane based studios for QA work, but have recieved little response due to me having no previous industry experience.

So far my relevant industry experience stems only from my masters' major project, in which i created a flash (AS3) game, where i pretty much independently developed everything.

Since finishing my masters I have started various projects in order to create a portfolio, but have been unable to decide which project to focus upon, as I am not too sure what would be held with a higher regard. I am willing to learn any software, be it 3D modeling related, level design etc. I just don't know what to focus on.

I guess what i'm trying to ask is:
1) How do you get a foot in the door in the games industry when they say you need previous experience?
2) What are some recomended platforms for a rather new designer to work on?
3) Do i need to have a coder/modeler background in order to get a job within the industry?

Cheers guys.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/05/11 - 11:04 AM Permalink

1) Luck and perseverance. Be prepared to move interstate. It can't hurt to try and apply overseas too. Unfortunately, "Designer" is quite a tough gig to land and there are not as many pure Designer roles going around as the traditional programmer, artists and production roles. Pretty much everyone doubles as a designer in some part in my experience (whether this is good or bad, I still am unsure).
2) Flash sounds fine, whatever you are comfortable with. Try to commit to an idea though and flesh it out a little bit.
3) Not necessarily but it can't hurt to learn how to use a variety of different tools/programs. Flash is a good start. If you don't already, try to get acquainted with at least one 2D and 3D art packages (like Photoshop and 3D Studio Max).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/05/11 - 12:50 PM Permalink

Make games. Make any type of games on any platform. What you're good at will become the focus. Level design, gameplay mechanics, or whatever you focus on - that will determine how people judge you. The term 'game designer' means a million things and is the subject of much debate. What is it precisely that you design?

Stop worrying about getting your foot in the door and make things. Things that make you valuable, that will make it impossible for people to turn you down.

You know AS3, so make more AS3 games. Put up a website. Comment on others' games. Immerse yourself. Be part of the community. Do small, fast collaborations along the way. Other software will help definitely, but focus on design if you're a designer.

Seriously, though - the industry is hurting. There are no jobs. There's only jobs if you're good.

Submitted by NathanRunge on Fri, 13/05/11 - 1:46 PM Permalink

The first question I'd ask is, do you really want to make games/interactive entertainment above all the other options you have? If not, it's not worth the hassle. If so, go for it though.

My advice in approaching getting a design job is to, well, give up on that idea in the short-medium term. Your chances of landing a game design role as an entry-level position are extraordinarily slim. It's possible you might be able to get a level design role, but those are getting harder to land as the job market floods, and that's likely to continue for a number of years. QA is still an entry-level position, but 'entry-level' doesn't mean what it once did as you're going to be up against experienced professionals and accomplished indies, all desperate to be part of the industry.

So that's the situation as I see it anyway. There are a few paths open to you, depending on your interests, proficiencies and resources. The first, and most widely recommended, is to do independent development. Make games, lots of them. These won't get you a game-design role (in all likelihood), but if you do some good work over numerous projects it'll give you the edge on Level Design, QA or Associate Producer roles. The lovely catch is, however, that everyone who sticks around is doing this and, to really stand out, you basically need to do something so awesome you don't need or may not want the job.

Which brings me to the perma-indie route. There have always been 'indies' and joining or forming a new independent studio is a legitimate route, but it carries a lot of risk. I won't go into a full analysis of the pros and cons, but it's not guaranteed money and it's a LOT of work, especially if you're looking at forming your own company. It's something to think very carefully about.

You might also consider further study which, if you choose the right institutions, might be of some minimal benefit but would more importantly allow you to undertake more projects. I can't really recommend that route though. Basically, not that anyone wants to tell you this, your chances are shit. They are for most of us, even a lot of the experienced professionals who have lost their job. In my opinion, and this is a very subjective opinion, you're better off forging your own path independently if you can afford to take the risk. No matter what you do, completing projects, even small ones, and networking are the keys.

On a side note of skill development: Programming is a HUGE plus. While I personally don't believe it necessary, some people, even in HR, believe it IS necessary. It's a huge boost if joining a smaller team too. Having experience with scripting and tools such as Unreal for level design or Project for Production are pluses. Familiarity with Scrum can be of benefit, but not the half-baked versions you get taught at universities.

Submitted by martythemage on Fri, 13/05/11 - 4:20 PM Permalink

Thanks for the words of wisdom guys, I really appreciate it. Looks like I better start bunkering down and focusing on the projects I started.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/05/11 - 5:58 PM Permalink

Well I'm working at GameLoft now, and they have been hiring junior game designers.

What they have typically done when they have hired a game designer is they look at the projects you are currently working on. i.e. one of the juniors has done a fairly successful command & conquer mod in a more up to date engine, better graphics etc.

Start getting a portfolio together.

Also programmer at a basic level is useful for a level designer tbh, but consider that most programming involved would be some sort of scripting language like lua etc at most commercial games company.

Don't be afraid to head overseas if you want to work commercially in the games industry also. Australia is only just starting to recover from a nasty games dev recession.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/05/11 - 6:04 PM Permalink

I disagree with you completely on some of your points just based on my experiences. As I mentioned in my subsequent post that companies do hire juniors but there needs to be content/projects for them to see. i.e. most of the juniors have done their own iPhone dev, or mod development etc.

Some companies now don't see QA as a entry position any more. They want people who are skilled at games QA. Some companies deliberately tell you during the meeting this is not going to be a stepping stone position. If you want to be a level designer, apply for the positions.

Also as you mentioned in you post, there are a lot of level designers compared to talented programmers. It tends to be a flooded market so you got to make yourself stand out. Stand out in a good way anyway :)

I do agree with your programming point. It is handy for a level designer to know python, lua or some scripting languages. Also obviously with building a portfolio etc.

Submitted by designerwatts on Sun, 15/05/11 - 12:20 AM Permalink

G'day Marty,

First off congratulations for completing a masters of creative industries. I hope you had the opportunity to work alongside some passionate teachers and fellow students.

First rule of thumb to keep in mind with becoming a game designer is that there is no real right and wrong way to approach working towards this career. Some ways will take longer then others but as long as you're learning then don't let it stop you.

As a game designer myself, my personal advice to you are as fellows:

- You are almost always wrong: As a designer you need to keep a very open mind and accept that all your ideas and designs are revisable and will change over a games development. Always be open to criticism from your team-mates and peers. Always revise and keep your revisions up to date. If your a designer who writes documents then create a new version once every few weeks so you can see how you're progressing.

- Defend what you think is right: When you feel justified in an element of a design then explain to people as to why you think this is so. I've found in my experience that when you defend a design decision with logic and experience the argument against it fades away. Of course you should always scrutinise the design element before defending it. [ie: You are almost always wrong.]

- Design what you love: Our industry is huge now and design is specialising by genre and platform. Designing a game for a social network like Facebook is very different to designing a console game. Ask yourself what genres and platforms you love to play and work towards that. When you can demonstrate an intimate knowledge of that genre to a studio who works on that said genre then you will be a valuable asset to them. If you love genres with large and complex design methods then dissect them down to core elements and gain an intimate knowledge of it.

- Make games: Either alone or in a team you should always be making games. Video games, board games, RPGs all are valid in your design development. I personally suggest that you start small. Games that could be made in 3 to 6 months are great for learning experiences. Work on making a single gameplay element polished to a diamond shine rather then trying make 6 elements mesh together poorly. I tell you this from personal experience.

- Play games: Don't ever take the stance of "Working to much to play games." As a designer is it part of your duty to play the shit if of games you love. To consider why these games appeal to you and how you could improve upon them.

Most of all understand that the journey IS the destination. Have fun working with creative people and making the best nuggets of fun and joy you can. When you love what you do and do it very well then the job will find you.

But! My wuffling aside:

1) How do you get a foot in the door in the games industry when they say you need previous experience?

- "Make" experience. Make games and make them fun and polished.

2) What are some recommended platforms for a rather new designer to work on?

- Any platform that allows you to cheaply develop on. PC digital download and iOS are viable at this time.

3) Do i need to have a coder/modeler background in order to get a job within the industry?

- No. But it does help when you have additional skills to bring to the table. This can be anything from artistic skills, programming skills, project management skills, marketing experience, anything that shows people that you are a valuable member to a team.

Also keep in mind that an employer will hire you for your BEST skill set. So if your level design skills are more polished then your high-level game design skills then you will be hired as a level designer.

Working and Indie'ing

Hey all,

I have a question in respects to the legal rights of workers in the game industry. I have a friend who works at a studio in Aus, and is also an indie. When that person first started, the company said it was no problem with him being an indie. However they have since changed their mind, and said he can no longer produce any content for his indie projects. Now I didn't have an answer when he asked me, but I'm curious as I'm in the same position, I do full-time work for a studio and I work as an indie in my spare time. Obviously the difference here is that my company knows about my work and has given me written permission (and even offered to help out cos they are THAT awesome) ;). But I was wondering about legal rights, is a company actually legally allowed to prevent you from doing work like that in your free time?

Does anyone have any experience in this, or anywhere I can get advice from? It seems a bit unfair to me, I guess if I was making a game that was identical in every way except name to theirs, potentially that is different.

Anyhow, thanks for any help!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 10:52 AM Permalink

I'm sure the contract he's signed says that the company owns all his work inside the computer games domain (and possibly beyond) unless they specifically say otherwise. Now, you could challenge that contract in a variety of ways, and I have no idea how that might fall out. For that you'd need to go see a real lawyer, hourly rate and all.

I can tell you that "It doesn't seem fair," doesn't generally constitute a legal defense.

If he has it in writing that they were okay with his original status, there may be a challenge to the change in status. I doubt it though - my guess is they're entirely in their rights. Certainly that's what most big studio contracts look like these days - they own everything you do, without exceptions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 10:54 AM Permalink

Has your friend got a contract? Read it. If it's not in there, it's fine. Some contracts have anti-competitive clauses, some do not.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:04 AM Permalink

There are a number of issues to be considered here. His contract is not the 'be all and end all'. If his employer has stated in writing that he cannot produce content of his own, then this may be conisdered a lawful direction of his employer, and as such could any failure to comply with this direction could result in disciplinary action.

It may be worthwile having your friend request the reasons for the decision in writing. He should also be aware that if he continues to produce work when he has been directed not to, then proceeds to make money from it, he may find himself having to pay some, if not all of that money, plus court costs, to his employer, as he may not necessarily own the intellectual property.

It is a legal minefield, one that I would advise him to keep out of.

Submitted by Digitalos on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:30 AM Permalink

Just reading around, and is there a distinction between it being a hobby and it generating revenue? ie The work he does doesn't generate revenue for him, he volunteers as it's not his day-job and he can only put in limited hours in his free time. It does generate revenue for other people though - does this matter? He does it as it's enjoyable and a hobby and is why he works in the game industry in the first place. Not sure, as you say it's a confusing area. There is a contract, I guess I can suggest he read that and take it from there. Legally, when I say it seems 'unfair' of course that isn't a legal defence, I wouldn't venture that as one. What I mean is the law is there to protect interests and rights, and so in this instance it seems to be being abused to limit someones rights without justification.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:30 AM Permalink

Difficult situation to be in.

If the original contract between your friend and their employer did not prohibit them from doing outside work , the employer is not allowed to change this clause without your friends agreement. A party to a contract is not allowed to change the terms unilaterally, nor can they threaten your friend for not agreeing to new terms.

Even if the original contract did prohibit external work and your friend asked for permission and this was granted it could be held to be a valid variation to the original agreement. (these things do not always have to be written)

In the real world however, arguing too strongly about these types of issues may lead to your friend having a harder time at work or suddenly becoming and indy developer full time.

Bottom line is: How important is this issue to them? What are they prepared to risk to resolve it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:42 AM Permalink

No they are not allowed to prevent you doing anything in your spare time unless it's negatively impacting on their business some way.

I've been through this situation myself before.

Sounds like their employer is a total asshole having some power trip.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:49 AM Permalink

"Just reading around, and is there a distinction between it being a hobby and it generating revenue?"

No, there's not.

"What I mean is the law is there to protect interests and rights, and so in this instance it seems to be being abused to limit someones rights without justification."

That's just saying "It's unfair," in slightly different words.

If you tell us what studio it is, we'll have a pretty good idea what the contract looks like. If it's any studio owned by a multinational US based company, then there's no way their contract doesn't take all rights to everything he does - regardless of whether its for profit or not.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 11:59 AM Permalink

are you a lawyer, can you link this statement to something that backs you up, cause if not then your view is just as valid or invalid as all other would-be lawyers (at least most people said to go seek professional advice before coming up with drivel like yours).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:01 PM Permalink

lol, this is meant to the guy I've replied to, not the comment directly above me; also, just because it's a contract doesn't automatically make it a LEGAL contract, we've actually gone through this in uni when we had the business law course

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:06 PM Permalink

I presume you're referring to the section that declares "Under Australian law, where an employee is the author, the first owner of copyright is the employer"

Or maybe not, given that would contradict your position.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:12 PM Permalink

So, there's two points here :

1 - Does the contract declare that any work done (even out of hours, even on separate projects) belongs to the employer?
2 - Is that clause enforcable.

I'm going to presume that the answer to point 1 is yes, given that's generally the case with game developer contracts in Australia. If anyone would like to call out specific companies that do or do not have that clause, go crazy. I know for a fact there's a similar clause in all EA and THQ contracts. I presume the same is true of other major companies, and not the case for small indies. Everyone at Firemint will be signing a new, EA style contract shortly, for example.

As for 2, while it is true that a contract isn't necessarily legal simply by virtue of being a contract (for example, you can't sign away your right to sue someone for criminal negligence, no matter what ski-lift operators would like you to think). HOWEVER, unless someone can point to an example of this (very common) clause being determined illegal in Australia, it's better to assume that the clause would stand if challenged, UNLESS you have legal advice to the contrary.

Frankly, saying "In Uni I learned that some contracts are illegal, so don't take it for granted," is a poor reason. Presume contracts are legal and enforceable, and don't sign then unless you intend to be bound by their clauses. If you need to challenge them, then seek our a lawyer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:14 PM Permalink

I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that - can you quote the section that you believe makes it unlawful to assign rights to your work to your employer?

Because that's what we're talking about, and it's covered very clearly in the copyright act, and it proves the opposite of what you seem to be claiming.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:18 PM Permalink

Specifically :

"(4) A consent may be given by an employee for the benefit of his or her employer in relation to all or any acts or omissions (whether occurring before or after the consent is given) and in relation to all works made or to be made by the employee in the course of his or her employment."

To repeat - you're wrong in fact, and in law. And reading comprehension.

Submitted by Digitalos on Wed, 04/05/11 - 12:26 PM Permalink

Well it seems that as often is expected, people do include a load of things which are unenforceable by law in contracts, EULAs and similar. For instance saying they own everything you do inside and outside of work is a ludicrous statement. I'm sure they would love to own your life and everything you think, do and create, but legally it's totally unenforceable. I'm not a lawyer obviously but some statements are just credulous such as the 'we own everything' one.

In regards to whether or not it's a hobby or generating revenue, I cannot imagine a company having legal control over your outside-of-work-activities. First of all in respects to how they would even know about them, but secondly, you cannot choose careers that share no common grounds with your hobbies, your partner's hobbies or your friends hobbies. So trying to prevent engaging in those hobbies due to a perceived conflict of interests, or competitive conflict, seems unsustainable.

Of course those are just my thoughts, the best advice in this thread is to seek out professional information from a laywer or server, but of course that's something for my friend to do as opposed to me. I was just curious as to what the general belief is - and there seems not to be one. ;)

Thanks for the comments though.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 1:20 PM Permalink

"We own everything" might be hard to enforce. "We own the stuff you do that relates to our business, ie games, and that's what we're paying for" is in fact the standard work-for-hire style contract. It's specifically called out in the copyright act for that reason.

You keep coming back to "I don't think this is fair" as if it has some kind of legal weight. "I cannot imagine a company having legal control over your outside-of-work-activities" - it doesn't really matter, there's years of contract law to suggest that's the case.

If you've come away from this with the thought that there's no consensus then you're making the mistake of trusting people who are totally uninformed (like yourself) making statements about what they "think things should be like," rather than the way they actually are in law. Even ten seconds research would show this.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:00 PM Permalink

Did they give a reason why the company don't want him to work on his indie projects?

Risk of being unproductive at work due to tiredness from working all the time?
Conflict of interest?
IP ownership issues?
It was OK before but now we've realized you make money from it please stop doing it because we are jealous!

Also did this come down from the top of the company or just some manager?

I don't think I worked at a single Aussie games company where a good portion of people didn't work on hobby projects in their own time. I think the employers need to understand that employees are going to become creatively frustrated at times and that working on hobby projects is a way for the employee to further develop their skills in the industry. A lot of employers actively encourage employees to do this because they know how important it is and sometimes allow the employee to work on something of their own during company time at specified hours (although the IP ownership of that work is another issue in itself) at least it gives an opportunity for the employee to experiment and try things out freely rather than under the strings of their task master!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:05 PM Permalink

actually it's a great reason, in uni I've learned that some contract are illegal regardless of their wordings, which (by your own admittance is true) makes some contracts illegal regardless of their wording. It's actually not that hard to understand.

Go see a lawyer, knowing that some contracts are illegal means you can look out for things which are suspicious and seek help. It's not better to assume anything, it's better to ask and assume things can change; hell, why would I negotiate my contracts at all if I just "assumed" that it's all solid as a brick?

The OP's situation sounds suspicious, my suggestion is go see a lawyer and also quit, I wouldn't want to work for a company which means to steal my ideas. This isn't 1940, employees have rights and employers should understand that treating the staff well will yield a much stronger product than abusing them. Game development isn't the high and mighty occupation it used to be (and even then it wasn't really), the entry price into game development is fairly cheap.

Submitted by Digitalos on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:19 PM Permalink

I think you are getting a little excited about what was just a general enquiry.

In regards to doing some research, for my own benefit since I am in a similar, though much nicer situation, call around. I called some free legal advice services and they had the following to say. It 'depends'. If there is an established overlap or conflict of interests, then there are legal grounds to ensure that the company and the individual is protected. If there is not an established overlap, then the best bet would be to open a discussion with the company themselves to see their concerns. There is no one-size fits all solution, or black and white answer like you seem to think and assert there is.

Which is exactly what I said my thoughts were, as a blanket "You can't do that." there is no legal grounds for this, unless there are some precidents established - such as an overlap in interests. 'Working on game development' isn't a credible overlap or conflict. The reason I mentioned that it feels a bit weird, is because the very nature of the law is to protect and restore, not to violate and destroy. It's based on our moral intuitions and enforced in an objective as possible manner. You seem to want to make it a very black and white issue, and so far the advice given to me by legal professionals doesn't support that view.

Also if you read my previous reply, I specifically said I never ventured forth my feelings on this as a legal argument, they are merely my feelings on this. Simply saying that this doesn't feel right, I may look into this more, which is a perfectly rational and reasonble thing to do.

Submitted by designerwatts on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:22 PM Permalink

Going to put my opinion in here. But is completely that. An opinion and nothing more.

Most companies and studios have a few paragraphs in their contract that states that you cannot produce related-industry work in your spare time. The reasons I speculate and have herd from others before are:

- They don't want a employee who's only half invested into their studio. If you're working on indie stuff or other related-industry projects then that puts into question your commitment to that studio. Are you simply using them to earn a pay and then put your real creative input into your own stuff? Are you invested into their company? Do you want to add value to it and go up the ladder?

- If your indie project grows huge? What if you leave unexpectedly because of it? Or you start to poach people from the studio to your indie project? Your indie project may very well undermine the studio you work for in some capacity either large or small

- What if your using their resources to make the game? This could be as simple as peoples time or as bad as using their software and hardware after hours.

Companies don't disallow people making their own projects because they're assholes. They do it because the idea of an employee dedicating their time and attention creatively outside work hours is an unknown variable they can't control. It may well be the case that more often then not it's completely harmless and nothing bad will come of it. But in an industry like ours it's a risk businesses don't want to take.

Many companies counteract this issue by having periods of rapid prototyping or dedicating one day a week for employees to work on their own projects that could turn into company projects.

I understand that some developers working in studios creating game they may not be invested in might dedicate time to something out of hours. But consideration needs to be made from the employer side as much as the employee.

Submitted by Digitalos on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:25 PM Permalink

No that I know of anyhow. My friend is offline currently, so I will ping him later for some updates. It's interesting how different companies perceive this sort of thing. Some are so paranoid, and some are pretty ok, with an understanding that your work has no significant overlap. Like, if I was working for a place making steampunk FPS games, and that just so happened to be my personal project, then sure even I can see a conflict there. But if I make IOS TBS games, and they make desktop FPS games, then I'm not sure I can see an issue. In respects to being tired, I mean anything and everything can cause that, staying up late reading Wheel of Time, can/has made me tired. ;) It just feels a bit too knee-jerk-reaction'y to me I suppose.

Anyway as I replied to the ever-so-exciteable poster above you, I did actually all around as it seemed like something I should know about since I'm in the same situation, although my employer is pretty cool in that regard. The general advice, (other than speak to a lawyer) was that it really depends on the situation, when all is said and done, and you remove any concern about job loss or what have you - ie speaking from a purely legal standpoint of what is what, and what can happen, it entirely depends on the specifics. In this case I think my buddy should be fine, as his work has zero overlap with his indie stuff, other than being about games on a high level. But of course he will need to sort that our his side.

But for anyone else reading, the bottom line is, "It depends". It's ultimately about the overlap of interests, and if your employer is reasonable and will talk to you about it, you can likely discuss it and reach a conclusion with them. It's not suggested to nod and smile and sign their contract, and then just go ahead and violate it by doing your own thing out of hours, as even though they may not find out about it, if it does become and issue, you have essentially no legal ground to stand on whatsoever. So don't do that, make sure the law and facts are on your side. :) Cheers!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:32 PM Permalink

A couple of studios I worked at had clauses relating to IP ownership but they never had anything in them that said the employee was not allowed to work on their own stuff.

Where next? employees must not have any hobbies at all?

Submitted by Digitalos on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:34 PM Permalink

Yeah your reasons are good and valid, and I agree completely.

Since I can't talk about my friend, I can use my case where I work for a company (been there 7 months) who has given me a green flag to carry own with my own work, which does generate a revenue. To address the points you raise in that context, whilst the game I work on isn't what I would call 'my sort of game' it is fun, I do like it and I am interested in it and making it great. In respects to my own company taking off, would I leave - yes sure I would, and they know this. However I've committed, as have they, to at least another 12 months which will see the end of this current project for them, and then we will review things then, and that's good from both sides I think as it ensures someone integral to their project won't just leg it, and it also I think acknowledges the employees own need to pursue their goals outside of work. In regards to using their resources and tools, that's just an outright no. I have my own tools (as I work from home) and they send me any specifics which I don't have already for my own use, and I use them only for what they are intended.

I guess I think my waryness in laying down a black/white statement on this (taking into account the advice I've been given and from thinking through it all more) is that there seems to be distinctions which should be made, and it seems like they are not often made. But good points in your post. :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:48 PM Permalink

What was asked is :

Is this contract illegal, regardless of its wording?

Your answer ("Some contracts are illegal, regardless of their wording!") is of no value to anyone. It doesn't tell us anything about this specific issue.

My response is

1) That's a very common clause to find in employment contracts for IP development related jobs.
2) I've never encountered a piece of case law in Australia challenging it.

Which means that in order to actually challenge it, you're going to need to set a precedent proving that it is unenforceable. Without any existing case law to draw upon, that will be expensive.

See how your answer doesn't add anything to the understanding of this specific case, but mine does (ie, I know of no existing case law, without existing case law challenging would be very difficult).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 2:49 PM Permalink

"'Working on game development' isn't a credible overlap or conflict."

If any of your legal advice has told you this, they are incorrectly informed. If it's just another thing you've made up because you "feel that should be the fair way, so that's probably the law" then fair enough. You're wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 4:01 PM Permalink

Yeah, that's the general situation - you can work on whatever you like, but it's owned by the studio you work for. Obviously they can't tell you what to work on in your spare time, but that can take ownership of it if that was in the contract.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 4:15 PM Permalink

Ok there seems to be some mis information floating around here. I will give some general advice but you should check with your lawyer about your own circumstances before you act.

Firstly, a distinction needs to be made between those of you who are employees, and those of you who are independent contractors. As an independent contractor the provisions of the Copyright Act apply differently to how they apply to employees . You are likely to be an independant contractor if you are hired to do a certain job (provide music for a game for eg) and there is a definite finish line to what you have been hired to do.

If you are employed (you have signed an employment contract, your boss takes out your tax from your pay and you have to be at a certain place at a certain time etc etc) the basic rule of thumb is that your employer cannot claim that work you do in your spare time belongs to the employer. The employer can (and will) claim that the work you do while at work does belong to the employer.

The difficulty is when what you are doing in your spare time comes precariously close to the work you are doing for your employer.

To illustrate, if you are employed to come up with ideas for games, it is going to be difficult to prove that the game you just thought of after hours was not done in the course of your employment. However if you are employed to write code, and in your spare time you come up with a game idea, it will be easier to prove. This is why when you are starting a new job you need to be as clear as possible on what it is that you are being paid to do. Make sure this is clear in the contract.

As an answer to Digitalos's question, an employer cannot on the face of it prevent you from producing content for your indie projects in your spare time. However, the devil is in the detail because it really depends on what it is you are hired to do. Think about what you are employed to do, and what it is that you plan to be developing in your spare time. In Digitalos' example it sounds like what has occurred is that the employee has started off doing one job and has drifted into doing another one. If it is a real problem I suggest he/she seeks some advice.

As a side note, it is important to remember that work you have done for your employer will normally be owned by it. This means that the code you just came up with at your office does not belong to you. You cant take it home and plonk it neatly into your own work and carry on as this would be an infringement of your employer's copyright

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/05/11 - 4:22 PM Permalink

"in the course of his or her employment."

That's what they have hired an employee to do and given them instruction to do in return for renumeration. What the employee does outside of work is not in the course of their employment.

If your saying otherwise then in theory the company owns everything they create which would extend to photos they take, blog posts they write, facebook posts they make. etc.. A company cannot attempt to "own" someone like this because that is illegal.

Is QUT's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation any good?

Has anyone done this course? I think QUT looks pretty good and that they know what they're doing, but I'd like to know if they teach fundamentals like gesture drawing, principles of animation, staging, life drawing etc.

Has anyone done the course (or is currently doing it) and has some insider knowledge they could spare?

Submitted by NathanRunge on Fri, 13/05/11 - 3:55 PM Permalink

I can't offer any specific advice on this course, but considering it seems no-one can, I'll offer you my assessment of QUT generally.

Their Creative Industries courses have some good qualities, but they have very little regard for their students. As with most institutions, their bottom-line is their top priority, and they have no interest in bettering student outcomes, updating courses or any of the "real world" content and outcomes they enjoy promoting. If you can find someone doing the course who says it's on-the-ball, then it will probably work out well. If it was out of date last year, it'll still be so this year, however.

Submitted by ... (not verified) on Tue, 31/05/11 - 4:34 PM Permalink

I'm currently studying this course, and I've found it to be great. It's compulsary to study units called 'Drawing for Design' and 'Drawing for Animation', both of these teach fundamental skills like the ones you've mentioned. Life drawing is also in Drawing for Design.
I've found the tutors to be very helpful, willing to go out of their way to offer assistance. I've found the facilities at QUT Kelvin Grove, where you'd be studying this course, to be well equipped with the programs/hardware you'll need to undertake the course.

:) That's my 2 cents, in any case.

Where do I go from here?

Hi guys,

I really need help with getting some direction.
I finished school 2 years ago and have been working full time to earn some money and build my folio since then.
I really want to become a concept artist in the games industry.
I have cut my job hours back down to one day a week to make room for school, but I really don't know where to go.
I live in Melbourne and I haven't come across a course yet where I have thought it would be perfect for me.

Does anyone have any suggestions on courses I can take that will help me further my studies towards a future concept artist?

Submitted by Tipatlong on Sun, 20/03/11 - 7:37 PM Permalink

To my knowledge becoming a conceptual artist required extremely strong artistic knowledge, and very little technical, so I'd suggest taking up the Fine Arts degree in RMIT. Their program structure seems to be great for traditional artists whilst giving the students a few options to take up subjects in video, animation, sound and more for some electives.

Link to the degree: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=BP201
Link to the degree's structure: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse/;CURPOS=1?programCode=%3F&STYPE=ENTIRE&QR…)

Submitted by NathanRunge on Mon, 21/03/11 - 10:12 AM Permalink

I was just last night running some predictions on the current unemployment rate in the industry based off rates of job loss and new entrants into the industry from game-specific courses, not including animation, business, software engineering, etc. Even assuming 100% employment at the peak and no dedicated entrants from non-game-specific courses... the numbers are staggering. The only boon being I couldn't account for those that have abandoned the industry. On top of that, concept art positions are rare and highly sought-after.

That said, the goal is not impossible. You see the position advertised locally here on tsumea occasionally. I think Tipatlong has offered some good advice on what is worth studying. Learning traditional art skills will be your best choice, while practicing your speed-painting and specific things such as turn-arounds in your spare time. Most game-specific courses are rather poor, so I'd stay away from them generally.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/03/11 - 10:38 PM Permalink

Why don't you send an email to people who are already successful concept artists and ask them for advice. Here I will help you chase some names - Luke Kopycinski, Min Yum, Andrew Lay.

I'm sure if you are really nice and contact them for advice they might help you out.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/03/11 - 2:13 PM Permalink

Unless you have prior experience in a games company, your CV isn't going to be particularly relevant, it's all about your skills. TBH, having a relevant degree is NOT going to put you ahead, unless you are not very motivated personally to put together an amazing portfolio.

Art directors will be focusing on your 'folio.

Clearly, having strong drawing skills is non-negotiable, but you also need to demonstrate understanding of:

- Composition
- Creativity
- Story telling (having good story boards is a huge plus)
- Game Camera
- Lighting
- Mood etc

Being able to show a range is really important too, not just having a bunch of variations on the same theme (i.e. pretty Manga girls you like to draw). To help yourself stand out from the crowd, DO NOT include the following in your book :

Girls With Big Tits; Barbarians Wielding Axes, Covered in Blood; Aliens; Space Ships; Gangsters Getting Shot in the Face; Orcs; Giant Robots; and, of course, Postapocalyptic Wastelands.

All these things are kind of yawn inducing, so come up with something really fresh and people will take notice.

Melbourne QANTM & RMIT

Yes another thing related to QANTM and schooling and such.

Anyways, the QANTM reviews I've seen here don't really come from Melbourne (I've seen maybe 2 at most?).
My mate went to their open days and she said the QANTM in melbourne without a doubt had better facilities compared to the one in sydney and that the teachers at melbourne qantm seemed like they cared for their student's education to her (but this is only from an open day).

Anyways, I was wondering whether I can get some feedback from people who went to QANTM in Melbourne and also those who went to RMIT.
For QANTM, the course I'm looking at is the Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (with a major in Animation)
For RMIT, the courses I'm looking at are Animation and Interactive Media – Bachelor of Arts or Games Graphics Design – Bachelor of Arts [EDIT] or Digital Art - Bachelor of Arts

[EDIT] I want to become a 3D artist in either the film or gaming industry (it doesn't matter too much since the creation process isn't too greatly different between the two).

Any feedback will be much appreciated :)
These questions might help:
What were the teachers like?
Did they seem to care about your education?
Did they try and keep pushing you to become better?
Did they seem like they knew what they were talking about?
Were you happy with your course at the end?
Did they have the proper equipment to fit your needs?

Add in any additional information you want, the more the better.

Also do you think employers will take the qualifications from one place more seriously over the other?

Future thanks to you guys

Cheers :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/03/11 - 1:33 PM Permalink

Judging courses by employment stats may not be realistic in the current environment.
There are incredibly few graduate opportunities, (unless they start their own companies, which is cool) and these will go to exceptional students who would probably have excelled regardless of the course which they attended.

To put it another way: I doubt that there have be more than a handful of grads, country wide, who have found employment with studios in the past year. This tends to make a statistical sample unreliable.

Check out the skills you need to learn, and whether the courses you are assessing have people with professional experience in these.

Submitted by Tipatlong on Sat, 19/03/11 - 5:50 AM Permalink

Is there really nobody in this forum that has come from RMIT? I can't find much feedback from their "animation & interactive media" course or their "games graphic design" course :| Do you guys know another australian entertainment forum I can ask this question to at least?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/03/11 - 9:51 AM Permalink

Hey Tipatlong,

I did the RMIT course - Bachelor of Arts (Games Graphics Design). I graduated at the end of 2007; the first round of students to complete that course. I got a job at Infinite Interactive after about 6 months of looking for work, and also did some work for a small indie developer before that. When I arrived at Infinite there were another 4 of my former classmates working there, which was pretty good given that there were only 35 or so people working there at the time.

I also heard of a few other people getting picked up at a few other places like Tantalus and Torus. Having said all that, I know of plenty of people that never got a job that came from the course. For the most part though, the people that were really dedicated, and the ones that really impressed when they presented their work were the ones that got jobs.

To answer your specific questions:

What were the teachers like?
For the most part good. They all really cared and some had quite impressive credentials as digital artists, although none at the time I studied there had any video game industry experience, which was a touch concerning.

Did they seem to care about your education?
Yes.

Did they try and keep pushing you to become better?
Yes and no. They encouraged people to get better, but I think a lot of students realised that getting a pass mark in most of the subjects was far too easy, and just slacked off. At the end of the day, it is up to the student to keep motivated. The teachers will certainly support you if you are enthusiastic yourself.

Did they seem like they knew what they were talking about?
Yes, however in regards specifically to video games some had no clue; some did.

Were you happy with your course at the end?
Yes, I enjoyed the course and picked up a job. There were some problems with how it was run, although I would point out that a lot of changes were made (I hear for the better) after my class graduated.

Did they have the proper equipment to fit your needs?
Yes, 2 dedicated games studios reserved for the video game courses. This meant there was always a machine available for you to use, even if a class was running within the studio. They have both PC and Macs; PCs were used for game dev specific software (eg: Unreal Ed) whilst Macs were used for graphic design (Adobe suite, Maya). I think there may also be a 3rd studio now.

Judging from the courses you are looking into, it sounds like you are more interested in Animation? If that is the case I'd consider looking at the Animation and Interactive Media course. The Games Graphics Design course is really tailored more towards design and teaching you a really broad skillset as a base. We had a really good Animation teacher named Christian, but I only remember having him for 1 class of Maya. There was also another guy, Darren I think, who tought Flash and he was quite good.

-Tim

Submitted by Tipatlong on Sun, 20/03/11 - 2:02 PM Permalink

Thanks a lot of writing that Tim! It helps a lot.
I actually want to become a 3D artist since I like sculpting with Zbrush quite a bit.
It seems that the teachers would be good there and the facilities would be even better now.
I'm leaning more towards taking the Bachelor of Arts (Digital Arts) which is also a games sector thing I heard, and from the course structure, there are some subjects that are also found in the games graphics design course (so knowing what some of the teachers are like really helps). Thanks again :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/03/11 - 2:40 PM Permalink

I'm currently studying the Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Animation) course and I'm really enjoying it so far. The lecturers all seem very knowledgeable and really take the time to help you out if you need it.

It seems the college has plenty of equipment and the library has some awesome resources. The biggest problem I've had so far is that there seems to be a lot of students who are here who just like to waste time and interrupt the class. I wish that the lecturers would stamp out this behaviour a bit more effectively.

If you're up for the challenge and work hard then its totally worth it.

-Laura

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/03/11 - 8:29 PM Permalink

I recently graduated from Qantm, Melbourne and can briefly share my experience doing the BA. programming stream side of things...

What were the teachers like?
Excellent. They are very experienced and many have been in the industry for some time. They also were very approachable, flexible and really encouraged you to excel.

Did they seem to care about your education?
Very much so. They really do want to see all students do well. Of course, many students were just there to waste time, but if you were very keen to get into the industry, you will do fine.

Did they try and keep pushing you to become better?
Yep. Again, you need to learn to push yourself in the end. Once out in the industry, you are going to have to drive yourself along to be the best at what you do.

Did they seem like they knew what they were talking about?
Again, yes. Some of their experience outside UNI life also crossed over and helped ' tailor ' some course material and fuel students to think about other real world aspects. It is amazing how true some of their ' in the real world... ' predictions have become ... :P

Were you happy with your course at the end?
Yep very happy. I found it was perfect place to get my grounding. Note that once you leave, you still need to work at it. It is the games industry after all, and cutting edge. But the skills and base that I gained helps me do the further work needed.

Did they have the proper equipment to fit your needs?
Initially, it was a little sparse on the equipment side (as I started when Qantm, Melbourne was newly formed), but I recently have been there and the machines and labs are awesome. Heaps of machines, free labs, both new macs, pcs etc.

Add in any additional information you want, the more the better.
Note that I did the Programming stream, but the above questions you asked relates to both.
I think that, for me at least, I really got a lot out of Qantm, Melbourne and the teachers were extremely supportive. Their industry contacts also helped, as I got my internship, and after leaving, have been getting work ever since. As well, as starting our own small games company ;)

Also do you think employers will take the qualifications from one place more seriously over the other?
Hard to say. Qantm is a dedicated games / multimedia name so perhaps that may help...

Good luck! All I can suggest is... if you want it badly enough - just do it. I would work on your stuff NOW before even getting to a UNI. With soooo many tutorials and resources at your fingertips on the Internet, you can get a head start and really be ahead of the pack when you land at the UNI of your choice.
All the best mate!! :)

Submitted by compactjerry on Sun, 20/03/11 - 10:33 PM Permalink

Not a problem. Doing the Digital Arts stream makes more sense then, and you're right; it is part of the Games group of courses, so you'll share quite a lot of classes with the Design students in particular, and also the Programmers from time-to-time. When I did the Design course there didn't seem to be much difference between the Design and Digital Arts streams, however I'd assume that has changed a bit over the last 4 years.

Submitted by Tipatlong on Mon, 21/03/11 - 8:05 AM Permalink

Just to make sure, this is melbourne yeah?
Sounds good, well except for that student problem, don't really understand why you'd pay so much money for a course you'd just waste time in :\ I know this is a random question, but are there much women in the school?

Submitted by Tipatlong on Mon, 21/03/11 - 8:12 AM Permalink

Hey thanks so much for that detailed reply! It helps tremendously.
And yeah, I'm working on my skills now and been doing so for a couple of years (whilst I was in high school, just graduated) ;) Working on my sculpting skills in Zbrush now :)

I'd still like to hear more from other people if possible!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/03/11 - 9:50 AM Permalink

Hey Tipatlong, i'd be glad to help.

My name is Joe, im currently studying my second year of Bachelor of interactive entertainment, Animation at Qantm Melbourne....
And YES - there has been A LOT of poor reviews on this site from the past few weeks, with regard to the teachers, facilities and overall service provided. However, this has not been my experience of the uni thus far. The facilities are very good, and constantly getting better. ALSO i think things (over the next few years) will change a fair bit for the better... You see Navitas (Navitas is an Australian diversified global education provider offering pre-university and university programs for students with operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Asia and Africa) just bought Qantm and SAE.

As for your questions:
What were the teachers like?
For the most part, the lecturers are great. If you ask for help, you'll get it. They're all industry experienced.
Did they seem to care about your education?
Again, for the most part they do.
Did they try and keep pushing you to become better?
This one is a little strange... I dont think they do. If you're an artist i feel as though you push yourself everyday to become better. And i think its more the other students around you, and the vibe that motivates you do push... not so much the teachers. That's perhaps the best thing about the uni, the fact that you're not sitting at home all day, read books or watching dvds on your own... you're actually in there, working in a group, learning from your mates and getting directed by your teachers.
Did they seem like they knew what they were talking about?
Yep :)
Were you happy with your course at the end?
I'm not done yet, i'm half way through my first trimester of the second year. But im happy with where im heading.
Did they have the proper equipment to fit your needs?
Yes they do. And you can survive on their equipment... but i do recommend having ur own pc, tablet, materials etc :)

Oh and as for working on your sculpting skills in zbrush, we dont actually use zbrush at Qantm, we use Mudbox... HOWEVER, i use zbrush all the time with my work, and its not an issue. But if you're looking for zbrush specific training, Qantm isnt the place.
I'd love to see your sculpts some time, do you have a website or DA?

It is a fast course, and you'll find yourself doing much of the (hard) work outside of uni hours at home or on campus. Like some one said in another thread, you get out what you put in... and if you sit around saying Qantm isnt a uni, or the facilities are crap, or there's no chance of getting a job after.. then there's no point in even going to uni.

I hope this was helpful.

Submitted by Tipatlong on Wed, 23/03/11 - 8:32 PM Permalink

Extremely helpful Joe! I found out the courses in rmit doesn't have any midyear intakes so I'll try to get in Qantm for midyear (I think it starts september) and if I like it I'll stay, if I don't I'll try to transfer :)

How hard is it exactly? I'm curious as to whether it's possible I do a business degree in vic uni at the same time (but part time to ease the load). The business degree I want from vic uni is the Bachelor of Business (Management / Marketing). Is it possible or would it just be too difficult?

So do they allow you to use Zbrush for your assignments if you have Zbrush at home?

As for my work, I'll post some of it up in a couple of weeks since I need to get my portfolio done, but it'll probably be in the GameArtisans forum, maybe polycount and maybe DA. If you have an account in any of those or an email I could let you know when I start posting my work up if you want :)

Submitted by Tipatlong on Thu, 24/03/11 - 7:12 AM Permalink

I was wondering whether anybody knew the names of the people who teach in Qantm melbourne's bachelor of interactive entertainment (with a major in animation) or if they know the link which shows me who the teachers are. Same for RMIT's Bachelor of Arts (animation and interactive media) course (I've decided that if I were to go to RMIT I'd prefer to do the animation course after looking through the course structures). Would be much appreciated :)

Submitted by Dewald on Tue, 05/04/11 - 12:17 AM Permalink

Hey Tipatlong,
I study with Joe at the Melbourne campus, and i must say, there is absolutely no way (and i hope i speak for all students) that you would be able to manage doing Qantm, as well as another degree on the side.
If you really want to excel, then you want to treat this degree as a full time job. I'm doing the Programming stream, so i cannot really comment on those aspects. But what i can say is that this degree is pretty hard, you really need to focus on your work. Now im not saying that you will be tied to your table 24/7, sure you can go out and have fun and still have your social life. But for the mots part of 2 years you will really need to settle down and treat this seriously. Far too many people drop out early, and even later on, because they lose focus and drop the ball.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/04/11 - 1:13 AM Permalink

hey thanks. Yeah I decided to do the 2 year degree in qantm and then take a masters in marketing/management afterwards (also 2 years). I'm glad to hear that it's hard though. Makes it feel worth trying for more, knowing that you just can't slack off and all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 14/04/11 - 2:05 PM Permalink

http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse/;ID=EPSBP203P6AUSCY;STATUS=A#related gives you the three year level coordinators details. The BAAIM program is one of the best animation programs in Melbourne and it's very competitive to get a place. Helen Dickson is a graphic designer, Dan Torre is an animator (worked a lot in America, used to work on South Park) who also works a lot with compositing. and Mark Lycette is a designer/interactive/animator who is one half of Lycette Bros. http://lycettebros.com/

Your best bet of getting a reply from someone is to email baaim@rmit.edu.au

There are a number of other staff on board - film/video experts, script writing, even life drawing (which should be compulsory in any animation course). Be aware it is an animation program, not a games program, although you would have the opportunity to develop interactives in 2nd and 3rd year.

They also have an end of year screening at ACMI each year if you wanted to check out graduate work before you applied.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/04/11 - 10:24 AM Permalink

hi i am also a second year student at Qantm for the most part its OK but one thing I've discovered talking to a bunch of people myself is that no one is ever truly satisfied with the education they've received. It could have always been better and the teachers could have always done more to help you. Bottom line your an adult now and if you want to learn something your going to have to spend most of your time outside of uni researching topics your interested yourself regardless of which educational institution you choose. Personally i cant wait to get into the industry where the real learning begins.
Good luck

P.S. Take the advice given to you by Second Year (posted 22/32011)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/09/12 - 8:23 PM Permalink

Hey everyone, im an aspiring video game designer, currently in Year 9 in melbourne.
Im wondering what you guys did in terms of Year 10 work experience ( i know it's not a big deal in terms of future career, but i would like to know what's available in it that relates to the industry). I know that most game devs in melbourne dont take work experience, and ive heard that QANTM does, any help on the matter would be appreciated.

Also, ive seen a lot of info on this thread about the animation-related courses, and a bit about the programming, but im wondering if anyone has majored in games design at QANTM (or done any other similar courses).
Im not sure which path to follow (animation, programming, general game design, etc)
Ive tryed basically all of them, experimenting with a range of programs such as SmallBasic, Python, SketchUp and GameMaker, and I'm also going to try out Java (specifically minecraft modding) and Unity.

If anyone could give me some info on the different pathways available to people looking to start a career in the industry, and what each would entail, it would be much appreciated.
Also any advice or tips would be great too.
Thanks

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/09/12 - 2:39 AM Permalink

hey mate, as a current aussie designer the main thing these days is being bale to show you ideas as a playable demo or at the very least a well cut video.

Any programming/scripting ability will go a long way, you should probably concentrate on that over any artistic stuff if you want work as a designer.

EA Melbourne Contact Information?

Morning All,

Im looking for EA Games Melbournes Contact Email or equivilent

Im part of the Diploma of multimedia game development at my institute and im flying to melbourne in april and want to contact a few studios in hopes to be granted a tour and show them the game and animation the diploma class has been working on and invite them to come see it when its finished

Im fully aware i will most likely be rejected by many if not all studios but if one accepts then it would be worth it

Submitted by souri on Fri, 11/03/11 - 5:57 PM Permalink

I've sent you their contact details for further discussion. Log in and click messages in the top bar there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/03/11 - 8:25 PM Permalink

Thank you Souri, EA should expect to hear from me monday afternoon - tuesday morning since its now the weekend and i will be emailing them under my lecturers supervision

Thanks again

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/04/11 - 6:32 PM Permalink

hi,
could you please forward EA Melbournes contact details to me. I'm looking for work experience in game design and maybe they might have something to offer. I would greatly appreciate it.
my email is yianni152014@gmail.com

Submitted by David (not verified) on Fri, 26/08/11 - 4:19 PM Permalink

Hi Souri,
would you be able to send me EA melbourne's details? I'm just trying to send out job applications for a Quality Assurance Games Tester position to start with so I can get my foot in the door, my email address is hanzyl@hotmail.com

Submitted by souri on Fri, 26/08/11 - 4:55 PM Permalink

Your best bet is to contact Firemint and IronMonkey Studios to enquire about that position. I have had exceptional correspondences with HR personnel at EA Melbourne for years, but my contact has since moved on unfortunately.

In reply to by David (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/09/11 - 10:59 PM Permalink

>/dev/null

I wish everyone all the best. :(

Submitted by MattKr on Mon, 07/11/11 - 11:54 AM Permalink

Hi all,

I have recently applied for a position with Firemint and i would like to speak with them to find out if they did infact receive my application. Any help with how to get in contact with them would be great! The phone number of theirs that i have is not in use currently.

Thanks again.

Submitted by Lara (not verified) on Thu, 01/03/12 - 1:20 PM Permalink

Hi All

I have applied for a position with EA games in the Melbourne office. This was in January and I have not heard anything, not even sure if they have received my application. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Does anyone know of any contact details (email, ph no) so I could follow up?

Much appreciated

Submitted by Sam Mayo (not verified) on Thu, 15/03/12 - 10:30 AM Permalink

Hi Lara,

We receive hundreds of applications for each job we post, so unfortunately we can't always provide feedback to all applicants. Did you apply for a position at Iron Monkey, or here at Firemint?

Thanks!

Sam Mayo
Community Manager, Firemint

Submitted by Dane Bartlett (not verified) on Sat, 07/07/12 - 12:16 PM Permalink

Good Afternoon,

I'm a recent marketing graduate who has received some great results and would love to gain some experience within the games industry. I've been a massive gamer since I can remember. If anyone out there knows of any opportunities could they please email me at dane_bartlett@hotmail.com.

Finally, like many people I've been trying to find the postal/email address of the EA HR Department to inquire about possible work experience opportunities in the marketing field so if anyone has these details could you forward them to me at the above email address. Much appreciated.

Regards,

Dane Bartlett

Submitted by souri on Sat, 13/04/13 - 3:19 PM Permalink

Since we're still getting posts in this thread about contacting EA Melbourne, I think we need to establish a few things:

1. As mentioned earlier, my point of contact in EA has moved on. Their replacement who I had some correspondance with has also moved on. I never give out phone details so please don't ask - most of these companies are pretty busy and appreciate not being called directly hundreds of times a day for enquiries like this. You'll have to contact them through the right channels (usually by email).
2. EA Melbourne, when this was originally posted, referred to Visceral Games Melbourne, a games studio which EA set up and closed up in late 2011. You can't contact them anymore.
3. The game studios in Melbourne which EA currently owns are Firemint and IronMonkey which have been merged into one studio called the Firemonkeys. You have many, many ways to contact them here. That page says they do not currently offer work experience, unfortunately.

QANTM reviews.

Hey guys,

I'm seriously considering doin a CUF50107 Diploma of Screen and Media (with a specialisation in Animation) online from QANTM Brisbane, i have done some googling and have found some people saying how poor their course was an not recommending it at all, having said that, it was from 2005 and i cant really find anything more recent.

Is their anyone here who may be able to shed some light on the current quality of QANTM courses and if it is something i will get value from.

Thankyou very much

Sam

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/02/11 - 4:33 PM Permalink

Im doing the batchelor of interactive entertainment with a major in animation at perth's qantm campus at the moment, its great! I wouldnt know much about CUF50107 and the online units but its worth checking out, the staff on this side are brilliant so im sure the same goes for the eastern states.

Is there anything you wanted to know in specific?

Ben

Submitted by sammole on Thu, 24/02/11 - 10:43 PM Permalink

thanks for the reply mate, nothing particular ive just heard QANTM cop alot of slack from ppl. and just wanted to make sure the $7,500 im going to invest in it was worth it, is there any chance of seeing some of your work so i can see the level that QANTM operates at?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 1:44 AM Permalink

I've dealt with QANTM face-to-face [not online] but I'd heartily suggest to anyone to stay well and clear away from this school. Their teachers showed no care to their profession, the industry they are suppose to represent or the course materials. Google up "QANTM Connect" if you want to have a good laugh. You're much better off spending that money on a real course from a real Uni, buy books, take a few months off and teach yourself; you'll get just as much education and dare I say a much better education by yourself.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 12:46 PM Permalink

Qantm is a joke. I studied a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment majoring in Games Programming at the Brisbane campus.

First, we have the fees - $36k to study a 2 year degree (3 years accelerated). This would be acceptable if the standard of teaching was higher, and the facilities were better. During final projects at the end of the course we actually had to evacuate half of our final project room (dedicated to second year students only) because of the leaks in the roof. This went on for a MONTH.

Study rooms are constantly full towards the end of a semester, so people wishing to submit their assessments must wait for these rooms to clear up - as Qantm does not allow online submission. They also offer no WiFi, so students with laptops are unable to use the network without plugging in. The worst thing about the wretched place though is the chairs. It shouldn't be hard to get enough decent gas-lift chairs when every single student is paying $36k to be there, but somehow Qantm manages to siphon student fees off into the black hole that is SAE's wallet - where they instead waste their money on Mac's that underperform and have frequent overheating issues. For a college that offers a programming course (and claim it is the best in Queensland) they are extremely under-equipped for the task, both in terms of hardware and competent lecturers.

I cannot speak for the other degrees Qantm offers, but their programming degree is a joke. 2 years is NOT enough when a year of that time is wasted on subjects such as;

DES101: Principles of Design
DES102: Communication Design
INT201: Narrative & Character Development
DES104: Design for Interactive Entertainment
INT202: Scripting & Storyboarding
DES202: Game Level Design
NEM201: Managing New Media Projects
NEM204: New Media Business Compliance
MED103: Principles of 3D Animation

Whilst it is useful to have a background in all of these areas, none of these should be present in a 2 year course. If the degree ran for 4 years then the amount of time spent studying programming-oriented subjects would be acceptable. The current curriculum breeds the idea that programming is something that can be mastered in 2 years (in reality the programming portion of the degree only runs 1 year). Before I entered the course I had a modest background in C++, but not one person who came out of that course is ready to work in the industry at a SERIOUS game development studio. The programming lecturers treat students at Qantm as though they are still in high-school - constantly hand-holding, doing the work for them because they're too lazy / too stupid to figure it out for themselves. I'd also stress that programming assessments focus entirely on creating a product that ticks the criteria in terms of functionality, even if the code is an absolute mess. I've seen some shocking examples of poorly designed and written code submitted for assessments - sometimes copy pasted directly from the internet, and yet the student will get a Distinction or even High Distinction. These students will get quite a shock if someone is ever stupid enough to hire them, or they get the opportunity to work in a team-based environment - that shit just won't fly.

I can recount many cases when a student has had a question for the lecturers, and instead of helping the student to understand the problem, the lecturer simply tells the student to step aside, and does the work for them. Sometimes this can go on for hours at a time, and yet when a capable student asks a question, the lecturer assumes that they know enough to eventually figure it out themselves. There were times when this happened in every single tute session. Of course I made a point to mention these issues in the end of semester teacher evaluations, however the problems were never addressed - most likely due to the beaming reviews given by the students who were having their work done by the lecturer, and receiving excellent grades as a result.

It's unfortunate that QUT doesn't offer a dedicated programming degree, as it would quite easily be light-years ahead of the one Qantm offers. My advice to anyone still wanting to become a games/engine programmer would be to stay the hell away from Qantm - and instead buy yourself some books from Amazon. If you can teach yourself and keep motivated then you'll be much better off than anyone with a piece of paper from Qantm. Unfortunately, young people have to make a lot of stupid mistakes before they learn anything. I know most will probably ignore this warning, and studying at Qantm will be one of those mistakes.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 1:28 PM Permalink

I'd sincerely advise anyone thinking about enrolling at QANTM to avoid the place like the plague. As a design major of 2010, my intake had viewed internships as critical to our path towards employment. unfortuantely we discovered that the best the "university" could provide was one day a week in a room ON CAMPUS spent with a representative FROM AN UNRELATED BRANCH OF THE INDUSTRY. The "teaching" taking place throughout various units often involved nothing more that links to internet tutorials , and this was for subject matter that was the focus of assesment! I fondly remember the scripting and storyboarding class, when the storyboarding lecture was presented the day after the storyboarding assignment was due. The facilities in general are borderline insulting given the exorbitant fees QANTM has the gall charge -ancient, broken computers abound; antique,rotting furniture, leaking ceilings, etc, etc.,and most unfortunately the shambolic state of affairs only serves to devalue the degree. The intership debacle obviously reflects the local industry's opinion of the place. Stay away.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 1:29 PM Permalink

I can't speak much for Qantm's online courses or diploma courses, but having done my degree at the Brisbane campus, I'm going to have to agree with the poster above. You'll spend a good amount of your time writing useless academic essays and dealing with unprofessional and (some) under-qualified staff. It would be unfair to say that their entire faculty is lacking as that would be untrue. However, the teachers who actually know their materials inside-out and have the ability to effectively teach are a rarity, especially amongst the recent waves of newly hired staff.

I paid quite a large sum to be taught from what I was lead to believe to be 'the best in Australia'. Instead, most of what I know now was purely learnt from self-motivated studies or activities with other students conducted in our own time.

As previously mentioned, buying a book of 'Animation for Dummies' and dedicating yourself to it for several months will achieve far more than studying at Qantm, provided you're able to keep yourself motivated.

Hope this helps.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 7:19 PM Permalink

Give me a rather grim insight to qantm. The problem is, who else offers a online diploma in 3d and animation?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 7:30 PM Permalink

Part of the Qantm problem, is that they do 3 years in 2 years. Then quite often, even if you have a knowledgeable tutor in to teach, they've been given a week at best to prepare for the classes they are going to teach. If they're lucky, they have course material -- lessons and tutorials -- to go off of, even if they are quite poor or just wrong. If they're unlucky, they'll get some lesson slides and resources, not all, and no tutorials at all -- why you end up doing online tutorials and the like, as the tutor just doesn't have the time with everything else, to come up with ones from scratch.

You see, though if you're lucky, you'll get a teacher with experience in their field who wants to do the best by their students. Chances are, that the administration haven't got a clue when it comes to game development, but since it is very much in vogue, they'll just hire staff at the last moment in order to provide courses to their fee paying students -- in other words, they don't really care as long as they get your money.

If you really want to know what Qantm is like, watch a TV series called Community; that will give you a good idea what to expect ;).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/02/11 - 10:18 PM Permalink

Community is at least amusing; I wouldn't go comparing QANTM to Greensdale, I'd much rather have gone to Greensdale...

The problem QANTM has is that as a school it's a joke. There's nothing wrong with trying to cram 3 years of study into 2, the real problem stems from the fact that the teachers were incompetents who were more interested in lying to students about their achievements then actually trying to help those students learn.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 2:10 AM Permalink

The problem is lads there is a lack of online diploma options. I'm tempted to go for it anyway. Since I'm doing it online I will have my own equipment and work schedule. Also the diploma will get me an interview, my show reel will get me a job.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 2:33 AM Permalink

No, the first thing we look at is your portfolio. Why would I open up a document and scan through a wall of text when I can find out if you're any good in 10 seconds by looking straight at your work?

Your show reel will get you an interview, your interview will get you a job.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 7:25 AM Permalink

Particularly for an animator, a short, polished, well presented showreel of your best work will be your best bet for catching an employer's attention. A degree is useful for showing that you are dedicated to the industry and can stick something through, but we're far more likely to hire someone who shows awesome work than someone with a degree and good work. Ask yourself what's going to make whoever receives your application go "ooh" and run straight over to show the Art Director!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 9:39 AM Permalink

I'm torn now. I don't need names but I'm guessing you both work in the industry and know a thing or two about employment. Previous posts are saying just get some books and work at my own pace. But, if someone applies for a job. With a diploma in animation and a great show reel, and another guy applies for same job without diploma but a great show reel. Surely diploma wins.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 12:42 PM Permalink

It will be rare for two applicants to submit a portfolio containing work that is identical in quality. Depending on who is reviewing the applications, one party will always be favoured for their portfolio (and not a piece of paper), simply due to personal taste.

Further, you won't get far in terms of employment with a diploma. I know several very talented artists who studied a diploma at Qantm, and came back the next year to study for a degree as well, because they found that their diploma held such little weight in convincing studios to hire them.

Don't bother with the diploma - you'll still have to do independent study in order to become capable in your chosen field. From the above responses you can see this is the case even for degree students, so why not just go that route from the beginning?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 12:45 PM Permalink

Some employers will only look at your work and character; totally ignoring the piece of paper you spent one or more years obtaining (and several thousand $ at that too!). Others may use that piece of paper as a tie-breaker. The fact is, having a degree/diploma isn't without its benefits, but its definitely not something you should depend on to get you a job. As someone said above, your show reel will get you an interview, your interview will get you a job.

Submitted by sammole on Sat, 26/02/11 - 1:11 PM Permalink

thanks a lot for all the feedback here, im currently looking on Amazon for some DVDs and books to further my knowledge on 3ds max. I have until September to decide on the course but by the looks of it, its not worth the money or time. Which is really disappointing because i was rather excited about starting a new course in something im so interested in.

I guess I will work on my show reel and do some independent study, if anyone here is willing i would love to see some of your work so far.

Also if anyone has any suggestions on reading material im all ears, so far im looking at these.

http://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Autodesk-3ds-2011-ebook/dp/B00452V4EA…
http://www.amazon.com/Autodesk-Authorised-Essential-Skills-Training/dp/…
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0041D8V8K/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd…

Thanks again guys.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/11 - 1:40 PM Permalink

Probably the most professional and in depth tutorials available are from either:

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/
http://eat3d.com/

Also, get involved in online communities where you can get feedback, ask for help or guidance, and find new techniques and inspiration.
One such site which I frequently use is Polycount.com, lots of people on there all the time, many of them willing to provide feedback, advice, information and tutorials, check it out.

Submitted by sammole on Sat, 26/02/11 - 2:28 PM Permalink

some of the Eat3d stuff looks amazing, would love to order some DVDs but they are all region 1 :( lol. but they look like some great sites to cruise around and get to know some people.

Submitted by Lach on Sat, 26/02/11 - 9:11 PM Permalink

Had quick look at their brisbane site to see who the lecturers were,
could find or see any listings- if there is one its pretty tucked away.

I'd say that's a bit of a worry if you can't do due diligence on who's teaching.
Pretty sure unversity' have bios/listings of their lecturing staff.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 27/02/11 - 12:26 PM Permalink

It's a shame that there is so much negativity surrounding Qantm..
I'm currently studying at Qantm Melbourne and am in my second year of my Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment with Game Design major.
The one thing I have noticed studying at Qantm is that so many people come in expecting that it's going to be a fun course about playing/making games and we will get taught everything we ever need to know about the industry. Because of this reason, I have seen many students drop out, claiming the school is rubbish and that we don't get taught a thing.

The reality is that the teachers are there to guide us through our course, not to spoon-feed us into getting a job at the end. The industry is still small in Australia and jobs can be hard to come by. Students really need to take the initiative to start taking what they learn in class and use it to build a better understanding of what the industry will really be like.

In my personal opinion the teachers are great. They run their classes as they have been told to run them and that's their job. If you need more assistance (and this is always highly encouraged by staff) then it's not difficult at all for students to approach their teachers outside of class time to keep learning. It's these students, the ones who take the course seriously and really want to get into the industry, that are the ones who come out with a high greater chance of actually finding work. I've been told countless by both students and staff that you will only get out what you put in, so it's really up to the individual and how much they want to learn.

Yes, it may be easy to watch YouTube videos, read some books and do some online tutorials to learn the same software you would at Qantm, but the feedback, dead lines and atmosphere of school are what really teach you what to do, when to do it and what can be done if things go wrong.

I'm sure a lot of people here will disagree with me, but with so much negativity being thrown around I thought I would just take a few minutes to let you know that it's not all that bad. At the end of the day only you can decide if it will be a waste of time or not. :)

- Benn

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 27/02/11 - 2:28 PM Permalink

Having already completed the course that you are currently studying, I can tell you for a fact that we (the students who stayed for the entire duration) took our studies quite seriously. After all, we did pay quite a rather LARGE sum to be there. While I do agree with you on the matter of new students thinking the course would be all fun and games, until they inevitably dropout of the 'rubbish' school. You know there is a serious problem when graduates claim the same flaws.

Fact: No design graduates from the Brisbane campus have scored themselves a design job in the industry within the past 2 years.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/02/11 - 3:09 AM Permalink

Some valid points, but, it is also the industry. The big draw card, the one they put on the top of the list of things to study in their adverts is: game design. But it has been my experience, that the local industry pays lip-service to how much they want good designers. The fee-for-service mob, know that what counts for the projects they get are: coders and artists. The design team, is there to help implement the client's ideas NOT there to generate their own. So, why hire those people who are seen as not being very "practical" in their approach? Not to mention, that such studio management, usually can't tell one designer from the next. A bad one from a good one, a good one, from a great one. Code and art are far more easy to judge and measure in these respects.

Another part of the problem, is that such colleges are churning out students who all have game demos of some kind. In the past, a designer -- an actual designer not a coder -- who approached a studio with a game demo, was seen to stand out. These days, every designer that applies has one. So, it really needs to be polished and stand out -- which may not necessarily be the case if the colleges don't place the emphasis on this on student's work.

It's not the WHOLE picture. It would take too much effort revealing the industry's real view of designers. But I think it introduces something else to the discussion which is kinda over looked. All I can add further in way of my opinion and advice, is that design students seem to either be too optimistic or stubborn about their chances. You have to remember, that EVERY one in the industry thinks of themselves as a competent designer. Coming in with what can be perceived as an arrogant attitude, may not be of much help to you -- and there may be nothing you can do about it as it is THEIR perception.

Lastly, such design courses give you a wide set of skills. 2D & 3D animation, audio design skills, level and game design skills, scripting skills, etc. If you don't have much luck getting a job, then, you might want to give the indie thing a go and work on your own project. You may not have the experience yet to realise that approach, however, you may luck out as you have a natural ability for it or your work will get you noticed by studios who will then see you as being someone to consider when those roles do come up.

Oh, and it probably depends upon who you know not exactly what you know as well -- as much as I dislike it myself ;)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by sammole on Mon, 28/02/11 - 9:59 AM Permalink

ive decided to study through some books and training dvds and see where that takes me, if i find im not personally happy with my level and am not where i want to be, i will look into a course. Qantm seems to be getting some bad press so im not going to rush out and spend hard earnt bucks just yet. I really appreciate all the time an effort you guys have put in to answer me on this topic, i am still very interested in seeing some works that you guys may have put together. so feel free to send me a link or something, thanks again.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/02/11 - 6:53 PM Permalink

I'm QANTM alumni from the degree - quite a few years ago now. And while I think QANTM definitely isn't all it sells itself to be and the degree program alone won't give you that big a boost in getting a job, I have to say one thing it does really well is give you a least a vague idea of what it might be like to work in the games industry. Their group projects I found to be a useful microcosm of how a games company might run, warts and all, and it's valuable experience with lessons learned that I carry with me even today.

Most of what they teach you can find online, cheaper and often better and more-up-to-date, but you can't learn to work with other people in your bedroom. You can't network with peers who you may one day form a startup with, or who will be valuable contacts later on. There's something to be said for face time. Their lecturers are hit and miss - we had a really fantastic animation lecturer in our years, and I think it shows in that most of our graduates who made it in were artists in some capacity.

Also, while I think their design component is one of their stronger areas, particularly compared to other university 'game design' tracks, truth is almost nobody will get a design job on graduation. If you focus on design, develop a subsidiary skill to cover you on your journey there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/03/11 - 6:45 PM Permalink

I don't agree with this idea that it's better to just buy some books and DVD's than to study a degree.

With or without university, you are going to need to work your arse off to get anywhere. Now, assuming that you are going to work your arse off, learn everything you can, and work every project to the best it can be, do you think you will get better results by yourself at home, or in a learning environment surrounded by enthusiastic and competitive people, and with people to help you when you get stuck?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/03/11 - 7:59 PM Permalink

It depends on youre personality, but assuming that you are in fact motivated to work your arse off, IMO you would get better results self-studying.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/03/11 - 9:05 PM Permalink

And if he wanted to go to a real University I think most people would support it over self-study but the question was about QANTM... and frankly QANTM isn't a real Uni, heck, QANTM in Sydney is barely even a school at all with the type of teachers they present.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/03/11 - 8:48 PM Permalink

These reviews of Qantm are very unfair! I agree with you to SOME extent, as I'm going to finish my year at Qantm and transfer to Griffith. However, there are some things I want to clear up.

"You'll spend a good amount of your time writing useless academic essays"
Welcome to the world of tertiary education. No mater what university you go to, you will have to be writing "useless" academic essays. That's just how it is. Be thankful that you only had to write a 1000 word essay. I have friends at UQ, QUT and Griffith and they have to write 8000 word essays! Qantm avoids exams as well, whereas at the public universities, you have to do exams.

I do agree that the fees at Qantm are quite exorbitant. $37, 000 is A LOT of money for a two year course. At the moment they are refurbishing the place, so some rooms look VERY scabby, while others look very nice and sleek.

If you want to study at a tertiary level, anywhere, then you have to write "useless" academic essays. Grow up.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/03/11 - 11:15 PM Permalink

Yet you still transfer...

It isn't about the length of the essays or the existence or lack of exams.

The fact is QANTM as a school isn't on par with a normal university. The money that goes into it simply disappear, they could have the nicest chairs in the world but if their teachers are incompetents (which they are) and lack knowledge about the subjects they teach (which they do) AND show a genuine disregard for any quality to their teachings (which they have) then frankly they earn the dubious reputation of a BAD college (which it is).

In short, stay away from QANTM, doubly so if you live in Sydney...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/03/11 - 10:13 AM Permalink

I've decided to develop a showreel over the next 12 months or so to see where I'm at by the end of that time. If Im not happy where I am I will look into courses further.

Now I've been thinking over the last few weeks and have realised. Although I love the games industry and the the thought of working for a games studio is great. My passion is 3d modeling and animation, not just games. But for architects, movies, iPhone anything. So having said that, where should I sink my time? Maya or max lol

Games Lab Auckland (Company)

H Everyone,

Those on the DLF mailing list may seen advertisement for various positions for a company called Games Lab. Although they have a Au domain name in the email, they are hiring for positions in the Auckland.

Anyone has info on these guys

Cheers

Pritish

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/01/11 - 10:31 PM Permalink

Have you connected them to ask? Seems like you're in the best position to give us some info

Submitted by Doug - Employee (not verified) on Fri, 01/07/11 - 11:39 PM Permalink

Hi all

I work for Games Lab in Sydney.

We definitely do have an office just opened up in Auckland. Feel free to send in your CV portfolios.

I'm not sure what positions are available any more but they will definitely go over any CVs they have in the database when a position opens up.

Cheers guys and girls!

Submitted by Friend (not verified) on Wed, 06/07/11 - 5:22 AM Permalink

Don't know if this is the same place, but a friend of mine told me about a place called Dynamite games in Sydney, that actually make poker machine games, and they were trying to get into online social gaming by starting a company within the company. From the funny stories he told me, they didn't know what they were doing, and had some of the most bizzare behavious.
One such thing I do remember is he mentioned, they don't have a website.
Although I can't remember if they called themselves Gameslab.

Is that you Dynamite?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/07/11 - 10:36 PM Permalink

so.. what kinda bizarre are we talking about? like, everyone has to work on their heads or something? maybe hop on one foot while writing assembly code on a donkey?

In Sydney eh, surely can't be worse than working for Team Bondi...

Submitted by Games Lab Monkey (not verified) on Thu, 13/10/11 - 11:17 PM Permalink

Yeah we work on our heads and type with our feet :)

We do have some disgruntled X- Team Bondi staff who are very happy to be paid on time every time :)
We also have people from Animal Logic, Weta etc as well.

No Games Lab don't make slots although there is a sister company that does, we make casual and AA/AAA budget games for all platforms.

A small team with some frustratingly bizarre/ naive (Archaic) work practices but a happy place regardless :)

Submitted by souri on Fri, 14/10/11 - 1:24 AM Permalink

Ah, it looks like Games Lab finally launched their website a few days ago (Oct 11)! There's not much there, unfortunately. They do have a whole lot more info at another Games Lab related blog though at http://gameslabapps.com.

Anyway, I've added Games Lab to our games developer list, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about them! They've released two mobile games so far which look very nicely done.

Best path for an uncertain career? (Game design/animation)

I've been reading some feedback about different courses to do with games design (mainly QUT's Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment), and the consensus seems to be that they're a balance of tedious essays and relevant tasks, but won't really help you get a job unless you work on making games to show your skills in your spare time, to build up a portfolio. Also, people seem to be saying that it's better to specify, like if you want to be a programmer, do computer science, or if you want to be a designer do animation or something. Employers would rather you have a specialty rather than half/half.

The gaming industry in Australia seems a bit uncertain. Companies have laid off people and apparently it's really difficult to get a job.

So I was thinking, what part of the industry do I want to get into? Well, what I'd really like to do is design games. Come up with concepts, gameplay ideas, character designs. But I'm pretty sure that's a high-lvel job, one you'd get after years of working your way up the job ladder. So for an entry-level job, I thought why not animation?

If I did a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Animation) at QUT with a second major in games design, would that look appealing to a potential employer? I've specialised, but also chosen a supplementary course to show that I'm versatile and could do things in that area too.

I live on the Gold Coast, and my parents have tried to discourage me from attending QUT because they say I'd have to live their and arranging it would be expensive, difficult, etc. Any advice? My only other option (pretty much) is Griffith University (see here), but I don't think their course is as good. I looked at samples of student work on Youtube, and, quite frankly, they were awful. Am I being too judgmental? Does anyone know anything about the differences between the two?

If I couldn't get a job in the games industry, an animation degree would mean that I could work in other fields like TV animation and other stuff, right?

As a side note, I enjoy creating human characters, especially drawing expressions, etc. I also come up with stories/scripts (in other words, I can write).

Submitted by souri on Tue, 18/01/11 - 5:19 PM Permalink

Just a reminder that there are some companies that will allow you to move into other areas that way (provided you can prove yourself), whereas others specifically do not. Krome Studios was one company which allowed QA to move into other areas of games production, and I know Halfbrick Studios have game designers who've moved from artist positions in the company. However, I know Irrational Games Canberra / 2K Australia / 2K Marin, the Canberra Australia arm specifically do not. I've seen them express a few times that if you apply for a QA job there, then that's the field you will stay in.

Find out which of the companies you are set on if they allow that sort of progression.

Submitted by NathanRunge on Tue, 18/01/11 - 11:40 PM Permalink

My initial advice is to avoid QUT's Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment course. It's poorly put together and shortly will be run by an architect with no understanding of the field. That said, QUT's Animation courses are much better established and run by some people who actually know what they're doing. I would basically stay far away from the Games Design courses at QUT.

Whether these qualifications are looked on with much favour by employers is up for debate. Some employers, typically the larger ones, will certainly strongly consider them at the interview stage. Others will completely ignore them except as a tie-breaker. You couldn't say that completing a degree is without merit, but nor could you say it's going to guarantee anything.

I think the more important aspect of taking a course is developing some practical skills and experience. Animation will likely benefit you far more so than design, but meeting your peers and taking the time to learn your stuff and ascertain your interests is always time well spent. Whether it's worth your time and money, I don't know enough of your personal circumstances to offer advice.

Other options for study you might consider are QANTM, whose Brisbane campus has improved markedly the past couple of years, and Griffith. I have heard that this past year has seen changes in their course with a new coordinator, but it's too early to tell how that will ultimately work out.

You're right that the industry is in poor shape at the moment. It will eventually recover, platitude as that is, but we can expect tough job competition probably for the next decade. Personally, I am starting my own company and working independently. Having reviewed the options, I found this the best, if not ideal, option for my circumstance. If you're interested in animation for film/tv, I would suggest you ask whether you're committed to making games, or whether you just wish to work creatively. If you do want to make games, there are ways to make it happen. If you're not really "passionate", as the buzz-word is, it may not be worth your time and sanity.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 24/01/11 - 11:49 PM Permalink

as someone who worked in the games industry for a few years (and left it about a year ago), all i can say is avoid it. unless of course you like long hours, little recognition, low pay, no job security, and the constant fear of having no work. working in the games industry really is a hand to mouth existence and it is simply not worth it.

its passable when you are living at home with your folks and dont have any incumberances. (mortgage, etc) but once you have a wife/kids/mortgage, forget about it. the two do not go hand-in-hand.

if you do wind up working in the games industry, you will find yourself putting those sorts of things of whilst you 'establish yourself'... which never really ends. you continually spend your entire career 'establishing yourself'.

do yourself a favour. get a regular IT job. the pay is better and they treat you like a human being.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/01/11 - 11:31 AM Permalink

I've had similar experiences to you earlier on and then found decent companies later in my career.

The job security is definitely an issue but there are companies that have decent work ethics, pay etc.

Also I think the reality is at the moment you probably won't find a job if you were searching right at this moment. I'm hoping the industry stabilises in a few years.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/08/12 - 8:55 PM Permalink

I am wanting to do a QUT course of Animation with games design as a minor. is the industry really as bad as what i've just read?? All information would be MUCHLY appreciated!!! But plaese, respond to my email: bhenno2009@hotmail.com

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/08/12 - 10:05 AM Permalink

Don't do any course become a plumber or an electrician instead. You'll thank me in 10 years when you have your house paid off and go on regular holidays with your flash new boat and loving family. You can have all this with job security and not having to work overtime and under high pressure. If I knew how it would pan out for me after ten plus years in the industry I would of done something different.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/08/12 - 4:13 PM Permalink

I totally agree with some comments in that the industry is very risky both short and long term. I spent over 7 years in it, and as was said, it didn't turn out to be something you can settle down with, not working for a company. Take that other advise and consider gaining skills in other areas (these other skills may or may not need to be far removed from skills you can use in game dev) that have a much better chance in helping you financially down the track. Spend your spare time learning and using all the game editors, learn how to model and design..there is so much free information out there. Use your early times to look forward to starting your own thing perhaps with others of like mind. The bug has never left me but I became wise to the insecurity in the game industry, but I still do it, only as an independent developer in my spare time while my 'other' work brings me nearly twice as much as I made in games working for several companies, not so long ago.

Online distribution and Australian law

I'm currently working on a number of projects which are nearig completion, and looking to publish through digital distribution(through third parties, steam-like platforms)

Does anyone know about Australian law and tax law in regards to this. Do I need to register as a sole trader,or is it sufficient to declare any money made as private income on my tax return, due to it effectively being royalties.

What if multiple people are involved? Does partnership need to be formed, or can money be paid out to each person(with a clear paper trail of course) for then to declare privately.

All of these are assuming I trade only under my own name, as I believe you need to form a sole trader/partnership arrangement in order to trade under a different name.

Thanks for any answers you can provide.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 05/01/11 - 2:34 PM Permalink

Would be great if we can get some answers to this as I'm sure there are plenty out there thinking of setting up their own start up.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/01/11 - 3:22 PM Permalink

This is something I have been thinking about a lately, when my project reaches completion (a little while yet), what do I need to do?

As a one man band, I was thinking sole trader would be the way to go. Any insight from people already doing this would be great.

-Adrian

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/01/11 - 3:23 PM Permalink

I'm no accountant or anything, but heres how I see things from my own experience:

1. Operating as a sole trader ie registering an ABN is easy and free, and you can then get tax deductions for equipment used and what not, and I guess there would be other tax benefits too. I'm not sure whether or not you would HAVE to register an ABN, someone else could answer that better than me, but it can't hurt to do it anyway.

2. Once you have registered an ABN (free) you can register a business name (not free) and operate under that name.

3. If you have other people earning money from it as well then I'm pretty sure you would need to be a registered business, then you can either do a partnership agreement, or have the business in your name and have the other people listed as employees using PAYG or by subcontracting them in which case they would all need separate ABN's as well.

Thats all I know, and like I said there are definitely more qualified people out there to answer your questions, but I just thought I'd share anyway. By the way as a disclaimer, I'm not an accountant/lawyer so just use this as advice :P You can find out more at business.gov.au and other resources that the government have for this type of thing

Submitted by Asmerith on Wed, 05/01/11 - 3:30 PM Permalink

Sorry under 1 by tax deductions for equipment used I mean tax deductions for equipment bought after registering the ABN to use for the business ie computers, software, marketing tools etc etc

Submitted by Asmerith on Wed, 05/01/11 - 3:44 PM Permalink

Hmm I'm not sure, in my case I had an ABN before I registered my business name. I think you can do it either way, however if you register the business name after the ABN you have to update your details with the Australian Business Register to include the registered business name as a trading name for your ABN. That makes it handy because you can register an ABN and get to work but still have time to think about what name you want to use for your business.