Possible solutions to problems:
Over the last few months through the Sumea website and other souses it's become apparent that the aussie game development industry is at its? pressure point.
This is easily seeable. Studios are growing fast and expanding in QLD. VIC is requiring more experienced and ?plug in and play? workers. And the pressure on NSW and SA is becoming ever increasing.
What we have here is an industry that could ether flourish into something larger then it already is. Or die a horrible death at the hands of economic pressure.
Ok doom and gloom aside. It's already been talked about what's wrong with the industry. [Some things I agree with. some things.. I think studios are just making excuses.]
What I want to discuss with you people is possible solutions to the issue around the current state of the industry. I want your opinions and ideas on what can be done to better the Australian Game Developers industry as a WHOLE. You?re ideas cannot centralize around the good of one sole studio.
Some simplistic ideas I?ve conjured:
The current state of game development education is debatable. The teachers of these schools say they?re world class and worth the money students pay for them. Some students agree, some students think there full of shit. But hey, who am I to judge really? I?m apparently not a student.
The idea of education plus is complex. A government and development studios funded school. This School teaches things rather differently then standard practice. It throws students straight into their own game development project. The initial concept Pre-determined by a ?dummy publisher.? These students have one school year to train and pump out a game level. The incorporates places for game designers, level designers, artists and programmers.
The prerequisites for the school is totally folio and practical based. Previous education holds no merit. Keep in mind though these folios have to show usefulness. Eg: An Art student must show he knows the basics of ether Max or Maya.
The programs they need to learn are taught to them by experienced professionals. But at a more accelerated rate. The school would impose a 30-hour attendance per week for the students. And students who piss-fart around will quickly fall behind.
And the most important thing is to make the cost of this course as cheap as possible for the student. Or if in the case that it's not possible, a loan* or Hex system that ensures that all earning classes can give his course a go. [* : A loan what doesn?t require a house as collateral.]
The benefit of such an intense school type would be in creating a more realistic type of experience for the student. The teams of students must work together to achieve goals. And while teachers are there to fix little things along the way. If the whole project goes haywire then the ?dummy publisher? might withdraw from the project. And the student might have spent all that time for nothing to show for it when his own work.
It's a very hostile and harsh education system and it wouldn?t be for everyone. It also has many holes and problems with its design. But I think something in this general direction would help to create juniors that can fit into a develop studios project much faster.
Not a full publisher. But more of an assistance to the Australian dev studios.
Fully funded by the government and the development studios once again. Aus-game publishing handles smaller tasks that both the bigger publishers and the dev studios don?t want to do. This organization serves as a backing, support and extra appeal for publishers to consider their projects for Australia.
Some of the things I could see Aus-game Publishing do are:
? Provide large-scale quality QA for mutable studios and projects. This also doubles as experience gathering for students doing the QA
? Localizations for a game so it can be targeted and shipped to other countries.
? Production and distribution of the games to areas and countries the main publisher of that select game isn?t targeting and providing a ?buy-online? stone.
? Negotiate more stable contracts and milestone arrangements between smaller studios and publishers.
? Handle all Student, Internship and junior applications and assess them to both advice the applicant what studios they would work well in and to provide reference and critiquing assistance to students who don?t meet the current mark of entry.
For the bigger publisher, this sub organization clears up a lot of paperwork and fuss for them. And instills them with the notion that the development studio will be doing their job with more focus. The publisher doesn?t stand to lose profit ether.
For the development studio is also clears up a lot of tasks. This in turn makes focus on the game a high priority and allows these studios to do what they intended to do in the first place.
The problems with this idea of course is that it would more then likely consume all the resources that the government would offer and probably will require full support of all studios. So if Aus-game publishing became reality studios would have to embrace it to more then likely compete. Thus it becomes every ones needed ?edge?
There very very rough ideas that have problems with them. But they?re none the less ideas. And I would love to hear from you guys on your ideas and thoughts on what we can do to make sure the Australian game industry doesn?t die out.