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B in Interactive Media

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  • B in Interactive Media

    I've been contemplating on taking up this degree for some time now and I'm at a cross road and I'm a tad skeptical. Specializing in games development .... 3 years, 6 semesters, Approximately $42k in tuition, 16 hours a week.

    I've seen the place and it's an awesome studio to work on. I'm not that good in graphics and design, but my strengths are in coding and programming...

    Totally out of my line of work really but is there anyone here who has undertaken such tasks?

  • #2
    Although I would have little to no knowledge under the subject, as I am neither a coder or a designer. My core thoughs that a specialised course is going to do little to no help with future potential employers. Industry experiance and knowing how to code or write properly could come more handy than any Bachelors course. Compmuter Science would be better IMO as it would have taught different outcomes that this Bachelors.

    Whilst I am not sure on this list - go hit these company up and try find someone on the inside and see what they would recommend you.

    Go get IRC (again) and check out some of the companys IRC channels for some of the larger Indies out there. S2Games generally has people hanging around more than happy to lend a hand - I remember talking to a designer whom worked with Happy Feet / Pixar in Sydney who then moved to US and did some stuff with S2. He was sitting at the office late at night doing the renders on the PC's as everyone else was home / off work. I am sure if you find Marc "Maliken" DeForest email address and send him a nice email you may get a responce.

    RSI / CloudImperium has quite a few public videos up on youtube about what their devs are doing and I am pretty sure in episode 41 / 40 there is some advice on how one of the coders got into the business.

    Good luck, I am sure you dont need it yet.


    • #3
      Thanks for the resource you provided. It sure helped broaden the horizon on this subject.

      Unfortunately, after I started the thread, workload has increased and it's forecasted to increase in the number of hours per week of involvement, up to 70~76 hours per week (that's nearly double shift). Further, I could be sent away in a remote place and I have serious doubts if I can physically fulfill my work obligations as much as my study.

      At the moment, I think I'll have to put it on hold as this is seasonal work. I might decide to pursue it later when I can commit to the demands of it.


      • #4
        No worries.

        My advise if you want to pursue this further even if your away at remote places. If you can spare 2 hours a week or even more when you have downtime - picking up a book and reading / learning is a great way to just do it.

        When I take the train to work currently I have my E-books that I read about what I am studying at home. - much better than lugging a 2kg book around anyway. Learning from a book rather than a tutorial / guide on the net is just a lot more easier and cause you have something physical I it is easier to stay focused and just go though it.


        • #5
          I spoke to someone about it and I was told that the "Uni" where the course is offered takes about 95% practical work which means grades are based on output presented, so reading a lot and getting conceptual knowledge may help but the big meat is what you put up towards building your portfolio when you finish the course. They're pretty good in making small basic things turn out at "AWESOME" level (even with some of my knowledge in coding).

          On one discussion, we spoke about game story lines and how it affects game quality. I'm all for it but I was seriously cautioned on "sensitive political themes" that may offend ESRB or the Australian Censorship and thus, miss out on delivering the full content. My argument is that the story is based on common knowledge that can be read in public libraries. All it is is a "romantisation" and fantasy that rides on the tracks of history. I was told to steer clear from "anti" and drive towards "pro", but that's just an opinion. Further, I need to broaden, deepen and twist multiple plots so that multiple players can drive the story in several ways and affect the end. This is quite complex as permutation of the plot could drive the whole story out of it's cohesive structure.

          I'm still in touch with the course provider and still interested, but resources could be extremely scarce.


          • #6
            My favourite image.

            Its all good focusing on the overall aspect of game design and development if your doing it all yourself. In the major indie world as far as I know you generally have one or two tasks to accomplish. The designers / writers already have pretty much everything down on paper as to how it would work and you would be the one making the stuff happen from the storey. Does not mean that you would have little impact on what is already there - I just guess that really depends on what you want to ultimately do. Ie create your own studio or join another one and make their games...

            Sounds fun and I hope to enjoy your art later down the track.


            • #7
              I did game development/Military Simulation (VBS, VBS2, VBS3, and Load Master) for about 6 years, when I came back to Darwin with the misses/baby. I Found a job in Darwin and mostly doubled my wages overnight.

              Over-all, its a very competitive market, with lots of talented people willing to take on the challenge and accept low income wages to break into the market. Though you generally find a mix of people coming from all sort of fields.

              I don't want to discourage you OverG. I would say if you're wanting to head into the market then I would strongly suggest to keep you current profession that pays the bill's. Start your own business and outsource the texturing, and some simulation work out to freelancer's or artist that you can pay pennys in Czech Republic or any other out sourcing web sites. The only real way for you to make big money is to be a share holder with the Studio, or build your own company.

              I personally, even though I loved doing it wouldn't go back. I found that you're dealing with geeks, and you're in a geek culture where overtime is expected and generally demanded to meets strict deadlines. This also with low income to boot means you're basically in a rutt without any sense of agency over the choices you can choose with your chosen career. Training is not provided on most work places, mostly because of the above "hire and fire talent pool". Focusing too much on game development means you loose sight with the more modern tools and development practices that normal businesses are using and pay/working conditions.

              Over-all take a step back and look at game development as any other business. See what the pay rates are, job security, future career advancement. Just see it as a complete package, and compare it to the rest of the industry.

              On the complexity scale, game development is at the same scale as most large complicated web systems or information systems. Working from Military Simulation to Web based information system there is not that much of a difference. You're going to confront the same challenges as you do in game development as you do in large complex systems. As a example, when working on military simulations systems only 10% of the code base was dedicated to rendering, the other 90% was dedicated to game logic/Sound system/AI system/Collision systems/physics/ect... Then the tool-set that you need to produce to support the product and the other infrastructure applications that need to be build and supported to keep things running.

              Moving from game development back to Web development the most frequent question I got asked was "It is awesome that you've done these great projects, but what skills do you have for the current role you're apply for?!".

              Just my 2 cents.


              • #8
                good luck making money with it