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AIE student loans

Firstly. Before I say anything the point I?m about to make is not at the fault of the AIE, the fact that they are trying to support there students in so many ways is commendable. This is a technicality on the banks part.

Last year when I found out that the AIE was now supported by a student loan scheme by the national bank I was rapped, This loan defers payment until the course is completed. if I could get this loan that would mean I?d have more time to spend on the AIE and outside self teaching to assist myself into getting into a video game company at the end of the two year course. Instead of spending three days a week working full time at Coles?

So I went to the bank to enquire about the loan, I?m glad I did because it comes with one condition that can stop so many people in there tracks.

YOU REQUIRE A GARENTOR WHO ?OWNS LAND OR IS PAYING OFF A HOME? AND IS WILLING TO PUT THAT ON THE LINE FOR YOU. me crazy.. But I live in a poor circumstance and I know of no one who ones a house.. Tough luck for me.. No land.. No loan. It?s about as clear cut as that.

The point I?m making is.. if applying for a loan like that.. isn?t it safe to assume you might live in a family that doesn?t have much collateral or fianc? to begin with?

I now dub thee loan sir useless oxymoron

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 24/03/05 - 5:53 AMPermalink

I agree 100 % The world is full of these stupid oxymorons.

Another is try getting 100 points of Identification to proove you are who you say you are, when you dont have 100 Points to begin with [;)] The stupid thing is that most of the major contributors to the 100 points, require 100 points of ID to aquire. Go figure.

The real question is, what do you do about it ?

Submitted by Caroo on Thu, 24/03/05 - 9:01 AMPermalink

what did i do.. more what am i doing.

I'm saving every dollar i earn from coles at the moment. hoping to get around $3000 start up for the AIE course.. then i'll have to get a job on the other 3 days that im not studying at the AIE to pay off the rest.. and beg, borrow and steal form my parents to help in times that my job just wont cut it...but as poor as they are..that wont be alot.[:D]

none the'll sure be an interesting two years [xx(]

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 24/03/05 - 12:26 PMPermalink

Stick at it dude. Seriously if you earn your own way - youll appreciate it alot more, and give it one heck of a shot when your there. Youll also laugh as the % of younger folk whose parents paid for their entry, squander the opportunities, by mucking around and making a merry old time of it, leave half way through, not show up etc etc.

Hats off to you dude. [:)]

Submitted by lorien on Fri, 25/03/05 - 12:24 AMPermalink

Or you could go to TAFE or uni.

Submitted by Anuxinamoon on Fri, 25/03/05 - 4:44 AMPermalink

Qantm does the same thing with the national bank, but I wasnt able to get a loan cause I wasn't 18, so there went all my savings :p

Submitted by Caroo on Sat, 26/03/05 - 7:48 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Or you could go to TAFE or uni.

^^maybe..not proably not. i hate to compromise with something as important as education. so its AIE or nothing XD

Submitted by tachyon on Sun, 27/03/05 - 9:37 AMPermalink

quote:so its AIE or nothing XD

why is that? (just curious)

Submitted by Caroo on Sun, 27/03/05 - 8:53 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by tachyon

quote:so its AIE or nothing XD

why is that? (just curious)

Well mate. Many good reasons. Last year I went there to open day and had a look around. The Academy in Melbourne is only a few rooms on a high level of the Atari building but none the less most students there where nice people.. Normal people. And some where very passionate about games and the art for making games.. I consider that a big bonus. The culture there was great.

Secondly.. The AIE (not meaning to sound like a plug) goes out of its way to offer extra things to there students. For one there flexibility of payment options, another being that you could do three months work experience at one of the leading Australian designers while working there and get paid for it as well (but I?m assuming you gotta be really good for that) , for programmers there?s grants and all students get free admission into the AGDC.

Most of all, they evaluate your work and tell you what kind of studio you and the studio would most benefit having to work for. You might think of applying for one but getting a professional second opinion can only help.

From all the places I?ve researched? as far as Melbourne goes. The AIE seems to be the one with the closest ties to the industry.. I mean. If you know somewhere in Melbourne just as good. Please do tell :)

Submitted by Bunny on Mon, 28/03/05 - 2:07 AMPermalink

You can blame the government for ditching the old student supplementary loan scheme and watering down Austudy to the point of uselessness. It's not the bank's fault, they're doing business the way they always have and unfortunately that means you can't get a loan without some sort of security.

I worked my ass off in tech support to pay my first year at the AIE (3 months of 70 hour weeks, love that Y2K bug) and I worked my ass off at a few places including Coles to support myself while studying. I'm afraid unless you've got rich parents or a wealthy elderly relative you can knock off without anyone noticing, that's the way the cookie crumbles.

And to be honest, it really doesn't matter where you go to learn your stuff, as long as you learn your stuff. The AIE is good, but so are other institutions. The only real benefit the AIE has over others is free entry to the AGDC, everything else is just window dressing. The important thing is to put the work in both in and out of class, squeeze any industry types you meet for info, get your fingers into as many pies as possible (competitions, mods, whatever) and get involved with the industry community (which is what you're doing here).

Anyway, I'll just add my voice to those saying work your ass off and you'll do fine wherever you go.

Submitted by Caroo on Mon, 28/03/05 - 6:11 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Bunny

And to be honest, it really doesn't matter where you go to learn your stuff, as long as you learn your stuff. The AIE is good, but so are other institutions. The only real benefit the AIE has over others is free entry to the AGDC, everything else is just window dressing. The important thing is to put the work in both in and out of class, squeeze any industry types you meet for info, get your fingers into as many pies as possible (competitions, mods, whatever) and get involved with the industry community (which is what you're doing here).

If it's anything.. I'm working as a volentary consept artist in my spare time and designing for a race on the upcoming MMORPG Legands of Aphila Online. i have no idea how seccesfull the game will be but i've worked my ass on it. XD

Submitted by 0xBaaDf00d on Wed, 06/04/05 - 7:36 PMPermalink

There are other institutes other than AIE, ya know that offer most of that stuff to.
Hazard you used to go to Qantm? Right.. and last year the qantm students took the award on their first entry in the AGDC independant game dev Awards..

But there is a catch you'd have to like brisbanites:D

Anyway.. If i had a choice to go back to college, i think i would go study at qantm for the oppurtunity to polish up my skills at the bare minimum. its a killer.

Gotta pay ya way somehow...

Anyway, I really envy the students going through places like Qantm and AIE, cause they have courses that i wanted to do, when i went to Uni, but they didnt exist. The oppurtunity's ou youngsters have these days is just fantastic.

Submitted by AntsZ on Thu, 19/05/05 - 10:13 AMPermalink

I was in the same position as you Caroo, I lived in melb for ages but also wanted to go to AIE. Anyway I followed my partner to brisbane and just got settled in and heard about qantm but they also had the same thing as AIE when it came to payments.

Just recently I checked out the Careers expo here in brisbane and got talking to one of the qantm chicks apprently this coming intake which is in September they are implementing a Fee Help scheme which is basically HECS, im able to study and defer my payment through tax

if you want more info goto [url][/url] and email them, I had the chicks email address to talk to her directly but I lost her card when I find it i'll let ya know.

So if your willing to make friends with queenslanders and risk your life on the roads by all means give qantm a shot

Submitted by roadrunner on Tue, 12/07/05 - 7:08 AMPermalink

Hey all here is an AIE second year Mel student. I?m studying Game dev Art stream there. I was and still am in the same situation. I couldn't get the loan but hey last year I was working 3 jobs 2 cafes and my own web dev business. Now it?s been tough and but the AIE have been great also if none of the plans suit you can talk to them and organise your own payment plan. Firstly I must say that if you want to get into the game development the AIE would be the best in Mel. I have seen work from student at other Universities specializing in games in there multimedia course and we are miles ahead of them in terms of industry standards. Mind you im 28 this year I have been to uni and completed a cert 4 in multimedia web dev. So choosing AIE was a big decision and one I will never regret. You really find out about the Industry there. I have always wanted to get into games but didn't know how to go about it. So I have done this by myself and yes I appreciate it so much more. I have found that the students that there parents have paid for them aren?t really committed to course, but if your paying for it out of your own pocket then you are 200% committed. Also all your work is done on campus so no homework. This gives you time to work to make up the payments.

Also allot of the students are in your position.

I wouldn't hold back it?s a tough slog but if you really want it go and talk to them and they will work something out for you.

Another note I wanted to enroll at there Canberra institute 4 years ago, but it was the traveling thing I didn?t want to leave melb. The fact that they are situated in a hub of game dev companies is a Plus.

Submitted by Mdobele on Tue, 12/07/05 - 10:18 AMPermalink

I've always found that the "straight from high school" guys tend to throw it away in general and not really care. Its the guys who have worked shitty jobs for shitty pays for the past 5 - 10 years that really throw themselves into it..... funny that :-)

But hey thats the magic of Life Experience.

Submitted by LiveWire on Tue, 12/07/05 - 10:13 PMPermalink

what shitted me during the diploma at qantm was the people that scored a scholarship and then bumed around and did nothing with the course - many comming out with little more than when they went in and some even quitting. i guess since you didnt pay for it it's not much of a loss to just drop it. but there were people that me who had to work crappy jobs all through the course to pay for it, and then put in a bloody good effort - it was an even greater anoyence for me becuase i was shortlisted for the scholarship but missed out, and was later told that i was very close to getting it. to see people jsut throw it away while i struggeled on was bloody irritating. at least some people i know made the most of their scholarships and one at least worked as hard, if not harder than many other people. and his work is looking awsome.

basically, to come to a point with this bitch: if you're not prepared to make the most of these courses then dont waste your time with them. it's fast and hardwork if you want to come out of it with indusrty level skills. and this goes particually to those who might get scholarships - if your nothing going to use them then leave them for someone who will.

Submitted by Caroo on Tue, 12/07/05 - 11:25 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by LiveWire

what shitted me during the diploma at qantm was the people that scored a scholarship and then bumed around and did nothing with the course - many comming out with little more than when they went in and some even quitting. i guess since you didnt pay for it it's not much of a loss to just drop it. but there were people that me who had to work crappy jobs all through the course to pay for it, and then put in a bloody good effort - it was an even greater anoyence for me becuase i was shortlisted for the scholarship but missed out, and was later told that i was very close to getting it. to see people jsut throw it away while i struggeled on was bloody irritating. at least some people i know made the most of their scholarships and one at least worked as hard, if not harder than many other people. and his work is looking awsome.

basically, to come to a point with this bitch: if you're not prepared to make the most of these courses then dont waste your time with them. it's fast and hardwork if you want to come out of it with indusrty level skills. and this goes particually to those who might get scholarships - if your nothing going to use them then leave them for someone who will.

And you worked hard at it and look at you now. Level moddler for krome studios.

it is true. hard work and determanation will get you places.

Submitted by Kalescent on Wed, 13/07/05 - 12:59 AMPermalink

You need a bit of luck too - a bit of luck goes a long way.

Submitted by Caroo on Wed, 13/07/05 - 6:49 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by HazarD

You need a bit of luck too - a bit of luck goes a long way.

dammit.. that i DONT have .. the Watts name is an unlucky one <.< i swear by it XD

Vocational training? Masters?

If you are thinking about going into the game industry, you may find the article below useful.

EA is not the "best" company by any means, but it is the biggest or one of the biggest, so worth listening to what they have to say.




Vocational training for Video Game Programmers?
No thanks!
An open letter to computer science programs.

John W. Buchanan
University Research Liaison Dude
Electronic Arts


Let?s face it. Video Games are cool, and they are now part of our everyday life. We can be heroes in rich, engaging worlds; we can be sport stars performing in front of adoring audiences; and we can live in online communities in ever-changing, virtual worlds. Our industry?s cool factor is seducing academics into adding video game components to existing Computer Science programs. In this letter, I talk about how we at Electronic Arts perceive the different approaches to incorporating video games into CS curricula.

A senior-level video game course that introduces students to the issues that they will encounter in the industry is an excellent way to incorporate video games into computer science curricula. Post-graduate degrees that have students work in multidisciplinary teams are perhaps the best approach. However, some institutions are offering complete undergraduate degrees in video game programming. These degrees, for the most part, are vocational in nature: their stated purpose is to prepare students for the current industry requirements. Core computer science courses are often replaced with technology-specific courses. This vocational approach does not prepare students to grow with an industry that changes its base technology and its practices every 5-6 years.

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 22/03/05 - 4:17 AMPermalink

IMHO expecting any undergrad course to produce competent games programmers is being completely unrealistic. And going vocational is a Bad Thing for undergrad (imho). Graduate diplomas and coursework masters make a lot of sense to me because they can add a vocational edge to a solid background. I've suggested it plenty of times before (not on sumea though).

I notice that Carnegie Mellon seem to be only talking about coursework masters for games.

CFP - IE2005: The Second Australasian Conference o

Call for Papers

IE2005: The Second Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment

*23-25 November 2005
Sydney, Australia *

Submission Deadlines:
Full Papers: 15 June 2005
Short Papers: 22 June 2005
Demo Proposals: 29 June 2005


The computer game and interactive entertainment industry is now a
multi-billion industry driving new computer technologies and defining a
new set of cultural conventions. The lack of game-specific academic
conferences has prevented many academics from fully embracing game
development as a serious field of study. As a result, although current
research in games and interactive entertainment is published in a wide
range of specialised conferences/journals, there is limited
collaboration between researchers from different academic fields.

The Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment is a
cross-disciplinary conference that will bring together researchers from
artificial intelligence, cognitive science, media studies, drama, HCI,
psychology, interactive media, cultural studies, graphics, audio, as
well as researchers from other disciplines working on new game specific
technologies or providing critical analysis of games and interactive

The conference will accept different submission types that present new
scientific ideas, improvements to existing techniques or provide a new
ways of examining, designing and using computer games.

Topics of interest

The papers should include original and unpublished contributions.
Suggested research topic included, but are not limited to:

* Artificial Intelligence (pathfinding, learning, agents, ...)
* Advanced/Innovative Interaction Design
* Ambient Intelligence for Entertainment
* Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality
* Art, Design and Media
* Cultural and Media Studies on Computer Games
* Education, Training, and Edutainment Technologies
* Graphics/Animation Techniques
* Human Factors of Games
* Interaction design
* Interactive Digital Storytelling
* Media Theory
* Mobile Entertainment
* Networking (technical and social)
* New Genres, New Standards
* Security (technical and social)
* Social Computing and Presence
* Sound and Music

Submission procedure

All papers will be peer reviewed and evaluated on originality,
significance, technical contribution and accepted papers will be
published in the proceedings.

*Regular papers*: Max 8 pages, selected for oral or poster presentation
*Short papers*: Max 4 pages, poster presentation only
*Demos*: Max 1 page, cutting edge systems or original interactive
environments. The abstract should summarise the system's behaviour and
significance, include a screenshot and optionally include a URL for a
video or a web site. The abstract for accepted demos will be included in
the proceedings.

To prepare your paper for submission, please follow these instructions

1. Download they style file or template from
2. Use only the template fonts and styles.
3. Upload your submission via the submission page.
4. Register for IE05. At least one author must be registered before
the camera ready deadline for your paper to appear in the

IE05 will not accept any regular or short paper which, at the time of
submission, is under review for or has already been published or
accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. This
restriction does not apply to submissions for workshops and other venues
with a limited audience.

For a regular paper, short or a demo to appear in the proceedings, at
least one author must be register by the deadline for camera-ready copy

Important Dates

15 June 2005: Papers Due
22 June 2005: Short Papers Due
29 June 2005: Demo Proposals Due
21 September 2005: Notification of Acceptance
12 October 2004: Final versions of accepted papers due
23-25 November 2005: IE05 Conference

Conference Organisation

Yusuf Pisan, University of Technology, Sydney

*Program Committee*
Matt Adcock, CSIRO ICT Centre, Australia
John Banks, CIRAC, Queensland University of Technology / Auran, Australia
Kirsty Beilharz, University of Sydney, Australia
Marc Cavazza, University of Teesside, UK
Erik Champion, University of Queensland, Australia
Annmarie Chandler, University of Sydney, Australia
Chris Chesher, University of Sydney, Australia
Patrick Crogan, University of Adelaide, Australia
John Debenham, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Penny Drennan, University of Queensland, Australia
Peter Eades, NICTA/University of Sydney, Australia
Ernest Edmonds, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Magy Seif El-Nasr, Penn State University, USA
Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne, Australia
Andrew Gordon, Institute for Creative Technologies, University of
Southern California, USA
Ian Gwiltt, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Brendan Harkin, X|Media|Lab, Australia
Andrew Johnston, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Mike Lee, Australia
Linda Leung, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Gregory More, RMIT University, Australia
Keith Nesbit, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Maurice Pagnucco, The University of New South Wales, Australia
Mark Pesce, AFTRS, Australia
Toni Robertson, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Cathie Sherwood, Griffith University, Australia
Simeon Simoff, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Liz Sonenberg, University of Melbourne, Australia
Penny Sweetster, University of Queensland, Australia
Nicolas Szilas, Macquarie University, Australia
Jim Tulip, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Anders Tychsen, Macquarie University, Australia
Greg Wadley, University of Melbourne, Australia
Viveka Weiley, Karmanaut, Australia
Mary-Anne Williams, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

(additional PC members are being added,
if you are interested in becoming a PC member, contact Yusuf Pisan

For Additional Information

Please visit or email the
conference organisers at

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 12/03/05 - 3:32 AMPermalink

Thank you Yusuf for doing what the AGDC won't.

Epiphany Games

Anyone know which state Epihpany games are located? For the developers list on Sumea...

Submitted by 3DArty on Fri, 23/12/05 - 1:04 AMPermalink

Hi Souri I know you have Epiphany Games based in VIC. but Sydney is where there at. I know this post is old but thats where they are at the moment.

Loss of a great person

Not sure many here have heard but Adam Lancman, President of the GDAA and head of Atari Melborune, passed away sometime on Saturday night.

He was a very wonderful person and I am sure that the loss of him will be felt throughout the industry for years to come.

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Tue, 08/03/05 - 4:43 AMPermalink

A great contributor to the Australian Games Industry. I remember he had lots of time for me when I picked his brains at AGDC 2002. Generous, considering that often some of the industry guys didn't have lots of time for the students or those looking for work so that's my main memory of him.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 08/03/05 - 9:56 PMPermalink

It's definately a huge loss when someone with 23 years of industry experience is gone. Whoever takes his place at the GDAA has some rather big shoes to fill.

Submitted by IronhideNT on Tue, 08/03/05 - 10:16 PMPermalink

Wow that comes as a shock. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for a project at uni last year and I was surprised how open and down-to-earth he was.

I was even more surprised at his willingness to give up time for some uni student between flights to and from Europe!

But just talking to him though showed me how much passion he had for the industry here and his strong belief on its growth.

Thanks to him, I'm sure the industry will continue to do so.

Submitted by Brain on Tue, 08/03/05 - 11:09 PMPermalink

Whoa... shock indeed. We've lost a great man who I'm sure we'll never forget.

Submitted by Daemin on Sat, 12/03/05 - 7:03 AMPermalink

Is ther any official place where we can place condolences or some such things?

Submitted by souri on Sat, 19/03/05 - 3:23 PMPermalink

I've made a small effort to find the messages left for Adam at The Age newspaper and other websites and post them in the Sumea news item so that they can be stored for prosterity. Since no one has come forward with any info on an official place to place condolences, I guess a good place is to write [url=""]a comment in that news item[/url] on Sumea.

Considering all my options

Hello I am new to this website, and was wondering if the kind people of this forum could help me out. I have recently graduated from James Cook University with a BSc majoring in Computer Science. The thought of spending the rest of my life writing web apps and programs for small businesses doesn't excite me like it once did and as an avid gamer I would like to get in involved in the game industry as a programmer.

I feel like I need a little more training before I can achieve this. I have been looking at the QANTM Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment course, and if I had more time to organise a loan I might very well have been studying there now. Now that I have had a little more time to think, I am unsure whether I should attend QANTM or not. The course is very expensive, and I already have a degree, will the knowledge gained be worth the money.

My other options are to return to JCU and take the number of game related courses they have introduced(which were offered the year I graduated). The problem is I don't hold alot of faith in JCU's non mainstream subjects, the Computer Graphics course and Advanced Multimedia courses I completed were entry-level stuff and other subjects were too heavily theory based. Plus the courses are only offered in Cairns I am based in Townsville and if I move I would like it to be a place that is at least better than Townsville. The only other course that I was interested in was the diploma of computer game development(programing) offered by The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, but there wasn't alot of information on the website which looked a little suspect, the one piece of information I did pick up seemed to be that they take your current knowledge in C++ into account. I will be emailing the AIE for more information on their course.

I an still unsure of what I should do, I already have a good grounding in C++ and only really need to know how to apply that knowledge to game development. I would be grateful for any advice. Or any opinions on the courses I have mentioned

Thanks in advance

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 02/03/05 - 1:57 AMPermalink

Try and join and indie project with people who have some experience. Buy some games programming books. Make your own space invaders clone.

Don't believe the marketing.

Submitted by Mdobele on Wed, 02/03/05 - 8:08 AMPermalink

I just finished the BIE degree at Qantm last year and whilst it had a few problems here and there on the whole I felt I got my moneys worth. It cant have been to bad considering the sucess rate of gaining employment so far. Out of my mates who did it last year alone I know 8 people who got jobs. Pretty good considering its only March.

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 02/03/05 - 10:10 PMPermalink

Better say I didn't go to QANTM, I was speaking in general terms.

Are those QANTM degrees properly accredited now? This wouldn't matter for someone who already has a comp sci degree, but for those who don't...

Submitted by WanderingSwords on Wed, 02/03/05 - 10:19 PMPermalink

Has anyone with a computer science degree completed one of these courses?

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 02/03/05 - 10:31 PMPermalink

I'm doing a masters by research in comp sci after having completed a games diploma (no you can't get into a masters just with a games diploma, I'd done undergrad uni in music and music technology first).

But yes, there are plenty of people around. Not sure about on sumea though. All my programmer classmates except one regret doing the games course, and they'd all been to uni.

This was a while ago.

Submitted by Mdobele on Wed, 02/03/05 - 10:58 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien

Are those QANTM degrees properly accredited now?

Yes they are fully accredited now.

Submitted by Ash on Thu, 07/04/05 - 11:37 AMPermalink

Some info for you, draw your own conclusions. I did a BE Software at UQ, worked in the software industry for a while then got hired by THQ as a game designer (involves about half scripting, half design). But during uni i did a lot of games programming and design writing in my spare time. Quite a few recent junior hires here at THQ are graduates from last year's QANTM (programmers, designers, artists). There are mixed opinions about the quality of QANTM, ask a few students and they will tell you some stories, or search the forums.

Submitted by groovyone on Sat, 09/04/05 - 9:58 AMPermalink

I'm going to disclose the secret to game industry employment.


if you have all of the above, there should be nothing stopping you getting a job in this industy.

To be looked at as a candidate for a job in the game industry against all other qualified applicants, you need to show that you have interest in and passion for games. Not only playing them, but doing what you love doing - programming, music, art, design whatever, but having some sort of experience doing it. This can be achieved by working on mods, shareware titles.. etc. ANYThing at all that is completed and you have something to show for your skills and passion. For every job that is advertised, think of yourself applying against 100 other people. WTF should the company you're applying to choose you over everyone else. That's the question that if you can answer then you should not have a problem getting employment.

I've been through this myself both as contractor and permanent for 5 years in the industry.

Employers absolutely love people who love games and show they're active in their involvement creating them. Too many people say they want to work in games because it's their dream, but then do nothing to show they are actually interested - ie working on shareware or mods.

Too many times have I seen programmer who want to be a game programmer, but has never written their own games, or not even involved on a game mod or small shareware project. Also composers who don't do any game work to build their skills, but have done this movie and that movie,... who cares, being active on a game project being paid or not, shows dedication, commitment, and love for the industry rather than just I 've found a new way to make money.

If you have completed titles, or any self projects anything that shows results and that you are totally commited to game development and you show you are passionate about it, then you are on top of the list for every other applicant.

If you truly want to work in this industry you will show dedication to finding a way in.

Free Play IGDC 2

Hi Sumeans,

So you can put it in your diaries we (Next Wave) have tentatively set down the dates of Fri 15, Sat 16 and Sun 17 July 2005 for this year's Free Play conference. All going to plan, it will take place in Melbourne at the Australian Centre for The Moving Image at Federation Square (no more complaints about how rough the venue is!). Suggestions for how we should go about it, what we should include, who we should bring out, etc are welcome and taken seriously and it would be great if people want to make some suggestions in this thread.

No one should be booking tickets to Melbourne or anything until i finish raising the money (a bit of a challenge, but looking do-able) but if your thinking about getting married or anything you might want to move it to another weekend to be on the safe side! Assuming we get some money, I will be back soon with a shout out for help and people who want to be involved in it all.


Submitted by MoonUnit on Sat, 05/02/05 - 5:19 AMPermalink

first off thanks for taking the time to listen to what people have to say :) my only suggestion would be to make it very clear the intended audience of each talk. Last years classic example was the AI talk where programmers walked in and listened to a talk which was simply explaining what AI was. I mean thats great for someone who wants to learn what AI is and has no idea but there were people who went with a different expectation. Hope that helps

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sat, 05/02/05 - 5:35 AMPermalink

That?s funny, I?ve found that most programmers (especially the AI kind), tend to need game AI explained to them ;)

Submitted by qwertyuiop on Sat, 05/02/05 - 5:43 PMPermalink

moonunit: I agree that being clear on what talks are about is a good idea and we will try and be a little clearer on it. Obviously FP is a fairly low budget event and unless we go and get a lot of cash and seriously compromise our independence (or our affordability) it will probably remain one. Sometimes that is going to mean we can't do everything in as much detail as you would want us to or as much as we want to. Sometimes it is going to be hit and miss - but i'd take that any day over boring and predictable.

I have noticed some negative comments about the sheer volume of simultaneous things that are on at FP but that's part of the point of it. If you go to a session and it's not relating to where you're coming from, there should always be something else on. It's important that FP is a diverse event for people with different experiences and interests. It's not trying to be a 3 day computer science course - we try and cover a range of creative, technical, ideas, industry and philosophical stuff.

But you're right, the clearer we can be about those things the better. Feel free to keep the comments coming.


Submitted by souri on Sun, 06/02/05 - 4:04 AMPermalink

I've mentioned it in the other thread about Free play, but it would definately be worth contacting the folks at the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Melbourne and Brisbane chapters, probably for comments/help or even for the steering committee. I'm sure a fair few of them could help out with some workshop tutorials and as speakers [:)]
Anyway, some links:

[url=""]IGDA Brisbane[/url]
[url=""]IGDA Brisbane blog[/url]
[url=""]IGDA Brisbane forum[/url]

[url=""]IGDA Melbourne[/url]
[url=""]IGDA Melbourne forum[/url]

Submitted by vanillaflavour… on Mon, 07/02/05 - 10:33 PMPermalink


I couldn't be happier to hear that Freeplay is happening again this year. I had a whale of a time last year - definitely a worthwhile event.

I'm more than happy to help out, both personally and through the IGDA. Please do get in touch and let me know how I can help.

My introductory IGDA talk last year was really dull and boring, and I'd like to avoid doing something as dry as that again. The other session (the Quality of Life one, which was meant to be a panel, but ended up being just the moderator and me) I think was a little better, as it seemed to provoke a lot of discussion - perhaps we can follow up on some of that sort of stuff. I'm going to the IGDA's Quality of Life Summit at GDC this year, so perhaps I can do some reporting back from that. Let me know.

My other hat, of course, is that of game designer, so I'd be more than happy to speak in that capacity as well.

As far as the IGDA goes, we'll certainly help out in whatever ways we can - I think that the IGDA and Freeplay are a particularly good fit. In fact, Freeplay actually came up at the industry discussion panel we had at our last chapter meeting, and a few of us commented that we hoped it was coming back this year :)

In summary:

1. I think it's great news that Freeplay will be back this year, so I'm voicing my support for that, as a developer.

2. Personally, I'm happy to help out however I can.

3. Let me know if/how you'd like the IGDA to help spread the word.


Submitted by James A Burke on Tue, 08/02/05 - 5:03 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by qwertyuiop

All going to plan, it will take place in Melbourne at the Australian Centre for The Moving Image at Federation Square (no more complaints about how rough the venue is!).

That is good :D

Submitted by CynicalFan on Tue, 08/02/05 - 3:07 PMPermalink

Well, I guess with this post I will first off quote what I wrote in the other Free Play centric thread:

?If you ask me, Next Wave was great in getting Free Play off of the ground, and did a great job of doing so in general, but, they are not game developers ? but then again this does have its benefits.?


As I also said in that post in relation to the quote, that this is apparent in the end quality of the event, such as the lack of preparation and quality checks present for the presenters and their talks ? more so their talks. I believe presenters were told that such preparation was not necessary, that it was more of a casual laid-back affair, where presenters just got up and talked and fielded questions ? this is ok for some talks, but not all.

I think this is due to there being inadequate involvement from professional developers, and also due to a lack of experience with the industry with the organisers, therefore they did not feel confident in making quality judgement calls or enforcing them ? but perhaps I am way off on this one.

I?ll also say that having no involvement from those outside of the industry is a bad thing, as you need the kind of ?objectivity? that they can provide ? so I am not saying this at all.


If funding and quality is an issue, then raise the price of entry, though this does not really help in raising the funds to put on the event, but perhaps will help you feel more confident in reassuring ?investors? that the event will at least breakeven. I think that the cost last year was great, but it did show in the end quality of the conference, and I think that most this year would like to see this bar raised, much higher.

Personally I think that $100-150 for Students / Unemployed is reasonable to ask for if the quality is improved from last year?s conference, and $200-300 for Developers / Employed (other industry) again is not much to ask for from the employed if the quality is right, and seems to be the unanimous amount that most are willing to part with ? and I think the recent polls on Sumea for the AGDC price support this.

And those figures are for a 3 day pass FYI.

Personally, I was under the impression that most that attend the conference were from Melbourne, so the $20 or whatever they paid was really nothing at all, I think that for them to pay $100 is still nothing. For those that came interstate and had to pay for accommodation and travel costs, $20 was not much of a saving, and raising this to $100 wont make that much of a difference ? as for the developers / employed, they are working and can afford it if they really want to attend.

BTW: You really need to have passes of some kind for those that have payed for more than one day, I ripped my wrist thing off after the first day and had problems (with security) getting back in due to my ?appearance? ? he is lucky I didn?t punch him in the face ;)


I am under the impression that most (the newbies) that attended last year wanted to be professionals, meaning, earning a living from their chosen artform and profession, therefore the bulk of the conference should reflect this ? I also felt that there were too few developers, but this comes down to venue capacity and bad timing, both of which I assume have now been addressed.

Being an indie can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, for instance, some may think of an indie being someone who in their spare time to their regular job creates games and releases them on the internet ? for free or profit. To others being an indie could mean being a big time professional that has carved their mark on the industry by starting out as a shareware / internet release developer, then self-funding all or part of their own titles ? developers that spring to mind are Blizzard, ID Software.

Being an indie to me is being a professional, with the aim of having the creative freedom and financial muscle to negotiate favourable terms in your publishing / distribution deal for your titles ? or utilising ?alternate? methods to get your title developed, marketed and distributed.

When I think of Free Play, an Independent Game Developer?s Conference, I think of ?professional? developers more so than ?hobby? developers. Therefore, there should be more content for professional developers that wish to become more independent or wish to stay (or become) independent in the future.

Talks on modding and machinima (hobbyist game development) are great as these are clear avenues for those wishing to break into the industry, but, should not reflect the bulk of what this conference has to offer. Talks like ?What Game Designer?s really do? don?t interest me as a professional as I already know what they do. Though you may argue that this is more intended for the newbies, but, even though I found overall the range of topics and the topics themselves for talks interesting and ?solid,? I found that I was disappointed by the actual content of most of the talks that I attended, especially those that I thought were for more ?experienced? developers, as they actually offered nothing new and only covered the basics ? I think Moonunit mentioned this as well.

For instance there were various ?funding project? talks that covered no new ground only the basics, and offered no clear or solid strategies and business models that developers could take away with and apply in their own projects ? I want to hear the low-down from experts on the subject and their opinions on what will work. And when I mean strategies and business models, I mean not just as a small time indie, but how to grow your business into another Blizzard, or strategies on moving away from fee-for-service work and becoming more independent on a creative level, and owning more of your projects and seeing more of the profit from them ? but I will admit, I did miss one or two talks that could of offered this :(

Talks that show you how to do the latest thing ? like normal mapping ? do not interest me as I can probably learn this from the internet, or buy a book that will tell me how to do this. What I would be more interested is in a discussion of the uses of the technique in commercial development, the pros and cons of its utilisation today and within the future ? not how to do it in a 3D modelling tool.

From a newbie perspective, I want to hear the ?realities? of starting a studio and an indie project, what goes wrong and why. I want to hear the realities of working in the industry, how hard it is to get a job and why, how you usually get a job and why, why you may very well find more appealing working on a mod, level, game art, machinima or indie title in your spare time (along with a regular job) far more rewarding than becoming a ?professional.?

This conference should be a clear independent and affordable rival to the AGDC, and willing to discuss issues like Quality-of-Life issues that plague our industry, and how we can overcome them. An important medium and forum for industry change for the better, not afraid to discuss the hard and often ugly issues that face developers ? the kind that the AGDC ignores or downplays.

I guess the point I am trying to drive at is that the conference should be less ?underground? and more professional and should consider itself as such. And also, no talks where developers / companies market their new whiz-bang product, I for one do not like having to pay for this ?privilege? ? a good rule of thumb for which Australian developers will and will not do this is if they are ?active? in creating an image in the local media, especially with all their spin they really have very little in the way of achievements to talk of, try the developers that are the ?quiet-achiever? types, they have more personality and wisdom to share ;)


One last thing, I stayed at the Victoria Hotel, and got bitten to shit by bed bugs. Now, you might think that this is no big deal, and that they are as bad as mosquito bites, wrong! First off they make you itch like crazy, you will not be a happy camper for at least 2 weeks, and you can forget about getting any work done ? mine, and even the small ones, grew into large itchy welts after a couple of days due to an allergic reaction. Anther thing is that it will cause nausea, unless you take medication for allergies ? it was so severe that I nearly collapsed (passed out) from it, and I also think that people thought that I was drunk, especially security :). The worst part of it is that I only realised a day I got back from the conference, after all the bites, even the ones I did not see, grew into the large welts I mentioned, so I had slept in an infested bed for four nights with the little bastards sucking me dry, so I was pretty much covered with them ? at first I thought I had contracted some kind of disease.

I suggest finding another hotel with higher standards for your mid-range budget accommodation, as I hear that I was not the only one ? this means they are infested, they know it, and they don?t want to do anything about it as most people are completely ignorant about them so will not bother to complain.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Tue, 08/02/05 - 3:14 PMPermalink

BTW: I think this thread / topic should be a ?sticky.?

Submitted by lorien on Wed, 09/02/05 - 3:15 AMPermalink

Big thanks to Helen Stuckey and all the ACMI people too.

I think this topic should be marked "itchy" rather than sticky [:)]

Submitted by qwertyuiop on Thu, 10/02/05 - 4:59 AMPermalink

CynicalFan, at least there is no false misrepresentation in your name there! I understand your general criticisms and am sympathetic to some of them. But you're not cutting us a lot of slack here and you're little off the mark with some of your comments. Some of them, i'd like to throw around to get other people's views on because as often as not when someone complains we should be going one way, someone else is telling us to do the exact opposite. Doing anything like this is a deliberate balancing act and we make the best decisions we can within the limitations that we got.

Ok, down to specifics:

+ "they are not game developers ... I think this is due to there being inadequate involvement from professional developers, and also due to a lack of experience with the industry with the organisers, therefore they did not feel confident in making quality judgement calls or enforcing them ? but perhaps I am way off on this one.? - Way off. I think Zoot (who was a coordinator of the last FP) corrected this in the last thread but you didn't seemed to deliberately ignore it. FP _was_ coordinated by developers. Next Wave is not a game dev organisation but we know that which is why the group that developed the program, philosophy, speakers lists, suggestions etc for FP were all developers. Souri was involved in that process, we had two employed developers for major companies (also doing indie stuff), a game artist, a startup DIY game guy and an enthusiastic student. Only Fiona and myself weren't game makers (although i am a pretty fanatical game player, have worked as a web developer, tech software writer and journo in another life so i am not a luddite) but i'd like to think we had a few useful skills to offer;

+ "this is apparent in the end quality of the event, such as the lack of preparation and quality checks present for the presenters and their talks ? more so their talks. I believe presenters were told that such preparation was not necessary, that it was more of a casual laid-back affair, where presenters just got up and talked and fielded questions ? this is ok for some talks, but not all."

Yes, i make no apology for the fact that this was a deliberate approach. The idea was definately to keep it as informal, conversational and unlike a university or a corporate promo fluff piece as humanly possible. We told most speakers not to over-prepare - that we we wanted them to speak for 5 or 10 minutes and then we would throw it open to audience questions comment and discussion. I think this actually explains a lot of the vibe of the event and that it is mostly a good thing. Obviously, not going to work for everyone and we will be more aware of where it might not make sense next time around, but in principle i think casual is the right way to go. Obviously you disagree, but more people have praised the casual nature of it than have criticised it by a factor or 4 or 5 to one from the feedback that's got to us. What do people here think?

As for the quality of the speakers themselves, this was always going to be a bit hit and miss. There is a relatively small group of people in this country to draw on and not all people with great knowledge are great speakers. Sometimes some people don't handle that environment so well. Sometimes people claimed to be experts and were full of bull. It is always going to be a bit like that. I have been to events with a thousand times the budget of free play and hit the same problem. The only real alternative there is cut back on the number and range of sessions and go for proven talent. If this is what people want, then we would consider it, but giving new voices a chance to speak is part of what i personally value in the whole exercise. Thoughts?

+ ENTRY COSTS "I think that the cost last year was great, but it did show in the end quality of the conference, and I think that most this year would like to see this bar raised, much higher. Personally I think that $100-150 for Students / Unemployed is reasonable to ask for if the quality is improved from last year?s conference, and $200-300 for Developers / Employed (other industry) again is not much to ask for from the employed if the quality is right" - speak for yourself. I think that's a big call. Keeping it cheap was part of the philosophy and the idea was to attract a really different audience for FP than the AGDC. It's not meant to be as slick, it is meant to be diverse and accessable. If you want the AGDC then that's cool but that's why it's a different event and there is space for alternatives. It's meant to be rougher than the slick commercial stuff, it's meant to take risks and fail, it's meant to be open to fifteen year olds who are passionate and motivated (not rich) enough. It's cool because the people there are cool and not because of the quality of signage or what's in the showbag. A lot of the feedback we got last time appreciated that a lot. What do others think?

+ Re: Passes, good practical suggestion.

+ i have cut out a lot of what you've said there because i think you have spent a lot of time complaining about what shouldn't be represented at Free Play. A lot of what you are saying shouldn't be there is stuff that other people really appreciate. I take all your suggestions about what SHOULD be represented really seriously but you're not the only one. There were over 400 people at free play - how many of them did you talk to? I am pretty confident that those of us involved in putting it together talked to more of them than you did. THe cool thing about that was the diversity of things that people wanted more of and i think catering to that diversity will be part of the FP philospohy for a while to come.

gotta run but happy to continue the discussions,


Submitted by CynicalFan on Thu, 10/02/05 - 12:14 PMPermalink

Hey, hey, hey? no need to take it so personally, you did after all ask for anyone?s opinions, and that all would be considered. I merely offered mine, and if it is a bit focused on the negative, well? I prefer to focus and address the negative rather continue to praise the positive? and I also don?t like arse kissing ;)

I do not know who Zoot is, and I did not know what he meant by his fairly concise comments - I was also fairly busy at the time. So don?t jump to a conclusion that I had (on purpose) ignored what he had said, I take offence to that. I also did not know about the level of involvement of developers in the conference, and I still do not know how much input they had to be perfectly honest.

As for the price thing, well if you want a better event, you will probably have to raise the price of the event. If you want to keep it low priced for some attendees, then offer a lower priced entry point. In my mind something like 100 for students and 300 for developers is reasonable, and are also the ?extremes? that you should price the event, I did not say that they had to be this price, they could be cheaper, and you could have more entry levels for different attendee types.

As for my comments in regards to the level of quality in the talks, your approach is wrong I think. This is a conclusion I have drawn from speaking to the people at the conference, and from comments made online about the event. You have taken this personally as you were a part of the event organisation, therefore you are subjective about it ? as apposed to objective. I will not go into my reasons as to why your approach is wrong and why I suspect you all had decided to go with it, as it will only devolve this discussion into a series of personal and childish attacks.

I will say that your slightly heated subjectivity has actually missed some of the positive comments I have made, but granted, I did not see much reason to go into so much detail with those, so I can see why they were overlooked.

As for the rest, I will leave this to others to comment on and make their own voices heard. I will also leave you with something I once read, and goes something along the lines of:

?Sorry, I did not have the time to write you a short letter, so I have written you a long one instead.?

Writing a clear, concise post takes a lot of time, effort and (sometimes diplomatic) skill, therefore it is easier to write a long winded one instead, one that is perhaps not so clear, and can make people jump to conclusions about the writer and their meaning.

Especially, when you are dealing with what is basically nothing more than plain text on a screen.

Submitted by qwertyuiop on Thu, 10/02/05 - 9:57 PMPermalink

Hey CF,

I didn't take any of it personally and didn't mean any of it personally. Started writing a response and had to finish it quickly (had to go to a meeting) without thinking about it quite enough. Sorry if it was taken personally, certainly not intended that way. If you come down for FP or you're in Melbourne i will buy you a beer and be more than happy to discuss in person.

I guess the key things i was trying to get to was that we get very different feedback from different groups. So, i can honestly say for every time someone says "i'd be happy to pay a lot more" someone else comes up to us and says "i'm on youth allowance and i am so glad someone has put something like this on at a price that i can afford". I guess that's why i am putting the counter views to you because they have certainly been put to us in feedback forms, other forums, conversations with participants, etc.

Zoot is a professional developer and has also been involved in a few indy projects along the way and Zoot was very instrumental in getting FP going and getting other real developers in on it. Zoot can speak for Zoot, but it is a key point in the origins of FP that it was initiated by people on the inside. I am sorry if i said you'd ignored that on purpose (i didn't think i had, but i did as i read back over it) - brain to fingers crisis, lack of editing, too much of a hurry. All the usual excuses.

Developers had a huge influence on the conference program - it's also worth trawling through the Sumea archives because we did really try and incorporate people's suggestions in the lead up to the last one. We certainly learnt a lot from the experience and it will all be applied this time around - it's not like it's not obvious to us that a whole bunch of things could work better. It was the first time we'd tried anything like this, some things went great, some went pear shaped, we took notes! It's also why we're asking for suggestions.

If you want to go into the reasons why our approach is wrong in the tone of the conference that would be very welcome and it won't degenerate into childish attacks, i promise. I've been to more than a few conferences and events in my time, i personally really prefer the idea of energetic discussion to the more tired "expert talks for 45 minutes while the audience falls asleep" approach. I am not saying that you are suggesting that we go to that extreme but that's part of the balancing that we're trying to pull off. Which is not to say we shouldn't tweak it - some topics lend themselves to discussion, whereas - for example - more technical presentations (whether that is coding or legals) probably need a fair bit more preperation than we encouraged last time.

Your point about me being subjective is totally true and well taken. You could probably have gone a little further and point out that i'm a little defensive (which is an unfortunate part of being a human being that i haven't quite been able to get over) - fortunately you didn't because it would have made me even more defensive :). But everyone who goes to an event like FP or posts an opinion here is subjective (not everyone is defensive, i'll concede) and that's my main point. Obviously you would like to see the program go in a certain kind of way that matches most what you personally are interested in and want to get out of it. Fair enough too. But we get a lot of people with very different interests talking to us and we don't want to take away whole streams of the conference that they're keen on. Diversity is it for me and diversity is not something we are likely to get rid of.

The philosophy behind FreePlay is to assume that people are coming in with different interests, different skills, different expectations and to try and make sure there is enough in there for all of them. It's a big, diverse program to accomodate that. It's not just for startup garage companies, it's not just for young modders, it's not just for people trying to get a job with a big company, it's not just for uni students, it's not just for frustrated overworked professional developers, it's not just for people interested in the shape of the industry, it's not just for companies trying to recruit talent, it's not just to show off product and skills - it's a bit of all of those things and a balance between them. We are really interested in how to better balance those things but i doubt we will throw any of those groups overboard without really serious consideration.

Anyhow, i am taking all this as a good constructive discussion, not an argument - as you say it's hard to get people's tone via typed text but there's no steam coming out my ears here, no objects flying around the room - just trying to put other views in and explain where we're coming from.

It's all good, let it roll on...


Submitted by lorien on Fri, 11/02/05 - 12:32 AMPermalink

One thing that annoyed me a little about the last one was to find some advertising posters put up in the staircase from a company that (AFAIK) didn't even sponsor the event.

I agree that it needs to be made clear that a presentation isn't a chance to spin a load of marketing BS and hype.E

And don't worry guys, Cynical Fan makes steam come out of everyone's ears (no insult intended). Even more than I do [:)]

Don't know if the "arse kissing" comment was directed at me, if it was I suggest you find out a little more about what Helen and ACMI in general have been up to and why they deserve thanks.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Fri, 11/02/05 - 1:41 AMPermalink

Oh, I didn?t mean you specifically Lorien, I meant that one in general ;)

That one I just new would piss someone off, but I said what the hell, I?ll say it anyway, knowing that it was not the exact truth ? just one part or side of it. One thing I missed with my clear and concise is: complete. Saying something like that that is clear, concise and NOT complete is bound to irritate people ? I suppose that is why I left it in after thinking twice.

Marcus: I think I will not give my reasons as I do fear it will result in someone starting a childish flame-war ? probably me by saying it. I?d prefer to sit on it and think more about it, and figure out whether it will actually help or just hinder.

Submitted by axon on Fri, 11/02/05 - 3:08 AMPermalink

(Had a hard time picking up all of the previous discussion (sheer volume). Hopefully what I'm about to write isn't already covered.)

I'm very interested in career pathways. I'm a few years out of uni and have been working FT since in simulations & defence sw. I'd love to hear from ppl who've successfully made the career transition.

(I've interviewed for games sector work but it seems like game firms are unwilling to acknowledge any coding expertise that isn't applied to commercial titles (defence sims are just games guys.. just not as fun to make (?)).)

Submitted by lorien on Fri, 11/02/05 - 11:59 PMPermalink

What does this have to do with freeplay? Are you saying you would like some presentations from people who have made a career transition to games?

Submitted by souri on Sat, 12/02/05 - 1:32 PMPermalink

My friends and I are excited that there is a chance that Free Play 2005 is happening. We'll be coming down to Melbourne for it! I'll be posting my thoughts on Free play 2005 when I come back after the weekend. (I'm going camping in a few hours o_O)

Submitted by Chaos on Sat, 12/02/05 - 11:28 PMPermalink

I would like to see one session deal with resume writing and presentation. What game companies look for in a resume, how to avoid getting yours end up in the junk box and actually read. Could take a couple that people have submitted and go through them, like one for artist and one for programmer etc.

Submitted by scorpiontail on Sun, 13/02/05 - 11:52 AMPermalink

Ok one thing that really annoyed me last year was the fact that it was really hard to hear what was being said in the discussions, tho im thinking that this will be rectified with the change of location.

Also im one of those people who are content with the price. Cuz im a student studying and im on youth allowance, i would rather purchase a book to learn from than pay $100 to get into an event where i might not get the same value. That being said, it would be nice to hear discussions about topics that cant be just read out of a book. Information that only comes from experience, like the perks and pitfalls of working in the game industry.

The only other thing i can think of that was a problem was that some of the sessions definitely werent planned very well. Its not that i blame anyone for that, since it was all undefined as to the right mood and detail that each session was to have. Hopefully some careful planning this year will mean that wont happen again.

At least i can say i got something out of last years event, and thats gotta be something!

Submitted by quiklite on Sun, 13/02/05 - 12:25 PMPermalink

Free Play was great. I had an awesome time, and to be honest, while I didn't learn a great amount that I didn't already know, or didn't learn enough of new things that sounded good to learn about, I did come back from Melbourne fired up. Especially after drinking a couple of beers and listening to Harvey Smith.

About the only suggestion I would make is to perhaps indicate the level of expertise required by some of the sessions. You went into some sessions expecting to be overwhelmed by knowledge, when all you got was an hour long introduction for beginners.

Other than that, I found the boheme venue unexpected but a delight to be in, and I regret that it moves to somewhere like ACMI which is a bit sterile for my tastes. You can't have everything I suppose. It's not often you get the opportunity to paint stencils on the walls of the venue with some crazy drunk Melburnians artists.

Say hi to Kathryn and Fiona for me if you get the chance; I haven't seen her around for ages. I'll try and help out this year if we can get more planning ahead of time.


Submitted by axon on Mon, 14/02/05 - 9:18 AMPermalink

lorien: The ideal would be if half a dozen ppl in the industry could give their account of career breakthroughs which they feel enabled them to make the transition. I'd also be very interested in hearing from indies and where/how they made the transition to FT producers.

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 15/02/05 - 3:51 AMPermalink

I think last years venue had some charm to it too. ACMI will be great though (and you will even be able to read peoples slides), and it's good to see this thing hasn't been grabbed by one of the uni's down here- I think a LOT of them wanted to host it.

Submitted by xyz on Tue, 15/02/05 - 11:34 AMPermalink

I tried reading the massive amount of words in this thread and have some notion of what is being said, now I would like to add a few ideas.

1) Demo Scene. For me this is one of the most interesting areas of or uses of game technology. It fits perfectly into the Indy mind set. If it is a part of the conference already, great my crew and I will be coming.
If it isn't, then lets have a demo party.

2) What are Indy games about? Is it a realm for experimentation, a way to cut out the publisher, a place to train for the big league?

When I went to art school, I got pissed off because people would come and give seminars and do a really half arsed job. I don't mind listening to Chris Crawford giving a watered down explanation of games to a room full of academics that know nothing about the subject, because Chris knows how to present.

My point is, if somebody wants to get up, put in a good effort, then know body has the right to shoot them down.

We should form a community as a result of the event, not some snotty nosed elite boys club.


Submitted by Zoot on Wed, 16/02/05 - 12:31 AMPermalink

The demo scene...yeah that sure was part of what we tried to do with last year's FreePlay but it was quite small despite our efforts... it's a matter of us having the contacts to reach out to the community. The guys are great, gave us advice and got involved because they're melbourne based, there were a couple of guys who did sessions on console hardware modification, and we had a few "demo scene" type demos at E3.1b but it was mostly game demos.
But we *really* wanted to find more Australians from the demo scene to contribute to the conference but the most we could do without having enough contacts was just post to forums like xboxscene. So if you want to help us make a really good demo scene component for this year's conference (if it happens) that'd be ace [:)]

Submitted by Steve on Sun, 20/02/05 - 1:54 PMPermalink

About the price: CynicalFan's logic seems to be this: For those who live in Melbourne, they can afford $100-150 because they don't have the expense of travelling and accomodation. For those that are coming from interstate, if they can afford to travel and pay for accomodation, an extra $100 isn't going to make that much difference.

Let me just say that I will be coming over from Adelaide at great (to me) expense. I am a student and I support myself without help from Centrelink. I will be coming over as cheaply as possible and if the cost reached triple digits I wouldn't bother forking out for something that could be a complete dissappointment. Think about this: A high ticket price equates to great expectations on the quality of the event. It could cost $200 per ticket holder and still be a complete disaster.

I didn't go to last year's event. I didn't even know about it. I would have loved to go to something completely unprofessional and underground, if only to finally meet a lot of people with which I share a common interest. I think that's what most people would want most to get out of it. And for that, all we really need is a venue and the people to show up.

Of course, the talks/seminars will be a bonus and I'd love to go to some of them. I get the idea that last year a lot of stuff ran simeltaneously. I hope that if that happens again, the events are scheduled such that the least amount of people would be torn between simeltaneous talks/seminars. But then again, that kind of stuff is hard to predict.

What has there been planned in the way of displays? I mean, can anyone come along and setup a table promoting their game/library/other software? I'm not talking about big companies here. I was thinking of things like an Allegro display, an SDL display, a GBA homebrew display, etc for those that would want to organise such things.

On price again, I think $30-40 is an ideal price for such an event. If people want to give seminars, let them do so because they want to share knowledge, not because they're getting paid for it. We all have knowledge to share, so let it be a forum for that. I really like the idea of diversity. I certainly wouldn't want the event to be geared mainly towards one interest or another. And certainly not geared towards people that get paid to develop games yet call themselves independent. Of course, I'm not against getting paid for it! It's just not that sort of event.

If you want a big-ticket event with a big price, go to AGDC.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Tue, 22/02/05 - 5:46 AMPermalink

Opinions are like arseholes. Everybody has one.

Submitted by Steve on Tue, 22/02/05 - 7:25 AMPermalink

Here's my point: Lower price, more people. The most important thing is to get as many indie game developers as possible.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Tue, 22/02/05 - 10:54 AMPermalink

Here are my points:

Next time, read the whole post and most of the thread. My point was not that the event should cost those prices at all. As I stated in a follow-up post, they were the extremes the event should cost. I also stated that there could be as many entry points (pricing) as you like, to cater for the different ?developers? that would attend.

No one usually gets paid for a conference talk that they give. You don?t get paid for giving one at the AGDC, and not even for giving one at the GDC. Free Play I believe is no different. What they may ?pay? you, is to help with travel and accommodation costs, but this is more for the international speakers that they invite downunder. These guys may be willing to not be paid for their time, but they aren?t exactly going to fork out for a plane ticket and hotel room out of their own money, especially when they are flying down from the states and Europe ? pretty much a 24hr flight. They do need some incentives to come here, to counter the money and time they lose.

What have you got against those that make money from being an independent? What have you got from local developers that make money, and are looking for ways to be more independent? It might actually shock you but this conference was initiated by those very people. And I don?t care what Marcus says, this event was started with the primary goal of changing the local industry here for the better ? the ?professional? industry. The woman that (I believe) pretty much started this conference, put it at a conference I attend in Sydney half a year before Free Play, as wanting to: change the local industry for the better, to help local developers have more freedom and creativity in their projects, instead of being fee-for-service developers ? don?t ask me for her name, I don?t recall, but she was the one that wanted to get it all going ahead I believe, and initiated it.

So, judging by your last comment, anyone that wants a quality event, should go to the AGDC. Is this what you are saying? Do you have any idea how much that offends me? Now Free Play doesn?t have to cost a lot, but that doesn?t mean it has to suffer in quality, that would dissuade local (paid) developers from attending, because they would probably prefer to use that time with their families, or doing something else other than GD. After all, why would they attend if they are not going to learn anything new? Why would they attend when there are only opinionated newbs present, that resent them. Anyway, I don?t believe that the only reason that people want to attend is to network with others like you, in the same boat, but also because they wish to attend a cheap event for them to learn about the industry, and make contacts within the industry, with established studios ? if the content and quality is not there then they (the professional developers of all kinds) may not turn up.

Sorry if I am a bit harsh with my comments, but I get irritated at times when someone makes ignorant remarks. Especially when they have based them on my comments, by having misinterpreted them, probably due to a lack of understanding of what is being discussed due to a lack of experience with the industry.

Submitted by Jacana on Tue, 22/02/05 - 6:22 PMPermalink

Come on guys - its not going to do anyone any good arguing about this stuff.

Steve is just saying he doesn't like the concept of Freeplay being expesnive. He it looking at it from a Uni student who doesn't have much money - nuff said. He isn't picking on Freeplay for anything other then the fact that if you want to spend $900 to go to AGDC which is set up a lot different (caters to CEO's not workers) then do so.

Cynical - As for rasing the price of tickets to get the speakers over Freeplay did a pretty good job of it last year with the speakers they did get in and still kept the cost low. I realise some of this may have come from external funding because of Next Wave so they were able to keep their tickets lower. *shrugs* Point is really that you can run it cheap and still get decent people over.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Wed, 23/02/05 - 1:14 AMPermalink

I never said you couldn?t run the event for cheap! I merely stated what the most I think people would pay for the event if the quality was right. I also said that you may also need to raise the price if you want a better quality event. Now let me say that I actually had no problems with the last venue at all, in fact I really liked the main room with it Japanese style wall-mural. I had no problem walking to the various rooms and going up flights of stairs ? I have no problem with exercise. I was merely making a comment on what I had heard from people, which appeared to be one of the main gripes from people about the event ? the biggest being the quality of the talks and presentations, on this one I am in agreement with them.

Now, when I say quality, I don?t mean a useless show bag full of crap like mugs and t-shirts, I couldn?t give a toss about that kind of rubbish. I mean more in regards to the venue, so as to keep an underground feel but still attract the professionals to the event, and not have anyone complain ? but I am sure they will with the new venue anyway. And to have better facilities for presenters to prepare if need be and give better presentations. Also, to cover costs that would go into making sure that speakers are providing the quality required for their respective talks. With the last one there were no substantial quality checks, so no one was forced to prepare, unless they wanted to. If you have more quality-checks this time around, then they may add to the cost of putting the event on. One other thing I can think of is better multi-day passes, the kind that can be taken off and put back on ? they don?t have to be that fancy either.

And as you stated, there may not be as much government funding this time around, so the price may have to go up for this reason ? hopefully by very little.

Hey, I am all for having as great an event as possible for as little as possible ? do you think I like spending hard earned money on industry conferences or something? I just want this event to be a viable alternative to the AGDC, and not have to pay the AGDC prices. An event that has much more freedom in what it can provide its attendees.

Brisbane IGDA meeting reminder

Hi Guys,

Just a quick reminder about the Greater Brisbane IGDA meeting thats happening this Sunday!

Pass this on
Contagion power! Please forward this message to everyone you know in the game development industry here.

Because this IGDA chapter is strictly against poaching practices, we hope you feel safe sending this invitation to others in your game company.

What is the IGDA?
The IGDA helps game developers gather together in a noncompetitive atmosphere to relax and learn from each other. To learn more about this IGDA chapter, please see our home page at:

To read the forums, you will need to become an IGDA member. However, there is a free membership available.

Next event: What, who, when, where
WHAT: A casual pub meeting for developers to relax and meet each other, talk about the IGDA, and generate ideas for upcoming events. The speechifying part will be very short, and you can leave anytime with no hard feelings. You can have a bite to eat or a drink there.

WHO: Anyone active or once-active in the game development industry. Those not in the industry, please stay tuned for future events that reach out to the community. This time, the idea is to gel those of us in the industry so we can do that outreach in the near future.

WHEN: Sunday, 6 Feb, @ 3:00 PM. At about 3:30, I?ll announce a few words about the IGDA. At least some of us will stay till 5:00 or later.

WHERE: Plough Inn, Stanley Street Plaza, Southbank. See which has a map and directions, or call 07 3844 7777.

FINDING US: We will meet in the covered outdoor Gazebo area. Look for a black Xbox hat and computer game boxes on the tables, as well as a crowd of rapidly chattering people with nimble and well-developed fingers.

Hope to see you all there!

Mick Gordon
Social Director
Greater Brisbane IGDA

AGDC 2004 - More Photos.

I've just noticed that the AGDC website has released a BUCKET load of photos covering the entire conference. There are some really great shots in there, and a few of the sumea regulars that we wish they hadn't taken [:D]

The have also released the powerpoints for the speeches as well as two videos. The "Duke Nukem Style - Conference Highlight Video" is a must see.

Pop on over and check em out

Submitted by MoonUnit on Thu, 03/02/05 - 5:41 AMPermalink

heh thanks for that, i can see my face in a few of the crowd shots :P (and a nice one of my back in the lobby..), i want a download of that FPS video!

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 03/02/05 - 9:03 AMPermalink

Hehe, one photo that caught my eye was the one with Jacana and (what I guess is) the crew belting out a tune on that sing machine. Tho from the photo it looks like Jacana is belting out more tune than the crew. :-)
Looked like fun, pity I missed it, but oh well.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 03/02/05 - 6:40 PMPermalink

LOL :) Yea - that pic made it into Atomic, too.

I got all the guys from the team (programmers) and we signed up for the Singstar comp at the Big Party Night. We were doing Video Killed the Radio Star. It was fun, and oh so lovely. The guys have this love/hate thing going for singstar (I have it at home) and so they died when they were immortalised in Atomic doing it.

Payback for the crap they gave me all year as lead...?

Shaping Ty 2 for the Younger Market

Lindsay Parmenter has done a write-up on


Submitted by Mdobele on Fri, 28/01/05 - 12:03 PMPermalink

Hey, I went to High School with Lindsay. Good to see what he has been up too as I havn't seen him in a bit. Ty 2 is a lot of fun and his article makes for an interesting read.

Submitted by Gazunta on Sat, 29/01/05 - 1:10 AMPermalink

The important thing is, where are the embarrasing high school photos?

West Australian Game dev


Just wondering if there are many if any game dev studios located in WA? Im moving there soon and while im not specifically looking to get another job in game dev while there i would be interested to know the state of play over there now?
Ive been in melbourne for the last 5 years...


Submitted by DaMunkee on Fri, 21/01/05 - 11:39 PMPermalink

Hey Adam, There's a couple courses here, but no active studios. I looked forward to my move to Perth as it forced me out of the Game industry, (by now we've all heard the horrors of EA). Anyway when you get over here, if you want to meet up with a fellow ex-game developer, drop me a line :)


Submitted by melvosh on Sat, 22/01/05 - 9:13 AMPermalink

Yeh wouldnt mind catching up...Ive only done contract work via home..which has suited me in the last few years...Got close to one particular company and just kept doing small jobs for them while working a day job too...
No companys at all...shame...although if u had the funding a nice place to start up...


Submitted by Reactor on Tue, 01/03/05 - 5:00 AMPermalink

We're only indie, but Superfurious is up and running in Perth...

Submitted by maxxor on Wed, 02/03/05 - 1:56 AMPermalink

Hey there,

I am an aspiring amateur games developer from Perth. I am looking to start making an impression and get the ball rolling. Would love to join an existing studio or help create a new one.

I am sure there are many like me...
Anyone want to start something up?


Sydney Sucks

Hardly any game education.
No PS2 Dev kits.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 20/01/05 - 9:17 AMPermalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*shrug* [^]

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

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

You just have to look a bit harder for them.

My biggest gripe with NSW is the lack of funding.

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 21/01/05 - 3:02 AMPermalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now there?s a nice piece of flame bait?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Kalescent on Fri, 21/01/05 - 2:47 PMPermalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

And I've done one.

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


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

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

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

Developing new ways of making games.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lorien, did I strike a nerve? ;D

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview for gamedev course

I had my interview for a game dev course yesterday at Victoria University, I was rather nervous as I didnt really have a lot of work to show off, but the interviewers seemed to like what I showed them. I'm pretty excited about this, unfortunatly I have to wait until the end of next week to find out if I get in or not. :) [}:)]

Submitted by MoonUnit on Sat, 15/01/05 - 5:45 AMPermalink

good luck with that! fingers are crossed
got any idea as to the number of people who will be applying and the number of people they will accept?

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Sat, 15/01/05 - 12:20 PMPermalink

No idea unfortunatly, But I dont think the class size will be that big.

Submitted by LivinItUp on Tue, 18/01/05 - 5:33 AMPermalink

Are they still interviewing for that course?
I had my interview with Victoria Uni for the advanced diploma of games development last year. In light of this id say the number of applicants would greatly outnumber accepted offers. I think only about 30 or so spaces are open this year, however it may grow next year depending on the success of the course.

Fluffy did you apply for many other games related courses?

Submitted by Fluffy CatFood on Fri, 21/01/05 - 10:27 PMPermalink

Well the good news is that I got accepted, Hooray!!

No I didnt apply for any other courses, and I do beleive they would have stopped interviews yesterday (Thursday the 20th) Turns out that I was supposed to have received a letter about it but never got it so when the guy called I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, next tuesday is enrolment day, so I'll be getting up nice and early for that.

Also does anybody here have a good idea of haw many days per week and how many hours per day will I be spending there?

Submitted by rezn0r on Sat, 22/01/05 - 12:39 AMPermalink

Congratulations on getting a place. It's the first (of many) steps to the world of games.


Submitted by MoonUnit on Sat, 22/01/05 - 6:53 AMPermalink

well done! good luck with the future

Submitted by conundrum on Sat, 22/01/05 - 8:00 AMPermalink

congratulations, hopefully you enjoy it

Firing up the Gamers in Adelaide

We've got Ratbag, ratbag and a whole lotta students. [8] That's a bit synical and not too close to the truth but it is definately true that more can be done to develop the game industry and the gamer community more generally in Adelaide! So why don't we!

Adelindie is gaining new members all the time ( ) but what of all Sumean's?

I put the challenge out to all in SA to talk to everyone you know in the game industry, or studying comp sci, multimedia, graphic arts, or game devving to generate awareness that things are happenning and NOW is the time to get out there and build a world leading gamer community to benefit all.

Submitted by Maitrek on Sun, 09/01/05 - 12:51 AMPermalink

I'm too burnt/jaded/cynical. I'll get back to it later.

Submitted by axon on Wed, 26/01/05 - 4:10 AMPermalink

Jaded & cynical I can understand. Burnt?? [:o] launched

Hi All,

Our new website is up and running at

It has information about our new FPS project: Retribution

We also have a great section for people looking to contribute to a title.

Check it out and give us your feedback!

Thanks guys,
- Will Kruss

Submitted by codyalday on Thu, 30/12/04 - 5:58 AMPermalink

Nice website, good luck with the project.

Game Dev / Design course in sydney or via distance


I am desperately seeking a degree or course of some nature to help me getinto the game industry.

However i work full time, so the course must be part time in sydney(at night) or via distance ed.

Any suggestions?

Submitted by Jacana on Wed, 29/12/04 - 5:59 PMPermalink

There are no generic dgrees to help you get into the games industry :)

Might help if you know what it is you want to do - design, program, art, or quality assurance / production.

Submitted by gullwings13 on Thu, 30/12/04 - 9:40 AMPermalink

Sorry. I should have been more specific.

ultimately i would like to design games, buti figure I should getin on the ground level and be a game programmer.

Any suggestions?

Submitted by davidcoen on Thu, 30/12/04 - 11:21 PMPermalink

learning to program would be a good start, particularity if you want to make your own games. Most unis would have a computer science degree or the like, just go heavy on the math and design orientated subjects

(bias of opinion, I studied architecture at uni, self taught programmer (well, with occasional help) and now working as game programmer))

yes, this solution will involve work

Gaffer's AGDC Roundup

A little bit OFN, but i've finally got around to writing up my impressions of AGDC2004 on my website. see for details, and for the lecture notes for my talk this year "Zen of Networked Physics".

cheers all

Submitted by Gaffer on Wed, 29/12/04 - 10:14 AMPermalink

Just an update guys, i've just released the demo program and full source code for my talk at AGDC "Zen of Networked Physics" on my website

Its a demo program and the presentation i did at AGDC in one, and shows you how to apply all the netcode tricks used in first person shooters to network virtually any physics simulation perfectly.


Submitted by souri on Wed, 29/12/04 - 1:49 PMPermalink

I was wondering why you didn't have Irrational's details after your name in the AGDC schedule. How are you finding working at Bondi? Must be a pretty nice place to work (especially in Summer)!

Submitted by Gaffer on Wed, 29/12/04 - 2:39 PMPermalink

Ah well i start work at Team Bondi on January 5th, however its not in Bondi its in Ultimo near UTS! I'll probably end up living in Glebe which will be cool. At the moment i'm taking it easy and am spending a lot of time snorkelling around narrabeen lakes and other areas of the north shore :) cheers souri

Submitted by souri on Wed, 29/12/04 - 6:22 PMPermalink

UTS in Ultimo!! I know where that is! It's no where near Bondi [:D]

Local games websites defaced

Someone tell the guys at Binary Star that their website has been defaced. [V]

"This site is defaced!!!
NeverEverNoSanity WebWorm generation 6."

Submitted by souri on Wed, 22/12/04 - 3:33 AMPermalink

I can't find anything about this NeverEverNoSanity WebWorm, but it seems to have attacked as well [:P]

"NeverEverNoSanity WebWorm generation 14"

Submitted by mcdrewski on Wed, 22/12/04 - 8:00 PMPermalink,1080…

DECEMBER 21, 2004 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Antivirus companies are warning Internet users about a new, fast-spreading worm that infects Web servers running a popular package of online bulletin board software and uses the Google search engine to find vulnerable servers to infect.

The worm, dubbed Santy.A, uses a vulnerability in a popular free software package called phpBB to spread across the Internet, infecting computer servers that host online bulletin boards and defacing those sites with the words "This site is defaced!!! NeverEverNoSanity WebWorm."

Submitted by souri on Thu, 23/12/04 - 2:00 AMPermalink

Yeh, just read about it on [url=""]Slashdot[/url]. Some guy wrote:

"I got hit HARD! :( This worm is unbelieveably evil.

What it does is search all volumes on the server for files with the .asp .php .shtml .html .htm extentions and overwrites them with the 264 byte file that simply states "Web site defaced"

Ouch... [:0]

Hi... Can someone help me??

Hello Everyone,

I'm a new member here, I'm currently a graduated student in Indonesia... I'm really confuse on the course that I should take in Uni... I'm thinking of studying video games, since.. well... I enjoyed playing games and working in front of a computer...
Although, I have some questions about it:
1.) Which university that offers this kind of course (Preferably the animation part), you see, my parents doesn't like me getting a diploma degree, they want me to get a bachelor degree, so things like QANTM or AIE (Private sector) won't work with me... Any suggestion?
2.) Do you need to know about physic? or advance math? I don't take physic and I only take tertiary math... Plus I'm dumb at physic or crazy math calculation (Which why I didn't take physic for my highschool)
3.) Is there any other requirement besides portfolio (Portfolio is just a collection of our own artworks right?) and highschool certificate?
4.) Does this kind of course have a bright future?

Thanks for the help guys, if I didn't get a solid info for my parents they'll put me in Banking and Financial course, which I totally ..... hate.... [:(]

Submitted by Mdobele on Thu, 16/12/04 - 8:28 AMPermalink

I can answer some question with a QANTM bias seeing as thats just where I graduated from. ( Programming myself ) Theres a ton of AIE ppl here as well as other Universities so I am sure they can comment on there respective schools.

1) Currently the degree offered by QANTM. Either programming or animation IS a Bachelor Degree.

2) If you are going to concentrate on modelling and animation then you wont really need to know about physics or advanced maths techniques. ( In my opinion )

3) QANTM really only needs a OP to get into the Bachalor course. I myself actually never finished highschool and entered QANTM by beeing a mature age student doing the diploma then going automatic entry into the Bachalor Degree. As long as you graduated highschool you should be fine. I'd advise you simply ring the school and ask them what their curent entry requirements are for 2005.

QANTM college - 1300 136 933

4) Doing any degree course gives you a bright futre if you apply yourself and have a passion for the games industry to begin with. Alot of the people aroud here have done courses at the various universities and I'm sure they will tell you that it has put them ahead. Also some companies will always look favourably at a person with a degree over someone without.

Submitted by neo an anomaly on Fri, 17/12/04 - 10:51 AMPermalink

Hey Mdobele ,

Does QANTM have a workin' email address that ya know of 'coz they've never replied to any of my queries and messages. That scares me a bit , more actually , for am an international student and the fee amount includin' the livin' expenses is atleast 10 times of what the aussies pay. I've already lodged an application outta desperation thru QTAC , yet no response from them. This is drivin' me crazy. Now are or workin' email addresses?

I dun get an opportunity to call them either due to my crazy work hours and the time zones too. I guess the 1-300 # is a toll-free # when dialled from within australia. I hv a request for ya , MDobele , if ya could give them a call and just get a workin' email address for student enquiries. And qtac is not responsible for any lack of correspondence from the schools the students apply to.

One last question for ya , dude :). Is that school any good ? I hv an intermediate programmin experience and I've planned to go for a diploma in games programmin' from QANTM. Read a lot abt QANTM and AIE and flames alike on both the schools , however , itz more convincin' to hear from a very recent graduate like ya :)...

Thanx for ur help , bro ;)


Submitted by Biksubejat on Fri, 17/12/04 - 11:35 AMPermalink

Thanks a lot Mdobele!! That's very helpful!! :)

QANTM - Industry Night

Just thought I'd write a small blob about my thoughts:

Firstly id like to point out how jealous i was seeing the quality of work produced, was of a much higher quality than when i attended - the facilities seemed to have been upped and the general atmosphere seemed alot more lively and focused on the students showing off there talents.

Well done to the respective people... you know exactly who you are [:)]

Secondly Id like to say - 3 hours seemed like a long time - but I think I only managed to get around to talking to a handful of people / groups about their work and would have liked to get around to talk to more.

Well done to the Scooterama crew - nice polished and complete product with which you could probably seek funding to blow into a full blown console game up there with mario kart etc.

Also to the crew that had the RPG going up on the projector screen, i almost shed a tear when you mentioned Sensaint and using it as a base to set your self a goal to polished it up a whole lot more [:D] Great job!

Scott, you had a nice wine grin happening, slightly rosey cheeks and all - good to catch up with you again.

Adam, stop writing text messages on your phone when people are trying to have a conversation with you, ya bum [:P]

Denzel, Jeremy & Ben, and Meagan - By far the most outstanding in terms of game art that I came across in the night you guys are headed for big things [:D]

Wish they had awards when I was at qantm [:(]

Submitted by LiveWire on Sat, 11/12/04 - 10:06 PMPermalink

I really enjoyed the night. Gota lot of good interest for my work. 3hrs though seemed too short to me though. a lot of people didnt start to arive until about 7, and then the awards (which i wasnt elegible for dagnamit!)were on at 8:30 and most people left after that. that left only about an hour and a half when most people were there. i know some people were buggered after the 3 hours, but come on - we did it for 3 days down at agdc, i'm sure you can handle four or five hours.

still great night, i'll have to return next year and see what the next lot of studens come up with.

Submitted by rezn0r on Sun, 12/12/04 - 4:34 AMPermalink

*slightly rosey cheeks and all*

Thats just because I'm such a jolly chap.



Submitted by Leviron on Mon, 13/12/04 - 11:09 AMPermalink

I wonder what next year's industry night will be like....I'm going to be there.

Submitted by Crystalmesh on Mon, 13/12/04 - 11:34 PMPermalink

Was actually some decent work there this year :p

We found a few ppl we are interested in aswell.... hehe

Submitted by Mdobele on Mon, 13/12/04 - 11:35 PMPermalink

Next years intake certainly have some big shoes to try and fill. Cant wait to see what they produce. Just gets better and better each year.

Submitted by McSwan on Mon, 13/12/04 - 11:52 PMPermalink

Next year should be even better ;)

Submitted by 0xBaaDf00d on Tue, 14/12/04 - 12:00 AMPermalink

Fair Call HaZarD, Fair call, We should get together and have a chat sometime.. And yes i did show them your master piece, to help guide them on their way :)..
Overall i was proud to see all the student projects get to a completion point. The quality only improves every year ... :)
Sorry about the Texting.. (it had been a long week and was tired, and i am sure you noticed the sickliness of myself).. Was trying to concentrate, Scootarama was a good project but i think an honourable mention to Inertia, & 9th Life, for well produced titles.
As was already stated 9th Life was an RPG, not very dissimilar to Sen Saint yes.. and Inertia was a space combat RTS.. Very Fun.. (I played it for about an hour at one point.. :).. Congratulations to everyone, who was involved, and congrats to Scooter Boys, on the AGDC Award, And yes I am the big Oaf in one of their photos.. If it is on this forum I do not know. :)


Submitted by denz on Tue, 14/12/04 - 7:20 AMPermalink

Yeah it was a great night, except for the fact that our room had no aircon![:X]

Some awsome work. I really got a kick out of the stop motion animation.

9th life and scooter both great. And yeah, Meagan definately deserved an award for the great work she has been puting together.

I'm also looking forward to see what gets produced next year, some awsome stuff I'm sure.[:D]

Aslo thanks to everyone for taking the time to check out everyones work.

Submitted by Leviron on Tue, 14/12/04 - 10:26 PMPermalink

Funny how the air con broke down.... it was working fine on Thursday.

Denz, your work rocked.... and that group that did the mouse animation was cool too.

Submitted by Delmo on Wed, 15/12/04 - 12:59 PMPermalink

The quality of work was alot higher than when i was studied there thats for sure. Congrats to everyone that put the extra effort to get an award.

Submitted by Anuxinamoon on Tue, 21/12/04 - 12:27 PMPermalink

I was really surprised and impressed at the level of work and effort that the students put into their work. I was also surpirsed to se LCD's and wirless peripherals too! I was so jealous! [:X]
But congrats to everyone who put in the hard yards and showed off some good works!

Though I didn't see much in the way of texture flats, and wires. I was pretty dissapointed with that. Most were just showing show reels though thats all well and good :)

I was really pleased with your stuff Denz! I was excited to see someone do some crazy normal mapping! thats awesome stuff Denz! [:D]

AGDC04 - Thoughts/Feelings

So people.. now that another year is over.. what do those who went think of the event this year?

warm fuzzy's or icky shiver's?

Submitted by Cam on Sun, 05/12/04 - 10:09 PMPermalink

for me personally it was warm fuzzy's.. mostly because:

- got to catch up with everyone that i met there last year and also got to meet a whole heap more people too. was excellent to see everyone who came down from the aie in canberra, and qantm in brissy and see their work (loved both roach-rage and scootarama - though both still need an 'x' in the title heh)

- i think i got more from the individual sessions this year as opposed to last years. this is probably because i think now i'm a bit more focused on what i want to do and what areas actually interest me. really enjoyed the design and art tracks (and still managed to get into a few of the production sessions as well)

- chatted with bill roper about zombie flicks =)

- am convinced that i'm going to win a random prize next year as you can't go three years without anything based purely on the number of tickets that i managed to accumulate..

- ooh, and i got killed in an art session as a 'programmer' and was worth 50 points instead of the usual 1 point that every other student was worth ;)

Submitted by MoonUnit on Sun, 05/12/04 - 11:19 PMPermalink

yeah me and cam got shot, go us!... (and both labelled as programmers even thought im an artist and cams uhh... unspecified :P )

all in all i had a blast and it was great to meet everyone and go out for lunch together etc. on the educational side of it all i learnt a lot, got a chance to ask some questions but was also thoughroly (sp?) entertained.

see you all again next year :D

Submitted by LiveWire on Sun, 05/12/04 - 11:57 PMPermalink

hehehe, how many tickets did you have again? funny that you cant win with even that many and i had only four and got a prize!
as for the name, maybe if we do a sequal or a handheld version or something we can call it ScootaramaX ;).
Bill was great fun, we shot him a lot at the awards dinner.

and as for my experience, i loved it this year. not becuase of the presentations, which i didnt get to see much of cos i was standing at my booth most of the time, but cos i got to present and all the people that i met. it was great, much more fun than last year. ofcourse made all the more better when we found out we won the indie comp too.

now i'm still in melbounre at a netcafe, just bought Metroid Prime 2 and cant wait to get home to play it.

Submitted by yusuf on Mon, 06/12/04 - 12:56 AMPermalink

My comments on the AGDC Academic Summit are at I will post some more about the general conference later, but compared to last year there were much less people from the USA which is a shame.

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Thu, 09/12/04 - 1:42 AMPermalink

I didn't go.. But...

Career Achievement Award - John De Margheriti, Micro Fort?

You've gotta be fucking kidding me!!

Bigworld is virtually vapour-ware, while MF has had periods of massive growth, followed by massive layoffs. The whole thing reeks of bad decisions from the top of the company..

It should have gone to John Passfield or John Chey, or one of the many other people worthy of the honour... As far as I can tell, both Krome and Irrational have grown solidly - without the need for mass layoffs, not to mention actually releasing their titles on schedule.

Submitted by lorien on Thu, 09/12/04 - 3:33 AMPermalink

I wonder how many people have similar thoughts to those so eloquently expressed above by Sorceror Bob.

Don't think I've seen a moderator use the "f" word in a forum before :)

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Thu, 09/12/04 - 4:17 AMPermalink


Tehcnically I retired from my mod duties a few weeks back... still have the name thingy there though

Sooo.. My opinions are mine, not representative of sumea.

Submitted by Kalescent on Thu, 09/12/04 - 2:01 PMPermalink

anti-moderator ..... that sounds like a monster out of a final fantasy game. [:D]

Submitted by J I Styles on Thu, 09/12/04 - 11:18 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Cam

for me personally it was warm fuzzy's.. mostly because:

- am convinced that i'm going to win a random prize next year as you can't go three years without anything based purely on the number of tickets that i managed to accumulate..

yes, you can go 3 years without winning anything. Proof of that right here [:)]

Submitted by Cam on Fri, 10/12/04 - 4:12 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by J.I. Styles

quote:Originally posted by Cam

for me personally it was warm fuzzy's.. mostly because:

- am convinced that i'm going to win a random prize next year as you can't go three years without anything based purely on the number of tickets that i managed to accumulate..

yes, you can go 3 years without winning anything. Proof of that right here [:)]

nooooooo... the humanity =)
there are just some things i wasn't created to hear - oh btw.. if i ended up calling you james or josh over the three days i apologise, for some reason when i see your face i think of everyname starting with j except for the right one heh!

Submitted by James A Burke on Fri, 10/12/04 - 8:26 AMPermalink

Career Achievement Award - John De Margheriti, Micro Fort?

You've gotta be fucking kidding me!!

He owns AGDC *could* have rigged it :p Though, he gave me and the team a free pass to the conference (we were only in the expo to present in the unsigned indie) so I was glad he won ;) Because they ain't cheap ;) We did win the Hyne's Pitching contest which I think pissed off the AIE entries (wasn't my fault they were drunk when presenting ;) ).

Submitted by souri on Fri, 10/12/04 - 9:03 AMPermalink

C'mon, I seriously doubt the organisers would rig it so that John D.M would win. Time to take off the tin foil hats I think [:)]. To be honest, I think it's actually quite deserving for John D.M to win it this time - he's set up the AIE, the GDAA, Micro Forte etc, you really can't deny that he's achieved quite a heck of lot for the industry. Yeh, I know there are plenty of people here willing to debate on that, but I would love to hear who else you think is more deserving. When the AGDC awards started, there were a handful of people in my list who are deserving of the award. Adam Lancman, Robert Walsh, John De Margheriti, John Passfield, Steve Stamatiadis etc. The first three listed there have received it, and I am rooting for John and Steve to win it one day in the future. Their time will come!

Submitted by Jacana on Fri, 10/12/04 - 6:14 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by James A. Burke

We did win the Hyne's Pitching contest which I think pissed off the AIE entries (wasn't my fault they were drunk when presenting ;) ).

Errrr - there were three AIE teams presenting there. Of which I know only one group was still even hung over.

As for pissing off AIE entries I don't think so - most of us were quite happy to see a group of young guys who are extermly dedicated get a nod for it.

Submitted by lorien on Fri, 10/12/04 - 11:17 PMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Souri
but I would love to hear who else you think is more deserving.

Well it is for "career advancement", why is everyone acting like this should be confined to managers?

I'd be inclined to give it to an aie/qantm grad who has been working in woolies for years since graduating and got a games job this year. Don't know if there were any though.

Submitted by Blitz on Sat, 11/12/04 - 4:20 AMPermalink

Uhh.... Career Achievment Award, i think most people would agree that the award is intended to be presented to someone who has achieved many things in their games industry career. I don't think someone who has barely even *started* their career in the games industry really qualifies.
It's not confined to managers, but it is confined to people who have achieved many things in their career. It just so happens that these people tend to either own/run large game (related) companies now. I'm sure that would require some amount of management.
Hazard...maybe in 5 or 10 years :)
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Kalescent on Sat, 11/12/04 - 4:23 AMPermalink

Thanks for the thought Lorien [:D] I'm trying, but dont think im worthy of anything drastic yet. Maybe in a year or 2 if im lucky

Submitted by James A Burke on Sat, 11/12/04 - 4:58 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana
Errrr - there were three AIE teams presenting there. Of which I know only one group was still even hung over.

Oh, there were 3? I thought one of them was, another a uni and another a small team? And it was the first years that were ;)

Submitted by J I Styles on Sat, 11/12/04 - 7:18 AMPermalink

as someone on the outside of all the schools and groups, just wanted to clarify, as I understand it:

Saber - AIE Canberra 1st year
Roach Rage - AIE Canberra 2nd year
Crescent Moon - AIE Canberra 2nd year
Plague - AIE Melbourne

Saber was the more ill-prepared presentation suffering from a hangover, which I may note many others where suffering from as well from such a big night before [:)] (no, that's not an admittance I was too... just ringing eardrums from the stupidly loud music/karaoke) -- so they where hung over and not as best prepared as could've been, but not drunk.

Last note, seems to be quite the opposite feeling about you guys winning the pitch -- general impressions seem to point to you having a very tight and well prepared pitch, and a lot of people relaying that it was cool to see your group win it, especially to see the younger members getting in there and showing their enthusiasm and abilities and coming up tops.

So, congrats everyone! You got your names out there, showed your projects, and got the opportunity to make contacts and meet new people - in my opinion, at the end of the conferance, that's the most valuable thing that everyone took away.

on another note, does anyone know how the career award and game sub category awards are chosen? I mean, the indie games are clean cut voting at the event, but how are the other awards tallied and chosen?

Submitted by Mdobele on Sat, 11/12/04 - 1:33 PMPermalink

Hi. I was one of the coders on Scootarama. Just wanted to say thanks for the top 4 days I had down there. Had a complete blast with everyone. Well done to the young guys that won the pitching comp, heard you really had your act together. Scares the crap outta me when i think what you guys will be able to do when you hit my age. Makes me glad we didnt bother to enter it [:D].... you woulda owned us as well LOL.

I was very impressed with all the other games on show as well, hope you are all recieveing as much attention as we have gotten from it and that you all are sucessfull in entering the industry in your respective fields. See you all next year.


Oh. PS

Just one thing I did want to mention to the AIE guys ( all groups ) was I was a little surprised to see ALL of you guys LEAVE your booths unattended for long periods of time. Seriously people would talk to us for a while, then go to your games and cause nobody was there they would simply walk away without playing / seeing it. Mayby you guys had other commitments with your volunteering but you really have to be there in order to talk to people and sell your game and yourself.

Submitted by Bunny on Sun, 12/12/04 - 1:43 PMPermalink

I'm afraid I have to agree with Sorceror Bob. Frankly John has very little to show for years of spending other people's money other than a hell of a lot of empty promises. There's too many ex-MF staffers with broken hearts and homes.

I'd vote for Jon Chey, or Steve Stamatiadis. And what about Tony Oakden? As I understand it Tribes shipped with no overtime, which is worthy of recognition on its own. Ed Orman's had a short career, but he's already got more quality titles under his belt than the wonderful blowhard of Aus. If I keep listing people I'll be here all night. But how about someone that is concerned with the here and now of getting cool games on the shelves and paying their staff, instead of big shiny empty gestures?

Submitted by CynicalFan on Wed, 15/12/04 - 8:39 AMPermalink

Hmmm? Lifetime Achievement Award? or should that read: Lifetime Hype Award?

It is in my humblest of opinions that such an award should be (and is intended to be) awarded to an individual based upon what they have achieved for the industry as a whole, not based upon what they have achieved for themselves or their own studio.

John DM might have played a part in the past, but, he plays none now other than to hinder this industries growth, with the full effects of his actions not to be seen possibly for some years yet.

As for Jon Chey, Steve Stamatiadis, Tony Oakden and Ed Orman, well I don?t think they have really done much to help the industry as a whole, just themselves and their respective studios ? I believe that Irrational did work overtime, but, they most likely bothered to minimise it as much as possible, and adequately compensated the team members for their sacrifice, and this did nothing for the industry as a whole.

I suspect that an individual worthy of such an award really goes unnoticed by the industry, and may never be appreciated until many years from now, if at all.

There are so many that go unnoticed by the industry as a whole as these individuals don?t actively seek such attention, there actions are genuine in their wanting to help others, instead of themselves. They are no recognised by their peers, as their peers are usually ignorant towards their contributions to the industry and how they have bettered it for all. They may even be resented and despised, as such actions though in the long-term will better everyone, has unfortunately in the short-term, not bettered everyone.

I?m surprised to see which titles got awarded this year. It is kind of the opposite that occurred a year or two ago. I recall that Krome?s Ty title won over Freedom Force ? which in my opinion is a far superior title ? yet this time around Ty2 lost to Tribes3. I wonder if this would have played out the same if there was not a backlash of sorts to a poll on Australia?s best title? I wonder if nothing were said, which title would have been decided upon for this years respective award?

BTW: does anyone know how this award is calculated, whom nominated the title, who decides upon the title? I recall something about an industry committee?

Anyway, so far from what I have read and heard, this year there were far more fresh faces to experienced industry veterans. And the consensus seems to be that the experienced mob are sick and tired of what gets dished up, talks like Micro Forte?s ?How to make an MMOG in 1 hour!? Really, I thought it usually took 5 years or something ;) that is if you have a clue.

Personally, I hope this year will see Free Play continue and grow larger and better in quality, just like the first AGDC did with its follow up year. Hopefully it will flourish into a high-quality and competitive event to the AGDC ? I suspect it will ? and become an event and medium not afraid to set new standards for the industry, and address real issues, and distil real know-how into the industry, to both experienced developers and newbies alike ? minus all the marketing hype!

Submitted by Sorceror Bob on Wed, 15/12/04 - 11:04 AMPermalink

The reason I put Jon Chey's name forward was in regards to the amount of positive publicity that Tribes3 secured for the Australian Game Industry as a whole.. It strengthens our reputation for getting the job done with a minimal of fuss..
Jon C can't be given all of the credit for this, but his position at the top makes him suitable for the award. Tony Oakden would be a good choice as well.

The same cannot be said for MF, but we can so far be thankful that most of the negativity has remained within our shores.

I won't argue the fact that John D has done some good things for the industry, but in recent years I think he has trodden on too many people without any real progress. I'm doubtful that Bigworld will have any sizeable impact on the MMOG genre, it's years too late, and will need a huge amount of innovation if it's going to pull people away from games with solid fan-bases.

Yeah yeah, then theres BW tech.. But it hasn't exactly made the news recently.

I'm not trying to dump more manure on this thread, just stating the reasoning behind my original statement.

Submitted by UniqueSnowFlake on Wed, 15/12/04 - 8:06 PMPermalink

On the note of Big world.... please correct me if I'm wrong.. but I thought I hear that MF sold the technology to Mircosoft. During that time and soon after Mircosoft went under new management and canned anything that had a risk to it. eg. BigWorld was going to be MMOG for the X-box and the X-box live group isn't that big and there hasn't been that type of game for it. Soo.. Bigworld ended up getting canned.
Like I said I could be total wrong.. just thought I over heard that from somewhere.

Submitted by Blitz on Thu, 16/12/04 - 1:52 AMPermalink

Bigworld and citizen zero are not the same entity. Bigworld is the MMOG engine tech, citizen zero is/was a game being built on the Bigworld tech. MF always retained the rights to the Bigworld tech, and has licensed it out to about 4 other companies last time i checked. The citizen zero IP may have been owned by microsoft at one point? Either MF got it back when MS canned the project, or they never had it (since MF have the IP for cz atm, and it was still in production last time i checked a month or so ago).

[quote=CynicalFan]It is in my humblest of opinions that such an award should be (and is intended to be) awarded to an individual based upon what they have achieved for the industry as a whole, not based upon what they have achieved for themselves or their own studio.[/quote]
I know your views on the "benefits" of these organisations is somewhat negative, but wasn't john responsible, in part, for setting up the GDAA, AGDC, and AIE. If any of these organisations can have been considered beneficial to the industry, then surely they are worth recognising. I'm not trying to defend any bad business practices he may have employed at MF or whatever, but i think, if he did have a hand in setting up these organisations, it is probably worthy of recognition.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by CynicalFan on Thu, 16/12/04 - 2:46 AMPermalink

Yes Blitz, that is a worthy enough reason to get this award, but he has already gotten this award in the past for this ? I think a few times. And as Soccer Bob said, he played his part in the past, helped establish these organisations, but he has played his part and is only hindering things at the moment ? I know that sounds harsh, but the truth can be at times, and many of us will end up in a similar boat in time.

Perhaps such an award should not necessarily be awarded every year, just when the industry feels that there is such an individual worthy of it. Have it more of a special and prized award for someone?s contribution to the industry.

Giving it out every year to the same guy seems to belittle and trivialise the award.

As far as I know Microsoft canned the deal when Micro Forte showed that they couldn?t deliver anything but technology ? soon after they let go of most of the Sydney team, and now only have a skeleton crew. As far as I know, they are not even bothering with Citizen Zero anymore, and are just focusing on the technology, aiming this time around for the mobile market ? there was a news item months ago about this I think, involving the Canberra studio.

I personally think they should move on, but I also hope it finally pays off, but I suspect that the amount of money they make in licensing deals will in no way come close to breaking even to the funding they have utilised in the tech?s creation. Especially if you factor in all the grant money they have received to develop it with ? which they may not have to pay back, a plus for them, but would be unrealistic if left out of calculating profits generated from such deals.

And this is kind of my reasoning for Micro Forte?s actions hindering the industry in the long-term, because their failed actions and hollow promises will only dry up and scare off sources of funding from game development, which are only funding in such development due to ignorance of our industry on a global and local scale, and what they have been told by our industries ?experts? ? but this is changing.

We need to nurture and grow such sources of funding for the betterment and long-term longevity of the local industry; otherwise things might get a little rough ahead.

But not to be too negative, where one opportunity disappears, others soon appear [:)]

Final Projects

You can download the final student projects for '31002 Game Design' and '31004 Game Programming' from and These subjects are part of the Computer Graphics submajor, offered by the Faculty of IT at UTS.

Please remember that 1) these projects are only one of the 3 assignments for the subject, 2) most of the students were working by themselves, and 3) most students do 4 subjects a semester (14 weeks) and work at the same time, so these projects are not meant to be as polished as some of the AIE/QANTM projects produced by teams of 5-15.

Some of the projects also include source code, live, learn, share...


Submitted by souri on Thu, 30/12/04 - 6:09 PMPermalink

I checked out some of the games..

REALM by Christian Lee looks like a fantastic idea - not so much a game as such, but I think being able to make your own pixel art and putting it in there would be really cool. Unfortunately, the program crashed a lot for me [:(]

Big Brother: Chrono Trigger style
by Jordan Wulff, Pietro Vecellio Segate and Bhavesh Patel
The idea is great, it has the potentential be something like The Little Computer people/Sims.. I could walk through some tables and chairs though [:)] doesn't work, btw..

It's interesting that they're using GameMaker. I've been checking it out for quite a while, and it's really one fantastic program.

Submitted by codyalday on Fri, 31/12/04 - 12:28 AMPermalink

Yeah souri, thats a damn good program. I made a hit the blocks with a ball so that they go away with levels, in just about a afternoon.

Submitted by axon on Tue, 01/02/05 - 11:40 PMPermalink

It's a shame to (once again) see game-play lose out to 3D.

Looking at the work completed in the 3102 round-up the games and gameplay are more diverse and the game designs/concepts more mature (w.r.t development) and imaginative than the 3104 group (who all seem to have spent all their time worrying about lighting, effects, and 3D geometry so that they all ended up with more or less the sane thing... a 3D maze).

This is an epidemic!

UTS: Master of Animation

UTS is offering a new course starting in 2005,Master of Animation: [url][/url]

It is a 1.5 year course put together by 3 different faculties. Students will be able to see the different perspectives and approaches that people from different disciplines bring to Animation.

I teach the Game Design, [url][/url], subject which is part of the course and the Game Programming, [url][/url], subject which is not part of this course.


-- from the web page --

The Master of Animation is a unique cross-faculty course delivered jointly by the Faculties of Design, Architecture and Building; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Information Technology. It combines the disciplinary strengths of the three faculties in the teaching of animation.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty offers traditional animation technologies and practices in which students can shoot on film using an Oxberry animation stand or produce stop-motion, claymation or model films.
The Design, Architecture and Building Faculty runs subjects that utilise the Maya 3d animation software and 2D Flash software and is concerned with the many design applications of animation from titles to television graphics to music videos and dynamic web sites.

In the Information Technology Faculty the creation of software for video games and programming is given attention.

IGDC @ Nextwave 2005???


I'm just wondering if there will be a IGDC at 2005s nextwave

I personaly cant wait for the next confrence, so I do hope that Fiona, and crew can get one Up for May

Any one got any news, or comments on this?


Submitted by souri on Sat, 11/12/04 - 3:00 PMPermalink

I could be wrong but I don't think there's a Nextwave festival planned for next year? I guess that's the reason for wondering if Freeplay could happen for 2005. Check out the [url=""]Nextwave website[/url] and you'll see the festival isn't mentioned for 2005, but 2006. I'll see if I can get some info on what's happening, although it's probably really early days yet and not a lot of organising being done yet if a Freeplay 2005 were to happen.

It would be *fantastic* for the local chapters of IGDC to take a large role in helping out with the organising and taking part of the next Freeplay, if it were to happen. Fiona's moved on from Nextwave, so I don't think she'd be able to take as large as a role as she had for Freeplay 2004, of which she did a darn fantastic job!.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Thu, 23/12/04 - 1:38 AMPermalink

Though a conference that is only on every 2 years may work, I think a conference that is on every year works a lot better.

If you ask me, Next Wave were great in getting Free Play off of the ground, and did a great job of doing so in general, but, they are not game developers ? but then again this does have its benefits [;)] This is apparent in the end quality of the event, such as the lack of preparation and quality checks present for the presenters and their talks ? more so their talks. If I am not certain, presenters were told that such preparation was not necessary, that it was more of a casual laid-back affair, where presenters just got up and talked and fielded questions ? this is ok for some talks, but not all.

Then there was the ?venue? which was fragmented all over the place, and though I liked the wall mural in the main room (dojo), it was a little too budget / underground orientated for me. I am sure that Melbourne being the creative and cultural city it is that a reasonable venue can be found that is both professional but still retains a creative and perhaps underground rebellious feel ? if that is a feel that the organisers are aiming for.

And more importantly is the conference?s timing, it was pretty much on at the same time as E3, and this may have seen a lot of developer that would have attended, not show up due to other commitments. If the conference takes place next year ? I for one hope it does ? then there is no need for it to coincide with ?Next Wave? as it will not be on. Therefore the conference can take place during a period of the year where there are no major conflicts ? I think June / July may be good.

Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for developers to take hold of the conference and to make the event what they want it to be. And hopefully next year?s will be a hell of a lot better [:)] I am sure it will be, if people make an effort to not let this opportunity disappear.

Maybe this can be a major point of discussion for the Melbourne IGDA?s next chapter meeting? -- as Souri suggested, perhaps they can play a part in organising this.

Submitted by lorien on Thu, 23/12/04 - 3:28 AMPermalink

Just because Nextwave is every two years doesn't mean Freeplay has to be. AFAIK Nextwave not being on in 2005 is a big part of the funding shortfall for 2005 the Freeplay people were talking about during the conference.

I know people are working on having a 2005 Freeplay.

Coming from you Cynical :) I'll take "developers" to mean people who make games rather than companies who hire people to make games, and I agree. A really big issue for an independent conference is that it has to stay independent, meaning if there is sponsorship from commercial entities it has to be truly "no strings attached".

I don't think Certain People were at all happy to find me on that Game Dev Grads Tell All panel for example, and these same Certain People sponsored drinks.

I've also heard that the timing will be different, not only because of E3, but also because it was panic time for undergrad uni students with assignments.

Submitted by MoonUnit on Thu, 23/12/04 - 6:20 AMPermalink

quote:Originally posted by lorien
I've also heard that the timing will be different, not only because of E3, but also because it was panic time for undergrad uni students with assignments.

thats good to hear, it was the weekend before exams for myself and many other students [:0]

Submitted by CynicalFan on Thu, 23/12/04 - 11:34 AMPermalink

It is great to hear that there are plans that the conference will be on for next year, and not every 2 years. That would be a bad thing to do, as a lot of foundation and momentum has been built for the event, and to take advantage of that the event needs to go ahead next year, not the year after when the excitement has fizzed, and momentum lost.

Yep you are right Lorien, I do mean exactly that in regards to developers, if I meant the latter I would have probably used the terms studio or scum ? actually to be fair they are not all bad, just most of them ;) Having experienced developers attend is important, as there is no point in having such a conference if experienced developer don?t attend so that newbs can pick their brains about the industry and make contacts within it ? and in that manner ?break-in.?

You raise and make clear Lorien an important point in that the conference needs to remain independent in nature, and not be subverted by sponsorship dollars, making it just another marketing thought-control fiasco that is the AGDC. Having a more ?liberal? ? in the true meaning of the word not the conservative political party we have in Australia ? organisation like the IGDA?s Australian chapter involved in it, would hopefully go a long way in making sure it stays ?independent.?

But, perhaps having others that are not so heavily involved in the industry and have a more ?objective? perspective on it (involved in the conference) may also create a more even playing field ? one that is not just a hype / marketing exercise for the old-guard Australian studios, something to steer clear of.

On the point of ?sponsorship? and funding for the conference, can?t whomever takes it upon themselves to organise the event approach the same government bodies that provided funding for the event, but this time around outside of the Nextwave event, or am I assuming too much? ? I don?t have much experience with building, funding and running conferences ;)

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 25/12/04 - 12:28 AMPermalink

Disclaimer: my only involvement with Freeplay was presenting 1/2 of the PC Game Audio Systems talk (Brett Patterson- the main FMod guy- did the other 1/2) and being on the panel mentioned above.

If you want/need truly reliable information I suggest contacting Freeplay people.

Submitted by lorien on Sat, 25/12/04 - 12:58 AMPermalink

Souri, perhaps (with consultation with Freeplay organisers) that online petition for funding that I suggested earlier in the year could be set up soonish? I think a nice long list of names and email addresses of people wanting this conference to happen might encourage govt agencies to hand over some dollars.

Submitted by CynicalFan on Sat, 25/12/04 - 3:53 AMPermalink

Some may say that it is still too early to begin the organising and planing for Freeplay, I disagree, now is the time to get people involved, and now is the time to lay the foundation and plans for Freeplay ? especially if there is a big question over funding for the event. Ideas like Lorien?s, and discussion like this now, will make sure it all goes ahead ;)

I?ll probably contact the Freeplay organisers myself anyhow, but I think a public / industry forum like this is a better place to discuss these ideas, and get people involved and excited about the prospects of Freeplay 2005.

Anyway, that?s just my opinion on the issue.

Submitted by Gazunta on Wed, 29/12/04 - 11:00 PMPermalink

Hey, if they want to fly me down to Melbourne for a day just to field some questions for an hour again, I'm all for it :)

Submitted by Zoot on Tue, 01/02/05 - 1:29 AMPermalink

Who ya calling "not developers", huh? [:p]

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 01/02/05 - 2:44 AMPermalink

No-one. Just the word "developers" is used to describe both companies and individuals who make games. I do feel it describes individuals better, as I think does Cynical Fan.

I certainly wasn't implying that people working at games companies aren't developers! Sorry if that's how you took it.

Submitted by Zoot on Thu, 03/02/05 - 2:57 AMPermalink

No, I was referring to the notion that the people involved in organising Free Play weren't developers [;)]