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Does anyone know what just happened there? Are heaps of people leaving the sydney office?

Submitted by Dogg on Mon, 27/10/08 - 10:33 AMPermalink

speaking of microforte/bigworld saying the real world was flat not upside down in japan programmers were not only programming a videogame sorta like wargames the movie. The sun should have sucked in the earth and the planets with its gravitational pull instead of orbiting sideways. I wonder if kids are going to complain that the videogame is not realistic enough.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 27/10/08 - 9:46 PMPermalink

Microforte is downsizing and focusing on middleware.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 28/10/08 - 4:38 PMPermalink


they have done this in the past. certainly one of the less stable companies you could work for.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/11/08 - 11:20 PMPermalink

Well last time it was because their game got canned by microsoft - what the hell happened now? I thought their tech was teh awesum and every chinese mmo company with 10 dollars to spend loved it.

also is it just me or the CAPTCHA for this site insanely difficult?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/11/08 - 6:29 PMPermalink

From what I've heard about what's going on there, they simply couldn't secure a new project to work on. So most of the dedicated staff on Bigworld are staying, but all the rest have been let go.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/11/08 - 8:48 AMPermalink

Game development in Sydney is over again. Unless you count Team Bondi. lol.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/11/08 - 3:30 PMPermalink

Microforte never were a strong developer of titles -- they always did ok with tech, though, I never bought their BS about their success with Bigworld.

It seems to be the norm with them. Release the odd title, long period in between where they downsize -- usually the staff that they really need to do well.

Anyway, my rant on this is done -- I don't think they are really worth it personally. I'm more interested in other studios. I hear that other studios have either downsized or just had mass migrations of staff off of their projects.

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Year 11 Student looking for Tertiary Education

Hye everyone. As you can no doubt tell, I'm a Year 11 student at High School right now. Basically, I'm really interested in the gaming industry, either as a programmer or animator (I'm pretty good at both). I live South-west Sydney and am wondering what sort of uni's/other sorts of places offer courses that can open up into a career in the games industry that are in or around Sydney (I'm not all that keen on moving to somewhere else)

I've looked at Qantm and seen that they have a Bachelor Course allowing either majoring in Animation or Programming, however, 2 things I'm worried about is: a) A degree from Qantm wont be considered as much as a degree from say, UTS and
b)I'm unsure if Qantm allows for HECS.

If anyone could clear up either of these questions and/or provide info on other places, it'd be great.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/09/08 - 2:30 PMPermalink

Hi Ronnio,

QANTM should be able to offer HECS places next year in Diploma and Advanced Diploma/Degree courses.

There's really two different things here. First, if you're looking to get into the games industry, then going to AIE (who are opening in Sydney soon I believe) or QANTM is the way to go. It's nt just about training - it's about getting access to the industry. Most unis don't have good relationships with the industry, and so will teach you stuff, but you won't get any industry access. Then you graduate and have to get your foot in the door some other way.

Alternatively, if you want a degree, then go to a Uni, get a degree. A degree doesn't get you a job, but it does give you a chance to really get into something, like programming. If you're good enough at things like low-level graphics programming, then you'll find plenty of work.

Another option: see if there's a good uni that gives you credit for completion of a diploma or advanced diploma a QANTM. If so, then don't get a degree from QANTM - get an advanced diploma; then either you'll be working for the industry, or you'll be over it, and you can go on to do another 1-2 years and end up with a degree from a regular uni as well!

My advice, tho - don't follow the career; do what you love and do it brilliantly and the career will follow.

Submitted by Neffy on Mon, 08/09/08 - 5:52 PMPermalink

An option since your in year 11 is to take up a School based new apprenticeship you could look into obtaining one at a local game studio, your paid for your hours and the employer gets money from the government for having you. Id ask your schools careers officer for more information as there's generally only certain career areas that allow it, you might be able to get it under a multimedia certificate.

Generally places like AIE and Quantm are printed out certificate for your money if you want to be taught outside of the mandatory follow this tutorial that comes with 3DS max and wait for the teacher to finish playing a game before he answers your question. I would go to a University. =)

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 08/09/08 - 7:56 PMPermalink

There was a huge thread recently about a guy in the exact same position. is the thread.

Most game companies respect a computer science degree more than a QANTM degree alone. A lot of students go off and do a computer science degree then swap over to doing something like QANTM after that. I would suggest looking into a traditional uni degree first.

The answer in terms of hecs for qantm would be a yes.

The reason is a lot of the "game" specific courses aren't really cutting it in terms of the engineering skills you need in games. At the same token though, the games courses tend to teach you the working in team environments etc, since they get you to work on a games project with other students.

So start off with the uni degree, its going to give you the most amount of credit in terms of getting into the industry then consider doing QANTM after that for the team skills. (Don't let it stop you from applying after you get out of Uni though to prevent having to heft up more HECS from QANTM)

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 08/09/08 - 8:03 PMPermalink

Also don't do Uni degrees that are just about games. Uni's just tend to hack on games to get people in the doors. If you do a computer science course though (this is assuming the programming stream), you can some units relating to games with most of the uni's around the place. Don't go for "Bachelor of Gaming' or something like that unless its with Qantm or the AIE. They don't relate well to what we want in the industry.

Also make games in your spare time, you need a portfolio of games you've been doing to show to your potenial employer. Get used to frameworks like XNA etc and start making simple games. Have fun while doing it :)

Submitted by Robbio on Mon, 08/09/08 - 8:19 PMPermalink

hmm, I've been looking around at different courses, and I've found a few that have a focus on programming, but are there any courses around at uni's in Sydney that are Coomp Sci/equivalent that have animation as a part of it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/09/08 - 8:16 AMPermalink

If you're looking at a University Degree, just make sure it's a respected course and that future possible employers will recognise it.

After that it's down to you, no matter what degree you chose to follow in a programming field, if you can show talent, flair, good grades along with a commitment to working on some extra things (don't expect to just hand in the same courseworks as everyone else in your class and stand out as a good candidate) you'll get on fine.

At the end of the day the degree and good grades will show you can see things through to a good standard and on time. The extra work in either demos, open source projects or working in the mod community is what will set you apart from other applicants when you're looking at getting into the industry.

I graduated from a games technology degree in Scotland, worked at a small company there for 2 and a half years then moved to Melbourne to work for EA so don't let yourself be put off by people putting down any particular course as second rate, just be aware of the consequences of your choices, doing a games degree means you're stuck if that doesn't work out but there are plenty of jobs out there for talented, committed and passionate people so that's only going to happen if your hearts really not in it.

Submitted by StephenWade on Tue, 09/09/08 - 10:33 AMPermalink

Uni's don't hack on games to get people through the door :P Most games degrees are basically rebadged computer science degrees *anyway* with slightly different curricula.

Uni's don't have the money and resources to make a dedicated curriculum of 72 units (or whatever equivalent in other states/unis) to make a whole bunch of 'hack' computer game subjects. They just teach computer science with a few core units replaced with relevant gaming ones.

Of course - some exceptions to that statement applies. Maybe you know of one or two, but I hope you don't think I'm arguing with you for the sake of arguing Lantree :) Hehe

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/09/08 - 9:37 PMPermalink

fortunately most of the programmers from our year are in games job though Neffy, which is nice.

I wouldn't say my time at the AIE was a waste of time. i built good friendships ( read: industry connections ) and I also learned a fair bit about the industry etc, although i do think the course wasn't worth all the money ( about 14k all up for programming ) Especially when you ask for help or whatever and the teacher is too busy working on their own project or playing a game to help. It was great that everyone was willing to help each other though.


note: Those captcha's can be WAAAAY too hard to see sometimes...

Submitted by Lantree on Wed, 10/09/08 - 10:53 PMPermalink

I agree with you actually in terms of the rebadged computer science degree. The only reason why they add the games part to the name of the computer science course is the bums in seats philosophy. Aka why not make them electives and call it "Computer Science" not "Computer Science with Gaming Technology". People get a false expectation that they'll be doing nothing but games in the course, not really the case.

Swinburne do a dual bachelor course, Bachelor of Multimedia and a Bachelor of Technology focusing on game technology. Its focuses mainly on games. The ex-training manager of Krome was one of the guys behind the course. He was one of the senior lecturers at Swinburne and his wife had worked at Melbourne House/Krome for years.

Submitted by Neffy on Thu, 11/09/08 - 12:16 PMPermalink

Yes its good that most people get jobs, I wouldn't put it 100% due to the AIE but more due to there own commitment, passion and hard work. I also agree the friends and connections are the best part of the course and I got to a stage I wouldn't even ask the teachers for help id just ask my mates and theirs something wrong about that to me what if there was no friends to help.

Note: Make an account :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/09/08 - 3:15 PMPermalink

I'll echo that sentiment. It was a very similar deal with my QANTM class.

Game degrees are not totally without merit, but in terms of content they have a long way to go yet if they want to become a qualification respected by employers. I actually took my degree qualification off of my resume and had more success.

I think there was another comment that suggested following a more specialist degree with a games degree or diploma to really increase their employability. That was a pretty awesome suggestion.

Submitted by drewand on Tue, 16/09/08 - 2:53 PMPermalink

Studying at the AIE is not as "printed out certificate for your money" as Neffy is making out.

The teachers for my year are extremely hard working. Making time to answer as many questions as possible when they are asked. More often than not providing more than enough hints so you can find the answer yourself, not spoon feeding answers.

I have found the AIE a good place to study. The team work in the second year of the games Advanced Diploma course is especially good and gives some insight into what it is like to work in a real game development team.

The AIE has been a good place to make industry contacts, mostly I play basketball with them at lunch time.

Well, all in all, AIE pretty decent place to study.

Submitted by Lantree on Tue, 16/09/08 - 3:38 PMPermalink

Expense was the major issue that made me not go towards the AIE back in 2004 when I was wanting to get into the industry. The price has climbed since then and as current they don't have HECS support (although I understand they have applied for HECS for 2009).

Luckily was able to avoid the whole AIE study thing and was able to get in with samples/examples of my own work.

My personal gripe is those who are able to make it through the AIE to get a job, already really have the skills to go off and self learn and get a project together. Aka you need to be a self starter and working on your own stuff constantly.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/09/08 - 9:42 AMPermalink

There is also a big difference between AIE Campuses. At the one i went to ( Canberra ), i had the same issues neffy and Anon where talking about.

But i haven't really heard anything like that come from students of the Melbourne campus ( which for the record looks far more posh )

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/09/08 - 5:32 PMPermalink

I'm currently studying at aie melb, and the only thing they have going for them is contacts, industry and the others in class are great contacts to gain, i must say however if you think its a place to learn your mistaken, i myself and others i've spoken to havent learned anything this year from staff, we swapped from max to maya with very little help adjusting, im sure some would say this a good chance to get used to using different 3d packages that companies use, but im sure most companies would atleast give support. The teachers themselves are nice enough but seem lacking in the teaching side of things.

Submitted by Eve on Thu, 18/09/08 - 3:10 PMPermalink

Hi, for those of you that aren't at AIE, I teach at AIE's Melbourne Campus...

It’s a shame that you feel that way, Anonymous. Our decision to use Maya as the primary software package was driven by the needs of the game development industry, a factor that we did not feel it would be appropriate to ignore. Decisions to change software are not taken lightly, and we adjusted the curriculum as much as possible to compensate for that, with more lead-in time and a smaller number of projects throughout the year.

The teachers at AIE are continually working to improve the curriculum. This year, there have been smaller class sizes and we’ve offered increased opportunities for students to receive very detailed, individualised feedback on their folio work, and, based on students’ preferred career goals in the industry, teachers have given a lot of suggestions and advice about tailoring folios to more appropriately meet those goals.

The internship program has also been more formalised, resulting in increased attention from senior developers, and more chances for students to meet with developers and ask questions about their disciplines and the industry in general, in a friendly, face to face environment.

If you feel that you’re not progressing as you’d like, talk to us! If you feel that you’re not getting to grips with a particular topic, you can ask us. If you feel unhappy for some reason, then let us know and we can work to solve it.

We’re here to help. We like being asked. We want to teach you everything you need to know to succeed in your career. We can give you feedback and direction that will give your folio an edge. And we want you (and all our students) to succeed.

Submitted by stormwind on Mon, 29/09/08 - 10:58 AMPermalink

I'm currently studying programming at the AIE Melbourne Campus. Aside from a few network issues this year, it has been great. The course that I'm in teaches you the fundamentals of making computer games. They provide a lot of advice, and if you need more help all you need to do is ask.

They don't teach you a lot of theory, more practical skills. If you want to learn the why as well as the how you have to do it yourself, which is my problem, but they have provided good advice about how to do that.

To get a really well rounded education I would suggest doing a uni course (the basic degree not the games speciallised ones) first then skip the first year and do the second year at AIE. Though if you apply yourself at uni and try to make games while you are there you'll have the skills already, so you won't need to do the course. I notice a big difference between myself (self taught programmer) and the second year students who have come from uni courses. They have a more thorough knowledge of the theory of programming and understand quicker, but they often haven't used that knowledge much if at all, so they can't program nearly as well as I can. That's what this course offers uni leavers, a chance to practically use what they've learned.

The cost is prohibitive, however it looks like they will be getting HECS this year for 2009, so that will help a lot. And if you just do the second year that helps a lot too.

Hope this helps
Dominic McDonnell

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 31/10/08 - 3:44 PMPermalink

I study at AIE melb. AIE has been possibly one of the worst experience of my life. I was totally pumped up to do this course at the beginning of the year but what I found when I came here was virtually no instruction and a complete lack of vision. There is practically no curriculum to speak of and the teachers I have had have been reasonably helpful, but not nearly skilled enough to teach. This institution suffers from the common misnomer that somebody that is good at a certain topic is also necessarily good enough to teach that topic and it is simply not the case. Being skilled in an area is no garauntee that you are able to impart that knowledge clearly and succinctly to anybody else. This is the worst part I think. It's very frustrating to see your teacher be fully able to solve your problems but be totally unable to show you how or to give you an overview of the process involved or point you to any good recources for the topic. Explanations almost always take the form of "There should be some tutorials on the net you should read"

When the course costs so much and delivers so little I can do nothing but strongly dissuade as many people as possible from taking it.

With regard to Eve's comments above I must say they strike me as being simply false. I know more than one of the teachers here have little to no experience using some of the programs that are relied upon, and when software changes do occur they may not be taken lightly but they are certainly not taken with due consideration as to the ramifications. New software is introduced without teachers having the proper knowledge/training to confidently and efficiently operate it let alone teach how to do so to others.

Additionally a great number of things that are advertised as being taught in the curriculum were simply not. There was no explanation of why this might have happened, and our requests for the teaching of this sort of thing were met with comments such as "we don't have the liscences for that" or "I don't use that much myself" This smacks of both lack of preparation and false advertising.

This might come off a little harsh but it's the honest truth. I just hope that either this place gets it's act together, or others don't get so horribly burnt like I was.

Anon. (for obvious reasons)

Submitted by Arcane_Artist on Tue, 04/11/08 - 12:00 AMPermalink

I am currently studying as an Artist at AIE in Melbourne, and I am beyond grateful for everything that school has provided for me. Forgive me, if this comes off a little blunt, philosophical, and somewhat tangential. But I feel this needs to be said.

When I started in 2007, I was probably at a more advanced level then most, having been working with 3D programs and graphics software for 3 years prior. I didn't think I was going to get anymore out doing this course then I would in my last (that's another story), only a few easier steps into being connected into the industry. But instead of sitting back and coasting through course, I asked the teacher to provide me with extra work if I ever ran into a situation where I could. And they did. Whenever I took the initiative to take it a bit further, I was encouraged and supported in my decision to do so.

Since I've joined there I have done the following (because I took and was given the opportunity)

Attended Master Classes - Because I put my hand up fast

Awarded the Sony Foundation Scholarship for 2007 - because Joe, my teacher, encouraged me to do it. I wasn't going to, but I did, and look what happened.

Nominated for Verve Trainee of the Year in Art and Culture 2008 - because Eve, my second year teacher, sent my work in without me knowing and surprised the hell out of me. Which was awesome.

Wrote a Large MEL Scripted Toolset for the AIE Game Projects - wrote, managed, and maintained, with full encouragement of this responsibility.

Yes, I agree, that transition to Maya was rather bumpy, and yeah... using Gamebryo was even more bumpy with excessive amounts of profanity, and sure, sometimes the teachers didn't quite know what to do, but that didn't stop them from figuring it out with us. Nor did they ignore our problems.

Teachers don't tell us how or what to do, nor are they a Magic Tolem that we can pick up and use to increase our intelligences by +10. They guide us, and give us a better direction in where to go by applying their experiences to your work and giving you better ideas on how to break things down and do things. They don't have all the answers, but they do help you get to them a bit easier. That being said, you need to be paying attention, and also you need to have an open mind, when they do.

But even then, it's still up to you to do what you need to do, and they can only go so far. Take on the responsibilities to learn something yourself, because doing things yourself is vital to self improvement. If you can't do that, then that says nothing about the people teaching you, who have done all the hard work, taught themselves, and have become teachers sharing their experience.

Yes, you are paying quite a bit of money, but that should be nothing compared to the knowledge you will gain by actually talking with and working with teachers or classmates.

Personally, money over self-improvement is bulls@#t.

Metaphor: It's like paying to go on a holiday, and staying in the hotel room the whole time. Then coming home and saying "My holiday was crap!". If you don't take it upon yourself to enjoy where you are by talking to the people there, or actually doing anything more then just sitting around, all you'll have is a bitter taste in your mouth, that only you can taste (and other people in the same situation). Sorry to say, but it's your own fault.

If you don't want to talk about it with the people you have the problems with, then those issues aren't going to be resolved. Like Eve, Joe and Paul have been saying for most of this year, if you don't talk to them about it, they're not going to know about. In the end the only person that's going to be missing out, is you.

Sorry if it's blunt, but you went about it the wrong way. No one else at AIE deserves to be penalized for something that you didn't take upon yourself to fix leaving you with this bitter interpretation.

A bit of preaching: Yes, I'm aware I'm pointing the finger. But I'm doing it to make a point that, if you don't start blaming yourself about the things you learn, you will never take the opportunity to learn things yourself. Instead, you will be too busy blaming others and bitching about something getting nowhere. In the end you'll only end up 2 steps from where you started when you could of been on the roof already.

For anyone considering joining AIE, do. AIE is an awesome place, and the teachers are equally awesome x3. The work environment is friendly, fun and the overall experiences are definitely worth it. Even if you think you know how to create 3D Art or program games, you're still going to walk away with way more knowledge then you did when you began (if you take the initiative to do so).

The only downer is the facilities with occasional network glitches, and an elevator that has a tendency to make a really high pitched noise continuously. But what school's facilities aren't somewhat glitchy? And since when has an elevator not been entitled to making it's own noises?!

Art Student @ AIE Melbourne

Alex Tuckett

P.S. To the Year 11 Student caught up in all this. My advice before making a decision should about what you want to learn, not how much it's going to cost, although sometimes it is a big deal, you shouldn't make it into one. How much the paper costs doesn't mean much either, although the paper does prove that you've done the course, the skills you acquire a far more valuable (cliche). Either way, good luck with your course choices, and sorry for the flaming that was going on.

Submitted by PaulCallaghan on Mon, 10/11/08 - 1:33 PMPermalink

As with Eve's introduction, for those of you who don't know me, I teach 2nd year at AIE Melbourne along with Eve and Joe.

First off, Anon, I'm sorry you've found AIE one of the worst experiences of your life. It's difficult when a student doesn't get what they want out of a course, especially a course that you develop and deliver. However, by voicing your concerns here, anonymously, rather than bringing them to us as teachers it's almost impossible for us to do anything about them. As we've continually said in class, we aren't mind-readers so if you've been having problems, come and see us. If you do that and you're still having trouble, then there are other people here that you can confidentially talk to, including our Head of School.

I would like to address some of your points though.

With regards to their being no curriculum, it can be difficult to see the structure of a course when you're inside it. However, our courses, across both disciplines, are carefully structured to give you the skills you need to get the job you want in the games industry. These skills may not always be apparent, but they are there. I know this because they're the sorts of things I was looking for in juniors when I hired them, and I talk to people in the industry all the time about what we teach, as do Eve & Joe.

To expand on Eve's comments about transitioning to Maya - The 2 main software changes we made this year were the introduction of Maya and Gamebryo. As part of both decisions, I can tell you that neither were made lightly nor were they made without consideration. The transition to Maya was because of the shifting landscape of the industry and the transition to Gamebryo was because of Renderware's shrinking relevance. There is no easy way of making either change, especially in a teaching environment like ours where the demands of each individual student and project is significantly different from year to year. There were bound to be issues come up, and in fact there have been, but our position as teachers has always been to deal with those constructively and proactively, and to trust in our experience & ability that we'll know how to solve whatever might come up. Those are the sorts of skills that I personally want students to leave with - I want them to confident in being able to solve problems on their own and so I do my best to provide a safety net and support, as do Eve & Joe, but we all want you to be prepared for what things will be like after you leave.

Like I said at the start, I'm sorry this has been a bad experience for you, but throughout the year, I and the other teachers have encouraged the whole class to come to us with issues and problems because we know that things that we can't predict will pop up. Anything you say to me, or to anyone else here, will be treated with the utmost professionalism because as Eve said, We're here to help, we like being asked, and we want all of our students to succeed, but we can only do that if we know you're having trouble. It's a 2 way process though, so you will need to come forward.

To the year 11 who started all of this, the best thing to do is to look at the sort of learning experience you're looking for, to speak to all of the institutions, find out how many of them have people teaching who've actually worked in the field you're interested in, try to talk to anyone you can find at local developers and ask them their experience of the students. There's a lot of information out there, so get as much of it as you can and work out what to do based on that.

Paul Callaghan
Senior Programming Teacher, AIE Melbourne

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/11/08 - 12:25 PMPermalink

You got a job out of the AIE Jess. Doesn't that make it worthwhile?

One thing you might want to realise is that by ragging on AIE, the teachers, and other students work (I saw your blog post about the Sumea comp, before you removed it that is) you really aren't doing yourself any favours in relation to keeping contacts and building a positive reputation within the industry.

You should never burn bridges, because you will never know when you might need them again.

Submitted by Neffy on Fri, 14/11/08 - 5:51 PMPermalink

Perhaps I should of taken a page from your book and posted behind an anonymous tag if I was so worried about burning bridges. Thankyou for your advice ill keep it in mind next time I wish to provide a honest yet controversial account of a topic by playing safe and not jeprodising my reputation by associating my screen name with it.

However I am not ashamed of what I said, I do not regret bringing forth a topic which is so healivy disputed and divided apon in this industry. I posted my name because im not affraid to speak and openly support them. This is a trait that has gained me more respect then "burnt bridges" I will not suger coat a realitly to prevent somebodys touchy feelings from being hurt, as I look for and expect that exact same honesty in return.

Whoever you are and whatever wrong doing I may have done to you in the past if i have done such your welcome to bring it up with me privately. Please judge me for my current values and standing within this industry now as I have grown considerably since joining it due to the support of the wonderfull contacts I have gained and maintained.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 17/11/08 - 11:13 PMPermalink

"You should never burn bridges, because you will never know when you might need them again."


Yep it seems that this is the exact reason that people can't really voice their immense frustration in some places. I'm very glad to hear that some people have had very positive experiences with AIE because it means that not everybody feels like they've been totally ripped.

About the staying in your hotel while on vacation analogy; I totally agree that you only get out what you put in, but when you're only getting out the same amount that you'd get out from studying by yourself at home (due to virtually no instruction), I'm not sure what the point of paying all that money is. Asking teachers for help when you need it is brilliant but when they can't or won't or are too busy to help you it's kind of pointless. When this happens on a reasonably regular basis it gets very irritating very quickly.

As for Paul Callaghan's claims that people haven't been raising their concerns this is incorrect. Anonymous feedback forms were given out earlier this year (an action I wholly endorse) and a number of other people that I have discussed this issue with and myself voiced our concerns very frankly and very clearly in our feedback. As a result of that nothing was done.
Additionally the comments about the curriculum being hard to see when you're inside of it are also incorrect. It is in fact plain to see what the curriculum should be when it is spelled out to you at the beginning of the year in a pamphlet detailing the curriculum. It is also plain to see that the curriculum is not being adhered to you when you are not taught the things listed on the curriculum pamphlet. Complaints about this also went completely unheeded.

I'm not trying to cause damage to AIE out of petty spite, (though I'm sure that's how I'm coming accross) but I hate to see institutions abuse the power they have:

Students won't come forward in a non-anonymous way when they know that by doing so they are possibly burning future bridges. Additionally why come forward when anonymous complaints/feedback going completely unheeded makes it perfectly clear that the institution will not fix the problem? As a result educational institutions can continue to harvest young naive students' money and either help them or ignore them as they see fit, with little fear of consequences.

And so people like me who don't want to burn bridges because they love this industry are forced to post anonymously on the internet, sad as that may seem.

Just as an aside I have nothing personally against any of the people at AIE I have found them to be a very nice bunch, I just think they are in desperate need of some organisation/listening/teaching skills.

Submitted by waffleShirt on Tue, 18/11/08 - 10:33 AMPermalink

So like many of us here at the A.I.E I have been watching this thread and I'm starting to find it getting a little out of hand. I'm a second year programming student, and anyone in second year will know me either as Tom Burridge or waffleShirt.

First of all Ill do the obligatory "my experience" part of this post. Much of this might be useless as the problems raised in this thread seem to be entirely from an artists perspective, but someone might find it useful. I came into first year at the AIE straight out of high school and was pretty excited to be finally learning C++ and some real programming skills. I came out of first year with a very strong knowledge of C++ and programming skills that are applicable to games and software development in general, as well as skills related to game design. The year wasn't without issues, we had three different teachers which caused some disruption but the class was hardly affected by it due to efforts made by the school and the teachers. Paul Callaghan committed a lot of his time to make sure the class continued to be taught and all the students were grateful for this.

Second year hasn't been without issues either. This is the first year the school has used Gamebryo for its game engine and as such the students and teachers are learning its pitfalls at the same time. So far there hasn't been a problem that couldn't be worked over from either an art of programming perspective. This has been due to hard work by both students and teachers working together. I personally had some issues during the year related to course content and I raised them in the anonymous feedback forms and at least for us programmers the issues found were raised in class. At this point I expressed my issues and after some discussion everything was fine again. My issue was the course not containing a lot of theoretical depth to it, but thats not what the course is about and I understand that now. With only 3 weeks to go of the couse I'm genuinely disappointed to be leaving the AIE because ive enjoyed the last 2 years so much and now its time to go deal with the real world.

A lot has been mentioned about getting jobs out of courses at the AIE and I am fortunate enough to be in the middle of an internship at Transmission Games. Were it not for efforts spearheaded by the school to get developers to come to the school and pitch their internship and job offers I would have had to go it alone. Though I may not have a job as soon as I leave the AIE I've learned the skills, and arguably the harder part, gotten industry experience, necessary to help me get a job early next year.

The thing thats been bothering me in this thread, and something that I find almost completely devoid of any sense, is the "burning bridges" argument thats been raised recently. To quote the piece I'm having trouble with:

Students won't come forward in a non-anonymous way when they know that by doing so they are possibly burning future bridges. Additionally why come forward when anonymous complaints/feedback going completely unheeded makes it perfectly clear that the institution will not fix the problem? As a result educational institutions can continue to harvest young naive students' money and either help them or ignore them as they see fit, with little fear of consequences.

And so people like me who don't want to burn bridges because they love this industry are forced to post anonymously on the internet, sad as that may seem.

By coming forward in a non anonymous way with your problems I cannot see what "bridges" you'll be burning. Though its now almost too late, had you come forward sooner your problems could have almost certainly been addressed. Yes the anonymous feedback forms may not have worked the way you hoped but thats all the more reason to step up and make sure your problems are known. As Paul Eve and Joe have said on a number of occasions there is little they can do if you don't come forward and voice your concerns directly. As has also been said before, anonymous posting on forums is fickle and unprofessional. I suspect that things have gotten beyond the point of fixable and now this thread is just full of complaints for complaints sake. I recently had a conversation with my lead programmer at work about the size of the Melbourne games development industry. He stated that word of mouth can go a long way down here and if someone is known to not be a good team player they are less likely to be recommended for a job. Though it may sound harsh, if anyone were to find out who you are, Anonymous, you may have just put yourself in this situation. Had you come forward sooner and raised your issues id say that you'd have burnt less bridges and appeared far more professional. And ultimately your issues with the course could have been solved.

If you have any problems with what I have said, post here, or better yet come see me in person. Im in classroom 4 every Monday and Tuesday in front of the window. Im intrigued to find the face behind this almost senseless issue.

To the rest of you at AIE reading this, good luck with the last few weeks of term. And for Year 11 student you've been given good advice by people here. The AIE is expensive but its not impossible to pay the fees and you should definitely check out as many institutions as possible to find what best suits you.

Tom Burridge

Submitted by Arcane_Artist on Sat, 22/11/08 - 1:37 AMPermalink

*sigh* I was really hoping I wouldn't have to post. But... *sigh* v_v

Accepting what is your fault and what isn't are two completely different things that make different people.

The one that accepts that it's their fault can move on, step passed it and improve on it will go further then the person that can't, and continues to hang themselves on an issue they refuse to believe isn't their fault. Although you might say, "well this is something that's past and won't effect me on what I'm doing now", is denial, and it's part of us to continue to do things that way until we pull our head out of our own *ahem*.

Regardless of what you believe, everyone is seeing you as someone who has walked away quite bitter and will defend that belief regardless of what people say. So the reason why I'm replying is to just say, stop, if your one of my classmates, in a class that I considered to be extremely talented, then you should have more sense then dealing with things this way. Your only digging yourself deeper into a personality trait that won't help you, especially when your contradicting yourself. So stop now, save yourself an ulcer, and save a student from having to write a rebuttal. Because it's just getting silly.

Alex Tuckett

BigAnt's Hellboy: The Science of Evil on PSP "More like science of awful"

BigAnt recently released. Hellboy: The Science of Evil on PSP.

IGN (30/100)
"There's simply zero reason to even take a passing look at The Science of Evil."

GameShark (0/100)
"Thankfully, the game is nice and short. I know that when I put thirty bucks down for a game, four hours is right on the money as I have things to do, man. I'm like, important. Unfortunately that's still about three hours and fifty minutes longer than you'd want to play this game, but at least when you're done you can watch the interviews and look at the concept art, and maybe try and figure out how the concept art could look so good, but the game could be so bad."

Pocket Gamer UK (20/100)
"While we certainly weren't expecting The Science of Evil to reinvent the wheel, nothing could have prepared us for this hopeless, shambling mockery of a game. Avoid as if your very soul depends on it."

Highest score (60/100)
"It could have been a contender, but The Science of Evil is merely above average, and leaves a sour reminder that the cynicism we harbor toward licensed games isn’t exclusive to the people playing them. It’s a real shame."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 11:13 AMPermalink

Wasn't that game supposed to come out with the original movie. Talk about running over time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 11:36 AMPermalink


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 11:41 AMPermalink

I can't remember seeing a score of 0 before

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 11:49 AMPermalink

It's not Zero, it's an F whatever that means ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 12:42 PMPermalink

F is for a FUN game

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 5:28 PMPermalink

Before you put us down for Hellboy, check out Sprint Cars, Road to Knoxville for PS2.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 28/08/08 - 5:34 PMPermalink

Where's the constructive criticism, folks? Or is this going to be the norm here, where a few of you just gloat over bad game review scores? Read the responses to this thread, and tell me if this is the quality of conversation people want around here.

Frankly, if I just stumbled onto this thread as a new visitor, I'd think this place was just full of douchebags. Please prove me wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 6:03 PMPermalink

Yeah, your earlier titles were definately much better than the later ones. What happened here, broken down communications with Krome or something, or just bad design?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 7:25 PMPermalink

I'll go first.

I think that companies are doing their best, but are also having some problems. Making good games is hard and the competition is TOUGH!!!!

Australian games are going right onto the shelves next to Half Life2, GTA4, Metal Gear Solid 4. We are side by side with these astonishing software products.

I'm pretty sure its just down to bad processess and poor management. These are usually the reasons titles go bad. The development team itself are usually geniuses and superstars.

I'm speaking from a decade of international and local experience by the way, from delivering multimillion selling AAA content "Max Payne" to embarrasing resume killers like "Jumper"

Management and processes. Let people be creative, but manage them properly. Managing them properly means providing strong leadership so they look up to and be inspired to their best work for you. Listen to them also.

The last step is to get as many people as possible on the team to 'share the vision' Those by the wayside will still be challenged by their allocated tasks, and still enjoy working on them - because there ideas\input have been listened to and respected. The 'team' has shaped the game, and thats a very rewarding feeling when things are done the right way.


Submitted by Adromaw on Sun, 31/08/08 - 10:04 AMPermalink

With the inclusion of Anon posting comes the dread of gutless unfounded herd responses. Even if an online identity can be synonymous to an Anon, it's still an identity to place a post to. Without a unique name or face to place it to those who haven't seen a titles failings first hand will often sing praises of the first review that comes to hand.

I've had mixed experiences with game reviews. For example my personal taste and response to BioShock was different to many that I knew. It took a long time before I tried it personally despite the ravings from fellows and initial reviews. I saw over shoulder the demo, watched a trailer or two and it didn't grab me. Then a later review buried deep in a thick mag seemed to point out all the initial flaws with the game that I wasn't hearing from others. The usual cries of linear this, world not self-interacting enough to support the story that etc etc. Funny enough it was after reading that negative review I decided I had try it out. I knew a work mate who had it and tried it out, I got a little way past the decision to save the little sisters and put it down. There wasn't enough of an immediate difference to anything else I recall doing in other titles and few things making less fun to keep with.

But a few things the bad review gave I didn't actually take notice of at that point which gave me some reprieve from my negative hunch.

Where's the constructive criticism? There is none, because if they are citing a "low score" to not provide some it is clear evidence they haven't played the game to know its flaws to criticise on.

So I agree with you Souri and sadly I fear I may see the term "douchbags" a recurring theme in your posts. ):

I'm sure Bigant will identify the problem this title [Hellboy] had and devise solutions to make more solid market products.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/09/08 - 10:54 AMPermalink

I think with Hell Boy there was little care factor. We just didn't care about this game. Would you ?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/09/08 - 1:46 PMPermalink

Blame some random company. I know lets blame EA! No Wait! Red Tribe.

If you don't put passion into your games they aren't going to succeed and no point blaming some other company.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/09/08 - 1:51 PMPermalink

I've played the game for about 2-3 minutes watching the QA testers at Krome Melbourne. I think hellboy overall just didn't have a fun factor about it. It was all button mashing and the puzzles were simply 'keep hitting this button until the action occurs'.

There were quite a few reasons for this, but I imagine the PSP version just suffered from having to play up to big brother. Shrugs.

Submitted by Bunny on Tue, 02/09/08 - 4:23 PMPermalink

This isn't Yahoo chat, if you've got nothing interesting to say then give it a miss. And hey, if you don't care about your project feel free to bugger off and let someone else have a crack at your job. I know I've worked on worse licenses than Hellboy and still been professional about it.

I can't help but suspect that the problem is it's yet another licensed title. Neither staff nor management seem to be able to get behind licenses anymore. Why, I don't know. It's not like we're too damn cool for them, they're your meat and potatoes when you're trying to get bigger projects. Any license is better than being unemployed. Why this particular license did so badly I don't know, seems odd given the support it was getting (not to mention it's an awesome project). How does it stand up to the 360/PS3 versions? Maybe it was just the combination of license/handheld ennui?

Submitted by Adromaw on Thu, 04/09/08 - 10:35 AMPermalink

Well that is certainly a better response than most of the rest and tells me more about the game. Button mashing does seem to be a big killer these days, an ex-admin at the office went to the QA demonstration for fury and spoke of his button mashing experience to 'victory'. And we know how that one ended up. Players tend to want to feel like they are hitting a button for a specific reason at a specific time. To feel like they have 'skill' to pull something off. If it seems like they can just press the button as fast as they can and look away from the screen and still play; there's little incentive to keep going as they are not engaged. What a player has to do during the gaming journey is pretty significant for a title.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 06/09/08 - 2:16 PMPermalink

I would care about anything I work on, because I take pride in my work. If I can't make myself care then it is time to move on. The way you behave when it is 'not important' is the same way you will behave when it is.

Submitted by mcdrewski on Mon, 08/09/08 - 9:29 AMPermalink

And hey, if you don't care about your project feel free to bugger off and let someone else have a crack at your job. I know I've worked on worse licenses than Hellboy and still been professional about it.

There's the rub. I worked on a title recently where the team was publically panned by it's lead designer for not "caring" about the game, though I will personally vouch for the professional efforts of (almost) every single person on the title.

The stories of computer games being made with the magic and pixie dust of love are just that - stories. This is the games industry, and despite it being full of brilliant and creative people it is after all an industry.

So, to me, being professional is about caring for the end result of your project. Games turn out the shape they do for any number of reasons - and just occasionally those reasons align with the stars and the reviewers to make the game a critical success. In this case, they didn't. Perhaps if the game had been released a year and a bit ago, before god of war etc then people would have thought differently. Perhaps not. Either way, the die is cast - but anyone who doesn't think that the professionals who made the game have taken lessons to their next project doesn't know how the world really works.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 08/09/08 - 2:35 PMPermalink

I'm guessing your talking about Auran. Yeah most people were pretty shocked with the comments the lead designer made, at least with regards to people I've spoken. It wasn't very professional.

Submitted by DaneORoo on Tue, 09/09/08 - 6:53 AMPermalink

Australia just lacks creativity in the games ideas department. All we do is spurt out half loved licensed games and shitty MMOS that no one wants anymore. Australian game companies need to make their own IP. Create a blockbuster, and push to get producing for it. If the games idea and direction is great, has awesome concept art, is feasible and innovative, has something that people will want, the big boys will want to play, and it'll grab a cult following. Microsoft jumped on Halo back in 1999 because they knew it was going to be an outstanding, popular game. Game publishers are always looking for exciting new games, to make money off of. The problem is, Australia hasn't yet made it's debut, so all we are to the rest of the industry is a good place for outsourcing while they're artists do the real work.

It seems the Australian industry doesn't really have much of a love for a games narrative and story, because everyone seems so hard pressed on money these days. Epic Games started out as Tim Sweeny in his mothers basement, with a passion to make games.
id started out as Carmack and his bud Romero breaking into schools, stealing computers for their love and passion.
Bungie, same thing, couple guys who had been writing a great story made it to the big time. Jee, what are the fucking odds?

See, we couldn't even make a simple game like Hellboy good, the rest of the world truly must be laughing at us.

Dane Brennand - Texture Artist

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/09/08 - 9:17 AMPermalink

Your talking about the humble roots of old game studios.

but the game dev time back then was nowhere near as long. the bar was a hell of a lot lower. Yeah, you could make a game like Tim Sweeny in your mum's basement, but it's never gonna be great. not in this day and age.

It's a lot harder these days to make a masterpiece. and the world revolves around money. most aussie companies are just happy to be able to keep people employed, making games. sure, we want them to be awesome games, but we are often so strapped for time by publishers that they don't get a chance to develop into the masterpiece you expect us to make.

Submitted by DaneORoo on Tue, 09/09/08 - 1:15 PMPermalink

No, I was talking about how good ideas flourish, and that Australia right now seems to be devoid of them. Chronology or not, ideas allways pave the way for profit.

All things start from a thought or an idea. If the idea is great, amazing, and is a sure thing, people will follow it.
I've seen community mod teams that gain more spotlight and attention then alot of published games do, because :shock horror: the people make amazing games and create wonderful ideas, that people want to play. Where did Counterstrike and Team Fortress start? Starting a movement and an idea has got nothing to do with money. Money is just the production and post production phase.

I know people who worked on UT mods unpaid, who are now working at places like Streamline and Raven, because they had great talent and ideas.

Like for instance Gearbox Softwares new IP, Borderlands. The game looks awesome, not because of it's UE3 visuals, but because they have developed a really cool idea, and it's an idea thats made me wait in anticipation for it, for me to shell out money to own it. Same with id's Rage. It started out as an idea. Someone would have devloped that idea. Then the publishers would have been shown a pitch, and the game would have been given the go ahead. Then money would have been the issue.

Australia just seems to be used as cheap outsource labor for the big boys. Sure there have been a couple of known titles to ship from australia, but it's never anything groundbreaking.

Dane Brennand - Texture Artist

Publisher Red Mile has taken Sin City development duties away from Transmission Games.

Publisher Red Mile has taken Sin City development duties away from Transmission Games.

An as yet unannounced developer will now be responsible for the title, which Red Mile acquired the rights to in 2007, reports GameSpot, while Transmission Games will focus on the development of combat sim Heroes Over Europe, due in 2009 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Red Mile has yet to reveal much information about its Sin City title, which will make use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 and is reportedly scheduled for release next year on 360, PS3 and Wii.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 11:40 AMPermalink

This happened some time ago though. At least a few months the guys were taken off the project. Why announce it now?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 12:05 PMPermalink

I wonder if the new developer will be picking up the stuff from where they left off.

Reverse engineering code can sometimes be more trouble than its worth.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/08/08 - 4:38 PMPermalink

My understanding is that there were publisher/developer/IP owner issues from day one, and it was only momentum/inertia that stopped the plug being pulled earlier.

So, i doubt there is much of use to pick up from.

Anyway, it takes more than code to make a good game - and while we're on that, given what we know about the basic concept of the Sin City game, they should have been just licensing an engine anyway...

**Not really

Game Connect 2008

Ok, Game Connect: Asia Pacific 2008 up in Brisbane this year. Who here is going? I'll likely be going this year, so would anyone wanna recommend a hotel near the venue for me?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/09/08 - 8:52 PMPermalink

I'll be flying in from NZ, all dependent on guests & networking opps. Not that I can network to save myself, but it'll be good to see employers.

Also interested in some cheap accommodation recommendations.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 18/09/08 - 1:08 AMPermalink

I've been hunting around the hotels around that area, and they're pretty expensive. I don't think I found too many budget hotels, although there are a few backpacker places... and, well, backpacker hostels scare the crap out of me. Some of the reviews for one of the nearest places to the venue that I looked up was fairly concerning. Bed bugs, the smell of urine, noise etc.. :(

I'll let you know what I've settled on.

Submitted by Lantree on Thu, 18/09/08 - 11:33 PMPermalink

Hmm.. I wouldn't mind going, haven't been to GCAP yet. I will only go if work pay for my stay etc though. I think it will mostly be based on budget if I get to go or not.

Submitted by Bittman on Mon, 29/09/08 - 3:49 PMPermalink

Then remembered there were forums!

I'll be going with my awesome student fees, speaking of accomodation I thought the website mentioned there would be discounts in the surrounding areas? If not I'll travel miles out to get in (anyone want to share a cab?) for a cheaper rate. Only going to be 4 days, so I don't need to get a great setup going. LETS ALL BUNK WITH SOURI!

Hoping to actually come out of this with a job/interview/prospects but I'll be happy enough with some contact with the industry. Oh man, only a month to get my portfolio finalised @_@

Submitted by souri on Mon, 20/10/08 - 9:39 PMPermalink

Is anyone having a headache with finding affordable accomodation? It seems like all the best places are getting snapped up pretty quickly as people are heading into Brisbane for the Rugby World Cup and Schoolies week (which starts when GCAP finishes but people want to get in early, I'm guessing).

I tried to book a backpackers place at , but I haven't received a confirmation email yet. I've sent an email to their contact address, but no response from that either. I'll call them up tomorrow, but I'm worried they've pilfered my credit card details :X

Submitted by souri on Wed, 22/10/08 - 7:45 PMPermalink

Ok, I've settled on one of the hotels recommended at the Game Connect accomodation page. I remember I paid about $135 a night at Formule1 in Melbourne, so the price seems pretty reasonable..

Hotel George Williams ***½
317-325 George Street, Brisbane

Queen Room - $140.00
Parking - $15.00
Breakfast - $12.00

Just a 10 minute walk to the conference venue, Hotel George Williams is a prime example of quality affordable accommodation.

I was close to booking at this place:

...but the thought of staying at a backpackers place by myself scares the heeby jeebies out of me. Good prices though.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/10/08 - 10:49 PMPermalink

Base Backpacker's has a club in the bottom of the building, and with very poor sound insulation the noise resonates throughout the entire building (even w/ earplugs). Plus the latest reviews say a great number of the showers are broken & occasionally run cold.

I too am considering staying at that hotel, or maybe the Hilton itself. All the odd jobs in the world aren't going to help how ridiculously fine I'll be cutting it time-wise!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/10/08 - 1:10 AMPermalink

I walked past that back packers when I was living in brisbane every day. I was even glad from the outside with that club noise thumping away I wasn't staying there.

Nice price on the Hote George Williams, I looked at that place earlier and the price was more expensive. Obviously they have dropped the prices.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/11/08 - 2:25 PMPermalink

Also at the George Williams in a Queen Room. Let's party together Souri!

They had single rooms up for $120, but I think they only lasted one day. The moment I clicked them, they said "booked out". I even tried to get the singles on wotif, but they were booked out because of the Rugby Union.

So who's seen the program? I can't decide between design, production and business on the second day. Design sounds up my alley, but some of the other talks sound really interesting.
E.g: Thursday 1410-1510: Design - Bringing deBlob to Reality, Business development - Panel Session Winning the Battle for Talent, Art/Production - Towards a Theory of Everything. I seriously can't pick on this one.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 05/11/08 - 3:15 AMPermalink

Didn't you book the hotel through Game Connect? I sorta thought the $120 rooms would be hard to get once they were available at Wotif, so I guessed the safest route was just to pony up the extra cash for the queen rooms.

I'm quickly looking through the program, and I'm really keen on checking out:

Sculpting for Games: David King - Autodesk
Bringing deBlob to Reality: Nick Hagger & Terry Lane, Blue Tongue Entertainment (THQ )
Panel Session: The Brass Tacks of Game Design: Beyond the Big Idea: David Hewitt, Tantalus, Jared Pearson, Pandemic & Luis Gigliotti, THQ Studio Australia
How to Loose Your Team in 10 Steps: Andrew James, Ed Orman, Martin Slater, Penny Sweetser, 2K Australia
Heroes of the Next Generation: Matt Delbosc, Transmission Games

There are a few sessions which run at the same time as some of the above which I would love to be at. Namely:

Panel Session - Winning the Battle for Talent Chair: Mike Fegan, Transmission Games Panel: David Smith, Interactive Selection, Riges Younan, 2Vouch & Celeste Aguado, Tantalus
Game Industry Trends Worldwide: Mary-Beth Haggerty, Autodesk
An Innovator's Perspective - The Future of Online Gaming: John De Margheriti, Big World

I'll be recording as much as I can, and just like our effort last year, I'm gonna be pretty damn exhausted by the end of it all!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 18/11/08 - 1:16 AMPermalink

I don't see any reason to's gotten extremely expensive, there aren't any outstanding speakers that I'd be interested in seeing, and it's all being held in another state (I'm in Melbourne). Also the organizers this year seem to be lacking in energy.

It's become too much of a hassle to attend it when it's across the country. Maybe next year...but then again, who knows. Let's just hope they'll pick up their game (PUN IN YOUR FACE! :P).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/11/08 - 10:31 AMPermalink

I'm from another country and I see plenty of value in going! So much so that I put down money for a return airfare and am enjoying the hospitality of Brisbane already!

Outstanding speakers there are, lacking in energy they are not! All this speculation is just that, opinions are a dime a dozen! But boy do I need to find a fan, and in a hurry.

Submitted by Bittman on Thu, 11/12/08 - 11:14 AMPermalink

Just wanted to say that it was an awesome experience. Didn't feel it was overpriced, a lot of great speakers, enough food and drink to keep me happy and just a great atmosphere altogether.

I spoke to someone who had been to the last 3, said this was one of the better ones especially as he found the last couple severely lacking by comparison.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 18/12/08 - 2:53 PMPermalink

Just an update on the Game Connect 2008 footage which I captured. I was planning to start encoding everything as soon as I came back from holidays, but since youTube have gone widescreen, I'm mucking around with encoding and uploading in high definition to try and get it right before I upload any new files.

I've finally got a small sample video to work in high def, but holy crap, the file sizes are huge. The previous 10 minute high quality files I've uploaded were around 50 megabytes each, but these high def ones are nearing a gigabyte! I may just encode and upload high quality widescreen instead, I've just got to figure out what dimensions they accept. In any case, you should be starting to upload the new Game Connect footage sometime after the new year.

Games Industry Future - Involves Tasmania?

I know this might sound VERY stupid to a lot of you devs on the mainland but I am very keen on getting into the Australian games industry and my only real concern is this:

-Will there be any sort of Video Game Industry in Tasmania within the next decade?

I'm only sixteen but I have absolutely no idea what else I want to do apart from make games.
I am very good at science and quite good at maths, I also have artistic ability and I am planning to go to uni. I live in Hobart and would like to stay here because I like the lifestyle. I know there are people who live here with an interest in the industry but the hard part is getting a company together that is actually capable of developing a game. I am mostly interested in developing PC games.

If you have heard anything about Tassie or have any suggestions for me, could you please reply.

Submitted by StephenWade on Fri, 15/08/08 - 8:11 PMPermalink

Just having a quick look on this website (you could try google as well)

Two Headed Software


Sidereal entertainment

seems like slim pickings really as far as tassie goes. However consider that it's the same in any smaller town/city. Adelaide has only limited options (in my view) and most of the bigger business is in the eastern states.


\as with anything, it's more likely that what you are personally willing to put in that will limit your options and your future, rather than your location or the abundance of 'options'. In some ways, you are at an advantage because you don't have 3-4 million people around, of which some percent will be in direct competition with you for work!

Submitted by souri on Mon, 18/08/08 - 3:57 PMPermalink

Two Headed Software have been around for ages - I remember entering them in our developers list when Sumea first started. Sadly, I don't think their website has been updated since 2002 or so, and I'm not sure if they're been active for a long time. I've tried emailing them about various things over the years and have not received any response.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/08/08 - 8:09 PMPermalink

It appears that Tas Uni are opening up two Computer Science degrees majoring in Games Design and Games Programming for next year. That looks like the way to go. After uni I might even start my own company with other developers doing those degrees, I'll see what comes along. I tried emailing two headed software but it bounced, I think the email address is inactive. If you guys have some advice for getting into the industry it would be great, also, what sort of courses to take at College, Uni or even stuff at home. Thanks.

Submitted by StephenWade on Tue, 19/08/08 - 8:01 PMPermalink

Definitely head to university if you can! Getting a qualification that is recognised is important and you can learn a lot. However in the first couple of years, don't expect to be overwhelmed by knowledge so much as what seems like a 'boring' workload. It is a bit of a slog.

Having a game programming degree is awesome, by comparison the university of adelaide only just recently added a computer graphics degree this year ( i think ). I think the word 'games' makes some academics start to feel light headed, it's not yet established as a serious enough 'science' to register on their radars sometimes. Shame

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/08/08 - 9:39 PMPermalink

I have a lot of hands-on experience with recruitment for games and I would strongly advise you to do a "hard" degree such as Engineering, or at least ensure that the course you are considering includes a lot of high level 3D maths etc rather than broadly covering a range of subjecs without much depth in any of them. I'm not familiar with the Tas Uni degrees but a lot of the "games flavoured" courses just aren't cutting it. People are sold on spending a lot of time and money on these courses and aren't leaving with the skills they need to get a job, let alone start a company on their own. Also, if you are passionate about making games then spend every moment you can working on your individual demos (not shared Uni ones - it's hard for a potential employer to judge your contribution to a group project). If you do end up looking for a job, and you have top uni results and an impressive demo, you'll get snapped up even with no commercial experience. Finally, seek out people who will give you constructive criticism - with students becoming paying consumers, this is the most valuable thing you can do. The sad reality is that many students are continuously told how awesome they are by their parents, teachers and peers, regardless of their actual performance. Praise is good for your ego, criticism is good for your career ;)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 7:14 PMPermalink

Yeah, thanks. I am definitely heading to Uni and am planning on doing some sort of computer science. I am fairly good at maths, in the top class at high school and doing maths extended. Next year doing pre-tertiary maths and Game design/programming. I think if I stick with maths, physics, programming, etc I should be right for Uni. The good thing about the new UTas courses is that it is still computer science course, but majoring in either Games Programming or Game Design. That means I can choose more design sort of stuff or more hardcore programming, which is probably more useful anyway. Even if I can't get into the industry straight away, I can sit on that knowledge for a bit until something comes up, the course outline said that there is still enough non-game related stuff to do any IT related career. I can understand your logic in saying that doing my own personal demos will help get into the industry. Thanks again for your help :D

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/08/08 - 10:17 AMPermalink

Just be warned a lot of the major uni's are tacking on a few "game" courses just to get the students in. Games is a bit of a guaranteed way of getting students in through the door at the moment. A lot of them are doing what the previous poster mentioned, just tacking on a couple game subjects on the existing computer science degree.

Only disadvantage is I doubt the lecturers have any real games experience but like you said its computer science which counts more than the "games" part to games companies.

Submitted by StephenWade on Fri, 22/08/08 - 5:21 PMPermalink

yep - i agree. programs/courses at uni that are in their infancy always have teething problems. That doesn't mean they should be avoided though! It's an awesome step forward that these majors/programs are now being included ... why ...? It means that there will be more research going in to the games industry, more papers, more knowledge.

Any industry will benefit from academic involvement (regardless of the perception that academics exist in something other than the 'real world') because of the ability of researchers to look in areas of a subject that the industry side won't look over. These are often the areas that don't fit the current market.

Anyway - i digress - back to work for me !

Submitted by Johnn on Fri, 22/08/08 - 7:37 PMPermalink

interesting comments by 'anonymous' (Tue, 19/08/2008 - 10:09pm.) regarding types of courses to go for. The games (& visual effects) industry has such highly skilled specialist areas I guess I shouldn't be surprised to read that they look for hard-core 'niche specialists' when recruiting.

regarding your initial post Shindig, I think there are some animation studio(s) down there doing 3D stuff that might be worth researching - not games but lots of overlap with technical roles/knowledge.

Submitted by StephenWade on Sat, 23/08/08 - 12:36 AMPermalink

I disagree somewhat,

a) most university degrees aren't going to give you the skills to go out and start a company on your own. Any engineer, lawyer, scientist, economist and accountant has to start in a junior position somewhere. Why should there be any expectation a computing degree will provide this (for games or otherwise)?

b) doing a 'hard' degree is a good idea, but doing a 'relevant' degree is even better. This is not always going to be the 'hardest' degree. I don't think the perceived difficulty of a degree is a good measure of value (most good employers know this).

... double degrees are a minefield, there are plenty of engineering students doing a double degree with computer science who have such a limited ability in the programming field (and/or mathematics) simply because the computer science component of their degree is then considered 'secondary' (when it is should NEVER be treated so trivially!).

c) (quick check of the program details) allows for non-computing electives inside the bachelor of computing, so that would mean the option of studying maths. Almost every computing degree allows this. Choosing subjects that lack depth is the student prerogative.

d) University isn't all about getting skills to do *a* job. University goes some of the way to doing this, but a large portion of it is about realising how little you know about some subjects, and developing the ability to learn the material quickly and start mastering it.

... after three or so years of university, the change in the way students operate is significant from first year - this is obviously partly because of the age. It's also due to the development of independent learning ability.

... most lecturers are not universal praise-givers. I know this from experience. If anyoneis looking for constructive criticism, most University's will supply this in spades.

I do agree with you, though, about working hard! Genius is 99% hard work, and I guess that's a synonym for 'success'.

Submitted by compactjerry on Sat, 23/08/08 - 10:21 AMPermalink

Couldn't agree more

It is definitely good to see these courses popping up. They are getting better by the year too, so if you can find one that has been around for a few years it should be worth a real look in.

Having said that though the course I did was in its first year when I started it and the company I work at at the moment has 4 other students from my degree working there also.

Submitted by StephenWade on Mon, 25/08/08 - 9:24 PMPermalink

There's some potential games application in what I'm researching - I'll probably be able to showcase a bit more next year, but I don't want to speak too soon. It's a long slog, and I'm burning myself out as it is !

Mathematics is awesome if you can get your head around it, but I am not a brilliant programmer. Two slightly different disciplines .... and I guess there's only so much room in one brain.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 31/08/08 - 6:20 PMPermalink

Some ideas for ShinDig (I personally know him, but seek peer review on these ideas):

I believe he is more interested in an algebra stream than a calculus stream into games development (I am aware he plans to do Maths Applied 5C (pre-tertiary) at College). Here are a few courses I note at UTAS that would suit this stream:

Discrete Mathematics with Applications 1 (first-year)
Algebra and Applications 2 (second-year)
Algebra and Applications 3 (third-year)
Topics in Advanced Mathematics (third-year)

Discrete Mathematics is able to be studied with the successful completion of pre-tertiary Maths Applied, and so this path can be accomplished without the requirement of studying tertiary-level calculus.

There are also courses based on Linear Algebra, however with the requirement of studying the Calculus courses in first-year:

Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and Applications 2 (second-year)

For any of you interested in looking at the University courses, head over to
For the College courses, head to and head to the TCE section.

My suggestion to ShinDig would have been to study the straight Computer Science degree (Batchelor of Computing at UTAS) and incorporate all the mathematics he can into his degree. This would allow for him, based on his academic achievement, to head into an Honours/Masters course if he is willing, where I suggested he specialise in Game Development at this level (if this is possible at UTAS). Perhaps he could develop a portfolio in his own time to seek employment in the games industry after a few years or more in a general programming role.

An interesting third-year unit (might be applicable as I am not sure about pre-requisites) is the Physics Simulation unit. This would allow ShinDig to utilise the mathematics he has learnt through his degree with some physics concepts and advanced programming.

It is possible ShinDig could study the calculus at UTAS if he chooses to enrol in the Mathematics Foundation Program, a short course to give you the equivalent of Maths Methods 5C (the second-highest mathematics course at college, focused on pure mathematics) - however this is open to comment. What benefit would he have studying calculus over abstract algebra (as outlined on the UTAS website)? He has aptitude in problem solving, but does not enjoy dealing with formulae as much, as far as I know.

It is important, I realise, that Linear Algebra be studied for Computer Science, but would the UTAS courses in abstract algebra be appropriate for ShinDig to teach himself Linear Algebra, if he doesn't go down the Calculus route?

ShinDig will be studying Physical Sciences 5C at College which, unfortunately does not meet the requirement for first-year Physics. I am a budding physicist myself, but for Computer Science, how important is the Physics? If it comes to Maths vs Physics, which should he take? I would be more inclined to say Maths, as good skills in Mathematics are required in Computer Science related jobs. However, I am willing for this to be challenged.

I am sorry for the list of questions, but I value your time in reading my post. Any answers would be appreciated.

Davin (Ulagatin)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/09/08 - 12:50 AMPermalink

No one has realy answered the question if he wants to be a programmer or not. I am currently a computer game programmer working in engine development (so low level technical stuff) so I am going to presume he wants to get into programming at this stage.

In terms of the course. I would suggest the computer science direction sounds reasonable. In terms of the mathematics, its good to have a mathematical standing, but in some ways your over complicating things. At the moment most companies want you to have a understanding of basic 3d mathematics, matrix math, vector math mostly linear algebra. Most of the mathematics we use in computer games you can pick up in the high school level.

If ShinDig enjoys mathematics though, I would suggest that route you suggesting and packing in quite a few extra math units.

Physics can be important, you have physics programmers typically who understand the art of physics and how to apply it in terms of computer science. You tend to cheat a lot, since a lot of "proper" physics models tend to make your pc crawl.

Biggest advice I can give, is make games in your spare time. Have fun doing it. Buid up a portfolio. Uni is only part of the answer, having enough interest in your own spare time to make fun and appealing games is the big part of the equation. That is what most games companies are looking for, example of full functioning games. Look into XNA and technologies like that. Get involved in competitions. That is going to priceless when it comes to getting your foot in the door.

Submitted by Lantree on Mon, 01/09/08 - 1:10 AMPermalink

BTW I think Tassie is out for games development. At least professional studio.

Problem is getting staff, most Australian studios are struggling for experienced staff. They are often trying to get people from overseas. You can promote Brisbane and Melbourne pretty easily. Tasmania would be hard to get people from overseas into as much as I love tassie.

A few of my mates in the industry are from tassie originally and came to Melbourne to get into the industry etc.

BTW ShinDig if you want any advice from someone working in the industry, I've left you contact details in a Private Message.

Submitted by Ulagatin on Mon, 01/09/08 - 1:49 PMPermalink

You say that most of the mathematics can be picked up at high school level - does this mean that it is comprehensible for someone in Year 11/12 or that it is generally studied at this level? I think going down that route at Uni with maths would be a significant advantage for computer science, wouldn't it? Shows employers he is good at problem solving and can think both laterally and logically. Yes, I think his initial direction is the programming side, and then he can move into game design (as he later plans to, as far as I know).

Unfortunately matrices and linear algebra are only covered in the Maths Specialised 5C course at College, which I personally intend on taking, however ShinDig does not. So this would mean studying Mathematics at University, which would also assist with his Computer Science study.

You suggest my route if ShinDig enjoys mathematics - the algebra stream or the calculus stream?

I agree that a portfolio is essential for him, which he could certainly work on once he gets employment out of Uni as a programmer (most likely a general programmer initially). Thanks for your advice to ShinDig.

Budding Physicist and Passionate about Computer Science!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/09/08 - 3:51 PMPermalink

I'd say computer science is essentially to secure a job in the games industry. I know when I'm looking at candidates I tend to look at their portfolio combined with the computer science degree. I generally won't let anyone in the door without a portfolio though to show their passion.

Portfolio is essential.

Bit odd that they don't teach linear algebra in a computer science degree. Used throughout computer science. He can look at, they offer a engineering mathematics unit which he can then apply for credit for. It includes linear/calculus mathematics, so good broad set of knowledge. Discrete mathematics as well would be useful, teaches the mathematics used from a computing perspective.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/09/08 - 3:53 PMPermalink

BTW just for clarification, open uni is just a group of uni's offering degrees through one name.

Monash Uni provide the Engineering Mathematics (big name in IT) and RMIT offer Discrete Mathematics.

Generally you can use these units that you study with open uni as direct credit in your university degree. Almost all universities in Australia will accept them for credit. Check with your uni though.

Submitted by Ulagatin on Mon, 01/09/08 - 6:38 PMPermalink

Yes, UTAS doesn't teach Linear Algebra in the Computer Science degree, however there is a mathematics unit entitled "Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and Applications" that they provide, obviously requiring some experience with calculus.

For ShinDig to engage in a calculus-orientated stream, he would need to do the Mathematics Foundation Unit that UTAS provide,as the Maths Applied 5C course he is doing at College does not give the pre-requisites for the study of calculus at university.

He could study Maths Methods 5C instead, to allow him to study the calculus, however I don't believe he is interested in doing this. If I am wrong, I will let ShinDig correct me. Any comments are welcome.

Budding Physicist and Passionate about Computer Science!

Submitted by mcdrewski on Tue, 02/09/08 - 9:21 AMPermalink

Good comments, although I think the term "hard" degree was not about difficulty, but about formal theoretical training versus vocational experience. Formal maths training gives you skills you never really acknowledge until the day someone asks you to do something tricky.

In my personal experience doing a double degree (BE - Electronic and Eletrical Systems / BInfTech - Software Engineering), the IT component was absolutely the 'secondary' part of the course, even though we were doing the same subjects as straight IT students.

I recall spending around 20 hours on a 3% course component for engineering in the same week we had a 5-min 10% course component multiple choice quiz for IT. Oh, and that was 10% of 12 credit points vs 3% of 8 credit points.

Engineering was just that much more difficult.

So, glasses of 20/20 aside, something formal and/or traditional which lets you elect, or research, or expand into the specifics of game/graphics/interactive programming would be my advice.

Submitted by StephenWade on Wed, 03/09/08 - 2:39 PMPermalink

It would be advantageous to study mathematics at as high-a-level as possible whilst still being able to maintain the rest of the workload at high school/university. Looking for the 'bare minimum' mathematics is not necessarily a good idea, I think it's better to think about learning as much as you can whilst you are at university etc - because you really will have limited time to catch up this knowledge once you are 'outside' !

Submitted by Lantree on Wed, 03/09/08 - 3:44 PMPermalink

Potentially true.

I know a few employers give math coaching though just to help out staff.

For myself, I'm working on a engine team and my math skills aren't to the level I'd want them to be at. I'm taking the open uni course just to booster them a little, both the discrete and engineering mathematics.

That being said, I still say people here are over complicating the mathematics elements. From a game development company point of view they'll check the boxes:
* Computer Science Degree
* Knows how to program, programming test.
* Samples in own time
* Easy going personality
* Loves games

Submitted by Ulagatin on Thu, 04/09/08 - 4:42 PMPermalink

Hi Stephen,

I think I agree with you - high level mathematics (at least applied or applicable mathematics) is important. I note on your profile, you are studying for an honours degree in applied mathematics. Congratulations! I certainly respect mathematics graduates, as I believe it to be of 'intellectual nobility' to study mathematics at a high level. Slightly offtopic, but may I ask what drew you to studying honours level maths? I'm very interested in theoretical physics, and find that I hear more people pursuing applied maths than theoretical physics, despite the fields being quite linked. There will be bias no doubt - I prefer physics concepts by quite a long shot, whereas you probably enjoy the maths much more. I need to work on my mathematics considerably, as I am studying the pre-tertiary Maths Methods course next year, and potentially Maths Specialised (pre-tertiary) the following year.

May I ask your suggestions for mathematics for ShinDig, provided he wants to keep his options open... for example, postgraduate study, research/development in AI, 3D Graphics and Animation, Modelling and Games Programming etc. My idea was to start with discrete mathematics and proceed with abstract algebra, until the 3rd year and then commence study in the "topics in advanced mathematics" course provided by UTAS - this involves study in algebraic/differential geometry (dependant on previous study of course - and in this case, it would be algebraic), topology and some other interesting bits and pieces such as combinatorics and cryptography, even the history of mathematics.

For those of you saying that this a large amount of maths for ShinDig to do in the degree, it is only 12.5% of 100% maths in the first year, and the same in the second year, and 25% in third year, and so in total, this translates to 16.67% of the entire degree (3yrs, exc. honours) being maths courses - not a significant amount. This would also support him in the Physics Simulation course offered in 3rd year, based upon the Games Technology major, however I agree with most people in regards to doing a straight computer science degree rather than specialising, until later on.

Budding Physicist and Passionate about Computer Science!

Submitted by Lantree on Thu, 04/09/08 - 10:48 PMPermalink

Reason why I say this, I have seen many people who go into the mathematical field of study but are hopeless programmers. Mathematics is important and not saying not do any, but computer science isn't exclusively about mathematics but giving you a broad base of knowledge in all areas of computing and thats what desirable in the IT field and in the games industry.

Submitted by StephenWade on Thu, 04/09/08 - 11:21 PMPermalink

Mmm - I should have stated clearly that I meant double degrees can go either way. It varies SO much from university to university, from degree to degree, even student to student, it's impossible to tell if you will get the training you want in both disciplines. To obfuscate the matter further, IT/Software Engineering/Computer Science can all be HUGELY different within one university. Gah !

Submitted by StephenWade on Thu, 04/09/08 - 11:31 PMPermalink

Aside : pm sent to ulagatin

Yep, a lot of people not in a programming field are hopeless programmers :P Your point is very valid though. In spite of what I am about to say - games programming means you have to be a programmer (not necessarily a mathematician).


I *honestly, truly, believe* that the games industry is sorely LACKING in people with really strong mathematical background in order to push technology forward.


Problem is that is hard though to find people who have studied and/or worked as a programmer who also have a high (i.e. postgraduate) level of mathematical knowledge. And if these ppl do exist - they end up in other industries that pay better :S

Submitted by Lantree on Fri, 05/09/08 - 12:25 AMPermalink

Yep, this thread is about a guy wanting to get into games programming not games mathematics, which is why i mentioned that there are quite a few matheticians that are bad programmers. I can imagine quite a few programmers are bad matheticians as well but it was in the context of the discussion.

The games field does take note of academics though generally.

Have you heard of siggraph btw. Similar sort of thing, people come up with academic papers on how to achieve something. A lot of it far out there that can't work. Then 5 years later the hardware catches up and looking through the old siggraph papers you find gems.

BTW if ShinDig makes sure he does discrete mathematics and linear algebra in a computer science course, that is basically what the games industry needs at the end of the day btw.

BTW we need computer science academics as well in the games industry. A example, we are suddenly probably going to be having something around 80 cpu cores on our hardware soon in the future. No-one is quite sure ow to scale our applications to use these cores, we know our current methodoligies don't work very well. How do you write scalable programs. These sort of things we'd love academics to solve (and btw Microsoft Research have some very nice projects in this regard, looked at the Parallel FX library lately :) Muhaha, for C# sure but some nice ideas there :)

I believe mathematics is part of a broad set of skills.

Reason is if you take a traditional physics model and put it into a game the game won't work very well.

Modelling a true vehicle physics, with every variable, in a dynamic real time updated environment it just won't work fast. You need to know how to simulate a lot of values and what feels right.

Simple examples, did you know the square root operation in hardware is quite slow. Did you know you tend to wait until you done other operations and apply that operation last. Did you know multiplication is faster than division in hardware. Do you know how to reduce the instructions taken on the cpu of a mathematical operation. These things I've mentioned are less of a issue with modern hardware but its still important to note.

Submitted by StephenWade on Fri, 05/09/08 - 1:50 AMPermalink

Oh god this thread is ballooning ! Yes, there are people in other professions who are required to program who are not good at programming. Singling out mathematics might be an attempt to dissuade study of mathematics, or it might not be.

Originally I said study as high-a-level mathematics as you can whilst maintaining the rest of the workload (i.e. computer science subjects). It's always a compromise, you have limited time at uni, you can't always take the time to learn both. I think I'll stand by this, with acknowledgement that - yes - the bare minimum is probably some discrete maths and linear algebra.

Here's some food for thought, though !

Looking from a computer science point of view. As you state, at the end of the day it'd be great if programmers had an understanding the basic concept of pipelining instructions, using the memory heirarchy efficiently (cache-ing), coping with modern data size (lowest possible order algorithms), the emerging issue of programming with data parallelism and multi-threading. Add to the mix you have project management issues, platform dependency and countless knows what software engineering issues that I simply am *not* yet aware of.

Worse still we are getting faster and faster CPUs (and more of em) and slower and slower software, and data that expands to the space available.

Consider the mathematical side - there are considerations of floating point round-off i.e. subtractive cancellation (or additive cancellation), stability of numerical methods, order of accuracy of approximations, discretisation error, aliasing/filtering issues in ALL sampling (stored textures, MIPMAPs, screen output).

It's scaring me to list some of these considerations !

Teaching both mathematical and computer science oriented considerations successfully isn't easy. I think it's mostly up to the student to push themselves to achieve a good broad understanding of both fields.

Learning how to cope with the different styles the fields are taught in is something I did *not* master either, as I switched from initially studying a computer science course to an applied mathematics major.

Anyway - enough from me ... I have to be up in 5 hours to do more research. Ahh the student life !

EVENT : PERTH : Nullarbor Bakery Party

Nullarbor Bakery Party

The best of WA's indie game talent will be on show at the Bakery.
The Nullarbor independent game developers competition ( is coming to a close for 2008 and, in conjunction with gamejam, we’re getting together to send it off in fine form.

This is a party in two parts:

Developers' Old School Demoparty
* Friday, August 15 @ 7pm
Get together with your crew and put those finishing touches on your game. Party, socialise, and play.

Nullarbor Finals, Come on Down!
* Saturday, August 16 @ 7pm
See the finished games and vote for your favourites!

Entry is FREE!
Location: The Bakery, 233 James Street, Northbridge
Demoparty: Friday, August 15 to Saturday August 16. From 7pm to 7pm.
Rock up when you will, but be early for the good spots.
Presentation and Competition: Saturday, August 16, from 7pm to 9pm
As this is a licensed venue this is an 18+ event

Step One: Developers' Old School Demoparty
Friday to Saturday 7 'til 7

We start with some old-school demoscene action, gathering together everyone with a project to finish, to cram in last minute code, meet face-to-face with the members of your team, socialise, and, of course, party.
When we say old school, we mean it. You bring the computers we'll bring the LAN gear ... after you’re set up - the party runs 24 hours - from 7pm Friday to 7pm Saturday. The bar closes at 2am, but reopens at 10, so at least you’ll have some time to write code sober, if not well rested. We’ll make sure coffee is on hand, and we’ll spring for some late-night pizza.
Trade jokes, trade secrets, experience and know how. Make friends and squeeze every last drop out of your entries. Old school style.
The Nullarbor is more than a game design competition, it is a demoscene party, and we’re going make sure everyone knows it.
If you are a local with game development skills, or if you are a creative type who would just like to get involved, check out the gamejam website at

Join the Jam!
Teams are still being formed, projects are springing up and there's always room for artists and musicians, especially if you have Photoshop or 3D Studio skills. Code jockeys are in demand where they have a creative bent and a caffeine habit. Get on board!
Who knows? You might win something. You’ll definitely have fun.

To recap, we’ll have:
* A 24-hour demoscene party
* Music
* Drink
* LAN gear (including tables and chairs)
* Snacks
* Coffee on hand
* Free pizza for the stayers
* Fun

Step Two: Nullarbor Competition - Come One, Come All!
Saturday 7 'til 9

Anyone with an interest in digital art and seeing what Perth has to offer should come along, have a look and vote for their favourite game. See the next generation of whiz-kid game developers, touting creations ranging from the slick to the deliriously retro.
Entry is free ... we just ask that you don’t make any sudden moves around the artists ... some of them might not have slept much the night before.

For more information on Nullarbor visit the website:

Any questions? Drop us a line at

Event Sponsors: Spinfast, Autodesk, Artrage, Edith Cowan University, Binary Culture, Surrender Events

Fury closes down

It's all over folks, in 48 hours the Fury servers and website will shut down for good. I think it's probably not a big surprise to most of us, but it's still a shame to see an original I.P. bring a developer down to hard like Fury did.

Submitted by Bittman on Mon, 11/08/08 - 4:54 PMPermalink

One paragraph got me:
"To all those players who have enjoyed Fury and played countless battles, I am sorry that we could not find a viable business model that would allow you to continue playing. To all those naysayers and doomsdayers, we know that deep down you wanted Fury to succeed. Have fun with your parting wishes"

1) Viable Business Model - Harder than it looks
2) They still made light of it to a degree. How very Australian~

EVENT : PERTH : SymbioticA : Artists in the Science Shrine

Dear all,

SymbioticA is running ‘Artists in the Science Shrine’, a seminar that will introduce the local arts/science community to the national and international opportunities and models of art/science organisations. Speakers include Denisa Kera (Transgenesis, Czech Republic) Marta de Menezes (Ectopia, Portugal) Anne Kienhuis (Arts & Genomics Center, Netherlands), Vicki Sowry (Australian Network for Art and Technology) MC: Oron Catts (SymbioticA, Australia). It will be held on Tuesday 22 July 2008, between 12.30-1.30pm in the Social Science Lecture Theatre 1, G28 at The University of Western Australia

This event is FREE.
For more information please visit
Please feel free to circulate this invitation to anyone who may be interested.

Warm regards,

Amanda Alderson
SymbioticA- Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts

School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia
Mail Bag Delivery Point M309, 35 Stirling Highway, CRAWLEY WA 6009
Phone:+61 (0)8- 6488 7116 | Fax: +61 (0)8- 6488 1051 |
CRICOS Provider No. 00126G

Submitted by symbiotica (not verified) on Wed, 06/07/11 - 5:50 PMPermalink

What is the experience of listening at the nanoscale?

A Live performance‐installation by Joel Ong

John Curtin Gallery on Sunday 10th July 2011

Gallery open: 4:30‐7:00pm

Nanovibrancy explores nanoscale activity through sound by amplifying the oscillations at the
surface of a model tympanic membrane in real time.

The culmination of his Masters in Biological Art degree, Joel Ong will present a sound piece which
repurposes the Atomic Force Microscope as a super‐sensitive listening device.

The AFM listens by scanning the surface vibrations on a silk membrane. The sample, currently
researched in otology as a graft material for chronic eardrum perforations, is probed in extension of
its research value, creating an audible documentation of cellular activity in situ.

Moving from the laboratory into the art gallery, the project shifts the observations of matter at the
nanoscale from the scientific eye to the artistic ear, amplifying the resonances of fact and fiction,
purity and interference through a site‐specific confluence of nano‐ and human‐scale listening.

In so doing, Nanovibrancy asks; "what is the experience of listening at the nanoscale?" Visitors
acquire a first‐hand experience of the vibrancy of matter at its smallest perspectival scale.

Nanovibrancy is an Artscience project realised at SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological
Arts at the University of Western Australia and has the generous support of the Ear Science Institute
of Australia, the Nanochemistry Research Institute and the John Curtin Gallery at Curtin University.

EVENT : SIGGRAPH Perth : July Event : An Evening with Paul Debevec

*ACM SIGGRAPH Perth : July Event*

7:00pm - 9:00pm, Wed 30th July
eCentral TAFE, 140 Royal St, East Perth

July Event : An Evening with Paul Debevec :
SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 presents : An Evening with Paul Debevec
New Techniques for Acquiring, Rendering, and Displaying Human Performances

The SIGGRAPH Perth chapter is proud to present an evening of exciting insights into the world of computer graphics and interactive techniques with Paul Debevec.

Paul will deliver a talk on “New Techniques for Acquiring, Rendering, and Displaying Human Performances”. The presentation will address the following topics:

- Acquiring, rendering and displaying photoreal models of
people, objects and dynamic performances;

- Image-based lighting techniques for photorealistic compositing
and reflectance acquisition techniques (which have been used
to create realistic digital actors in films such as Spiderman 2
and Superman Returns);

- Describing image-based relighting with free-viewpoint video to
capture and render full-body performances and new 3D face scanning
processes that capture high-resolution skin detail;

- Investigating new 3D display that leverages 5,000 frames per second
video projection to show auto-stereoscopic, interactive 3D imagery
to any number of viewers simultaneously.

Speaker Information
Paul Debevec is the associate director of graphics research at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT) and a research associate professor in USC's Department of Computer Science. His Ph.D. thesis at UC Berkeley presented Façade, an image-based modeling and rendering system for creating photoreal virtual cinematography of architectural scenes from photographs. Using Façade he led the creation of a photoreal animation of the Berkeley campus for his 1997 film "The Campanile Movie" whose techniques were later used to create virtual backgrounds for the "The Matrix"; he went on to demonstrate new image-based lighting techniques in his animations "Rendering with Natural Light", "Fiat Lux", and "The Parthenon". Debevec led the design of HDR Shop, the first widely used high dynamic range image editing program and co-authored the recent book "High Dynamic Range Imaging". Debevec received ACM SIGGRAPH's Significant New Researcher Award in 2001 and recently chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival. He has been speaking at many conferences around the globe. Most recently he was an invited speaker at fmx08 in Stuttgart/Germany.

RSVP & Admission
RSVP essential. To secure your place for this FREE talk,
email your name and number of seats you would like to reserve to

ACM SIGGRAPH Perth Memberships will be available on the night.

Doors open at 6:45 PM and presentation will start at 7:00 sharp.

Directions to the Venue
Enter through the main doors on the corner of Royal St and Fielder St. Follow the signs from the reception desk, past the stairs to your right. Parking is available on the street and at the rear of the building. Claisebrook train station is a short walk away. Bicycle parking is available at the rear of the building.

General Meeting Information
Anyone with an interest in computer graphics and interactive technology is welcome to attend our meetings. It's FREE. Memberships are available on the night if you'd like to join Membership information can be found here.

Our meetings have a friendly, informal atmosphere. We encourage people to make announcements, ask for help with projects, describe useful tools and tricks and describe interesting things you've seen to other attendees. You can also speak to the organisers of ACM SIGGRAPH Perth there if you have any questions.

See you there!

EVENT : PERTH : Development & Strategy Directorate Arts & Cultural Policy Consultation Forums

Do you care about the future of arts & culture?
Do you want a say in the development of arts and cultural policy and programs in WA?
Then these forums are just for you!

Arts & Cultural Policy Consultation Forums

The Development and Strategy Directorate (DSD) of the Department of Culture and the Arts, is creating a new overarching policy framework to shape and guide its future work.

DSD is responsible for all of the work of the former ArtsWA and the Department’s former Policy & Planning Division; it is also responsible for implementing 15 of the 21 projects within the Ignite package.

To ensure that a broad range of perspectives are represented in the policy development process, DSD is undertaking a public consultation, of which these forums are the first stage.

Presenters and attendees will explore and discuss current issues and new directions relating to the forum topic. Outcomes from each forum will inform and influence the development of the new policy framework.

Creative People
4.45pm for 5pm start - 8pm, Monday 21st July, 2008
Art Gallery of Western Australia Theatrette, Perth Cultural Centre

Dot West – Writer / Film maker / Head of Productions, Goolarri Media
Marcus Westbury – Writer / Artistic Director / Commentator
Matthew Lutton – Theatre-maker / Director
Reg Cribb – Playwright / Actor / Writer
Sam Fox – Director / Choreographer

Creative Communities
4.45pm for 5pm start - 8pm, Tuesday 22nd July, 2008
Art Gallery of Western Australia Theatrette, Perth Cultural Centre

Audrey Satar - Visual Artist / Community Arts Worker
David Doyle – Executive Director, Disability in the Arts Disadvantage in the Arts (DADAA) WA
Lockie McDonald – Writer / Director / Producer / Community Cultural Development Worker
Trevor Jamieson – Actor / Musician/ Storyteller / Writer

Creative Economy
4.45pm for 5pm start - 8pm, Wednesday 23rd July, 2008
Art Gallery of Western Australia Theatrette, Perth Cultural Centre

Aimee Johns – Entrepreneur / Keith and Lottie / William Street Collective
Kate Rothschild – Writer / Producer / Director
Paul Sloan - Music Promoter / Agent / Musician
Prof Ted Snell - Professor of Contemporary Art and Dean of Art, John Curtin Gallery / Chair, Visual Arts Board, Australia Council / Visual Artist

Creative Environments
1.45pm for 2pm start - 5pm, Friday 25th July, 2008
Art Gallery of Western Australia Theatrette, Perth Cultural Centre

Dr Ron Blaber - Head of Department, Communication and Cultural Studies, Curtin University of Technology, Faculty of Humanities
Prof Geoff Warn - Co-founding Partner, Donaldson+Warn Architects / Professor of Architecture, Curtin University of Technology / Founding Chair, IASKA
Jo Darbyshire – Visual Artist
Lynda Dorrington – Executive Director, FORM
Prof Geoff London - Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, UWA / WA Government Architect

Creativity & Engagement
4.45pm for 5pm start - 8pm, Thursday 31st July, 2008
(Wrap up Session)
Wardle Room, Perth Concert Hall, 5 St Georges Terrace, Perth

To rsvp your attendance at one or more of the forums,
please phone 9224 7453, or email
by Friday 18th July, 2008.

Unable to attend? Still want to participate? Great!
Please visit the DCA website in coming days for ways you can have your say.

Want more?
For further information please visit:

Got questions?
Please contact Marty Cunningham, Manager Research and Information,
9224 7310 (1800 199 090 toll free for country callers) or .

Spread the Word!
Please feel free to forward this information to your networks.
Apologies for cross postings.

Claire White on behalf of

Colin Walker
A/Executive Director
Development and Strategy Directorate
Department of Culture and the Arts
Level 7, Law Chambers
573 Hay St, Perth, Western Australia
Telephone 08 9224 7382


RedTribe develops and releases Jumper for 360. Some reviews for your amusement :-)

Submitted by compactjerry on Wed, 18/06/08 - 4:23 PMPermalink

It certainly doesn't sound good, a metacritic score of 29 is pretty abysmal. According to the reviews I read the game lasts 2 hours, which just isn't good enough for a full priced game, even if the game was good.

Hopefully they do better with their next game(s).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/06/08 - 1:31 PMPermalink

WoW I didn't think they could get lower then their last games score. Acme Arsenal's highest review average was on 360 and only averaged a measly 40%.

If RedTribe don't pick up their game I doubt they will be around much longer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 22/06/08 - 8:13 PMPermalink


Give it a rest ;)

This is old old news. They already have a new game coming out in July and another 2 games in development.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 22/06/08 - 9:15 PMPermalink

I find the last comment amusing. Clearly someone at RT has had a nerve touched.

Personally, this does not surprise me. I would expect to see more of the same in the future from ;).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/06/08 - 11:30 AMPermalink

geez.... we have to look forward to a bucketload more of this shite... The tribe are giving us all a great name, tough enough out there already for Oz Dev without them churning out this crap.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/08/08 - 12:06 PMPermalink

It's nice to see space chimps is getting some decent reviews.
Well done guys.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/08/08 - 2:14 PMPermalink

67% on IGN not 69%. Still good though for a kids game when compared to a lot of the other kids titles reviewed on IGN

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/08/08 - 2:57 PMPermalink

360 version got 62% on Cheatcode Central.

Family friendly gave it 79% (not a rated site but still good)

Overall I would say it looks like Space Chimps is turning out to be one of the better games to come out of Australia recently.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/08/08 - 3:01 PMPermalink

60% on Kidzworld

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/08/08 - 4:24 PMPermalink

40% (2.0 out of 5) on Video Game Talk
38% (1.9 out of 5) on Cheat Code Central (Wii)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 12:31 AMPermalink

Nice to see an Australian company doing well. Based on what I've read so far, it looks like you've made a solid game.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 9:07 AMPermalink

...was that sarcasm? or are you being serious??!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 11:16 AMPermalink

They're likely crying all the way to the bank. :)

The ROI for plopping out titles with (what must be) minimal investment in time\staff\quality would probably be greater than many studios investing in AAA titles would see.

Somebody somewhere is reading these reviews and blowing their nose with Benjamins. ;P


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 12:44 PMPermalink

is ROI?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 12:53 PMPermalink

Return on investment! You invest X amount, you get Y return. Expressed in percentage form.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by souri on Wed, 20/08/08 - 5:05 PMPermalink

I might have to lock this thread before it gets any worse than it already is.

This thread has become just flamebait, and now we're bringing up people's names at Red Tribe to drag through the mud. I know there's probably only one or two of you who are continuing to bring this thread alive for whatever reason, but I'm pondering as to what exactly your motive is.

Red Tribe is a fairly young company, and their latest release has had a decent review from IGN. Kudos to them. In a time when many companies have trouble getting complete games on shelves and keeping the staff on the payroll, I'm impressed when any developer can manage to consistently get games on shelves. You might not think Red Tribe is shit hot, but I know they have some very talented folk on board, and with more experience and effort, I'm sure they're very much on the path to greater things. Name me a company that has released brilliant games from the outset, and I'll show you the exception rather than the rule. New companies take time to mature, for the talent to gestate and hone their skills.

I'm all for criticism of developers, but the negative ones here have not been constructive in any way. In fact, it's become downright embarrassing.

Let's put it this way. People submit their artwork here on Sumea / tsumea, even new comers - would you go into their comments and write that their work is crap / they suck etc? No, of course not. Constructive criticism is much more helpful, right. Why not provide the same courtesy to developers as well?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/08/08 - 7:16 PMPermalink

I agree that the negative comments are not good.
I've only heard bad things coming from red tribe as a place to work. this is from multiple sources.

if those people in management really do lurk here, maybe they should try and do something about the work conditions there. that would improve staff morale and hopefully make better products.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/08/08 - 12:12 AMPermalink

I am personally hoping their decision to license the game embyro license will help them create better projects in the future. Having a pre-made engine will relieve some burden they are most likely having in the tech department.

I also though have heard some bad "war" stories from red tribe, probably more than normal. Then again I've got my own "war" stories from one or two companies around, and still have a high amount of respect for the employees and can understand a company can have teething problems.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/08/08 - 7:05 PMPermalink

REDTRIBE is a good company to work for. Space Chimps has been well received in general. We have excellent conditions and pay. 6 weeks paid vacations (an extra two weeks over Christmas), time of in lieu for overtime, plenty of projects including our own IP.

To the guy posting negative things about us, you just sound like someone with a grudge. Its getting a bit tired.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 3:29 AMPermalink

Most places have time in lieu for overtime, part of victorian common law I believe that they have to provide it.

The question how much overtime is expected, is it the norm that time in lieu is expected (not suggesting that is or isn't the case at Red Tribe, don't know)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted by Neffy on Mon, 25/08/08 - 10:49 AMPermalink

I also believe It's common law for maternity leave to be provided to all women, but at the last women in games breakfast I attended It was a big issue that it wasn't in some game company's.

Just because something is expected doesn't mean it is always provided.

p.s Redtribe provides maternity leave -_^

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 11:43 AMPermalink

Space chimps is a solid game that reviewed well on a few important sites. Given the competition in the genre, they're doing an amazing job.

Overall it's one of the better titles to come out of Australia on the current generation of consoles.

Yes there may have been higher scoring games in the past that have come out of Australia, but that's the past and it's a lot more competative now.

I think that Australia will do well in the future because of the persistance of companies like redtribe.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 25/08/08 - 11:51 AMPermalink

Krome provides time in lieu for overtime, maternity leave to both woman and men. Shrugs.

My new employer Infinite Interactive do the same. IR Gurus who I worked for a while ago, provided time in lieu for overtime.

EVENT : Urban Screens 08 Conference : Melbourne

Inter-Arts Office - News Alert

Urban Screens Melbourne 08 is the third, ground-breaking international conference and multimedia exhibition in a series of worldwide Urban Screens events. It will mark the official launch of the International Urban Screens Association and will take place 3-8 October 2008 at Federation Square, Melbourne.

Conference: Mobile Publics 3-5 October 2008
Outdoor Multimedia Program: 3-8 October 2008

The event will promote a lateral trans-disciplinary approach to exploring the global transformation of public culture in the context of large new multi media precincts such as Federation Square and various networked forms of urban screens. It will build on the successful events held in Amsterdam in 2005 and Manchester in 2007 and will be the first Urban Screens held in the Asia-Pacific region.

Through an integrated program of keynote lectures, panel sessions, workshops, curated screenings and multimedia projects, it will bring together leading Australian and international artists and curators, architects and urban planners, screen operators and content providers, technology manufacturers, software designers and public intellectuals.

The types of works they are seeking include interactive, performance based and participatory projects such as:

* Interactive software applications for urban screens
* Participatory community projects using creative digital practices
* Live media art merging performance and new media
* Community displays for education and exchange
* Virtual/real world hybrid projects using streaming content
* Real-time generated content
* Screen related sound experiments
* Digital storytelling projects
* Mobile games using urban space as social and educative playground
* Connecting mobile culture of locative media with urban screens

For further details on submissions please see

Graduate course options in Games Programming

I'm looking to do a games programming course somewhere in Australia. I've already completed a Bachelor of Comp Science at Uni and have 2+ years experience as a software engineer (but not in the games/multimedia industry).

Which colleges/unis are the best options to do extra study?
It seems like most courses available are designed to train people straight out of high school :(

I know Edith Cowan Uni has a graduate diploma - but thats in WA... The Advanced Dip at AIE looks interesting, but i am not sure about the entry requirements. I have no professional experience or study in 3D programming (only personal projects at home). Will i still be able to qualify for direct entry to 2nd year of the course? Has anyone been able to qualify for direct entry into 2nd year at AIE without much 3D programming experience? Or is the first year (Cert IV) really that important...?

Any other unis or colleges offering good post-graduate study in games programming?

- Roger

Submitted by threedninja on Sat, 31/05/08 - 7:50 PMPermalink

(don't take this the wrong way) I'm curious why your wanting to do more study rather than try and get yourself a position in the game industry. You're a Comp Science grad, AND you've had a couple of years of real world experience. Thats what most employers are looking for :)

I don't know if there are many course options out there for you which would be challenging enough for you... have you got a good demo reel of your code/previous projects that you could submit with a resume to any game studios looking for a Jr. programmer?

If study is really what you want to do, best thing would be to call up AIE and discuss your entry possibilities and see what courses you can credit toward their program. You could also do the same thing with qantm and their Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (majoring in programming). QUT also has a game programming degree, but AFAIK its a major on their bachelor of IT degree.

Submitted by fargo_ego on Sun, 01/06/08 - 12:04 PMPermalink

I've thought about just teaching myself everything and building a good demo reel by myself. But currently i dont have - what i would say - a good portfolio :(
I'm thinking that going to a college/uni, i will be exposed to more industry ideas/processes, experienced people and team environments which could help (and motivate) me to build these demos. And schools like AIE supposedly have strong links with studios, so it would be an easier entry in. Basically I'm trying to increase the chances of getting a job in the industry.
I've read in these forums that many have done further study at AIE/QANTM after graduating/working, so i thought it'll be a good approach for myself. But if you say an outstanding demo reel could easily get me a job - then maybe i should take time to do that? Its a lot of work - if only i weren't so lazy about it...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/06/08 - 1:39 PMPermalink

Yeah, I'd give AIE a call. They often have experienced programmers and bachelor's grads in their programming courses (even though they often look like they're targetting out of schoolers, they actually want you to already have skills in C++). More importantly, their industry contacts mean you'll be able to network into the industry while you're studying.

While you look into this, fire off some letters to some of the major developers. Explain you're looking for work in the industry and you're keen to learn and put in the effort. They're always complaining about a skills shortage, so I reckon lots of companies might be happy to at least give you a go.

Also, I'd get involved in a mod team or a good ongoing community game effort. Pick one you like and email the team leader/s. They're often in need of programmers. You'll learn a lot and get practical stuff that basically proves you've got the skills to hit the industry running.

Good luck, and let us know how you go.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 22/06/08 - 11:48 PMPermalink

I'm doing the Adv Dip Games at AIE this year as a programmer. I started there two and a half years ago as an Artist and have finished the dip games as an artist. I started getting interested in the programming side about halfway through last year and basically started teaching myself C++ and some shader language. They put me straight into second year based on a 3D model viewer I wrote after about 2.5 months of programming and the promise I would get all the foundation skills of C++ up to scratch.
I can highly recommend the course, it doesn't only focus on the skills, but it puts you into what is basically a games studio scenario, so once you graduate and get a job it's like you never left class, and someone's paying you for it (hopefully).
Hope that answers some of your questions.
Good luck

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/06/08 - 9:40 AMPermalink

Well, I'm not actually sure about employers in general, but I handle the recruitment for one game development company (I'm a frequent lurker around here) and I can tell you what WE want, anyway ;) The most highly desirable candidates for graduate programmer roles have a Computer Engineering degree from a tough Uni, with top marks in maths and physics, and have worked their guts out on a brilliant demo because that's what they love to do more than anything else. If you find that you can't motivate yourself to work on a demo in your own time, maybe you need to find out where your true passion lies before choosing a career path - are you sure you really want to make games, and not just play them? If you want to make them, how come you don't want to make a demo, where you have the freedom to work on the things that most fascinate you? It doesn't bode well for a paying job where someone else will decide what you'll work on.

Having said that, it's possible to have a comfortable if somewhat average career without being particularly brilliant at maths, or even particularly motivated.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 30/07/08 - 9:29 PMPermalink

(and I'm a little late to respond) you could try Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand. They offer a graduate diploma in game development which has a programming stream (

Something which sets them apart from other schools is that the course covers middleware such as FMOD and Gamebryo, and also includes both Gamecube (very similar to Wii architecture) and PSP console development so you get a lot of hands on practical experience in "real world" tools.

Our studio has hired 6 programmers who have graduated from this course, 2 of whom are now in lead or senior roles.


Just wanted to get the word out about whats up at Lifeway College in New Zealand - the top CG education provider in NZ (I would say that though I'm kind of involved at Lifeway :D )

They are not known as well as others and they are not the biggest (yet) but they really are turning out people with some pretty impressive work. Also to mention they don't teach a specific coursein game development - but teach a highend CG qualification that would provide a foundation for going into gaming. The course is two years long and gives students opportunity in many different disciplines of CG - lifedrawing, traditional animation, matte painting, editing compositing and special effects (in After Effects and Premier) and then all aspects of 3D in Maya (modelling, animation texturing, lighting & rendering) In year two students develop thier own character on paper then sculpt in clay and model and sculpt in Zbrush and Maya. They cover advanced character rigging and MEL then character animation, dynamics etc. and some high end rendering in Mental Ray. Students use Maya Unlimited in the second year. Each student ends with 3D compositing and post production for thier own showreel. (Check out to see some of the projects thus far)

Its a pretty tidy program and students (most of whom live onsite (read *in the lab* - open 24 hrs most of the time)) are pushed to come up with some cool stuff - the facilities are good (recently done up) - and students get access to a 150 node renderfarm as well as some cool people - to name a few (so far) Tim Johnston, Director of Dreamworks Animation (Antz, Over the Hedge....) Tony Bancroft (Director of Disney's Mulan, Supervising Animator for Pumba on Lion King)....

Also there seems to be the thinking out there that you have to be like the Pope or Joan of Arc to study 3D at Lifeway - not so at all - there is NO faith test to get in.... I spose it is because the college is values based and has a christian foundation (they have a separate school that teaches ministry as well) - so I think that message got mixed down the line

Anyway point is - before you choose a school to go to JUST GO AND CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF (NOT JUST ON THE WEB ACTUALLY GET UP THERE) even if you decide on someplace else you really should have a look - the *cough* long trip to Snells Beach is worth it.


EVENT : PERTH : iVEC : Demystifying the GPU

DEMYSTIFYING THE GPU, a presentation by Ed Buckingham of AMD

“Computer technology is on the verge of another leap forward in processing power.”

Semiconductors used first to power graphics and the latest consumer games are now being used to address some of today’s most challenging scientific questions. Problems spanning signal processing to protein folding to financial options pricing are all finding their way to the graphics processor unit (GPU).
This presentation provides a high-level overview of GPU technology and AMD’s role in the development of this technology. A brief discussion of the hardware architecture and programming model will be presented as well as pointers to more information. This is not a technical presentation, but technical aspects of the GPU will be presented along with technology trends. Anyone new to the GPU should attend as well as anyone seeking an update on GPU technology, development trends and future directions

Ed Buckingham’s 15 years in the Silicon Valley have spanned business and marketing roles in semiconductors, supercomputers and software. Currently, Ed is business development manager with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) where he is helping lead the development of a next generation, open, heterogeneous compute environment focused on GPU technology. Ed’s resume also includes roles with Intel, Silicon Graphics and IDC (International Data Corp) where he was widely quoted in the press as an analyst covering emerging graphics technologies.
In his spare time, Ed sits on the board of the Life Sciences Society (LSS), an organization he helped co-found in 2002. LSS brings together several hundred scientists from around the world every August at Stanford University for a three-day conference to present refereed papers on research in bioinformatics, genomics and related life science research.
Ed’s academic resume includes graduate degrees in engineering and business from San Jose State University and undergraduate degrees in mathematics and economics from the University of California.

When: Friday 4th April 2008, 3pm
Where: ARRC Auditorium, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA
Cost: Free. Light refreshments will be served.
Registration: Wendy D’Arrigo or 6436 8830 , by 3rd April


EECE School Seminar Series.
When: Friday 4th April 2008, 11am
Where: UWA, Electrical Electronic and Computer Engineering, Billings Room, Crawley
Cost: Free.
Registration: Not required.


Creating futures - engaging the past

A fully refereed mini-conference, the HATCHED Symposium features discussions that stem from the theme of developing creative futures. The three papers presented in this session explore themes ranging from the impact of technology on creative practices to examine the factors that shape and impact the development and success of creative communities. The presentations will be followed by an open session where the audience is invited to participate in the discussion and key themes.

Going Pro-establishing a professional practice after art school

The Hatched Forum brings together a distinguished group of artists and arts industry professionals from around Australia to discuss practical tactics and strategies for the development of a professional practice after art school. Highlighting a range of potential actions and initiatives through the examination of stories of success (and struggle) the two sessions aim to provide real-life working models on what to do next, and how to pursue longer term goals and aspirations. Key themes for this discussion will include how to establish a sustainable art practice, how to create your own opportunities and how to extend your career horizons across the national and international arts communities.

Speakers include: Felicity Johnston, Aaron Seeto, Darren Sylvester, Chris Bennie, Jo Darbyshire and Fiona Maxwell.


Booking Essential through PICA on 9228 6300 or

Image: Anika Wilkins, Small Green (Start and stack), 2007

EVENT : PERTH : iVEC : Visualisation Seminar : 14th of May

On behalf of iVEC, I would like to invite you to the iVEC Visualisation
Seminar Series second presentation "Raytracing: your shadows for nothing
and reflections for free"

In the last 12 months there have been a number of news articles about
raytracing, many predicting raytracing will replace current graphics

This seminar will explore the latest advances in raytracing on CPUs, GPUs and the Playstation 3 (CellBE processor), and will be followed by a
discussion of their future potential as the mainstream rendering

We will show how Pixar (Toy Story, Shrek etc) reduced single frame render times from 2 hours to less than a minute using 900 cores in parallel.

As part of the presentation there will be live demonstrations of
raytracing on the Auditorium bigscreen using the iVEC ARRC supercomputer and the Playstation 3.

For more details please contact myself, Ronald Jones ronald (at) ivec (dot) org

When: Wednesday 14th May 2008, 10am - 12pm
Where: ARRC Auditorium, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA
Cost: Free. Light lunch provided

Registration: Wendy D'Arrigo , by 9th May

The best course for an .Net programmer

I was wandering if anyone had any suggestions about what would be the best course to do for someone with a fair bit of experience (3-4 years plus Uni) in .Net programming.
I did a B. Comp Sci and through the majority of that did Java and .Net programming and have been working on mostly ASP .Net based applications for the last few years.
I have done a bit of self teaching on the C++ side of things so I have some knowldege of it (though not enough to get a job with).
So far my thoughts are Advanced Diploma of Professional Games Development at AIE or Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Programming) at QANTM.
Any thoughts?

Submitted by DrSphere on Fri, 17/08/07 - 11:21 AMPermalink

C# and VB .Net (both 1.1 and 2.0 Frameworks).

The origins of Australian Developers

I find it fascinating how local developers began, and I'm thinking of doing some article in the near future about just that (I'll also be doing it in conjunction with how developers came up with their name). But anyway, the recent interview I did with Firemint sparked more interest again when CEO, Rob Murray, said that he was previously at Torus before starting up his own studio.

It seems the origins of numerous local developers were seeded from other established companies, and yeh, this happens a lot in many industries. Another example is id software and all the companies around Dallas that sprouted from ex-id employees. But as far as I know, we have people who moved from and then built:

Torus -> Firemint

Blue Tongue / Melbourne House -> Red Tribe

Auran -> Pandemic

Microforte -> Interzone ?

I know many other Melbourne companies have their roots from Beam / Melbourne House, although I can't recall which ones..

Anyone have more to add to the list?

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 13/08/07 - 11:03 AMPermalink

Yeah I think in Melbourne at least, Beam was the hub from which many of the others emerged - Torus for instance, then there has been several companies emerge from Torus.

You can often pinpoint a particular studio in an area that was responsible for many other studios forming in the same area - a good example is Psygnosis in the UK's North West... and now this whole area is the world hub for racing game development - so not only are people breaking away and starting new companies, they're often developing games in the same genre they're used to.

Submitted by Brawsome on Mon, 13/08/07 - 1:19 PMPermalink

I love this kind of stuff too. I had no idea that Rob Murray was at Torus, before I was there though.

Apart from the ones already said, these are the ones I know of:

Beam -> Tantalus

Torus -> End Game

Interactive Binary Illusions -> Krome

You could almost do a games industry family tree, showing the evolution of each games companies, with links to their wiki.

So at the moment we have (sorry if the formatting is off):

                        _ Firemint

           _ Torus -|_ End Game


Beam -|_ Tantalus

Blue Tongue / Melbourne House -> Red Tribe

Auran -> Pandemic

Microforte -> Interzone ?

Interactive Binary Illusions -> Krome

I'm sure there are more links in there. Might have to fill it in gradually. But the difficult part is where Krome links back into Melbourne House and Ratbag.chameleon2007-08-13 03:21:33

Submitted by rezn0r on Tue, 14/08/07 - 2:09 AMPermalink

Evolution - Halfbrick Studios

          - THQ Studio Oz


Submitted by Red 5 on Tue, 14/08/07 - 4:51 AMPermalink

A few more...

Torus > Virtual Mechanix

Torus > Dimsdale & Kreozot

Beam > Torus > Wicked Witch

Beam > Torus > Firelight Technologies

Many from IR Gurus also have their roots from Beam or Torus.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 14/08/07 - 8:08 PMPermalink

Wasn't Brett from Firelight at Tantalus at some stage? But yeh, I didn't know that Torus spawned off so many studios!Souri2007-08-14 10:09:06

Submitted by Brawsome on Wed, 15/08/07 - 1:23 AMPermalink

Since Torus has spawned more games companies than just about any other (maybe Beam would beat them). I think this poses the question: Why does Torus attract or create so many entrepreneurs?

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 15/08/07 - 1:50 AMPermalink

[QUOTE=chameleon]I think this poses the question: Why does Torus attract or create so many entrepreneurs?[/QUOTE]

Maybe you need to rephrase the question to: Why did these people leave?

Like any work place, most people are content work as employees and favour job security over potential risk... just so happens that during that period (late 90's) there were a number of staff who had ambitions of starting their own businesses.

I think it's probably a little more daunting now, but at the same time there are more potential opportunities.

Is the game Industry too portfolio driven?

Hi, I want to pose this question to you out there.. are artists positions too portfolio driven these days? I think a portfolio is essential and is a good measure of talent but I don't think it is everything and in my experience their are many types of artists which are essential to making up a good development team.

Let's be honest when a portfolio comes in that is standout you immediately want to hire them without judging their personality and work ethic. To me I would even put Work Ethic, Personality, and the Ability to Work well in a Team environment ABOVE sheer talent. It also depends on the type of game you are making.. If you are making a train game.. you don't need sheer artistic talent for this type of game.. in fact it can be a waste.

I want to give some examples of people I have worked with to help explain my point. Currently I work on a high profile game and we have a range of artists like always. One guy has fantastic conceptual/painting skills, as well as modelling skills.. But he is very slow, not a good work ethic and doesn't gell well with the team. When you look at what he brings to the table he is not as solid as some other artists on the team who do not have fantastic concept/painting skills but are good modellers with solid texturing skills with a fantastic work ethic and great people skills. Another aspect is also the problem solving and intelligence of the artist, this is hard to gauge in an interview situation I think.

My point is that when companies are hiring people they should look past the portfolio and judge how the person will fit in to the team.. work ethic is imperitive.. in my opinion if they are just coming 9 - 5 and taking too long to do tasks I couldn't care less how talented they are. I think an approach would be to have a couple of artists who are solid traditional guys that give inspiration to those that aren't, ideally it would be great to have someone who has everything.. but this does not exist, sadly. In my 10 years of working in the industry I have never come across an artist who has the whole package.. maybe you have.. it would be interesting to get your opinions on this topic.astroboy2007-08-06 11:58:17

Submitted by Johnn on Wed, 08/08/07 - 4:33 AMPermalink

I think that GOOD interviewers still do look past the portfolio and ultimately hire a candidate on having suitable (not necessarily the best even) experience, knowledge and personality. The portfolio and resume are only the first hurdle in the process.

Are there good interviewers out there in the game industry? I don't know... I think in the graphics and illustration industry (where I work at the moment) there are, but there are also some average ones, but I don't think that balance has changed in recent years.

I do have a theory (admittedly unresearched and probably poorly thoughtout) that the games industry in Australia is young and attracts younger people to it in relation to other creative industries (ie TV, film and the likes). Consequently the average age of people in positions of power are younger and in comparison to people in equivalent position of the other industries are less experienced. The up shot of this that more poor decisions are probably made by these people - such as hiring on the strength of a portfolio.

Submitted by Malus on Wed, 08/08/07 - 3:49 PMPermalink


I think it's a common misconception that being young equates to making more bad decisions, thats a pretty big generalization.

Many younger people often make for fantastic leaders and are often more willing to take an educated risk on someone; to gain power at a young age probably meant someone did the same for them.

While I would never doubt experience being a massively valuable commodity its only worthwhile if the person is any good, no matter how you bundle it up 10 years of crap work is 10 years of crap work.

I have met many people with years of experience in the games industry (and other fields) that I would never hire, having a bad habit as a junior is easily mended by a good mentor, a senior with years of bad habits is a lot harder to correct.

Anyway, thats off topic ..back to the original post.

I would hope that anyone, no matter there age or experience would use a portfolio only as a snapshot of the skill, creativity and to some degree commitment of a future employee.

You shouldn't hire based on it alone however and even the most brilliant of artists needs to gel with other workers, the project and even just fit the ethos of the company.

An interview is paramount, preferably in person.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 08/08/07 - 4:35 PMPermalink

[QUOTE=astroboy]Currently I work on a high profile game and we have a range of artists like always. One guy has fantastic conceptual/painting skills, as well as modelling skills.. But he is very slow, not a good work ethic and doesn't gell well with the team. When you look at what he brings to the table he is not as solid as some other artists on the team who do not have fantastic concept/painting skills but are good modellers with solid texturing skills with a fantastic work ethic and great people skills. Another aspect is also the problem solving and intelligence of the artist, this is hard to gauge in an interview situation I think.[/QUOTE]

Companies do a few things to avoid things like this happening, and it's understandable that they do since having a problem like you've mentioned is costly to them. Some run a probation period of a few months for new employees, or they do tests as part of the interview process to check if you really are capable.

Submitted by astroboy on Wed, 08/08/07 - 5:34 PMPermalink

I wonder if a test really shows much? They are interesting to see how someone can cope to do something in a short span of time with pressure but let's be honest in development this is not necessary as you have a decent amount of time to do the task properly.. it's more a case of how well you do it within a decent time frame etc..

I think you are right that an interview in person is paramount, probation period is very important as it gives both sides time to see what they think about each other. I think companies should take chances with individuals and give them the opportunity to prove themselves through probation. It's possible they might screw up the test because they were nervous etc.. or the same for the interview. My pet peeve is when you get cockiness and ego by the interviewer or by the person being interviewed. I have found this exists in this industry like the plague..

On the issue of experience.. I think experience is critical and should be respected. 10 years of any experience in the game industry, crap or not is still better than someone coming straight out of school. It's true some bad habits can arise from crap experience and worse of all it's bitterness that creeps in with experience. Most people I meet who have had a lot of experience have Baggage from past games that have been difficult to work on etc.. Someone straight from school is fresh and eager, with a bright outlook. The downside of someone straight from school is that they will find it hard to cope when the going gets tough late in the project, also they don't have any experience to draw from when it comes to solving certain tasks. Plus in general they wouldn't be able to take on a lot of responsibility and be a leader.. usually this is given to someone with experience.

Submitted by Malus on Thu, 09/08/07 - 3:41 PMPermalink

[QUOTE=astroboy] I wonder if a test really shows much? They are interesting to see how someone can cope to do something in a short span of time with pressure but let's be honest in development this is not necessary as you have a decent amount of time to do the task properly.. it's more a case of how well you do it within a decent time frame etc..

I think you are right that an interview in person is paramount, probation period is very important as it gives both sides time to see what they think about each other. I think companies should take chances with individuals and give them the opportunity to prove themselves through probation. It's possible they might screw up the test because they were nervous etc.. or the same for the interview. My pet peeve is when you get cockiness and ego by the interviewer or by the person being interviewed. I have found this exists in this industry like the plague..


Tests can be hit and miss, it can be good if there discrepancies in there reel you are worried about but if someone is working full time or studying etc it's really hard to always get the best out of them in a test.


On the issue of experience.. I think experience is critical and should be respected. 10 years of any experience in the game industry, crap or not is still better than someone coming straight out of school. It's true some bad habits can arise from crap experience and worse of all it's bitterness that creeps in with experience. Most people I meet who have had a lot of experience have Baggage from past games that have been difficult to work on etc..


I totally agree experience is a valuable commodity and one we should respect.

I think I may have worded myself badly as you seem to have missed my point though.

I didn't mean bad experiences as in fired from a job, working in a bad team or a project folding, every ounce of that is a helpful step forward, we generally learn more from the bad than the good anyway.

What I meant was just as hiring on skill alone is a bad idea so is hiring on experience alone.

Being in the industry 10 years but being crap at what you do is no better than being talented and a right pain to work with.

Far too many people in every field get positions based soley on how many years they sat in a seat.

Many have never actually done the hard yards, just eeked there way through, we all know these people, they come in everyday, don't rock the boat but do little to contribute either, there work is sub par but isn't quite bad enough for them to be let go and anyway no one important sees it because usually one of the hard more skilled workers will always fix it before it gets in game.

Skip 5 years into the future and who gets the promotion?

"Hey Bob's a good bloke, he's been here for ages, he must know his sh*t! Lets give him the job....." developed practical skills just the same lazy bad habits, no real knowledge of pipelines just excuses as to how it wasn't there fault, no idea how to mentor just bullying and a bucket load of fear of failure   ..... bang power trip!

Now obviously thats the worst case scenario but we all know it happens.


Someone straight from school is fresh and eager, with a bright outlook. The downside of someone straight from school is that they will find it hard to cope when the going gets tough late in the project, also they don't have any experience to draw from when it comes to solving certain tasks.


Sorry but I feel thats a gross generalisation, one thats easy to say and almost impossible to prove.

I have 2 juniors right now on my team and they hold there own as well as anyone else, they are both so skilled it's scary, they're passionate, both cope excellent even when the days not going well, find fixes for things even the seniors such as myself miss, in fact they are 2 of the best guys I've ever worked with. Youth plays very little part, I think you have mistaken it with maturity and age doesn't always bless you with that either. :)


Plus in general they wouldn't be able to take on a lot of responsibility and be a leader.. usually this is given to someone with experience.


Actually you'd give it to the person who has matched all the key qualifications, they aren't always the most experienced people, they are simply the best people.

All I'm saying is everything needs to be done n a balanced way.

Don't hire or promote on skills or years alone.Malus2007-08-09 05:44:11

Submitted by astroboy on Thu, 09/08/07 - 6:57 PMPermalink

ya i do agree about those type of people you talk about who don't really contribute to a game and just sit in the background and rack up the years, eventually getting the promotion.. ya this is sad.

On the issue of juniors, It is possible to get some good ones.. I guess it's hit or miss, I have noticed the standard of juniors coming from school have got a lot better in the last few years. I have seen juniors move quickly up the ranks because they have proven themselves fast and gained the respect of the people around them. I think the type of experience that someone has had is important.. it's interesting say you were going for a job against the two juniors that you work with and they got it over you.. you might feel a bit pissed because you are more experienced right? as you said in some ways they are better than senior guys... but you are a lead and you have a lot of experience so I would hire you over them.. if that was my choice.

It's an interesting issue because their are a lot of juniors with great portfolios they have had the time to craft going around and their are many senior artists around with experience that have skill sets that are slightly dated. Yes they have experience , but just in current-gen, they could apply that to nextgen but this junior has already got a lot of experience with next-gen tools like mudbox and zbrush etc... and his salary is half the price?

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