game dev or multimedia

I've been looking at courses for 3D modelling and animation and so on. What does Game Developement really mean. It seems that these Game Developement courses are more programming oriented and the Multimedia courses are the 3D oriented ones. So what names would most 3D course go under.

Help Plz

Pantmonger's picture

Not to bash Multimedia courses too hard but?

Most of these courses are a bad mix of very basic graphic design and web page building with a certain volume of program specific information thrown in (the program in question usually depends on the lecturer but usually a little photoshop and a lot of flash)

This is where I get harsh: I have seen more bad design, plagiarism, copyright breach through image theft and vector tracings of photographs passed off as illustrations, come out of multimedia courses then I want to believe happens. This for the most part is not the fault of the students, but the lecturers and a course structure that does not seem to teach the basics of illustration, colour theory and design balance and seems in no way to punish the questionable aspects of image theft.

I would suggest that that you analyze the path you want to take and select a course that will give you the basics, an illustration or animation courses or even fine art are usually better choices, once you have these skills it is a relatively small thing to apply them to the digital media of your choice, and much better then doing so the other way around.

Pantmonger

MoonUnit's picture

interesting thoughts pants, i was thinking of taking the bachelor of multimedia design at swindburne, then maybe a more games dev orientated TAFE course, but u would suggest otherwise?

unknownuser1's picture

I am really with Pants on this one. Most Multimedia courses are rather... er... shit, to put it bluntly. I have known old friends who went through the courses copying other peoples work from off the net (reason why I say old friends). Their excuse, "oh, but I changed the colours". Not only would the teachers not pick them up about it, they would actually praise their work and help them to get jobs.

Unfortunately the design industry is a bit like that. Someone/some company will come up with some really cool new design schemes, and a few months later, everyone will be trying to copy it.

If you are actually interested in learning 3D apps, then do a course based on 3D animation. Even if it isn't entirely about games, you learn the basics and you can then apply them to games. There are plenty of tutes and tools to get models into games now. Keep in mind that 3D animation courses can be very expensive. Also note that most multimedia courses that have '3D Animation', don't actually teach you. It means that you have the ability to learn it by yourself, while they supply the software.

TheBigJ's picture

I have to agree with Pantmonger as well.

Unis which provide courses in gamedev just can't seem to correctly classify gamedev. Usually the best they offer is a degree in Multimedia which includes a couple of units vaguely relatated to gamedev and the rest of the course you're learning flash and all kinds of crap you don't want to learn. Don't get me started on "game" programming courses that teach java.

Creative Industries at QUT (Queensland University of Technology) comes to mind. I originally found out about it from someone who knew I was interested in studying gamedev. Upon looking into it however, I found no actual gamedev units, but rather a selection of (fairly crappy) multimedia subjects. The only way to get a good gamedev education from such a course would be to do a dual degree with CI and IT or Engineering or something (as a programmer), to get the same knowledge about actual gamedev that you would probably get in a one or two year diploma from Qantm, AIE or TAFE.

I'm not saying you can't learn useful stuff from these courses; You can. But as an aspiring game developer most of the stuff you will learn will not be of much use to you, where as a tailored gamedev or 3D animation diploma will be (pretty much) all relevant.

Brain's picture

Yet another one to agree with Pants. I've just done first year of Multimedia (as a filler when I didn't get into Fine Arts or Animation, the former I've transferred into this year) and how I wish I could disagree, but I saw it all right infront of me. We did have a fair portion of colour theory and design principles and theory (was an awesome course which I think very few took anything away from), but plagarism still occurred.

A high factor of this IMO was lack of planning. Assignments would be started in the last week, which then gave way to Google searches, and then finished products. Students doing the bare minimum to pass in the final hours. Originality and perseverance will win you through. And if you happen to care about marks, you'll enjoy the distinctions and credits you get.

So yes... I generally wouldn't touch a Multimedia course unless you really needed the bit of paper. Do a course which you can apply to games, like Aven suggested. If you have the fundamental knowledge, the rest is just program learning.

bullet21's picture

So is there any uni in melbourne that has a good course? I was planning on kinda doing the same thing as MoonUnit. I wanted to do a uni course first. Shorely there gotta be one good course in melbourne. Like there one a Monash call Game developement but i think it is more programming based. Multimedia Systems at Monash sound pretty good though.
Here's a link to the course, look at the games developement column though, i think that this is very programming based.
http://www.multimedia.monash.edu.au/courses/bms.html

TheBigJ's picture

I had a look at Monash's offering at AGDC last year. Its more promising than other options, probably your best in melbourne. Its not without its problems though: programming is java based, there are a bunch of subjects that seem barely related to games (Database systems, educational multimedia, accounting, e-business models, etc). On the other hand, there are some really good subjects in there (programming for 3D computer graphics, human computer interaction, visual communication, etc)

bullet21's picture

Yeah, but the thing is that i don't care to much for programming i want to mainly do the 3D stuff.

IronhideNT's picture

Hey mate,

I actually study Multimedia at Monash, and I'm a third year student. At the moment they are REALLY trying to plug the new game dev stream, although, in my opinion it is only reserved to programmers.

There's some pretty cool subjects around, there's quite a lot of 3D type subjects you can do (as with all uni's now) the lecuturers are knowledgable, and there's some game design subject where one of your assignments is to make an Unreal level. In my course anyway, we did learn the fundamentals of drawing, colour theory etc, although I think maybe there wasn't enough of it. Nontheless if you know you have to improve on something, you can take a fine arts type elective.

I agree with everybody else, graphic design, particularly at a graduate level, makes me sick of how much ripped stuff you find. I'll be very interested to hear how all the respondants have come up with this viewpoint, whether it be through the POV of an employer or whatever. But as a student you do feel robbed when you see something blatantly copied off a website but they get more praise than the rest.

But I suppose about the plagurism issue, if the industry out there can already spot it, then its up to you not to do it. If you do copy something, sure you'll pass in the short term, but in the long run, when you whack it into your folio, your gonna look like shit anyway. So it's up to you.

Overall, I think Multimedia you'll get a taste of everything, a little photoshop, a little flash knowledge won't go astray. And then in final year, put your head down and attack the game career you've always wanted!

Hope that helped somewhat. And also I would like to hear response from everyone else too, multimedia is getting alot of stick lately.

Blitz's picture

Copying work was rampant when i did Computer Science at monash. It was not so much that you noticed/saw people copying work (although i did have people asking if they could "borrow" my assignments in prac classes), but just the sheer number of people who passed first year without knowing what a pointer was or how to use it was insane.
CYer, Blitz

bullet21's picture

IronhideNT: are you doing multimedia systems or just multimedia?
What software and stuff do they teach for 3D?

IronhideNT's picture

Multimedia , multimedia systems same thing .

They teach mainly 3DS Max or Maya depending on preference or which subject you take.

bullet21's picture

Cool I think that's what i'll do then and are they both really the same thing and do they teach it from scratch or do you have to know a lot already.