Academy of Interactive Entertainment in M

Just posted it on [url="http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,7101157%5E15317%5E%5Enbv..."]the news page[/url], but I thought it was pretty big news to reiterate here for discussion.

quote:

"THE Victorian government is contributing $150,000 towards the establishment of a Melbourne campus of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment....

It is scheduled to open for the first semester of 2004.

Ms Thomson said the new campus would initially create six new jobs, intake 80 students in the first year and be staffed by game industry veterans."


I think it has definately been a long time coming, especially since Melbourne is pretty much Australia's biggest game development state (closely followed by Queensland, of course). Good to see government support for the industry, compared to the lack of support over a year ago (you can check the news on Sumea for the numerous articles on this). Now, how about doing something in Sydney... [;)]

Jacana's picture

They have info for the Melbourne campus in the new AIE handbook.

The new campus in Melbourne is being run by Atari as far as I know. They also will not be taking in first year programmers until 2005.

The Melbourne campus will only focus on the Game Dev stream for artists and programmers where as the Canberra campus does Advanced Maya/Max stuff.

Ninja's picture

LOL now they do a games development course...... about time i waited for this for years.!!! ITs good to see that they are starting to speed up finally !!! I knew mad academy did it but we want to see more schools opening up.... it will be a good opportunity for young talented artists to get into game development.

Maitrek's picture

$150,000 is pretty weak when you consider how much money this could bring to australian shores if we beef up our talent pool.

Satyrblood's picture

Interesting point:

quote:


The workload of 20 hours a week leaves students enough time for freelance projects and other paid work while they study, Giles explained.

I'm not sure of the subjects/teaching at AIE, but does this mean a reduced cirriculum?

Daemin's picture

I don't think so, it just means that they can have a near full time job at the same time for living expenses etc.

Blitz's picture

Consider that most uni degrees (at least the comp sci ones) only have about 15-20 contact hours a week. I dunno how many hours the average tafe course requires...
CYer, Blitz

inglis's picture

tafe courses are about 20hours im pretty sure.

the course i did was 4 days a week 9 hours a day (36hours) class time. for 48weeks from memory. little help that was though :) lol

Daemin's picture

Well at uni now I have only 10 hours of actual contact with lecturers at all, but I spent a large amount of time doing assignments and meeting with other members of my project group etc. So yeah, it would end up being about 35-40 hours a week in all.

And yeah, just to mention that there's a snippet on the AIE in Melbourne on Gamasutra.

souri's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Maitrek

$150,000 is pretty weak when you consider how much money this could bring to australian shores if we beef up our talent pool.

I agree. You can see the export awards that local game developers are getting in the arts & media categories. Micro Forte, Krome, Sidhe Interactive, Rat Bag, and probably more. Governments all around the world are certainly sitting up and taking notice that game development is a real money spinner for the economy. The French government is putting in [url="http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2003Jul/gee20030723020954.htm"]US$4.5 million for game development start ups[/url] over there, for example..

Oh, and the AIE students will be learning in the same building as the Melbourne House people. How cool is that? [:)]

Sorceror Bob's picture

Souri - at the AIE we were in the same building as MF canberra.. I think we were given a total of one tour of the studio :)

I think they should be investing more into startups.. Start creating more jobs for the people that graduate.. Theres going to be roughly 30 graduates from the Diploma 2 at the AIE this year.. I don't know where they're all going to find jobs..

Hell, as far as I know, only 2 - 3 of last years AIE graduates that actually got employment (no programmers got game jobs), and thats not for lack of trying on the others behalf (I know :P look at me)..

Jacana's picture

Actually from your class last year Hamish got a job. IIRC he was working for Bullant for a while.

But I do agree with the number of students being greater then the number of jobs available. Also this years students have more competition with places like LaTrobe running courses as well... *sigh*

But then again one thing our tutor points out to us. We may not be able to get a job in the industry right away. But as "game dev progrmmers" most companies look at us as being very good programmers. So there is at least a good chance of getting a job at all. Where as he sees artists quite a bit more limited in where they can go after school.

Application development.... yea!

Blitz's picture

IMO investing money into game dev startups isn't that great an idea. In certain special cases it would be good, but i think it's starting to get to the point where the average start-up cannot successfully compete in game development, with the exception of handhelds. The french goverment is probably planning to fund a multitude of startups with that cash, but they would probably be best usign it to fund 2 or 3 to start with a huge head of steam, so they can start with a team of 20+ developers for their first title. Of course this may be what they're planning to do! Especially if they plan to cover 40% of game dev costs...thats about $600,000+ there.
CYer, Blitz

David Giles's picture

Just to clear up a bit of a misunderstanding the AIE Melbourne campus is not being run by Atari. Obviously we (I) have strong links with them but a great deal of our course content will be more useful for other developers in Vic.

Jacana's picture

Thanks for clearing that up David :)

Since your around maybe you can answer this, too.

The AIE handbook shows no programmers till 2005. Is that only first year programmers or is that also second year?
And if so does that mean you wont graduate your first full game dev group through the program until 2007?

David Giles's picture

The fist stage is currently only for people wanting to skill up in 3D. The programmer intake for 2004 is only for the 2nd and more advanced stage of the diploma. We will be wanting programmers with a bit of C and C++ under their belts. The course is designed to make them very industry ready and so we will teach game industry specific programming not a course in how to code. It will be an intensive year but I want people to finish the course with skills that are eminently useful in the majority of game dev studios. This mainly driven from spending 9 years saying no to people that wanted to work....

Jacana's picture

So *just making sure I understand here* you will produce a 2nd year class at the end of 2004?

Then the next question is: In what ways does the course differ from (or does it?) from what AIE Canberra is already running, in terms of the Game Dev stream.

Also, how will the tutor situation work down there? As we have tutors in Canberra that come from MF and up in Bris the Qantm students have tutors from Auran. Are students going to have access to "industry established" tutors?

David Giles's picture

Yes we will produce a 2nd year class at the end of 2004.

The main difference between the Canberra course and the Melbourne one is that at the stage 2 level we will have direct intake at this advanced level which means we will not spend the whole year working on a game. Instead the start of the year is dedicated to folio building and learning about tools and techniques of the trade. Later on in the year the art and programming streams combine to work on a game level.
I will also be teaching a game design and theory course (game deconstruction) that will also be picked up in Canberra...(I've got to finish writing that) One of the main issues we have found over the years is that the best coders and artists know why a game works not just that it is cool. We will be teaching that to the second stage students

Yes our staff will be ex industry vets. I am speaking to quite a number at the moment who are interested in teaching what they know.

ren's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sorceror Bob

Souri - at the AIE we were in the same building as MF canberra.. I think we were given a total of one tour of the studio :)

I think they should be investing more into startups.. Start creating more jobs for the people that graduate.. Theres going to be roughly 30 graduates from the Diploma 2 at the AIE this year.. I don't know where they're all going to find jobs..

Hell, as far as I know, only 2 - 3 of last years AIE graduates that actually got employment (no programmers got game jobs), and thats not for lack of trying on the others behalf (I know :P look at me)..


Um, I'm working @ Blue Tongue and another porgrammer is doing a PhD.

Blitz's picture

Hehe, PhD is a job they pay your for with peanuts!
Btw, what gives you the idea that investing in startups will neccessarily create more jobs than investing in established business's? It might create some jobs in the short-term, but the reality is that most startups go belly up rather quickly, so what use is a job (to the industry) that only lasts 6 months?
CYer, Blitz

Jacana's picture

Just wanted to mention...

I saw an article in todays "The Age" in Melbourne on the AIE Melbourne campus. Kinda brief - it covered most of what David has already talked about here (in less detail really) and had a nice piece of artwork in the article by one of the 2nd year artists (second half of the week group).

Jacana's picture

Naw... it was the fighter chick thats being used in the front inside cover of the new handbook.

tachyon's picture

My girlfriend is interested in taking a part time course in the melbourne campus, and was wondering whether the
Cert II in Basic 3D Electronic Animation is offered in melbourne next year? There's not much info on the website about its availblility in the melbourne campus.

souri's picture

I've sent an email off to David Giles, so hopefully he can answer your question soon!

Jacana's picture

As far as I know with the Melbourne campus they are totally focused on the Game Dev stream. I would assume this means they will not be running short course or anything thats outside of that stream (programming or art).

But I am sure David could provide better info :)

David Giles's picture

Currently Melbourne is only offering stage 1 (1yr) 3d art and and 2nd Stage (1yr) art and programming. Hope this helps

tachyon's picture

heaps helpful. thanks for the info