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Game music

I am writing a thesis on video game music and am trying to survey peoples opinions on the subject.

so i ask "How important is the music in creating an immersing atmosphere when playing video games?"

Submitted by Johnn on Fri, 07/05/10 - 6:30 PMPermalink

I think you might get short replys and not so useful data for a thesis without a set of concise question.

My answer is: massively important. Music and ambient sound is easily as important as any visual feature in creating atmosphere in my opinion.

Submitted by Snacuum on Tue, 11/05/10 - 9:40 PMPermalink

Absolutely vital.

I listen to more game music than conventional or other musical soundtracks. Games are unique in the fact that their sound-scape is designed to immerse you more in the world and rhythm of the gameplay elements. It's designed to make you 'feel,' and not necessarily emotionally either. It's difficult to describe. In fact listen to some of you favourite game music and mention it here and a good discussion will eke it out. Of course I'm no muso so I only know what game music has given me, but I know not the science of it.

PS:As an aspiring designer who has lost a lot of his drive for new ideas, such music is the only thing that helps me kick it back in gear, good stuff.

australias gaming industry going down the crappa

australia needs to pick up the qaulity of games that get developed we're falling behind the rest of the world we havent had a big game in years its sad im sick of hearing about other countries bring out games that are going to be the next big thing that will change the gaming world what is the problem cant anyone think of something origanal or something that will better a big title are we scared or something just because we dont have R rating isnt a excuse and if money is the problem how many of the development companys get royalties some of you are getting 1.4 mil in royalties and mobile and flash games arnt going to make you big or well nown how many of you pay attention to the companies intro's on you mobile when you play a game i played one about hour ago and i havent got a clue who developed it if australias going to pick its self up and dust of use your heads.

and all you developer ceo's or what ever you call your self i bet this isnt what you had in mind when you started your company what happened to your dreams come on jsut think back to when you first walked through the doors of your buildings i bet you had dreams of being the best instead what happened you floped and now your making apple apps, hadstet games and and flash games your younger selfves would laugh at you and i dont mean this to be personal

um if anyone wants to comment on this feel free and if you got upset by this email me it doesnt bother me i welcome you to

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/10 - 1:50 AMPermalink

1.4 million in royalties is nothing compared to the cost of developing a complete console title.

Of course everyone wants to be making games as big and ambitious and successful as they possibly can, you need to pay staff though. You are Australian I take it? Then why not put down 10-20 million dollars of your own money to finance one of these projects you are calling for. I am going to guess the answer is you don't have that sort of money, and if you did it would be extremely risky to put it all on a single roll of the dice. So why would you think any of the owners of game companies are in a different position? The mere act of creating a business name doesn't make money start to fall off nearby trees.

There are plenty of Australian companies that have wasted the opportunities they did have, however many of those are because of trying to run before they could walk, which is what you are saying all companies should be doing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/10 - 7:56 AMPermalink

Wow. Simply amazing, why hadn't any of us realized this.

I really think you should formalize this into a full lecture for gcap this year. That way you can present it to all of us hopeless, talentless hacks, in person. Maybe even meet some of the CEOs who have been intentionally sabotaging games development in Australia for decades. I'm sure they will see you as the messiah and offer you their job so that you can implement your ideas.

In other words way to go!

I've never seen such a great way to instaneously alienate and insult an entire industry, whilst also demonstrating a complete disregard for cogent debate, grammar, spelling and punctuation.

We work because of our passion for games. Even CEOs could make more money doing other jobs. Please feel free to make sensible suggestions on how to improve our lot, but saying things are crap really isn't helping.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/10 - 9:27 AMPermalink

I tired to read that, but couldn't. Not because it hurts too much, but because there was no punctuation. Would take too much effort to try and understand an opinion from someone who cares about his own opinion so little he couldn't bother to express it in a legible manner.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 28/04/10 - 10:37 AMPermalink

The original poster could have use some punctuation in his post, but please don't berate him constantly over that. I can understand what he's saying with little effort, so enough already.

To sum up it up - bigger triple A games need to be developed here, that's where the big bucks are and how Australia will be a bigger name in the industry, and that's how our industry will push forward.

My response is, Australia has had multiple chances on triple A games and unfortunately hasn't fared too well developing for this current-gen of consoles. In a lot of cases, it has been disastrous. There are many varied reasons for this, but in the end, massive budget triple-A games aren't Australia's forte.

We did pretty good on last gen and current handhelds, however, and considering the market and publisher shift towards DLC, apps, social gaming etc, we are the perfect fit to take advantage of that. Many developers indeed are and we have IronMonkey and Firemint at the absolute forefront of handheld development.

Don't get me wrong, it would be *great* if we could get a GTA IV-like hit out of here, that would do incredible wonders for the local games industry. However, when presented with the numbers behind a title like GTA IV, you'll understand that a title like that is simply not feasible here. 1000 people worked on GTA IV - what is the local dev population at the moment? Roughly over double that?

We are missing many things that would be vital to get more triple A games like that or a Modern Warfare 2 completed let alone even started here. A proven track record (metacritic scores do wonders. Publishers go soley by them so they'll expect to be impressed there before handing over the funding), government tax incentives, and talent. The local industry has had a well-known severe shortage of senior talent for years, but the situation is worse when you factor in the numerous closures in the last two years, and that there aren't even many places for the senior talent we do have that were laid off to even go.

In any case, budgets for triple-A games are getting enormous. Many have said that it won't be long before they become the realm of the top 3 or 4 publishers that are willing to bank on a select few chosen developers with safe I.Ps and sequels. It's already heading it's way there, with EA recently reported to have dropped a dozen original games, and concentrating on sequels instead.

Submitted by Johnn on Wed, 28/04/10 - 7:13 PMPermalink

I think the questions and sentiments of sparrowman_6 are that ones all of us have pondered previously. I certainly have and sadly I don't like the conclusions I regularly come to. We are a small fish in a big pond :(
I think dev companies here have often been set up for failure by overseas publishers who out source high risk projects to the lowest bidder and keep the 'easily picked cherries' closer to home. I am indeed implying that the power in the games industry is weilded by publishers. There is relatively little money in making content, the big bucks are in publishing. Armed with those thoughts I suggest a lack of a local publishing infrastructure is a major problem for forward growth.
There might be a bright horizon though! New distribution models are appearing such as Apples appStore. Whilst it is still owned/controlled by an overseas company the platform has proven so far to be a much more open/accessible market place for developers to utilize providing a more level playing field for us to compete on.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/10 - 8:17 PMPermalink

I don't believe this is a real message. This is more likely a comedy genius pretending to be a naive and illegible idiot! They're just trolling Sumea to create lolz. You can't fool me!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/04/10 - 12:35 PMPermalink

It's a little sad that people seem not to realise the amount of work that does actually get done here in Australia.

BlueTongue developed "de Blob", which was very well received. Sure, not all reviews were like this, but how many games ever achieve a single "100%" review? "de Blob" has 2 listed on Metacritic, and at least 1 more in a UK Nintendo magazine (sadly I can't remember which one).

We may not always do the entire game here, but Australians have been involved in plenty of AAA titles. These games are huge, so the work load is often spread across several teams.

2K Australia (or whatever they're called now) had a massive hand in the development of "BioShock" 1 & 2. To the best of my limited knowledge they're also spearheading the new "X-Com" game. EA Melbourne helped develop "Dead Space" and "The Godfather" games.

As for "mobile and flash games arnt going to make you big or well nown", Firemint and IronMonkey seem to be doing OK for themselves in the mobile market. You don't really need to be huge and well known, you just need to keep your company profitable and your employees looked after.

Back in the day it was a little easier for Aus developers. We had world class education, spoke English as our first language and our dollar was only worth around US50c. It's harder to get publishers to send projects over here now that our dollar is reaching parity. We're on the other side of the world and in a vastly different time zone. In many cases, the Aus game studios that are currently successful got their start back when things were slightly more forgiving.

Companies can't over-reach. Lots of people want to make a big hit game, but you need to establish a business first. Starting with small games (like flash, handheld and mobile) can bring you recognition and provide a much needed source of income. Maybe then you can look at making a bigger game.

AAA titles aren't really a way to start a company, they're an end goal. Even then, it's not necessarily a goal that every game developer has. There are plenty of worthwhile experiences that can be created in smaller scale games.

As always, if you think you can do better penny up and do so. Don't whine on a forum that no one else is paving the way.

Sideline: The new CAPTCHA question is like playing those old Sierra adventure games. So far it's taken me 3 tries, and I still can't guess the verb it wants.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/04/10 - 1:23 PMPermalink

I only get the Captcha question when using IE, I'm using Firefox at the moment and the Captcha doesn't appear. o_O

As for smaller games (mobile, downloadable, flash, etc) I think there is a very good argument to be made that more companies should focus on them to build up design experience. I once heard a designer say that most good game designs should still work if you turn them into a board game, and it is sort of true.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/04/10 - 5:21 PMPermalink

Basically what we need is teams of people who come up with a great idea. Have a big company see that the game has potential and fund it. Like how Portal worked. And as a previous poster said, DLC is going to be huge with Australian dev companies.

Submitted by souri on Fri, 30/04/10 - 6:30 PMPermalink

Yep, sorry about the Captcha issues... the previous captcha methods (bitmapped words and the recaptcha service) we used previously have both been skirted by spammers, so comment and member registration spam was getting through. Not a lot, but enough to get annoyed of.

I've placed a simple mathematics one method for the meantime, so hopefully that will prevent spam as well as be easy for people wanting to comment.

Of course, if you register and post whilst logged in, there is no captcha.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/05/10 - 4:43 PMPermalink

Big Game = (Big Money + Big Team + Big Publisher + Big Talent) x 2

and we dont have it other than talent... even then, i think most of the talent would go to another country living the dream.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/05/10 - 7:30 AMPermalink

The games industry in whole is slipping. I'm currently studying animation and have realised that a career in games development in Australia may never happen for me. I have come to the conclusion that I will most likely have to go over seas to get my first job. Its so unfortunate when there are so many talented people in Australia, but with the lack of support form the government, no 18+ rating and our dollar doing well against the us dollar, it has made it hard for aussie developers. I have heaps of great ideas for games and I sure that hundreds of people out there do also. But money is what stops every thing. Now that games are on one of the biggest forms of entertainment, the games being developed are for casual gamers. Games used to be for gamers but now they are designed for the casual gamer. I hate it. I have purchased one title this year for my PS3, red dead redemption and I was very disappointed with it. It will be going back to EB.I have got three games this year for my PC Just cause 2, bad company 2 and mass effect 2 , these are great games but still have that console casual gamer feel. What happened to great games created for gamers by gamers not just for the computer illiterate casual gamer who doesn't even know what they want. If I every win the lotto my winnings will definitely be going towards the development of a great original game, for gamers by gamers and it will never be released on a console.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 27/05/10 - 10:41 AMPermalink

"...and it will never be released on a console."

and sadly if you're planning on developing games like the types you've mentioned it's very likely you'll lose that money. Pubs build to the common denominator. That's consoles. PC's are great (and my personal pref for gaming) but they aren't where the $'s are for those types of big budget games.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/06/10 - 5:53 PMPermalink

sorry about the spelling and punctuation but i wasn't trying to insault anyone or alienate a industry i was simply just trying to say there must be another way to to go about it look at rockstar or bethesda how did they get to be so big look it up and again im not trying to insult anyone i cant stress that enough but look in to it and maybe take some Inspiration

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/06/10 - 6:31 PMPermalink

sure pc games are grate but if you ever do win lotto what kind of retribution do you think you'll get only releasing it on pc. Console's are the leads for playing games and are becoming more like pc's in many ways and most of the serious gamers that started on pc's are making the leap to consoles be cause the offering more in variaty and are slighty cheaper. have you looked are the cost of running a good pc now to get the game play that you get out of a console for a pc to have that game play you need a good video card and a good one can cost you from $250 to $650 and a decent amount of ram mostly 2 gig or higher and people go towards consoles because its cheaper and you run a lower risk of getting a virus. so please dont take this dont take this as a personal attack im not trying to make it one like most people think i do

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/06/10 - 1:45 AMPermalink

oh year and itsnot up to the develoipers to find the cash its the publishers that have to find the money and accept a worthy game

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 20/06/10 - 8:24 AMPermalink

To be honest big publishers will not invest here because the Aussie Dollar is doing well compared to the US Dollar - no big publisher will invest in large console projects here.

Ok, what's good about the industry here? We rule the mobile markets... There are a lot of mobile companies doing extremely well here and that is the future of the Australian games industry. Very simple really :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/12/10 - 12:04 AMPermalink

I feel dumber for having read this.

"sure pc games are grate"

Just genius. You should apply to google for a job.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/12/10 - 5:21 PMPermalink

Just wanted to reply to this " EA Melbourne helped develop "Dead Space" and "The Godfather" games ".

Dude, I worked as an artist on those games here in the Redwood Shores HQ, and I can tell you, EA Melbourne did sweet fuck all. Accepting credit for helping, completely offends me given what the developers who ACTUALLY DEVELOPED these games went through to ship these games. You honestly have so little idea.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 18/01/11 - 7:37 AMPermalink

Um, Team Bondi? Anyone?

Besides, the Australian industry is doing great at the moment with what it's had to deal with. As mentioned above there is also 2k on the homefront. Does anyone understand that value in an iphone game turnover? Look at the guys at Halfbrick, they're doing wonderful things with their internships and they've really thought out the structure of their games. You can pump out a quality game on the iphone or android in weeks, sometimes even days (Gamejam). Larger console titles require huge budgets and a lot of pressure on staff.
The R+ rating issue is also a huge thing and something you can't just take lightly. Imagine making an amazing game then not being able to release it in your home country?

Someone that bought 4 games last year can hardly complain about supporting an industry they know nothing about.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 15/02/11 - 9:51 AMPermalink

May I point out that (if you are an Australian yourself, Anon), you spelt 'realize' incorrectly. It's "realise".

Creepy Caverns for iPhone

Hey Guys,

Check out my new game for iPhone; Creepy Caverns.

I've taken a few months off from work to make it (and cancelled my South America trip with my girlfriend to pay for this instead!), so I hope you like it.

If you can find it in your heart to buy the game and show your friends, I might be able to fight off the looming need to go back to doing real work!



DISCLAIMER: The ROXORING music in the trailer is NOT in the game.

Submitted by SLS on Thu, 30/12/10 - 6:57 PMPermalink

I bought this game and am still playing it months later - I like the motion sensor control factor - fun and challenging - my 8 year old daughter loves it and I have to bribe her to get my phone back - she's pretty clever (must take after her mum...)
More, please.

Audio Outsourcing Provider - "The film industry contains resources which should be leveraged"

We are a new video audio provider based within Audioloc, a leading TV & Film audio post production house based in Sydney, Australia.

Audiolocs TV & Film credits include Broken Hill, Stardust, Looking for Alibrandi, The Sum of Us, Antartica (IMAX), All Saints, Sea Patrol, Koala Brothers and are now quickly adding clients in the video game industry.

Please be in touch should you require exceptional audio assets via experienced sound designers & Foley artists, at special introduction pricing.

We are always happy to take guests in to our facilities for a tour, meet the talented staff and arrange a meeting with myself and the owners behind Audioloc, sit down for a friendly chat and a cuppa.

More information at

"The film industry contains resources which should be leveraged"

Kind regards,
Jay Taylor

Submitted by souri on Fri, 05/02/10 - 12:08 PMPermalink

Is the website still being set up? Let me know, I want to post this up as a news item.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/05/10 - 3:03 PMPermalink

Unfortunately I find this misleading. Audio Loc provided some mixing for a couple of scenes on Happy feet, however this is all. No staff from Audio Loc were used. The sound was done by another sound facility. To see who actually worked on Happy Feet visit IMDB.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 25/05/10 - 3:36 PMPermalink

Using other peoples credits as your own is probably the most unprofessional and damaging thing anyone can do in this industry.

iPhone and iPad game development short course at RMIT

The course starts on the 15th of February and runs for 5 days. Classes are from 10am to 5pm with a 1 hour break.

The cost is AU$750.

There are only 19 places available on this course so please book early to avoid disappointment. The last course had 40 places and it was overbooked.

For more information and to book online visit the course website here.

Here's a video of some of the games produced by participants of the last iPhone games course.


This 5 day course will teach you everything you need to know to produce games for the Apple
iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad tablet computer. Using the Torque 2D Game engine, participants will
learn how to create art and audio assets suitable for mobile games platforms, write scripts to manipulate these assets and incorporate tilt and touch input, and then deploy games to the iPod Touch hardware using Xcode. Conor O'Kane is a professional independent game developer with experience in game development for iPhone/iPod Touch platform and successfully published titles on the App store.


  • Overview of the Torque 2D editor interface
  • Importing original assets into Torque
  • Introduction to scripting − touch controls
  • Creating particle effects
  • Adding audio and text objects to your games
  • Using Xcode to deploy games to the hardware
  • Advanced scripting − tilt controls and other input methods
  • Additional Torque features − tilemaps, triggers, vector objects
  • Discussion of iPad development
  • How to prepare your game for the iPad launch
  • Develop your original game
  • Deploy your game to the iPod hardware


Participants should have some programming or scripting experience and should be familiar with

Materials supplied

Every workstation includes a Mac with Xcode, Photoshop and Torque installed, a Wacom Intuos 4 graphics tablet, and an iPod Touch.

gaming degree versitility

ive recently received my atar and is now weighing up my options. im considering doing a gaming degree at uni but im heard that you cannot do much with it outside the gaming industry. can anyone back this claim?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/01/10 - 4:45 PMPermalink

I would recommend against doing a purely games degree, I got an Art job in a games company after Multimedia Courses, and a couple of years Freelancing at Advertising Industries.

I think I am in a better place then others, as if I loose this job, or simply get bored with it, there are other industries that would still be fun.

Old Sumea poll thread from 2004 on the AGDC

Just reading the complaints in the comments about Game Connect's pricing from the GCAP interview has hit me with a strong sense of deja vu. We've gone through this all before. It was a critical point with the local game developers conference back in 2004 when I was requested by a developer to put up a poll about the Australian Games Developer Conference (AGDC)'s pricing structure on Sumea, with some pretty overwhelming results on voter dissatisfaction on the AGDC entrance fees. The poll and the following discussion on Sumea played an influential role in the direction of future conferences, I'd say. The AGDC would go on for another year before the new GCAP conference took over promising some big changes resulting from the concerns of the AGDC. Well, it seems like things have come full circle with the same arguments all over again. I've done some hunting and found the comments from that poll amidst some backups I have of Sumea. Somewhere down there is a comment on the inaugural meeting of the Melbourne Chapter of the IGDA from David Hewitt, which I thought was pretty interesting since we've had that again this year too. Anyway, this isn't a complaint about the current pricing for the conference, it's just an observation on where we were 5 years ago about pricing.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 8:20:20 PM - Souri

Ok, this was suggested by someone in the industry, and I thought it would be interesting to see what you all think too.

Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 4:30:50 PM - anon

What is the use of paying big bucks to go to a conference that is mostly an advertisement and self congratulatory hype-fest?

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 12:31:57 PM - Grover

(begin usual rant) Ditto with anon - for people who go to AGDC, there is very little to ge gained for the 800 + dollars spent. Save the money and put towards a trip to GDC or E3 is my recommendation. Or even Siggraph (for those who are more technically oriented). The AGDC never represents all the game companies in Aus, only the ones who control it and want to keep it that way. Whats more disappointing about AGDC is it is a perfect example of the state of game development in Aus - Closed, second rate game development. To be honest why would anyone pay $800 to hear people from Ratbag, Auran, Krome, Infogrammes (aka Melb house/Atari) , Tantalus, etc talk about how great their company is and how cool their games are, when it is so obvious the games being made here are so far off the radar its not funny. There are usually only one or two lectures worth attending (the international guests), and the rest is pure hype. Its alomost hilarious, the majority of people attending _arent_ outsiders from the industry but people from the AGDC membership list - You'll meet all the people from the prviously mentioned companies, and they will be the majority in the lecture halls, and wandering around the expo. The AGDC imho, is a perfect example of the sorts of things that the GDAA needs to make more accessible, and alot more relevant.. With the large amount of government funding going into propping up game co's.. it should really be spent here.. investing in the industry and promoting to people _in_ Australia. The general public has no idea about this indutrsy in Aus - and surely it would be benficial to involve more and more people and thus bring in more investment , or maybe its better that GDAA sits on its hands and keeps the now flagging game companies alive through intravienous funding. (/end rant)

Friday, October 15, 2004 - 2:28:11 PM - CynicalFan

Man those are some really good points... and I thought I was the only one that felt this way about the Australian industry, glad to see others share similar points of view. Though I would differ on a few points: screw E3 and save your money for the GDC as it is really just a press promotional event, if you want to learn something and make contacts the GDC is much better for this... there are also other events, some better known than others, like the ones that take place in London (I've forgotten their names)... and there is also Free Play which was earlier this year in Melbourne, much more economical (less than 100) but still has some way to go in quality, but at least they don't seem to be full of their own shit like at the AGDC ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 2:29:13 PM - Peechy

I voted $200-300. As a professional contractor to the gaming industry that would be the max i'd be paying for the full pass. I just think the current prices dont really entice people to go. Below $100 for the AGDC I dont think it's worth them even putting the event on. But with the current prices I just dont see how it's worth the money. Free play is a great alternative, lets hope it grows bigger and better in the years to come.

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 2:45:45 PM - Agro

What a lot of rot. You guys are so way off. OK so the majority of Aus games dont make it on the radar, but not all - Krome's Ty did ok (even thought its not my type of game). This bashing is pretty useless. The game companies you mentioned are it! They are the main employers in Oz. without them most of us would not have got a REAL GAMES job. We be people like you looking in the fish bowl making all kindsof crappy comments withoutany idea of what goes on. Yeah, I agree thatthe Oz companies could make better games. But they get given B grade budgets and work in the main with some B grade publishers. Regarding the AGDC thing, hey, its what you make it. Its still be best gig in town and loads cheaper that GDC. What a lot of crap. GDC costs well above S4k to get to. The companies that go to AGDC dont pay top dollar for their developers becasue they send them in droves. Sure, if you are an independant, its a bit tough. But is you are a 1 man team, kiss your butt good-bye as you have NO relevance in the professional industry as anything you make is just training wheels and cannon fodder for a job interview only. Yes theimho is a good idea but it will never be mainstream. People who have no money, making games with no budgets, having no distribution have no impact. Their ideas are simply absorbed (when these same folks get a real games job) in games that have real budgets , real markets and real gamers. If you want to make crap all your life, then fine. If you have a burning apssion to make really shit-hot games, in australia, then the companies you have blown off are your best bet. BTW - how well is it going ? Saved your pennies for E3 yet ? Hahahaha. What a joke. If people actually listen to your advise they would continue looking in the bowl. Why dont you get a banking job and spare us of this crap. Large amount of government fundind ? so how much ? Give it to shitty little games with no markets and a small minority who want to play them ? Sounds like the Australia ind. film industry to me. And that is also going nowhere. The oz games scene is going great guns. Look at Krome. They are hiring, and doing really well. In terms of second rate development, I dont disagree. It will only improve if Oz developers actually get the right budgets for games that they are passionate about and the company they work for gets to own the game instead on working on games that get cancelled half the time, have little budgets or the overseas publisher goes broke during developement. Man, you have no idea what goes on in the fish bowl and people that listen to your comments will joint your scap heap of no-where land. Agro !

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 2:52:37 PM -

This survey is pretty stupid. Of course everyone wants to get in AGDC for free. Hey, anyone giving away a WRX ? I want one too !. Mate, they way is see this is that its much cheaper to get in if you are a speaker. Its free. And if you are a student, (I'm not) , its pretty cheap too. The AGDC people have a business to run. The dont make any money running AGDC and its for the benefit of the industry. Sure, run your silly poll, but is it going to prove ? Everyone wants something for nothing !. How about some contructive stuff instead ?

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 10:37:48 PM - Peechy

Quote by Agro "Sure, if you are an independant, its a bit tough. But is you are a 1 man team, kiss your butt good-bye as you have NO relevance in the professional industry as anything you make is just training wheels and cannon fodder for a job interview only." WTF? You have no idea! I know many independent contractors who ARE professionals and work on AAA titles. There are hundreds of contractors listed on gamasutra, many of which are successful. Are you telling me that all these contactors have no relevance in the professional industry? Even one man bands have professional careers. Agro your comments are unfounded! Your just taking shit.

Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 2:57:27 PM - Grover

Agro - You seem a little miffed. There are _many_ more people involved in games than the GDAA buddies, in Aus. And some of them have done amazingly well - I know quite a few of them personally. Also, I have friends who work for EA in Adelaide remotely as beta testers (have been doing so for 10 years!!), and also people who are busy contracting with big US companies developing software for top of the line franchises. These people _are_ producing some fantastic efforts. To say Im looking in a fish bowl is interesting, since I was one of the sucker fishes in that bowl for a while :-) BTW if you have read elsewhere this is not bashing, since I want to see the Aus industry grow and become a powerhouse like it has in other IT sectors - Aus has some of the best products in the world in other areas - like mil, sim, db, accounting (eg myob) and so on. In games we are off the radar, whether you like it or not. We arent even in the mid scale of game production. The high majority of titles are budget or less - yes there are a few ok games, but this is EXACTLY what I have been saying all along. If Ty is our _best_ example of the _best_ title Australia can make, surely you cant say we have reached some pinnacle? BTW, you mention the cost of GDC and E3 - you tell me what my 800 dollars is gnna buy more of - part of a plane ticket to the US for a nice holidyay and actually get involved with the people _in_ the game industry. Or watch people like your self at AGDC, tell us how well we are doing? Wonder where the joke is? And you mention looking into the bowl, I find that comment ironic - since thats what you get at AGDC - you get to look at a few self interested development companies, and never get a real idea of the game development system whatsoever? I mean what are you going to learn at AGDC, that is going to be able to ready you for dealing with the big US publishers?? I think you are a little twisted in thought there. As for gov grants - well, I guess I'll tell you how it all works - you all might be quite surprised how nice and handy our tax payer monies are being spent. The GDAA is responsible for administering gov grants in every state in Aus. Basically if you go to the gov reps for multimedia and digital film they will pass you onto the GDAA, whereby you have to somehow convince them to forward you grants/assistance. On their recommendations they might help pay for a trip to the AGDC :-) For anything else, forget it. Whats more interesting is that GDAA is run by people from the Aus game dev industry (have a look at whos on the board - now if you cant see a conflict of interest here, you must be pretty blind. A new game development company that needs assistance, is unlikely to get it, thanks to their competitors hannding out the cash. Oh and for some examples of how much money has changed hands - Auran ~ 5 million, Ratbag ~ 2/3 million, Atari(Melb House) > 2 million. and there are various others that have recieved all sorts of gov assistance. While I think its great for the industry, it seems counter productive to have them self administer their own grant system! About budgets - game developers _always_ use the excuse of budgets not being able to make great titles, and yet some brilliant games of exceedingly high quality were made with small teams. Look around there are many example where a small budget can produce quailty - quality is all about the capabilities of your employees not how many you have. Look at the lads at Creative Assembly: they have done the majority of work on TotalWar:Rome (waves to Artem and Dan) and yet is only a team of 8 (including their manager!) and they have produced imho, the best game in the world at the moment. But, you see this is where your whinging has shown you to be close minded about the people in Australia and their capabilities - We _can_ produce the best in the world, and yet the companies that so-called represent Australia in terms of game development, are _waaaaaaaaaaay_ off the radar. Maybe you should hire well, a produce high quality games and stop just hiring as many grads as possible to meet the gov payroll tax free threshhold > 50 people in Qld isnt it? What I want people to do is to judge for themselves and make a decision based on facts, and not smoke and mirrors. Aus development _is_ too closed, and _is_ run by a few companies that _are_ producing less than high quality titles. Why shouldnt we get together to improve that situation? Like I said previously, take the AGDC to the public, and to people that may want invest - exposure, marketing and relevance can only help this industry not hinder it. Doing what is being done now, will only make our dev industry flush itself down the toilet. Also, this is where AGDC I think really needs aserious readjustment - where is the AGDC target audience? If its developers then its GDAA running AGDC to give info to GDAA members?? what is the point in that?? Or is it to gain more exposure ? At 800.. forget it.. maybe 100-200.. but no way 800 is worth it at all! Is it marketing? Well, this is the least likely, since the people who come, are mostly GDAA members.. marketing to yourself is.. funny... So whats the reason for the AGDC? I agree with other posters here FreePlay is the go.. and I think has _alot_ more relevance in this industry.

Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 8:22:18 PM - Peechy

Grover, I couldn't agree more with you!!! You have hit the nail on the head! Great Post!!!

Monday, October 18, 2004 - 2:00:05 PM -

It's quite typical of Microforte to organise a setup like this. And a few little facts: *The GDAA was created by MF- see , though there is some confusion about this because in the case of the GDAA disbanding any remaining properties become the property of the AIE, see point 40 at *Evelyn Richardson (the chief executive) boasts about having been involved with spam and "viral" marketing in her own bio, see and see for a definition of viral marketing. *Apparently GDAA members have a greater chance of giving a presentation at the AGDC, see , in particular where it says "Opportunity to input ideas and CONTENT to the annual conference". *The GDAA calls the AIE "Australia's premier industry training and development institute", one of their mission statements is "Represent the interests of GDAA members". Guess who has the largest presence on the board/committee. Conflict of interest doesn't cover the half of it.

Monday, October 18, 2004 - 4:09:08 PM - CynicalFan

Nice to see some healthy discussion. Nice post again Grover ;)... and Agro, I personally have and do work in the industry here, and I have also worked overseas as well - in fact some may think that I have had a pretty successful career, I beg to differ though. Don't dismiss me or others so readily, and don't assume anything.

Monday, October 18, 2004 - 4:32:55 PM - Blitz

If Australian companies are off the radar at the moment, they seem to be closing in fairly fast, with some pretty big titles coming out this year or next... Rome: Total War Ty 2 (and tv series) Transformers King Arthur (movie tie in) Tribes: Vengeance Unreal 2 (xbox port with XMP) Things are moving up, even if it may be a case of watching your step on the ladder... As for the poll, i think it's valuable. If you do the usual thing of removing the top and bottom extremes, you are left with a majority of people suggesting prices between $100 and $400, and i will agree that there is very little of real value to "industry professionals" at the AGDC at this stage. I would say it's certainly beneficial to students, and maybe independents who want to network, other than that, it is pretty much just a social event. My main interest in going this year is to see a couple of the talks (only a few have caught my eye at this stage), and to hopefully catch up with some of my friends from interstate who may be coming into town for the conference...not really $800 worth there exactly. With a little bit of luck our company may be able to get us in for around $400 each, but otherwise i'm doubtful i'll go this year. As for the GDC, it is an order of magnitude (at least) more useful and interesting to game dev professionals and/or students. I was lucky enough to go this year, and the AGDC really just doesn't compare at all (although i also think the GDC is too expensive!). However, when it comes down to it, the GDC is much better value for money. For a rough cost breakdown, when i went this year i had a budget of AU$4000. this was approx: $1200 - Conference ticket $500 - accomodation $1800 - airfare $500 - spending money (food, transport etc.) (I didn't actually pay for it myself, so i don't know the exact costing). Anyway, my point is that as long as you don't want to live and dine too extravagantly while you're over there, it is within a cost of S4k, wether next years conference will be also might be another question...but going on that S4k figure... you can get a S2k grant skip the AGDC and put your money toward GDC $800 if you're from interstate, also subtract any cost for travel/accom to AGDC, and you're left with a cost of less than $1200 to go to GDC. Theres probably a reasonable chance if you work for a company that they may also feel the GDC is worthwhile and sponsor you some amount as well... I don't think the GDAA is neccessarily bad at all, but perhaps i have been warped by my AIE upbringing and GDC trip :P But the people on top of that ladder that i have met all seem to be reasonable and good people, and it isn't in their plans to see companies, other than the ones they are a part of, screwed over. If you really have some complaint with the way GDAA manages grant money (if they do...i'm trusting you on this one :) ), then i'm sure there is some sort of commission/board/something you can make a formal complaint to. CYer, Blitz

Monday, October 18, 2004 - 5:17:30 PM - CynicalFan

Perhaps I am starting to show my ignorance - or have I done this already ;) - but I doubt that TY and Transformers have made much of a presence in international development opinion, and as far as I know have not made much of a dent in unit sales either. But to Krome's credit, it is an original IP license of theirs, and they have come far as a company. King Arthur I doubt will make much of a dent in global opinion either, nor unit sales. The Unreal 2 port I also believe sold poorly, and was merely a port of an existing title - fee-for-service work. Tribes: Vengeance and Rome Total War two examples of whether they are really Australian titles or International (US / UK) titles. Sure, they are developed locally, but to what extent? As far as I know, Tribes is pretty much done down under with help from the Boston studio in perhaps story design and QA. As for Rome, I have no idea, but I am assuming (which I shouldn't) that the UK (it is UK right?) parent studio has a fair input into its core design and its QA. And even if these titles have been largely developed in Australia, they are still part of an international company, and it is this international face and credibility, that allows for these titles to be developed here, no matter what we in Australia wish to believe. I believe that the global industry will view these titles as "internationally made" and not solely as Australian made - so they may only have a minor impact on the industry here, and its betterment, and impact on the impressions of the global community, and their views of game development here in Australia - specifically with 100% Australian studios. No matter what we like to think, Australia is still mostly a fee-for-service industry, just like the film industry here, we provide production services for a set fee so that international companies can create their titles for less cost. We do not create our own titles so as to enjoy fully their profits, and to own the titles IP. And sooner or later, international companies in their selfish greed, will merely take their fee-for-service business elsewhere, to a new emerging development hotspot, so as to get their titles developed for even cheaper than they do in Australia. So it is in our best interests that we really take a careful look at our industry, and see past the hype, and make positive moves forward to having more independence as developers. And that means that we in some way, must start developing original, innovative titles of our own for a global market. Titles like TY are a positive move for Krome, but still a small step for the industry as a whole.

Monday, October 18, 2004 - 6:58:31 PM - Grover

Totally true Cynical. Watch how soon fee for service moves to India and China - the move is already well on the way in the US, only a matter of time before our companies here end up with the same sort of problems. The only way to combat this is to really elevate our own industry and _prove_ to everyone that the Aus game industry is much more capable than is currently percieved. My comments also come from talking to alot of international people - they all have problems seeing any serious benefits using Aus developers for more than what Cynical described - fee for service work. AGDC - needs attention. Most OS people consider it a bit of a joke as a conference.. We need a conference that reflects the dedication, innovation, talent in Aus and provide wide ranging information to help build the industry as a whole. There are sooooo many things the AGDC could provide - cost of entry shouldnt be questioned, unless there is obviously something wrong with the content and what you get for your money. FreePlay is a brilliant example of what can be achieved and how it can provide access to the wide audience in Aus - this is critical. I talked about relevance before, and this involves acessibility. The more people that are involved and experience the industry, the greater the likelihood of local investment and capital assistance. Also on a similar note, its more than worrying, that alot of people need to go overseas to gain decent game development experience - again a very marked indicator to our lccal industry flagging well behind. And this is my last comment for the topic - I am very passionate about seeing Aus become a leader in game development (hence my comments), and most of all I do applaud the great steps people like Krome have made. It is no meagre feat to reach the results they have achieved - but I hope people also well realise this is no pinnacle in terms of the world wide industry and as a industry reaching this level is barely on the radar - geez I shouldnt really have used that term :-) But in my opinion this describes what sort of impact a game has had on the industry and consumer. Being on that radar means you are showing the way, and people want to copy _you_, and consumers look to your product for your innovation, quality and 'style'. Ty does this in some ways.. but barely. Dont you all think we can break the barriers? Lead the pack? Show the world what we can do? I think so... but surely that means opening the industry here? Having better access to gov assistance for new developers? Providing all the necessary help to exceed the industry expectations? Work together (this is the saddest thing about Aus development) - People - Have a good look at Insomniacs and Naughty Dogs relationship, and what it has brought. This is a sign of things to come. If we dont grow and help each other and aim high.. how else will this industry be able to cope/compete.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 12:21:15 PM - Lorien

Grover, it may seem funny to be marketing to other GDAA members, but what if the thing actually being marketed is graduates? Note the comment above, which has all the signs of coming from someone *very* close to the AGDC, which assures us that students get cheap tickets. Who is it that runs the AGDC?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 3:09:50 PM - anon

I feel the conference price is too steep relative to the budgets that local developers can afford. For a 50 person company to send all their staff, even with a group discount you're looking at $50k (add many more S if you are sending a team from interstate) and a slice of lost production time. Some game companies in Australia might have that resource or cash flow, but I can assure you some of them are doing it very tough. A lot of projects are being taken on that are basically profit neutral from a business sense and serve simply to keep companies in business and their staff employed, A sister conference to the AGDC is the AEAF. It had the exactly the same venue; it also featured international speakers from Weta, ILM, Tippett Studios and a reasonable price of S350 for three days. So one has to ask where the money goes and it calls for more disclosure from the organisers of the AGDC for transparency and accountability.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 5:29:03 PM -

I don't understand the point of having people bound by NDAs speaking at a conference. Surely the point of an NDA is that you aren't allowed to say anything interesting or useful about what you are working on.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 2:53:19 PM - Forkie

quoting grover ->Whats more interesting is that GDAA is run by people from the Aus game dev industry what a revelation! But you probably should have worked it out from the letters GDAA = Game Developer's Association Australia. An industry group that lobbies government on behalf of the games industry. Who did you think would be on it? Farmers? It's just like any other lobby group- HIA (housing), AIIA (IT), etc. Of course the government asks them where the money should go- they ask all associations who are lobbying for money for their member companies. quoting grover ->Also, this is where AGDC I think really needs aserious readjustment - where is the AGDC target audience? If its developers then its GDAA running AGDC to give info to GDAA members?? Ummmm...yeah - again AGDC = Australian Game Developers Conference. It's for game developer's and most of the game developer's in OZ are in the GDAA. It's about sharing knowledge (information?) like most conferences. Freeplay is for indies and AEAF is more film and multimedia oriented. The AGDC can't be everything - let's face it, it's mainly for the big ones with the big bucks. Sure, I'd love it to be cheaper but I you generally get for what you pay for. Freeplay was good but the workshops were way too small and signed up for on the first day. If you want a conference for students/contractors and others negelected by AGDC then maybe you should do something about organising one instead of whining.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 4:44:44 PM - CynicalFan

I think the point that Grover was trying to make is that the local game development industry is insular, and running a risk of blinding itself to an impending implosion. It's an industry that is full of its own hype in regards to the quality that it generates and how it is perceived by the rest of the world, instead of an industry that is really looking at the key issues and promoting positive discussions of how they can be overcome - it is short-term selfishly focused instead of long-term growth focused. And that the AGDC and GDAA are doing nothing but promoting false perceptions and attitudes, stemming from the local GDAA member developers, which will result in its own demise. Basically (eventually) driving away investment, as they have made themselves the "authority" on game development here in Australia - affecting perceptions of government and local investors. But the upside is, that even though I think the industry is in for rough times ahead, I do think it will clear out a lot of the old, to make way for the new, and does not spell the demise (death) of the industry here, but more of a: forcing-the-issue.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 5:33:23 PM - Common Sense

No one seems to have pointed out that the AGDC is run by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment Limited (AIE Ltd), not the GDAA. It is organised by their event management division Interactive Entertainment Events (IE Events) (see for details on this. It would perhaps be more productive to contact the organisers directly with any complaints or suggestions rather than posting inaccurate information on this forum (see

Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 5:42:37 PM - CynicalFan

Who runs the AIE? Who established the AIE? These organisations are all interlinked at some level.

Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 7:14:51 PM - Blitz

"Sure, I'd love it to be cheaper but I you generally get for what you pay for. " Theres a problem right there, i don't think, with what is on offer this year, and what was on offer last year, that you actually do currently get what you pay for. The current AGDC is not worth $800. To compare quality and price, the GDC in the US costs about AU$1200 entry. There is no way that the AGDC comes close to being about 66% the quality of GDC.

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:03:24 PM -

Here is the whois database entry for the GDAA: Domain Name: Last Modified: Never Updated Registrar ID: R00016-AR Registrar Name: Connect West Status: OK Registrant: Game Developers Association Australia Registrant ID: Association Number: A03367 Registrant ROID: C0799147-AR Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER Registrant Email: Tech ID: C0799149-AR Tech Name: unknown Tech Email: Name Server: Name Server IP: Name Server: Name Server IP:

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:08:16 PM -

Note that whois database entries are all freely available public information. All you need to get it is a unix machine with the whois program installed. The command used to obtain the above info was "whois"

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:16:50 PM -

And here is the AIE's database entry Domain Name: Last Modified: 10-Jun-2004 05:05:42 UTC Registrar ID: R00085-AR Registrar Name: EducationAU Status: OK Registrant: Matthew Kendrick Registrant ID: Registrant ROID: C1729295-AR Registrant Contact Name: Ronnie Chow Registrant Email: Tech ID: C1705396-AR Tech Name: Matthew Kendrick Tech Email: Name Server: Name Server IP: Name Server: Name Server IP:

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:19:35 PM -

And Microforte's Domain Name: Last Modified: 16-Nov-2002 01:45:41 UTC Registrar ID: R00010-AR Registrar Name: Melbourne IT Status: OK Registrant: Miro Forte Pty. Ltd. Registrant ID: OTHER N/A Registrant ROID: C0463510-AR Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER Registrant Email: Tech ID: C0463512-AR Tech Name: Aaron Henderson Tech Email: Name Server: Name Server IP: Name Server: Name Server IP: Note the same nameserver IP address for the GDAA, MF, and the AIE

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:23:30 PM -

Oddly enough the AGDC looks a little different Domain Name: Last Modified: 18-Sep-2002 06:35:38 UTC Registrar ID: R00010-AR Registrar Name: Melbourne IT Status: OK Registrant: The Academy Of Interactive Entertainment Limited Registrant ID: OTHER 084159437 Registrant ROID: C0023626-AR Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER Registrant Email: Tech ID: C0964642-AR Tech Name: Host Master Tech Email: Name Server: Name Server IP: Name Server: Name Server IP:

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:31:15 PM -

BTW How is that for "accurate information" :) Perhaps Common Sense is actually Completely Blind...

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 1:35:36 PM -

one more coincidence, the domains and all resolve to the same IP address which also happens to be microforte's primary name server

Friday, October 22, 2004 - 6:09:57 PM - Blitz

Umm, is this supposed to be surprising? Way to fill this message forum with a pile of useless information :)

Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 1:25:51 AM -

The Australian games industry is so insular it is difficult to work out whether the crazy stuff that gets spouted is deliberately misleading or whether after so much back slapping and positive press they actually BELIEVE the crap they say.. Lets take Ratbag for an example. Reality: Ratbag recently released Dukes of Hazzard, a game which has recieved very poor reviews and has been criticised for poor physics, boring gameplay and average graphics. Ratbag employs 25 people. They have recieved government money to help get them out of trouble after failing to deliver the necessary milestones to a publisher. What the press releases and games media says: -Ratbag employs 75 people From Sumea: -Rat Bag are hiring - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 -Growing Ratbags - Saturday, August 23, 2003 -RatBag Hiring - Tuesday, March 16, 2004 -Rat Bag: Where Are The Programmers?! - Wednesday, April 28, 2004 -More On Ratbags Woes - Wednesday, May 05, 2004 (woe = they need to hire but can't find anyone!) In the latest Advertiser news article there is a very short comment at the end saying "Ratbag currently employs 25 people...." In other words they have shed 2/3 of their workforce in 6 months! This is hardly "growing" "Ratbag are regarded in the US as having the best technology" - Advertiser Interview. -Recently games reviewers in the US gave their title under 50% and criticised the technology. They cannot find a US (or ANY) publisher for Powerslide 2. "They kicked off the 3d boom, not just in Australia, but internationally" - Advertiser Interview. I don't really want to dignify this with a response other than to say their first published game came out in 1998, years after GLQuake and 3d accelarators appeared. "For Greg, success is just a game" - billboards erected around the state with government cash boasting of Ratbags success. No mention is given to failed projects, massive staff cuts and hundreds of thousands of dollars of government cash. "We have developed a reputation to deliver" - Advertiser interview. They have many failed or unpublished products. They have lost publishers for not delivering. So the question is, do they actually BELIEVE that they are successful? Because I don't think you can lie like this unless yuo somewhat believe it. They probably sit drinking government bought beer with their GDAA buddies convincing themselves they are really misunderstood artistic geniuses and Dukes of Hazzard was a masterpiece.

Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 1:52:02 PM - Target

As a uni student studying in this field I realy hope the event becomes a industry/educational event and tickets are made availible accordingly. Say sub 100 for students and whatever price for industry. I dont think this would detract from the event as you would be targeting a different group of people.

Monday, October 25, 2004 - 11:12:08 AM -

"Way to fill this message forum with a pile of useless information" isn't information indicating that someone might have been blowing their own horn just a little to loudly, relevant? Perhaps try asking a network admin what information like this is likely to mean.

Monday, October 25, 2004 - 11:49:16 AM -

And the records suggest you should contact THE MANAGER in capitals so kindly provided by the staff themselves.

Monday, October 25, 2004 - 3:56:15 PM - Blitz

Sorry, did you not already know that the AIE, GDAA, AGDC and Microforte were all very closely related? I was under the impression that this was common knowledge, in which case filling that many lines on this board with server information that doesn't really do more than reinforce known facts could be considered a waste of space and irrelevant. I am sorry for assuming that everyone had this knowledge, and I am somewhat surprised how little attention some people pay to who is running organisations/events that they might be involved in...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 5:16:47 PM -

Actually most people don't know how tightly they all intertwine. These domain registrations show that they could be fronts for a single company using viral marketing techniques to promote itself. From the definition above: Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. I wonder what the GDAA is doing for the AIE?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 5:23:29 PM -

Some people may not pay enough attention to particular details that indicate "there is something funny going on". Some people respond with So What? How many times does this have to be asked before someone says Please Explain Why.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 5:39:43 PM -

I wonder who the GDAA actually is? If it is an industry association it seems to be coming from a particularly insular source with the potential for many conflicts of interest. Are you SURE there aren't any? Are you happy with the GDAA, AIE, MF, and the AGDC presenting themselves to the world with One Voice, when it really is One Voice, and not only that, but it is coming from One Location? Might all the marketing and hype coming from entirely one place give the entire world the impression that it's all a load of BS? Should a diverse and healthy industry association show a diverse network to the world? Or should the entire network presence be hosted on one machine, which also happens to be the machine that says "you need to go here", when you ask it for any name on the domain This machine IS microforte, as far as the entire structure of the internet is concerned. It doesn't just run the web sites. Is this conference just a way for GDAA members to save a bit on sending us to the GDC?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 6:43:31 PM - Blitz

Maybe if you want to operate under the consipracy theory that most of the owners/studio heads of the major studios in australia are all just lackeys of microforte.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 11:55:11 PM - CynicalFan

I don't think that Micro Forte is exactly running the show here, at least not anymore, as their position has become considerably weakened in many ways. But all these organisations are part of a boys-club, and Micro Forte and their practices are a clear example of why I personally have such distaste for them. I mean, it was interesting to read up on Rat Bag, but that doesn't compare to Micro Forte and their current position and what they have conjured up over the past year or so. In defence of the AGDC, on an inspection of their steering-committee, it seems that this year's is far more "liberal" than last years, which had far more "major" *cough* studios present. So they have clearly made some steps in being far more open in what they have to offer the industry here, but they still have a far way to go.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 12:16:17 AM - CynicalFan

I can't remember who mentioned it, and I am far too tired to bother rereading through the posts to find out, but someone mentioned starting your own independent association if you were so sick of the GDAA. As a solution to this, there are two options that come quickly to mind, one is that the GDAA is not the only Australian association for our industry, there is also the: Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) -- I am uncertain as to how vocal an association they are, and what they have achieved. I think that most of their members are the publisher variety, not really developers. But, if anyone would have sway locally, it would be an association comprising of major publishers to an association comprising of developers who think they are major players. Though, I am uncertain that I would join such an association myself due to it being perhaps a publisher big-boy's club. Personally, I am leaning towards joining the International Game Developer's Association as I feel that they achieve far more on an international scale, but unfortunately I do not see how they achieve much on a local scale. Perhaps a local chapter should be established - if it hasn't already - to address local developer's needs. This chapter would then be part of a major and influential association that could actually then achieve something. And if there is such discontentment with the AGDC, then this chapter could support and work with the Free Play conference, in making it into what we want the AGDC to be: a forum for industry change, for the better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 12:20:33 AM - CynicalFan

Actually in hindsight, I might just join both ;)... anyway, the GDAA is not the only option folks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 12:57:44 AM - CynicalFan

What do you know, there is a local chapter already, now that I think about it, I do seem to remember hearing about it several times. Its URL is: Its forums are: Looks like there is a meet on Wednesday, November 17th, at 7pm at the Canada Hotel, 596 Swanston St, Carlton - further details can be found following above URL. So if you are in Melbourne - which I ain't, but boy do I wish I were ;) - you can pop in and have a chat to like minded people perhaps, after all, it's for free!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 3:25:05 PM - David Hewitt

G'day all - I just popped by Sumea to let you all know about the inaugural meeting of the Melbourne Chapter of the IGDA, and what do you know? It's already on the front page! :) Thanks for the mention! Just to clarify one thing, though - the IGDA doesn't replace or invalidate either the GDAA or the AGDC. In fact, although I'm coordinating the local IGDA chapter, I'm also speaking at this year's AGDC (again), and I've attended every year except the first. The IGDA and its meetings are something a bit different. The meetings will be free, casual, and open to all. The organisation is run by developers and is primarily for the benefit of developers, whereas the GDAA operates mostly on the company level. That's not to say that they don't do important lobbying work that benefits those of us who are in the trenches - they just have a different emphasis as an organisation. I'm pleased that people who can't afford to attend events like the AGDC (or don't see the value in them - for whatever reason), and who don't feel represented by the GDAA, are interested in something like the IGDA. You ought to be. It's a great organisation that really works for the benefit of every developer, at a grass-roots level. Don't think, though, that the establishment of an IGDA chapter is in any way a threat or a challenge to any other established organisations. It's 'as well as', rather than 'instead of'. And hopefully its something that'll cast its net wide enough to interest those of you who aren't interested in the GDAA or the AGDC, as well as those who are. Personally, I'll still go to AGDC, as I've always found it useful and enjoyable. But I'm pleased we've also found an excuse to have a beer and a chat with other developers on a more regular (and less costly) basis as well. While we'll also be involved in the odd cause here and there, that's really the essence of this chapter, and the reason for its existence. I hope some of you can benefit from it. Oh, and if you're a developer who's not from Melbourne - pay us a visit! If the timing's right, we'll have a bit of a meet-up, and introduce you around. The local IGDA chapter should be a good point of contact for you interstate types, as well. It's something that would have been useful to me when I first moved here, I know.

Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 5:20:47 PM -

$250 student price is worth it i think. only a delegate pass but the extras that come with the full pass arn't worth the extra cash imo.

Monday, November 01, 2004 - 11:17:15 AM - Blitz

The student price is about what the normal price should be :) AFAIK the only extra you get with the super pass is the "gala dinner" and lunch 2 or 3 days at the conference...hardly worth $180. I wonder if they moved the awards presentation to the dinner to try and get more people to come to the big dinner. It's somewhat annoying that now the awards presentation isn't really open to the general public anymore. And what about people who win awards but can't afford to get into the dinner, i'm mostly looking at the indy awards here, will the winners/runners up be given free entry to the dinner, or will they just not be able to accept their award? Kinda sucks if thats the case.

Monday, November 01, 2004 - 2:34:49 PM - Common Sense

The Rules & Regulations state: The top two (2) finalists from each category will be notified via e-mail on Monday, 22 November 2004 . Each finalist (individual or company) will receive a limit of one (1) complimentary Gala Awards Dinner ticket. see

Monday, November 01, 2004 - 9:17:22 PM - What The?

I've been to AGDC two years running now. As someone outside the industry, entirely for my own interest in video games.... yes I may be crazy.... and I'm surprized by the complete absense of "community" the event has. It's like a bunch of factions, AIE students, main 4 studios employees, and some a group of loners (like myself) who seem totally lost. With this in mind conference really seems to fail to meet the needs of any of these groups. Further to the point, I emailed and asked if a DVD series could be made for the various electives because sometimes there are more than one worth going to in the same time slot. Their response.......... CLASSIC......... WE CANT AFFORD TO DO THAT!!! ......$800 per person, and what? $250 for students, and they cant afforf to record a few lousy electives..... please. If they still short after all the fees, why not charge for the DVD's. I know others outside the industry that would like to see what goes on there, but there's no way they'll spend $800.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 7:50:15 AM - Common Sense

The Rules & Regulations state: The top two (2) finalists from each category will be notified via e-mail on Monday, 22 November 2004 . Each finalist (individual or company) will receive a limit of one (1) complimentary Gala Awards Dinner ticket. see

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:17:25 AM - Blitz

It's good that they will give at least 1 ticket to the finalists. Hopefully they will remember that they have to keep a few tickets spare for the indy awards which aren't decided until the conference (assuming it's the same as last year).

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:19:56 AM -

"and I'm surprized by the complete absense of "community" the event has." That's one of the reasons why freeplay was much better for many people.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 9:03:04 PM -

Some interesting posts. Did some research on the conspiracy theory. Umm. I don't think it works for me but it sounds very good indeed so I sort of hate to give you the truth. The AIE is a major sponsor of the GDAA. I believe it gives the GDAA several hundred of thousands of dollars or something like that. After all they founded it so it makes sense. The GDAA is not exactly cash rich as it gets money from its developer members and they are definitely not rich ! The AIE apparently helps the GDAA and creates the GDAA web site, hosts it etc. The GDAA gives the AIE stuff they want to put up on its site. Nothing sinister here since the AIE does not write any of the material - its written by members of the GDAA. The GDAA actually does not get the huge amounts of government funding some poster talked about. I checked . They get some money to help subsidies GDAA members attend the E3 trade show in LA but that's about it. They don't get millions nor does any developer actually have to get the GDAA to give it permission to get any government funding. If you want Federal funding for some game , the GDAA brings no value to you so just simply apply for it. On a State Government level the GDAA again has no money to give as I have asked a member. They mainly provide events and opportunities for developers such as their PS2 and Xbox development kits programs. However if you want one of those babies, you do need the GDAA to hand them over since they have the agreement with Sony and Microsoft. Fair enough since I believe they paid for those luscious development units. Look, the AGDC is for professionals. If you are an indie it really does not make sense. Expect if you are an indie who wants to go pro, then it's a great place to meet folks and learn how the industry works. the talks are better as they don't have that boring CEO stuff pushing how great his games company is going etc etc. I like the technical talks. On the AIE side of things, I rang and did some more research. its a private non profit educational provider. Apparently if it goes under its assets go to charity ! Interesting...Also I found out that Microforte owns no shares in the AIE. How about that ! Microforte also does not own any shares in the GDAA (as its an association). However, John De Margheriti is all over this. He seems to be the owner of the AIE and a major shareholder of Micro Forte. He seems to have founded them and provide the cash so that makes sense. He actually owns quite a few other businesses I'm told so he seems quite a wealthy person. Maybe he is good for a loan (haha) ? About community at the AGDC, its pretty good if you are a professional developer as I get to meet some folks I used to work with who now work at another developer. I agree that if you are an indie it must be hard to get to know anyone. The AGDA is really aimed for the professional developers and if you are not in the 'in crowd' (I'm in he in-crowd :) it must be a puzzling experience. My suggestion is to introduce yourself and try to mix in a bit. I know a friend who got a job by simply approaching the Lead Programmer/Producer guy at a studio while at AGDC and showed him some demo game he had worked on. He is still employed in the industry so he is pretty happy. I don't mind AGDC as it's pretty relevant to my work and I get to meet other folks so if things go bad with my current employer I have a better than even change to get a game job fairly quickly. I don't know how good it is if you are a student trying to get your first job. One thing I would like to know is if its any easier if you say you went to the AIE ? I guess it must be but I wonder if it is ? any comments on this ? . I have a friend who is thinking of doing a course there in Melb. Anyway I think the AGDC is still the best gig in Australia and I'm going as usual. Its pretty pricy but my company pays for me to go so its *great* otherwise I could not afford to go.

Friday, November 05, 2004 - 1:14:11 PM - Steve

I liked the dark conspiracy theory. Microforte behind everything. John demargueriti behind everything sinister that goes on. I like the reference to him and Microforte as the One Voice. Good research on disproving this. If its correct then, I'm glad that it there is some sort of seperation of powers between Microforte and the GDAA and the AIE and AGDC. I had trouble reconciling all the great things John has done for our industry with this twisted revision of history. I think Microforte is very much in control of events and I dont think they are doing that bad financially because they are still in business . Are they not hiring ? Are they not working on publishing their own game Citizen Zero ? I think thats a great place to be . I think that they are still one of the best developers in Australia, as they did Fallout Tactics. They are true survivors.

Friday, November 05, 2004 - 3:42:36 PM - CynicalFan

True survivors... more like true fuckups!

Friday, November 05, 2004 - 4:06:34 PM - CynicalFan

I don't believe in a "conspiracy" involving the Australian game development industry, I might believe in a conspiracy involving America and the way the have embraced a moron as their president, that I might just believe. Does anyone else have the feeling that Bush will be remembered by history as a monster along the lines of Hitler? What I believe is that there is a bit of a boys-club (of sorts), what I believe is that there is a strong ignorant and egotistical element to the Australian industry that unless addressed, will severely hinder the Australian industries development. And I don't think Micro Forte is behind it all, but I do think that these organisations are linked together more than you think. And yes, Micro Forte and John have done some great things for our industry, but it is time for fresh blood, for developers that are more in touch with the industry today, to do their part. It's time for those that paved the way, to move on over as their time has come and gone.

Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 10:55:37 AM - Developer

CynicalFan your commentss are really not in touch with reality. I'm a professional game developer and I know how hard it is to finish a game. What are you proposing ? That we should all pack our bags and go home ? We work really hard to bring our creation to life and to have someone like you take a crappy shot like this is so moronic . Its people like you that harm our industry. Man, you really piss me off with your crap. I dont give a damn about your bioys club thing. Sounds like it really pisses you off becuase you are not part of it. Good. I hope you are never part of it because no developer would want to work with someone as cynical and as depressing as you.

Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 2:53:35 PM - Blitz

"but it is time for fresh blood, for developers that are more in touch with the industry today, to do their part. It's time for those that paved the way, to move on over as their time has come and gone" WTF? You idiot. I won't deny that game development has changed a LOT in the last 20 years, and i won't deny that perhaps some of the older established companies in australia might be finding it difficult to adapt to the changes in recent years, but to think that these old-timers that have been living and breathing game development for almost as long, or longer, as i've been alive, should just be sent to the old folks home because they are no longer useful is plain stupid. Bleh.

Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 4:27:40 PM - CynicalFan

Well I am sick and tired of the bullshit in this fucking industry here. I am sick and tired of developers that lie about themselves to the industry in order to create some kind of false image to bolster their egos. I am sick and tired of the way they lie to their employees and how they treat them - like laying of most of a team that is responsible for their "hot" up and coming title. Most of you guys are just full of your own shit! And you are right (developer) many "developers" don't like working with me, because I am usually the only one brave enough to face reality and tell it how it is, usually the only one who see the fucking disaster approaching and wants to fucking avoid it. You see, I prefer doing what needs to be done instead of what everyone wants to be done hoping that that will be enough in the end. And that's ok Developer, I wouldn't want to work with a moron like you either, I've worked with plenty like you already - I wouldn't want to work with you either Blitz ;) And what, no comments to my query on Bush junior?

Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 9:52:21 PM - Blitz

I'm glad you feel that way, because i doubt you'd be hired by any company that i would be happy to work for (such as my current employer). Looks like we're mutually exclusive i think :) Not to sound too harsh, but it IS people like you who can break a company. And just for you, heres a comment related to Bush junior. If you want to discuss american politics, this is not the correct forum.

61. Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 6:22:45 PM - CynicalFan

I'm glad we agree, but not totally. You see, people like me make companies excel, people like you are the ones that make them die. I know from experience. And one more thing to ease your mind, I will not be going to the AGDC this year. Hope that makes you feel better :) I know it does for me.

62. Monday, November 08, 2004 - 9:52:59 AM - Developer

CynicalFan. You are a sad case. I've fired a few developers in my days. They usually fall into two camps. People like you who probably have talent but are outspoken and derail teams, and other great developers who simply did their job but their project was cancelled by our publisher and we ran out of cash to keep them employed. For the latter, its truly devestating to everyone. Most good developers quicky scramble and find another job, possibly in a different city. That is sad but a reality of our industry. Look at the UK - the large majority of developers there have folded. Now you cant say that the UK developers were not putting out great games. Its just a sign of the times. Our industry is ever consolidating, ultimately to the point that few monolithic entities will exist. But you on the other hand ,will eventually exit this industry. Period. Not going to AGDC is a good case in point. You are starting to show. This is a prediction that will haunt you for life. You are extinct and dont even know it (yet). You see, the comments you have made tell all. You dont really get along with your fellow team members. You are outspoken and full of intellectual pride. You use forums like this to propergate your bullshit because it is here that you actually have a voice. You team members have learned to keep away from you , politely listen but simply avoid getting into a tangle with your toungue. Truth hurts does it :) Eventually you will loose your job, not becuase a project gets canned, but becuase management will use that excuse to get rid of you (the old and proven method to let go of problem children :). Eventually the word will get around about you. In the end, we will even find out who CynicalFan was. It wont matter becasue no one will care.

Monday, November 08, 2004 - 9:58:48 AM - Developer

And yes. Bush baby. This is is not the forum for this, and whatever opinion, the bloke now is the pres of the US. We dont even get to vote on this score so my opinions matter ever less. The original quesion was about AGDC. I'm going.

Monday, November 08, 2004 - 3:12:37 PM -

The AIE being a non-profit organisation I wonder how much the director's fees are... John DeMargheriti was the CEO of the AIE for quite a while, now it is Vicki (his sister), who is also on the board of MF. Then of course there is the confidentiality agreement for students which is rumored to have some rather interesting benefits for MF. Are there other hidden benefits? Houses rented to students perhaps? Developer: you are saying that you want employees who just keep quiet and put up with whatever you dish out, and if they don't they get branded "troublemaker" and fired. That's a nice, healthy attitude for management. Looks like you should read the Quality of Life Whitepaper , and maybe, just maybe, even DO SOMETHING about it... Remember you are supposed to "Retain and attract talent in our local industry".

65. Monday, November 08, 2004 - 3:35:52 PM -

Doing something about it does not include boasting about getting students used to that "24/7, sleep under-the-desk stage" in glossy brochures incidently.

66. Monday, November 08, 2004 - 11:27:22 PM - CynicalFan

I'm a little busy at the moment and really should focus on other things but "Developer," after reading your post I just can't help myself ;) Nice psychological profile, you should have been a psychologist, no wait a psychiatrist, that way you can dope up your unhappy slave team members and in that way make them conform to your ignorant beliefs - as you said, you fired the "outspoken" and only let go of the "developers who simply did their job" and didn't cause "trouble," which tells me you prefer automatons to thinking human beings. Unfortunately your profile is not exactly right in my case, I'd actually say that this represents Blitz more than me :D Let me make some things clear: 1) No project I have ever worked on got canned you incompetent loser. 2) I do get along with my team members, I even have their respect, as though they did not agree with me in the beginning (and from time still do not) they have come to see that I am "outspoken" in that I really want the best for the team and project, and I don't immediately call them an idiot for saying different, unlike some :) - there is nothing wrong with healthy discussion. 3) Until recently I didn't even bother to post on forums, except those relating to my work - as in a project - I prefer interacting in the real world, and have many interests other than game development. I have only started posting because I am sick and tired of the BS I read, specifically from our industry here, like yours. 4) You know I haven't exactly fired anyone, just made recommendations to do just that, and it really did work out for the best, as I don't make such recommendations if someone is "difficult" because they want to make things better or say something completely different to what I have said. I make them because that individual has shown themselves to be an ignorant moron that has consistently failed at the task they were given, and tried to pass the blame onto others 5) If I do leave this industry, it is to escape mismanagement and incompetence like your own companies that resulted in your project being canned by the publisher - perhaps you shouldn't have fired those "troublemakers" that tried to warn you of this and steer the team and project in the right direction. I doubt I will as I only appear to get stronger with time, but like you I will begin to lose touch with this industry 6) I am not extinct, as I am still young and in my prime working in an industry that I truly get and excel within, with a track record of success - you can only hope for that. It is far more probable that your company and yourself become extinct, old timer. 7) I'm not going to the AGDC because I am going to the GDC instead :) 8) And finally my last point relating to the original comment I made. You have jumped to conclusions, and assumed that I believe that there is no place for older developers, you are wrong. My point is that they are strangling their companies by not letting go of the rains, letting a young maverick with talent and experience take over, and then acting as an advisor for the company / team, and letting the smaller details get done by the younger generation, whilst involving them in more of the larger details. Let us face it, if you have worked in this industry to a point that you are an old timer, and have only scraped by doing fee-for-service titles, then you really need to let go, as you will never achieve anything more than this, and you are holding your company back - and I am sick and tired of hearing about developers being layed off to a mismanaged project. It was also a statement to the younger companies to start taking more responsibility for their industry, to be more proactive in steering its direction, and to advocate for change for the better, like with developer quality-of-life issues, as well as others like game-censorship and the issue of games and "youth violence." You will find out who I am all in good time, and then you can all take aim with your crosshairs for your character assassination attempts, I'll be glad to stand up in clear view, to step into your sights.

67. Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 9:12:03 AM - Farbs

CynicalFan, Perhaps you should consider teaming up with this guy:

68. Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 12:50:18 PM -

OK, so the GDAA writes the stuff on the website and hands it to the AIE. Who is it in the GDAA that writes it? Everything is very interconnected after all.

69. Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 12:52:22 PM - Anon

Cynical. I agree with Farbs. You and Ivan should work together, as you could really help out. An ideal career move for you to try out your theories of mavericks taking over game development in Australia from people like Developer, Farbs Blitz. After all you have never had a game cancelled. Man , that is impressive.

70. Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 2:12:39 PM - Agro

Man you guys are still at it !. There is more bullshit on this topic that I've ever seen on other fan sites. And this is no fan site. You've crapped onto the AIE, GDAA, the AGDC, a bunch of developers and slammed the price of entry to AGDC. While at it you had a go at some individuals too, not to mention the president of the United States. Whoa. Why ? Don't you have any work to do ? Ah yes, its constructive talk. Free Speech and all that. Tis true, but this ? I came after lunch hoping to find some more debate on how the organisers could get the AGDC price lower, some ideas, suggested direction changes. See what you dudes had achieved since my last explosive post heheh. Except that I find it's still just a few of you going at it on the same tired subject. Can you call it a truce, kiss and make up and get into the main argument, which is why you think AGDC pricing is too high ? Interesting enough, given that there debate on this point, I guess the AGDC is relevant to us all eh ? Ozzie developers need to crap on about themselves and how great their games are becuase its called P.R. If they dont do this they wont get more work. The comments on Ratbag are stupid. All the other developers around the world do this - hype their company - its called marketing. Staff count ? When has that stopped a good marketing campaign heheheh. Why dont we lay off bashing developers who could be our next employer ?. I've checked the GDAA site and its really ancient stuff. My guess is that they don't have anyone who writes for it. They really need to hire someone to keep it updated with something worthwhile. There is more info on Sumea that the GDAA site.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 2:21:05 PM -

You seem a little miffed again agro :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 9:55:39 PM - CynicalFan

I enquired a while back with Intrigue, and the dude said that things are progressing slowly and he is sticking to it. But there are no paid roles at the moment, and he doesn't like the idea of promising people too much to a point it becomes exploitative - and they waste their time. He also mentioned something about a grant he is working towards to getting things moving along more quickly, and being able to pay people for work. Personally, I think he is playing it too safe and should take more risks. I think that others should take more risks as well and offer more support and a helping hand. Anyway, this is one example of a young studio, which with any luck, might be an example of what a fresh developer perspective can achieve for our industry. Best of luck to the man! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 11:38:15 AM - Tazer

I think this huge shitfight shows that people would like the AGDC to be relevant and worth the entry price (whatever it is), but that it currently isn't, and that that the organisations involved could have trolleys to push other than making a really great conference.

Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 8:14:28 PM - by hook or crook

I agree with Tazer, While this thread has wandered a bit, and has hit some lows, it does show an interest in a relevant, affordable (hmm $300) local conference, and maybe its a challenge the ADGC can rise too (They are probably aware of this thread). If not maybe freeplay or the idga can go some way to satisfy this need. (I spoke at freeplay and have helped (a little) to set up the Melbourne IDGA, and hence know a lot of good people are working torwards this).

Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 10:57:53 PM -

There is a huge chasm between the press that Ratbag recieves and reality. The fact that marketing and PR often do exagerate claims does not excuse their misleading statements. They are not regarded as having world leading technology, and the claim that they inspired the 3d boom is akin to a local fish and chip shop claiming it is the world leader in fast food retailing. The paper would't publish that, why should they publish similarly outlandish claims just because it is a "cool new technology"? As for them potentially being our next employers, there are dozens of people (some with families to support) who used to be Ratbag employees six months ago and now are not. Whether they left by their own choice due to disgust or left because of cutbacks is irrelevant. Misleading press releases that give the impression of a vibrant, strong, respected and technologically innovative company that are not based on reality could have hopeful applicants spending time and money to attempt to secure a job there, and possibly moving house to Adelaide to a company that could for all we know not ever get another publishing contract. It is not just PR here, it is people's lives. People's tax dollars are also misspent due to these fragrant abuses of reality (aka press releases). It is not right to lie, your mum was right, don't listen to those guys in marketing ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 1:53:21 PM - Another Developer

Developer, my, you ARE touchy about Cynical Fan. Did he get too close to home? Are you connected with Microforte, perhaps, Developer? Listen up Developer. It's clowns like you who are on the way to becoming extinct. Real developers - that is, the people whose work delivers the profits you take home - are standing up for themselves more. They won't work for jerks much more. As can be seen above, they are starting to ask questions about corrupt practices and back scratching in the industry. If you don't have answers, Developer, it's time for you to try for that grant from the Film Commission. Because Cynical Fan will be eating your lunch before the end of the decade.

Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 6:36:17 PM - Grover

Wow - I just had to write back again. Personally no matter how this thread looks - it is _all_ good. It shows that there are serious people concerned about Aus game development that are taking about things that _need_ to be discussed. I would also agree with another Developer - 'Developer' actually reminds me of an owner that once said to me as a Lead Programmer after I asked why all the programmers were leaving - "Dont worry programmers are a dime a dozen.". And all the reports and discussions I had to try and let him and others understand that losing your entire tech team _impacts_ your development cycle were for nought. Imho listening to people and their opinions is the most important thing you can do. Communication in some companies in this industry can be one of the biggest problems (imho) ,. The industry needs conferences like AGDC - but (imho again) this needs to be more open and the Aus dev industry as a whole, more open. Simple things can be done, if Free Play can put on such a great conference for such little money, why is there such an issue with AGDC doing it? Im not sure who said that AGDC is more professional, but this is a plain joke - please tell me what is so much more professional at AGDC than FreePlay? However, having a closed group of Aus developer friends meeting for a weekend sounds just like what AGDC is (Im not guessing I have attended) - limited, closed, "we are better" type attitude, when this sort of carry on is not constructive for a growing industry, and especially with such a small resource pool in Aus. But this in fact is interesting - just looking at the attendance alone at Free Play would indicate that there is a huge talented resource pool for game dev in Aus? Which then is more representative and useful? Developer mentioned about the UK dev studios shutting down, and this is the case in most westernised countries, not because of what Developer implies, but mainly due to offshore service contracts (much like Cynical described earlier.). Also if you have a look at Europe - there has been a large shift in audience, and now there are _alot_ more language/country specific developers popping up all over Europe - they have a growing niche audience that can provide them a valid market opportunity. Australia doesnt have that luxury - our market is extremely small, and pretty much all work done here in the game industry is service styled contracts. We have few original titles here - Ty and a couple of others being very small portion. The shift to cheaper game development in India and China is happening, and theres little that can be done, apart from moving out of the service styled setup. That means, an industry that needs to open up and try to involve as much new ideas (indies ?), and new companies as possible. At the moment the AGDC is less representative of this industry than Free Play for example. And if the AGDC think $800 per person for a fledgling company is fair, then I would point to this forum as an example of how many percieve the costs to be out of their budget for their worth. Also there was a post previously (anonymous - 53) whom says GDAA doesnt get money from gov - from my expericnce and people I have talked with this is plainly not the case. I have been involved in applying for funding and such and I have experienced something quite different. State funding can come from various sources - in Vic, Qld, NSW and SA they have digital media funding that is attached to the film and art bodies (corps) in each state. Also there are grants for government based digital media funds - these funds use the GDAA as consultants to assess the application for the grant. The GDAA is obviously paid for this consultancy work, but what concerns myself is the duplicity of the people involved in ticking off the applications, and saying whether you can get a sponsored devkit? Remembering this is applications for _indie_ and _new_ developers. All the major members on the board of the GDAA run the large companies in Australia - Auran, Microforte, Ratbag, and so on - just go to their webby - they have the board members list there. I still fail to see how this is beneficial - You wouldnt have Holdens, Mitsubishi, Ford and Toyota on a board governing where company X could get a grant to assit starting a new car company in Aus?? So why in the games industry? I certainly think new _and_ established companies should have rights to government funding (it is all our tax dollars remember), I would expect however to have these funding groups to have impartial consultantss? Another issue is people have been saying indie is seperate to professional game devs in Aus - why? This makes for little sense? Indies that are attempting to become professional are hampered by obstacles - because they have no/limited funding makes them less of a developer? But its not just the funding, in fact that is a small part of the problem - its more about perception (no not the company) of how certain companies are supposedly dominatiing/leading the games industry. If 'indies' are taken to be second rate developers by their bigger Aussie brothers, then this enforces what I have been saying. I know _alot_ of indie and new companies starting up that are actually manned by people from the Aus game dev industry, so how does that make them any less than what they were? The GDAA is "The Game Developers Association of Australia" right? Then, why are indie's and new companies excluded? In fact, its even more odd that alot of established australian companies arent even members? Or is this body a paid 'boys club' as mentioned previously - because that is really the case. You cant just be a member, and so the title is either misleading or, there needs to be a true representative impartial body to help this industry, especially for gov assistance? I think its time (imho!!) that the Aus gaming industry really started treating all developers with a more even and open attitude - working together to improve the industry would only benefiit everyone? I cant see why this isnt being done? The AGDC is a great spot to start these sorts of initiaitives, isnt it? This is one of the reasons I think Free Play, will become the defacto standard for game development in Aus, and also hopefully open the industry here to all the talent we have - Id certainly prefer to keep our talent here than see them head overseas, like a high majority currently do.

Monday, November 15, 2004 - 1:22:08 PM -

Silence can be the biggest lie of all. We have a responsibility to speak up; and whenever the occasion calls for it, we have a responsibility to raise bloody hell. -- Herbert Block

Monday, November 15, 2004 - 1:24:41 PM -

Here is a bio of HB

iPhone game course at RMIT - got any questions? Ask them here.

Hi everyone, I'm Conor O'Kane and I'll be teaching the iPhone game development course at RMIT in November.

Here's the link to the course information and enrollment page:…

If you've got any questions about the course please ask them here.

Here's some general information about the course:

The course is open to the public - anyone can enroll. To get the most from the course you should have some existing game development experience. Photoshop skills will be essential and some basic programming knowledge will help. The course will be using the Torque 2D game engine which has visual game editor and a scripting language. If you've written any actionscript for flash, or Java or C# then you'll be fine. Experienced programmers will get even more from the course as the complete C++ source code for the Torque engine is accessible.

The class starts on Monday the 16th of November and runs from Monday to Thursday for 3 weeks (12 classes total). Classes are 3 hours each and if there's enough demand there will be 2 classes per day, one morning and one afternoon.

The labs are well equipped with the following gear: Mac computer with Wacom intuos 4 tablet. Ipod touch on every computer.
Software installed: Torque Game Builder for Mac and iPhone, Xcode with Apple developer license, Photoshop, Textwrangler (script editor).

The first half of the course will be an introduction to the Torque engine, covering sprites, scrollers, animations, particle effects, sounds and text objects. You will then learn how to build a Torque game and run it on the iPhone, incorporating tilt and touch input into the game. For the second half of the course you will make your own original iPhone game. You can team up with other participants if you like. I will assist with game development and design and will also be demonstrating more advanced techniques in the 2nd half of the course. At the end you will have your own game running on an iPod touch.

Note that Torque Game Builder runs on Windows and Mac - so you can work on your game at home on a Windows computer. You only need a Mac to build the game on the hardware (iPhone or iPod touch). The trial version of TGB lasts for 30 days, but you can buy a TGB indie license for only US$100, which will allow you to continue developing your iPhone game, or make Mac and PC games.

The course costs AU$800.

More info about the Torque engine:

I've been working in the games industry since 1999 mainly as a Senior Artist and Technical Artist. I began writing my own games using Torque in 2007 - some of you may have heard of my whaling simulator Harpooned ( which was made with the Torque engine.

You can see more of my wok on my YouTube channel:

I've been teaching classes in the games degree at RMIT for just over 6 months.

Sydney GameJam at AFTRS - Sat 10th October 09

Hey guys,
this Saturday AFTRS are holding a GameJam event:

As part of this the morning is made up of a series of open talks, about 10mins long, for anyone to get involved. Now, on behalf of the Sydney IGDA, I am looking to encourage people in Sydney interested in games to come along and take part. In particular anyone that could give a short 10min talk on game design, styles of gaming, gameplay, favourite games, game history, different platforms etc. It is quite small and casual, so don't be afraid. We need you to be brave and talk about something you are passionate about. Games!

To register for a time slot, according to the above link, you need to email:
You need to register so they know how many they will have on the day.

I will be giving one, although I get stage fright and have yet to decide exactly what I will rant about.
If I can do it...'s only 10mins... I can do it... I'm sure I can...
...then you can too.

Get in touch if you want to discuss it further.

Kind Regards,
Chris Lee
Mobile: 0410155111

Please recommend best college/ tafe in sydney for game programming

Hi all,

I'm currently looking for game programming courses in Sydney area, preferably part time.
What i'm aiming after i finish is to be able to create playable demo games if possible in 3D or mini games like diner dash or probably more complicated than that.

I basicly have zero knowledge in programming, but i have 6 years experience in 3d modeling and animation and some 2d skills.

Im particularly looking for tafe because its a lot cheaper. COuld someone recommend best tafe /college to study game programming


Submitted by souri on Mon, 21/09/09 - 3:52 PMPermalink

Hey, I know this isn't the answer you're after, but if you have some spare time here and there, why not check out MIT's youtube videos. They've got around 24 * 1 hour long videos of their "Introduction to Computer Science and Programming" course up, and it's pretty good if you're new to programming. They're using Python and they explain / demonstrate things really well. Well worth a look.

Submitted by Shapie88 on Thu, 01/10/09 - 2:41 PMPermalink

I currently attend Qantm College which is near Central Station in Sydney.
I see this course being adventised around the college and thought i would let you know about it, Qantm offers online VET-FEE Help approved courses.
I found this for feel free to take a look
Further Information can be found here

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 20/10/09 - 12:08 AMPermalink

Hey. You're in Qantm college? I'm thinking of going there myself. dropping outta unsw to go there :O How's it like?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 27/05/10 - 5:33 PMPermalink

Read the list of places on the GDAA's website under the careers tab; good starting place..!
JB from BTE (Melbourne)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/06/10 - 10:24 PMPermalink

anything, seriously, anything other than qantm...

Submitted by Andrew PapaD on Mon, 28/06/10 - 11:45 AMPermalink

As far as TAFE's go, the Illawarra institute has a game dev diploma:…
There is also the AIE which is a 20 min walk from Central Station:
From what I hear the AIE is very good as they work very closely with the companies in the area.

Just bear in mind that C/C++, C# and Objective-C are the main game dev languages currently being used in the industry. There are others but these are the main ones. Out of those C/C++ would be the main ones to focus on as they are currently the industry standard. If you are just looking to create some demos to show off your 3D skills, it might be best to do it through various online courses like Souri mentioned. You can do it at your own pace and it will be a lot easier on the wallet.

Hope that helps! :D

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/08/10 - 4:23 AMPermalink

I have seen this question asked a lot so I'm going to post this reply in various sections, so sorry if its a bit spam like, but I want to share my views with as many newbies as possible as this is a critical decision.

As a industry person who is involved in the hiring process I can probably shed some light on this topic especially when it comes to hiring, I focus on taking a look at an applicant's demo. If you are a programmer, you better have made some small games either as a team project or on your own. I am more focused on this than where you obtained your degree or diploma. I'm after what is in your head and not what is on a piece of paper.

Its not about the graphics per se but about the game itself and what you coded in it. Its not important that you have developed all the systems yourself, rather, you need to be able to explain the systems you developed and any engines you may have used such as AI, Physics etc. Clean code, with good documentation is a must. In most team environments you will most probably have to deal with other people's code, not just your own. So good code writing and documentation is a must if you want to make it into an elite code team. Specialisation comes later, especially if you are just starting off and trying to get your first programming job, although strong interest in certain areas i.e. like I have developed a demo on a PS3 or Xbox 360 usually helps if the company is looking for junior programmers for console dev. Even more exotic, if you have particular expertise in, say, in network code and they are looking for someone to handle client/server issues, then this will help. So if you are able to specialise it helps, but having a broad education is probably more important when you are starting off. Specialisation actually occurs in your project, as you will be assigned various tasks on the project probably working under a senior dev and by and large this will in the end build up your specialist area - the code work you end up working on.

So getting to the point, it probably best that you focus getting a degree in a games school and not a university. The problem with degrees from a traditional university is that while they may be games focused, they simply do not have a culture as an organisation that focuses on games. This means that they will have a limited set of teachers/tutors that are games focused, and it generally is too academic. For example, large lecture rooms and limited lab time is a big problem with these courses. This is something that I'm sure the academics will disagree, but its just a fact when it comes to hiring as under grads from universities simply have not spent enough time coding, and they have coded in too many languages, so they are not specialists in , say, C++.

Game schools are very focused on limiting lectures and focusing on learning structured programming usually on a particular language like C++ or C# and an industry relevant engine (you have no idea how many students we see who have done their uni course using a 'free' engine provided by their uni which is not used by mainstream development houses like ours), producing game demos and entering competitions, which in my opinion are very important. Working on game projects while at a game school is by far the best way to gain an education as you are emulating a team environment and learning the dynamics of organisational behaviour. So without getting into the argument which game school is better, you need to think about what experience you want to have and what you want to take away with you once you have finished your course. I would argue that you want to go to a school that is very strong on project based learning, one that may have industry people working in their courses and perhaps working on small industry projects (I've used this as a hiring platform as I get to 'try before I buy' and get to see both the programming and art talent work together - sometimes great individual talent simply does not work well in a team environment so I pass).

When it comes to doing very complex code, we do look for university graduates *only*, mainly focusing on students who have gone on to to a PhD and have completed a particular project that involved strong programming and research skills. For example, if we are looking to develop a new AIE system we may look for PhD graduates who have developed a particular thesis in this area or related area. In this case we are looking for individuals who have demonstrable abilities to do some deep research and thinking. We dont hire many of these type of developers as by and large we are looking for programmers who can churn out code in particular areas and we dont have a huge budget for research types. We also look for students who may have won a university medal or graduated with honours first class. Again, we hire vey few of these students, partly because they are very hard to find (try competing with google's base hiring salary offers and you will understand) and its too competitive.

In the end, whatever decision you make, remember - its what you put in it that counts. So if you find yourself in a university course, dont despair ! Focus on developing a mini game on the side, and not just going to lectures! Develop your mini game on engines that are used by industry. If the uni is not focused on competitions, just enter your team on your own. You need the milestone razor sharp focus that a deadline competition provides to harness your teams energy towards a goal, much like we do internally, but its usually motivated in making sure our company gets paid so we get paid !

Best of luck

Finding voice actors for games

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone who could point me in the right director for finding voice actors for games. I'm going to be developing a game that will be fully voiced and I need to know where to start to find voice actors. The voice actors must be based in Victoria. I suppose there are agencies that handle this, and I've also found the Filmnet Messageboard at, which looks like a good place to start. Any advice from people who have had experience in this area would be much appreciated.


Sydney Gaming Education, and Design.

Hey - I am a Year 12 student, and have been attending a few open days for AIE Syd, and Qantm Syd - and it's getting to the point where I'm trying to make a decision pertaining to which I would rather attend (if possible) next year.

I could use some help.
If you have attended either, or are attending either - could you please list some pros and cons?
Note, I am talking about the Sydney branches, so if you did not attend in Syd - please, don't bother :)

And I would like to take the time to ask if you guys could avoid a ridiculous flame war breaking out - all the other topics were ruined, I'd like mine to keep clean and positive.

Similarly, I am looking for a job in game design - yes, I know, I'm sure every new hopeful student would love to do design, and I know it's apparently difficult to get into - but please avoid telling me how cliché I am. I just really like analysing games, and designing systems that could make them better, and even some concepts from time to time.

I am looking for advice on design - and how to increase the chances that I will attain this occupation in the future.
I am thinking of perhaps going for a diploma/degree in programming, so I can get my foot in the door - and working from there.
I am also competing in the AIE's Gameface competition this year - and I will be using the videos in my portfolio.

Thanks for your help, again, please keep this topic flame-free.


Seminar @ UTS Sydney: Ian Bogost talking about "Platform Studies and the Atari Video Computer System"

HCTD Seminar: Platform Studies and the Atari Video Computer System

Who: Ian Bogost, Georgia Tech
When: Thursday, 11 June 2009, 11am
Where: CB10.04.470 (235 Jones Street, UTS, Building 10, Level 4, Room 470)

Videogames are Played on Computers!
Platform Studies and the Atari Video Computer System

The 1977 Atari VCS was the first important home videogame console. It
offered interchangeable cartridges, of which thousands were made
during the console's surprisingly long life. But it was also a weird
computer, fraught with absurd hardware constraints that resulted from
a combination of financial limitations and the imagined purposes of
its creators. Yet, almost immediately, developers devised creative
techniques that used the basic affordances of the machine in
surprising ways, by repurposing memory registers, exploiting in its
custom graphics chip, and building on those techniques over time.

This talk will cover the weird hardware design of the Atari VCS, how
programmers use it, and how the relationship between hardware and
software influenced creativity on the machine—and through its many
popular games, entire conventions and genres of videogaming.

* Trivia:

Ian Bogost appeared on the Colbert Report to talk about his new book
"Persuasive Games". Video and details at Ian's blog:

Ian Bogost is brought to Sydney as a speaker and mentor for
X|Media|Lab "Serious Games" at the Sydney Film Festival, a partnership
with the ABC TV and Screen Australia initiative linking documentary
filmmakers and games developers to produce new modes of factual

* Bio:

Dr. Ian Bogost is a videogame designer, critic, and researcher. He is
Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and
Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing
considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative
practice focuses on games about social and political issues.

Bogost is author of Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame
Criticism (MIT Press 2006), recently listed among “50 books for
everyone in the game industry,” of Persuasive Games: The Expressive
Power of Videogames (MIT Press 2007), and co-author of Racing the
Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. He is a popular writer and
speaker and widely considered an influential thinker and doer in the
videogame industry and research community.

Bogost’s videogames about social and political issues cover topics as
varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum
industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. His games have been
played by millions of people and exhibited internationally at venues
including Laboral Centro de Arte (Madrid), Fournos Centre for Digital
Culture (Athens), Eyebeam Center (New York), Slamdance Guerilla Game
Festival (Park City), the Israeli Center for Digital Art (Holon) and
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne).

Bogost holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and Comparative
Literature from the University of Southern California, and a Masters
and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. He lives in Atlanta
with his wife and two children.

X|Media|Lab on Serious Games

I assume everybody has heard about X|Media|Lab on Serious Games which will be in Sydney on Friday June 12th. Independent registration is $99 and well worth your money.

X|Media|Lab "Serious Games" at the Sydney Film Festival is a partnership with the ABC TV and Screen Australia initiative linking documentary filmmakers and games developers to produce new modes of factual productions: don’t make a documentary, make a game!

X|Media|Lab "Serious Games" Keynote Conference Day:

Hear from the world’s leading “Serious Games” and “Documentary” experts:

* Noah Falstein - President, The Inspiracy (San Francisco)
* Ondi Timoner - Director of Multiple Internationally Award Winning Documentaries DIG! and WE LIVE IN PUBLIC Director/Producer, Interloper Films (Los Angeles)
* Ian Bogost - Founding Partner, Persuasive Games; Associate Professor at Georgia Tech (Atlanta)
* Lee Sheldon - Video Game Writer & Designer; Professor at Indiana University (Indianapolis)
* Michel Mol - Director of Innovation and New Media, Netherlands Public Broadcasting (Amsterdam)
* Joshua Harris - Internet Pioneer, Artist (Los Angeles, Sidamo)
* Courtney Gibson - Executive Head of Content Creation, ABC TV (Sydney)
* Dr. Yusuf Pisan - Assoc. Professor and Director of Games Studio, University of Technology (Sydney)
* Mandy Salomon - Senior Researcher, Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre (Melbourne)
* Stephen Sewell - Multi-award winning Writer (The Boys, The Blind Giant is Dancing); Director (Sydney)
* David Hewitt - Creative Director, Tantalus Interactive (Melbourne)
* Alana Valentine - Multi-award winning Writer (Parramatta Girls, Run Rabbit Run) (Sydney)
* Keren Flavell - Co-Founder, Treet TV (Melbourne)
* David S Vadiveloo - Director, Writer, Producer, Community Prophets (Melbourne)
* Morgan Jaffit - Head, The Impossible Changing Brain Foundation (Brisbane)
* Cath Godfrey - General Manager, Higher Education and Media Divisions
McGraw-Hill Australia/New Zealand (Sydney)
* Robert J. Spencer - Founder, Interzone (Perth)

The Keynote Conference Day will showcase the perspectives of each of the International Mentors and invited Australian industry experts and academic researchers.

Distance or part time education info

Hi all,

I am looking for more info on courses and I wonder if anyone has some advice - I am interested in getting into the video game industry. I currently work as a network admin in Sydney and have a pretty good understanding of programming and have a big passion for gaming.

My employer has given me some options to work less for the rest of the year for a reduced rate of pay. I think it is a great opportunity to get some education, either to fill out my programming knowledge some more, or perhaps even study in a totally different area of game development (Game Design, 2d/3d art or level design). I wouldn't mind being an all rounder in terms of skills.

Can anyone suggest any study that I could undertake in a part time or distance education type capacity? I could feasibly study for one full day per week and additionally night time classes.

I am going through all the links from the Tsumea wiki now, but just thought I’d also reach out here. I only have a few days to decide.

Thanks in advance!

Deakin Uni - Games Design and Development

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

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

What I would like to know is:

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

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

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

Any help is greatly appreciated.

-- Sabre.

Submitted by AppleStrudle on Wed, 24/06/09 - 10:16 PMPermalink

Hey Sabre,

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

Anyway I'll try to answer your questions :)

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

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

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

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


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 26/06/09 - 5:31 PMPermalink

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

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 29/06/09 - 1:20 AMPermalink

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 29/06/09 - 9:53 PMPermalink

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 29/06/09 - 9:54 PMPermalink

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by AppleStrudle on Mon, 29/06/09 - 10:33 PMPermalink

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/06/10 - 2:12 PMPermalink

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 27/06/10 - 5:24 PMPermalink

C++ is a good start.

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/08/10 - 5:00 AMPermalink

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

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

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

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/08/10 - 7:38 PMPermalink

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

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

Year 12 student wanting to get into the games industry

Hi folks,

Since a young age, it's been a dream of mine to work in the video game industry. I spent a great deal of my childhood experimenting with things like film and game creation (starting with point&click games using Powerpoint ;) ), later years involved level editing/fooling around with modding, making record of all my random design thoughts and ideas, reviewing games etc.. (as well as reading a lot of game related media).

While I've spent the last 11 or 12 years telling people I want to design games after school, in reality I don't have any practical game development skills and (most importantly) I have very little idea what sort of courses I should be looking at after I finish the HSC this year.

My interests in games lie in level/gameplay and general design. The thought of doing a standard degree such as computer science at a traditional university has crossed my mind, however programming isn't something I particularly enjoy. Living in NSW, my understanding is that game related education is fairly limited here, and again I'm not sure it's the best idea (and after glancing over the forums here, there seems to be mixed opinions on that issue). Also curious as to the usefulness of doing unrelated degrees, I've been toying with the idea of doing primary teaching.

Really just looking for some general guidance/advice. Sorry if this post is a bit whiney, however I really don't know where else to go for help.

Thanks :)

Submitted by samh on Sat, 23/05/09 - 10:36 AMPermalink

Yeah, the most fun part of making a game is probably that thing of getting an idea and then working it through to completion. Most people want to design games - in fact I'd say that's why 99% of people go into game dev. Problem is, you're not going to be allowed to design games for a company without some serious production experience. Imagine there's a guys who has been working for a company for 7 years as a programmer or an artist and has become a project leader; who is going to get a look in on game design for the next project - the guy who has just come out of a course or the guy with 7 years experience? So, you need to work in the trenches a bit and work your way up to game design.

If you don't like programming then DO NOT do computer science or IT. You'll hate it and fail.

If you like the idea of level design, then go down the art/design path. It's never too late to start developing your skills, so start now. Start making a map. Get Half Life 2 and install the SDK and start making some custom maps. Might be old, but it will give you the idea. Look for mod communities who are looking for level designers and get some practical experience working as part of a team - then you have something you can start showing prospective employers. If you start now then by the time you finish your degree you'll have 4-5 years of experience in level design. You might even pick up some work with a game dev.

Once you start making maps you'll get a better idea of the kinds of skills you need. You'll find anything to do with design that includes a strong digital media/animation/3D component will work well, and will also teach you skills you can use outside of the games industry. Industrial design is one possible option.

Also, try and get work for a game developer. Do anything, just get your foot in the door. If you can just be there you'll learn so much about how game development works you'll get a really good idea what you need to do.

What you do for your HSC is whatever will get you maximum UAI so you get your pick of courses.

Finally, don't become a teacher unless you really really love the idea of teaching. You'll just end up being a bad unhappy teacher who the students don't like and who always wonders if his life would have been different if he'd followed his passion. If you want to be a game dev then go for it 100%.

No one easy path here - you just have to work at it from as many angles as possible until someone gives you a chance.

United States/Europe Tsumea equivalent

Does anybody know of any websites similar to Tusmea, which have an equally reliable and all inclusive source of employment opportunities, in Europe or America?

Submitted by souri on Mon, 23/03/09 - 12:24 AMPermalink

If you're after US and European game jobs, you're spoilt with choices. The two most obvious ones are and, but any general game developer related site around that has a job board would be covering those particular regions.

Very niche sites like tsumea which cover a very specific region on game development are a pretty rare breed. I don't think I've seen many sites around do what we do (I've only spotted one Indonesian site that covers local game dev).

Submitted by designerwatts on Mon, 23/03/09 - 2:02 AMPermalink

If your looking to get in communication with your peers overseas. make a linkedIn account and join some of the game-dev groups. from there you can advertise your folio, resume and make postings.

Additional to this forums like GameDev.Net is a game dev forum that's pretty large and popular. promoting your stuff there will help.

I offer these two examples because it's also what I'm doing. :)


studio-gameOn: watch a game studio in action!

studio-gameOn needs you!
The team - thrown together for only six weeks - are making a casual game called B-MOVIE starring our very own STUNT MAN.

In the game you play the stunt man. You have to do your best work on some very crumby B movie sets, but the better your stunts, the more astounding, the more points you gain and the more movies you get invited to play in .. and who knows, one day you might even build up enough of a reputation to actually play in a block-buster film ..

You can help the stunt man (and the team make the game) by suggesting good (B) movies for him to play in and by suggesting good stunts for him to try in those movies!

Have a look on our forums and join in - help make B-Movie - the game and who knows you might get your name on the credits!

You can follow the game making process by reading the team’s development blogs here on this site. You can see the trials and tribulations of the process by looking at the collection of photos on our flickr site, you can watch bits and pieces of the process on our youtube channel - you can even follow our twitter stream and join our facebook event!

If you are interested in making games, watch and support the team during the whole game making process and get an insight into what it actually means to make games! The studio LIVE link here offers you a webcam of the studio and the team at work.

If you have some skills we are holding some open days where open day applicants are invited to contribute to the studio for the day - can you program, animate? Why not add some studio experience to your portfolio?

Applications for our open days are over on the studio forums. Open days are at the end of January and mid February.

Look for the game presentation at the State Library of Queensland, (Mid February - watch this space) and our studio representative on-site during the week on the second level of the library.

Submitted by Bittman on Wed, 21/01/09 - 10:56 PMPermalink

So far so good. I signed up on the forums and posted a couple of things. If anything, at least it's a unique project to undertake. Wish I was living in Brisbane at the moment...

Submitted by studio-gameOn on Fri, 23/01/09 - 12:01 PMPermalink

Cheers for that, Bittman (P.S, I really like your dp! KH ftw! -okay, fangirl side put away now-). We really appreciate the support.

Yes, surprisingly, this isn't spam. I'm Gemma and I'm working on the Design team and am the studio's sole marketer now. We genuinely are looking for public input, so thanks to everyone who has signed up over there.

You can leave messages here, too. I'll be checking all the major game forums regularly.

Cheers, guys.

~@ G.

Submitted by studio-gameOn on Fri, 30/01/09 - 3:18 PMPermalink

Just a quick update...

We start focus-testing next week: Wednesday-Friday. If you're interesting in doing a spot of free QA for us (we can promise Jelly snakes!), either PM or head over to the studio-gameOn forums and register your interest!

Slightly discouraged.

Hey all, I am new to this forum, and the industry. I started a computer based art and design coarse majoring in 3D design, at university of the sunshine coast last year. I am currently in my 2nd semester and doing well. Well any way back to the point, i downloaded 3ds Max trial, and have been trying to use it. I have watched all the tutorials, and tried online tutorials. Most of my stuff either looks bad, or just doesn't work out. I know its a difficult program, but i really suck at it and its very discouraging. Just wondering if its normal to suck at 3ds max to start off with, or should you have some sort of talent.
Thanks guys.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 21/01/09 - 1:07 AMPermalink

How long have you been modelling for (other than 2 semesters in class)? It usually takes years of practise and a lot of dedication to get really good at this stuff. Keep reading / following those tutorials, submit your work to modelling sites and peers to get feedback and advice, and keep on practising!

Submitted by terrahnahjacitor on Wed, 21/01/09 - 11:24 AMPermalink

Yep, persistence is the key. It's a difficult thing to master; you just have to keep experimenting and get to know what aspect of 3d you're into.

Some people are modellers, some are animators, environment artists and so on. Which path are you most interested in? It's best to pursue one of these paths, and you'll find you'll learn more about the other ones in time.

Submitted by midduke on Wed, 21/01/09 - 1:11 PMPermalink

thanks for the response guys. I actually haven't done any modeling at all. The first semester was just an introduction to design, and we didn't actually do any 3d stuff at all. So you could say i have been modeling for all of about a week now ( downloaded 3ds max last week). I am probably more interested in modeling at the moment, but that could change haha. I have done a few online tutorials the last couple of days and most of them worked out pretty well. I will check out that poopinmymouth site and see what happens. Thanks again guys.


What is the best course to do to be a Game Designer? AIE doesn't have any 'game design' courses.

Submitted by Celeste on Tue, 13/01/09 - 4:38 PMPermalink

Do mods while you are looking around. Games design courses don't come cheap and mistakes are pricey :0
If you can be a designer on a mod or two (maybe even set up your own), perhaps study some Maya, get into an independent game or do a QA gig or two, you may even find you don't need to do a course.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/01/09 - 9:10 AMPermalink

AIE isn't really good for game design unless you also want to do either programming or art. They do a once a week lesson for the first half of the year on design so you learn the basics, and you get to be apart of designing and making a few small games(if you are a programmer) and one large game so it's really good experience, but really the courses are designed for the other two parts of game dev.
Dominic McDonnell
AIE 2008 Graduate

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/01/09 - 10:36 AMPermalink

you'll also find alot of designers started in QA.

I don't often hear about people who went from uni to design.

Submitted by Sabre070 on Wed, 14/01/09 - 11:56 AMPermalink

Yes, I do roleplay. I am currently in 3 games and DM 2 (of DnD). I also make quite a bit of homebrew content, specifically my campaign setting.

I do a little bit of game modding, but not much. I do make maps for most games though.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/01/09 - 5:52 PMPermalink

"I don't often hear about people who went from uni to design."

I did, but I was heavily into the Unreal and Half-Life mod scenes. Get in there, show you can do level design and scripting (don't worry much about art, you won't be doing anything more than whiteboxes once you're in).

There are plenty of editor and design theory articles/tutorials online.

Submitted by Sabre070 on Mon, 19/01/09 - 6:39 PMPermalink

Thats what I want to be doing about now, gets you known and allows you to get to know the company.. There just aren't many opportunities for me to do it yet.

Submitted by Bittman on Tue, 20/01/09 - 2:39 PMPermalink

If there's one piece of advice I've ever seen in more "So you want to be a designer?" topics, it's always "Get a degree".

Since you were looking at AIE, I assume you're of student age and are heading towards uni life. Many designer positions ask for tertiary education of some description, a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Comp Science seem to be the most common.

And then yeah, mods, roleplay, conceptulise, review games, etc. Build a portfolio, it's what I'm doing now whilst trying to get in now that I've finished my course (though I have to wait for May to get my Bachelor piece of paper...freaking UTS!)

Is AIE good to learn computer programming?

OK, this might be the strangest post yet. Here goes. Hello. My first post.

I am a postgraduate [BA in maths from Deakin]. Last year I started messing about with compilers and started for the first time in my 33 years to like programming - no that's wrong - I started to LOVE it. So
I downloaded compilers and started mucking about. In Feb 2008 I also began a Dip of Design offline through Australian College; it is a great course that I am about 1/4 through. So after spending a lot of 2008 as a total lunatic - I read so many things about programming that my brain should have burst - I settled down and found that I really liked one language a lot: Ruby.

Then I started to think "I am learning on my own about programming; what about something like a cert to show for it?" Great Idea! Hmm. Not a lot on offer. I didn't do honours or anything IT as an undergrad so that closed down options. These 5 day courses that cost 4000 bucks? No thanks! I can't do them anyway; I like to learn over a longer period. So I scoured the net up and down dale. TAFE? Lack of specificity: what compiler? what language? I also don't have 2 years to do some course. I am getting old.

Then I find the AIE. What's this? A cert 3 in programming? Looks good! And the visual C++? Already got it on my PC! And 1200 bucks; got that! Better than 18000 for some postgrad uni thing with some weird fee help that I can't understand. Offine too! That's good - means I can get work exp, do my other course etc.

So in a nutshell I want to use the AIE cert 3 as a backdoor method of getting a programming qualification. Yes, I KNOW that it isn't the same as a Dip of IT etc. I KNOW that. That misses the pt. I am teaching myself heaps of stuff as well. I have access to VTC and every free C++ tute on the net. I have bookmarked them all - i told you earlier that I am a lunatic.

Any thoughts? I have filled out the enrolment form. Hope I am not too late. AIE Seems to end apps in Jan. I like game programming, but I will probably never be a games programmer.

Submitted by StephenWade on Sat, 27/12/08 - 12:14 PMPermalink

I guess, you only get out what you put in. Cert III isn't extremely 'high up' the chain of command, so to speak. If you want a good qualification they take time, but as you say you don't feel like spending 2 years or doing post-grad work. It depends what the rest of your resume looks like, you just have to remember that as far as programming jobs go, you have to compete with people who have either experience on their resume or a degree ...

or both :S

If you think you have a good case for employment already, but need a bit of paper to back yourself up maybe a Cert III is a start. I'm not sure how far you can get into programming though at Cert III level i.e. what you'll actually be able to learn.

I'm totally biased, but I'd personally rather do a graduate diploma or part-time honours study and build on the bachelor of maths (this is coming from a guy who is thinking of starting a phd after honours is over)

sorry i don't know much about AIE ...!

Submitted by Lantree on Sun, 28/12/08 - 2:17 PMPermalink

AIE have a good reputation in the industry traditionally. Your BA in Maths will look good anyway when you go for a job application, having the AIE to help boost your programming skills certainly isn't going to look bad.

AIE are more practical, tend to have actual industry based teachers, i.e. most of the teachers are ex-game industry staff.

Sounds like you may like the idea of being a game play scripter, liking ruby etc. i.e. here at infinite we use LUA for all our game play scripting.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/07/10 - 11:02 AMPermalink

no way anything is worse then QANTM, I've seen dancing monkeys with more C++ competency then their programming teacher

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/07/10 - 2:02 PMPermalink

I dont know which Qantm Campus you are talking about but the Brisbane campus is aweasome. They know what they are talking about and stop to help people who dont grasp what they are talking about.

Ive heard bad things about the Sydney Campus but out of the Melbourne ans Brisbane Camps', Brisbane is by far the best

Sydney has alot of focus around Animation and Digital Movies
Melbourne is more about Design
Brisbane is alot more Programming

So the campus you go to makes a difference

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 15/08/10 - 4:46 AMPermalink

I have worked at Micro Forte (its actually two words not one, as we have been told !) and at times we have provided lecturers at the AIE in Canberra. To say that they dont have industry experience is a bit of a stretch, as that what we have help cover. I dont know of any other studio that is still co-located with an educational institution do you? And to call them obscure !! That really sucks. I worked on Fallout while at MF and that is not obscure. Its just that Micro Forte does not focus on doing publisher related work as much as my current employer. Its their choice I guess, but they are not obscure and saying this hurts and is not very fair, given how much they have done for students at the AIE

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/01/11 - 4:32 PMPermalink

AIE Sydney is amazing, i am a recent graduate and Conan has worked on multiple AAA titles, and the second teacher; Mike Timbrell, is about as competent as Conan himself is.
The arts teachers, Epona schweer and Alan Maxwell have both worked on multiple projects, alan on titles as far back as mad max 1+2; And Epona on Happy feet and Animalia to name a few.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/01/11 - 7:08 PMPermalink

Though I am not myself a student [nor was I] I have met both the students and teachers several times over last year during the Beer&Pixel events and must say that I have been positively impressed. Although they probably should have a more unit test oriented approach :P

but seriously, the students were serious and the teachers passionate, not much more to ask for... And just for a last comparison, the direct competition is QANTM and on meeting their teachers I was faced with not only a serious lack of passion for the job but also a worrisome lack of working knowledge when it comes to the actual materials.

All in all, meet the people, learn the right questions to ask and make absolutely sure that the people who are suppose to teach you know and care about their profession.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/01/11 - 12:08 AMPermalink

Some of the teachers have industry exp.

but not all..

i know one of the teachers at Melbourne was an AIE grad from overseas, and had never had a job in the industry.

the senior programming teacher ( atleast between 04 and 08 ) was more interested in her own studies than teaching at the canberra campus, and only had obscure work or contract / indie work exp

AiE Sydney

Hey all, This is my first post here; Although I've been reading around here for ages. I thought you guys might be able to help me out.

I'm sure that most of you know that AiE is opening a new campus in Sydney next year, well I've applied there to complete my Diploma of Game Development (Game Art). I am going for an interview on Friday. My issue is, I want to see if I can apply straight into the second year of the course, but being a new campus I'm unsure if they will be running a second year in the campuses first year. I emailed them asking about applying for the second year and they said that I could do so during the interview, but I am still worried that I might not be able to do the second year.

I want to apply for the second year because I've already completed a Cert IV in 3D animation, but want to move onto something more game orientated. Hopefully, I'm good enough to get into the second year.

Is anybody else in a similar situation to me?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 24/11/08 - 6:56 PMPermalink

Haha, you didn't need to bump it.

I went for my interview.. I was good enough for the second year.. Only issue there aren't enough people to have a second year. (I'm sure I was the only one)

So I encourage anybody to go apply! They only need 5-6 students apparently.. I can imagine being in a small class for this kind of course would be a huge advantage.. Applications are open until January, so anybody interested should go for it!