ok, need your help

Hi, my name is Michael Withers. I have a few questions that hope you help me with.

I'm 18 (19 in December) and currently living in the UK but at the end of November i shall be going back to Australia. In the UK near me we have a collage course going on for games developers, but sadly i cannot join it because it is a 2-3 year course and i shall be gone end of this month. I shall be moving to Adelaide but i don't know what collage is near where I'm moving, or how to get sponsored for doing the course or even if you can get sponsored for doing a course. Also i don't know if my current qualifications will effect if i can get on the course or not, seeing as the school system is different in Australia (in the UK we goto school for 5years. not alot of time to learn i assure you, so we finish around 16/17 years old) and i don't know weather or not i have to re-take the tests to get Australian results or if my GCSE's would do.

My other question is that i don't know what program i should use to make game characters. Weather its Maya, Cinema 4D, 3D Studio Max, Z-Brush or whatever. i play over 90hrs of game-play a week. i create art in adobe photoshop but i know that wont help in the games developing industry

so can someone please help me out?

Brawsome's picture

Hi Michael,

I take it that you're looking at getting into art/modelling in the games industry?

I'm afraid I can't help you with courses or uni's, but I thought I'd just chime in with my advice, which is to build up a portfolio of the kind of work you want to do in the industry, as i've said in previous posts, demonstrable experience counts for more than the bit of paper you get out of uni's. If you've already got some decent stuff to show (see the forums for examples), start applying now.

If it's 3D stuff you're interested in, make some characters or a level for an existing 3D engine (pick your favourite FPS or RPG), be able to show your development process from 2D concept art to 3D and implementation in the game. In the companies I've worked for (Torus, Codemasters) Maya or 3DS MAX are the two most used, personally i'd swing towards Maya.

Even better if you can join a programmer who's also trying to get into the industry to make a demo to enhance both your portfolios.

Oh, and if you've got time for 90 hours of gameplay a week, then take at least 40 of those and get cracking on developing your skills as an artist and generating a portfolio of work.

One last thing, and I don't want to annoy anyone from Adelaide, but if you've got a choice of state, go for Victoria or Brisbane, there's more opportunity and positions available in the industry there, or at least factor them in in your applications.

Neffy's picture

Hey Reusol

Sumea has a great education page that lists all the 3D schools through out Australia which you can find here http://www.sumea.com.au/seducation.asp

Ill also direct another forum member Savarn this way as he is currently enrolled at the school located in south Australia and I?m sure he?d love to tell you about it. Neffy2006-11-11 08:09:35

reusol's picture

[QUOTE=chameleon] Hi Michael,

I take it that you're looking at getting into art/modelling in the games industry?

I'm afraid I can't help you with courses or uni's, but I thought I'd just chime in with my advice, which is to build up a portfolio of the kind of work you want to do in the industry, as i've said in previous posts, demonstrable experience counts for more than the bit of paper you get out of uni's. If you've already got some decent stuff to show (see the forums for examples), start applying now.

If it's 3D stuff you're interested in, make some characters or a level for an existing 3D engine (pick your favourite FPS or RPG), be able to show your development process from 2D concept art to 3D and implementation in the game. In the companies I've worked for (Torus, Codemasters) Maya or 3DS MAX are the two most used, personally i'd swing towards Maya.

Even better if you can join a programmer who's also trying to get into the industry to make a demo to enhance both your portfolios.

Oh, and if you've got time for 90 hours of gameplay a week, then take at least 40 of those and get cracking on developing your skills as an artist and generating a portfolio of work.

One last thing, and I don't want to annoy anyone from Adelaide, but if you've got a choice of state, go for Victoria or Brisbane, there's more opportunity and positions available in the industry there, or at least factor them in in your applications.[/QUOTE] wow, thanks alot there man. well, i have to goto adelaide tho coz thats where my mom is. so err, yeah. ok, so if i get started on some tutorials for maya ((ive heard its VERY good for game character designs)). os you say make something..IE pixel's - full 3D chracters?

reusol's picture

[QUOTE=Neffy] Hey Reusol

Sumea has a great education page that lists all the 3D schools through out Australia which you can find here http://www.sumea.com.au/seducation.asp

Ill also direct another forum member Savarn this way as he is currently enrolled at the school located in south Australia and I?m sure he?d love to tell you about it. [/QUOTE] yeah man, that'll be a great help, thx

Savarn's picture

Ok, yes I can help you a bit. I'm currently doing a TAFE SA course at the Tea Tree Gully campus here in South Australia. I can really recommend this course as I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a lot. It's two years full time for an Advanced Diploma and all you really need to get in is a reasonable art portfolio and completed your equivilent of high school. If you have some 3D in your portfolio already, it's a bonus but not neccisary as they said to us, that they're here to teach you that. So just show that you are creative and really have a passion to get into the industry (not that you just play games, more so that you want to make them, some people in the course are finding that they'd prefer to play games too much on the weekends instead of work on their showreels in their spare time). Show that you would do things off your own back rather than have people push you and you're a shoe-in to not just the course, but he industry as well.

I might talk to the head lecturer there on Tuesday to make sure but I think your qualifications should be fine, the only thing is that if you wish to apply for next year you'd have to apply very soon to get your chance as our system for getting into the course sometimes requires some kind of sit down test and interview through SATAC. I'll see if I can dig you up some links for you to browse. The course covers the basics of drawing through to concept art, takes you through proposals and research for the industy, and of course the 3D aspects. When I started it was all 3DS Max but this years first year students are starting with a bit of Maya first and hopefully getting more into Max next year. I believe even though there are quite a few places around which do use Maya for making games, most still use just Max for games.

And yes Adelaide is pretty small for the industry, there are only a few small studios around here and our big one (Krome Adelaide) is pretty well chock-a-block filled with guys who were with Midway Australia (used to be RatBag Games and got bought out and shutdown by Midway). But the course helps you by letting you know where to look for work (or at least points you in the right direction so you can look yourself).

reusol's picture

[QUOTE=Savarn] Ok, yes I can help you a bit. I'm currently doing a TAFE SA course at the Tea Tree Gully campus here in South Australia. I can really recommend this course as I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a lot. It's two years full time for an Advanced Diploma and all you really need to get in is a reasonable art portfolio and completed your equivilent of high school. If you have some 3D in your portfolio already, it's a bonus but not neccisary as they said to us, that they're here to teach you that. So just show that you are creative and really have a passion to get into the industry (not that you just play games, more so that you want to make them, some people in the course are finding that they'd prefer to play games too much on the weekends instead of work on their showreels in their spare time). Show that you would do things off your own back rather than have people push you and you're a shoe-in to not just the course, but he industry as well.

I might talk to the head lecturer there on Tuesday to make sure but I think your qualifications should be fine, the only thing is that if you wish to apply for next year you'd have to apply very soon to get your chance as our system for getting into the course sometimes requires some kind of sit down test and interview through SATAC. I'll see if I can dig you up some links for you to browse. The course covers the basics of drawing through to concept art, takes you through proposals and research for the industy, and of course the 3D aspects. When I started it was all 3DS Max but this years first year students are starting with a bit of Maya first and hopefully getting more into Max next year. I believe even though there are quite a few places around which do use Maya for making games, most still use just Max for games.

And yes Adelaide is pretty small for the industry, there are only a few small studios around here and our big one (Krome Adelaide) is pretty well chock-a-block filled with guys who were with Midway Australia (used to be RatBag Games and got bought out and shutdown by Midway). But the course helps you by letting you know where to look for work (or at least points you in the right direction so you can look yourself).[/QUOTE] add me to msn please man. reusol@hotmail.co.uk i cant get more info then and you can help me out alot, if its ok

Johnn's picture

the list that Neffy has a link to doesn't look very complete!
I don't know if the universities here offer game specific courses but it might be worth checking their sites. The unis in Adelaide are:
University of South Australia
Flinders University
Adelaide University

also do a search for 'TAFE +adelaide' and you should quickly be able to find info on the course Savarn is doing and if there are any others that TAFE offers (TAFE stands for Technical And Further Education)

there are courses run by private colleges, like 'Mad Academy', but I don't know where there is a definitive list or what quality their courses are.

...and bring some shorts and sunscreen, it is going to be a hot summer in Adelaide!

Savarn's picture

I went and did a short course at Mad Academy in Adelaide, FAR too expensive for them to just run you through several tutorials in a few days.

I don't think any of the Uni's here in Adelaide are doing any kind of games course, there are several multimedia courses but they're really not specific enough. I believe they go through everything from Screen (movies & TV), Web Design, Animation and such. That's if they're anything like the multimedia courses at tafe which are in the next room down from the course I'm doing.

souri's picture

There's the Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center(ETC) which you can also look in to.

The education page on Sumea isn't complete - you can look at the forum thread which has a bigger list, however, the list on Sumea's education page have direct links to the game related courses.

The main criteria for inclusion in our education listings page is that there is a link to the game course, rather than a general link to the uni or institution website (which really isn't very useful).

Frostblade's picture

Some places just show you tutorials and DVD?s that are already on the net or special store for purchase...some places will just lead you through the program manual and charge you 12 grand a year. Please research for yourself before committing time and money on a course that may not even give you better chances at getting a job that is so variable and changing. If it?s medicine I?ll tell you uni, but art/3d modeling there are alternatives that are as cheap as a library card + monthly internet connection...make friends with some nice artists and get tips and stuff.

Most important thing is to learn what the employable standard is and aim for that; not the passing standard for uni...that doesn't cut it to be honest.

btw some of the best artists in the 3d field are self taught.

Johnn's picture

Sounds like there are some pretty poor courses on offer out there, it would be wise to research carefully what each offers before committing.

Same can be said for 2d artists regarding self-taught vs formal training.

Frostblade's picture

There are many reasonable magazines out there that have feature tutorials of top industry people that can be more helpful than college...just my opinion though.

I like http://www.imaginefx.com

Killa Dee's picture

[QUOTE=Frostblade] There are many reasonable magazines out there that have feature tutorials of top industry people that can be more helpful than college...just my opinion though.[/QUOTE]

Students that attend these 3d training institutions will have the edge over self taught 3d artists who get their training though magazines the library and DVD's.

Makk's picture

bullocks! With the amount of resources out there today on the net, how far you want to go (in terms of development) is completly up to you.... self-taught vs formal training? doesnt matter.

reusol's picture

[QUOTE=Makk] bullocks! With the amount of resources out there today on the net, how far you want to go (in terms of development) is completly up to you.... self-taught vs formal training? doesnt matter.[/QUOTE] but while doing a course, you can still look at online tuts. so...it a bit of both. in your spare time, do alot of tuts, and while at the course, also learning. learn double quick :| self taught people are just those who did tuts and found a way round stuff themselves. course people just do it at the course. like me, you can do both

nexx's picture

I see where this is going....

Uni wont guarantee you a job, far from it. It wont automatically make you super awesome at what you do, it wont matter much to employers in this industry, and you need to be prepared to work on other projects in your own time to fill a portfolio.

But it can open up a whole lot of resources, peers, and industry links you can take advantage of (I dont mean taking advantage in a bad way). As well as experience working in teams, dealing with task management, deadlines & clients. And very importantly: working on projects you dont like. You have to find the right institution, and you have to be proactive. It's not enough to just pass. It's expensive though!

2c (PS: I do have a degree)nexx2006-11-15 22:24:40

nooba's picture

*Waves to Savarn* Hello! I'll be doing that course next year (Hopefully!), will you be there? or are you graduating at the end of the year? nooba2006-11-22 06:27:19