Academy of Interactive Entertainment ques

Hello to all...[^]

I am thinking about going to the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Canberra in 2004 or 2005 to do the Diploma in Game Dev programming stream, and was wondering if any previous or current AIE students could give me some info on what the place is like and what the course is like...

kingofdaveness's picture

The AIE has one of the biggest pick up rates for students in Australia. What I think he means is that unless you put effort into the course, your not gonna get a job. Resisting the urge for a DUH there... but its true, take my advice and get the manuals out on loan and do nothing but read them when your not studying. I just ate 3dsmax 24 hours a day back when I did my course. My class was filled with people who just did the course material and at the end of the day had not much. Get in, then get stuck in.

(Daz leaves the room with two stormtroopers in tow)

off topic:/ Ive ALWAYS had darth vader music following me... you never seen my big entrances? :)

Sorceror Bob's picture

The only criticism I had for the AIE, is that the 2d aspect of the art was ignored. (well for game art). For example; The concept of lighting for textures was never introduced. Not sure if this has been put into the curriculum now, but it was a fairly huge chunk of what the industry expects from juniors missing.

But hey, I'm catching up :/

Daz - nadda on the big entrances, I was going to go to your normal mapping talk at the agdc.. But yeah, bad idea, sunday morning after the party night.

Jacana's picture

quote:


take my advice and get the manuals out on loan and do nothing but read them when your not studying. I just ate 3dsmax 24 hours a day back when I did my course.

That advice should help Kane (who started this thread) a heap seeing as he's a programmer [:p]

quote:


The AIE has one of the biggest pick up rates for students in Australia.

In the past that may have been true but there is quite a few new courses out there being offered by various school. I think that will change the tides quite a bit in who companies are employing.

Doord's picture

quote:


Originally posted by kingofdaveness

What I think he means is that unless you put effort into the course, your not gonna get a job. Resisting the urge for a DUH there... but its true, take my advice and get the manuals out on loan and do nothing but read them when your not studying. I just ate 3dsmax 24 hours a day back when I did my course. My class was filled with people who just did the course material and at the end of the day had not much. Get in, then get stuck in.

Too true.

I remember that you said this to my first year class and that is what I did.

Jacana: Mortifera programmers may had worked for MF, but Canberra MF is not fully open anymore, I don't know how many are still work there. Or are working at other places.

Hail programmers are programming but not in game studio, 1 working at a Uni some place, Matt doing very well doing contract stuff, one work for bull ant and was let go after his probailion and the other two I'm not sure, one of them I got an interview here for a job but he didn't get it.

Kane: put the time in and you will get a job, no problem. :) and the AIE is more then happy to help you with that and will push you if you ask. They make you work had suit you best. It is just some people it suit them to do nothing :)

unknownuser1's picture

overall, they had great courses, but i did have a few things wrong with it. as the king said, you only get out of it what you put in. that also explains doords words of people not getting jobs. there are more than a handful of people doing the courses because they think it is just an easy course. generally the people who had the easiest grasp were people who had either a strong background in art, computing or both. there was one guy who really showed that that is not always the way though. he had NEVER touched a computer in his life before doing the course. he stuck with it though and ended up doing quite well.

i would also like to extend on bob's comment. their 2D teachings were non existant at best. most people there REALLY could have benifited from at least knowing what a colour wheel is. too many assignments and animations were show of people using absolutely horible colour choices and palletes.

i also felt that after they recieved the 'training institution of the year' award, they became very slack, and didn't care as much. that was really disapointing to see as the rest of it was fantastic fun.

Jacana's picture

As far as only getting out what you put in - I think thats true of lots of things in life. If you know where you want to be, if you have the willingness to get it done, if you have the goals to reach - you can get there.

What I found from the AIE is they do sit back somewhat and watch what you do instead of jump in and help you at the very start. If you have questions they will be answered, if you need help you will receive it. You do have to be willing to ask for the help, tho :)

The AIE does support very much those who are willing to support themselves. This is as true with the tutors as the admin staff. I apporached Ian about my ideas for the student panel and received quite a bit of support for it - but I still had to be willing to do the work to make it happen.

Kane's picture

Wow...thanks for all the feedback guys. After reading through all of the replies, and I have decided that I will definately end up at the AIE...someday. I think I will take a year off next year to get some money problems out of the way, then go there in 2005 or even later. Until then, I will keep my face stuck in programming and game industry books ( and this awesome website!) to learn as much as I can.

And I fully understand that I only get out what I put in. I guess for some people that go to AIE, maybe they do the programming course just for a career change or something else and dont have much enthusiasm. I have wanted to make games since...forever, so when I do go there I will be bleeding enthusiasm from from my ears!

Thanks again for the feedback, it is all much appreciated!

unknownuser1's picture

thats good the hear. although i didn't really have anything to do with the programmers (just idle chat whenever i saw one), i'm sure you will have fun and do well.

its good to hear that you at least have a gameplan. you know what you want to do. too many people don't have one and never get anywhere.

good luck.

Kane's picture

Thankyou...luck is always good...[:)]

Sorceror Bob's picture

The other good thing you get out of the AIE is contacts.. A fairly sizeable part of getting a job is based on 'who you know'. The AIE peeps that you buddy up that get work can be handy for references. So don't rub people the wrong way :)

Kane's picture

yeh...almost everything I have read on getting a job in the games industry says that knowing someone is a big advantage...i'll keep that in mind...

there is a guy living in Tasmania named Andrew Davie and I think he worked at Beam Software a while back...i have emailed him a couple of times to get some info...

ren's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Doord

Hail programmers are programming but not in game studio, 1 working at a Uni some place, Matt doing very well doing contract stuff, one work for bull ant and was let go after his probailion and the other two I'm not sure, one of them I got an interview here for a job but he didn't get it.

Kane: put the time in and you will get a job, no problem. :) and the AIE is more then happy to help you with that and will push you if you ask. They make you work had suit you best. It is just some people it suit them to do nothing :)


Don't forget about me. I'm working at Blue Tongue.

Sorceror Bob's picture

Hey ren, great work!

Didn't know you got a job with Blue Tongue, we haven't heard from you guys in ages.

unknownuser6's picture

Hey all,

A comment coming out of our 'Bridging the gap' panel, is that there is a lot of value in undertaking a 'traditional' education such as uni. Ross (Symons) of BullAnt said that he very much valued those with a Bachelor of Science (specifically Comp. Sci.), I guess you get all that extra stuff like theory of computation, and optimisation theory that can't be taught in such a concentrated course like AIE.

I think it's worth sticking up for those people who have a more traditional background in computing, and have been completely self taught with respect to game programming. As far as I can tell, in second year, at AIE, the course allows students to work on their own, using the tutors as mentors and sources of help if necessary. I think it's also possible to get the same value from working on 'extra-curricular' projects, it just requires a little extra self-discipline, which BTW looks great on CV's/resume's etc.

Our game (and a lot of the others) on the unsigned game comp. were constructed in people's spare time whilst they also undertook uni degrees, diploma's etc. It shows that you can still learn all that stuff yourself, if you put your mind to it. For example, our lead programmer had hardly programmed in C++, had never used OpenGL or SDL, and coded up an entire 3d RTS engine in a year by himself.

A good point also drawn up in the comments for this post has been that just because you attend AIE, it isn't like a golden key that'll get you into the games industry, but again, neither is a uni degree. You need to consider your whole 'package' and what skills you have, and how attending any form of tertiary education will help you achieve those goals that you have.

I'm all for game specific courses and AIE / QANTM, but i'd also consider asking industry 'veterans', as they're the ones who you'll be applying to in three years time. Find out exactly what they want, then go do it. That way you've got the best chance.

cheers

Matt

unknownuser1's picture

You are correct in your statement about your work being the main focus for employers. Yes you can teach yourself, which will go done very well on a CV, but the there is one major thing that you can't teach yourself. Team work. I know that at the AIE, they do try to focus on team work so that we can actually learn to talk to people and take critism.

Courses are also great for people who really have no idea where to start. I had Max for a year before I went to AIE, and didn't get too far with it. All that was available at the time was the Autodesk manuals that were a piece of utter crap and 3D Cafe. I'm sure that anyone who has been to 3D Cafe will agree with me when I say that it is hell in a web site. Since then a lot more 3D art related sites have appeared with great tutorials, but that just wasn't the case 3-4 years ago.

I went to the AIE and did my two years, now I am spending a year getting my work up to the best level I can. If I could go back would I cancel out my second year at the AIE? Hell no. As I wouldn't know how to use Maya :D

Kane's picture

seeing as i started this topic, i thought i would throw in one more post...

i have just realised that i have forgotten what i was posting...[?]

what i wanted to eventually say though, was that i have dropped the AIE next year idea for the moment...im going to head off to Uni for the next couple of years and do the Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)...then maybe move somewhere were there are good career opportunities (Tasmania is not the place for a game programmer)...then i might even head over to the AIE and do the Diploma...

thank you again for everybody's comments, i absolutely will NOT forget about the AIE, it sounds like a great place! its ages away at the moment, but i am going to get by sorry ass peeled out of this comfy office chair and go to the AGDC next year...those photos make me realise what i am missing![:(]

lukeo25's picture

(This is for anyone anywhere looking to start any 3d animation course). Just for the record Ive been around!. Infact I co-wrote the tutorial material for the AIE and was head animation lecturer there in 1999. The one thing employers are impressed with in a reel is " knowledge of animation " not just your knowledge of a programme and its plugins. Look for courses that will teach the principles of animation as well as a programme, with equal weight. There is nothing more unfortunate than paying loads of money only to get the education you could have recieved from a Dummies book. Being a techi is not going to show an employer anything other than you being a Nerd. Be an Artist first. Infact try and find out a bit more about . I don't know how many people I've met that profess to be artists and animators who have no idea who Chuck Jones or Clement Greenberge or Man Ray are. Yet they know what should go under the bonnet to run Maya or Max. You see if you now a lot about art and a lot more about animation and a little about the programme your using. You'll be able to design and animate around any job your boss hands you instead of asking for the best plugin to use.