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smythson1

TAFE Diploma of Information Technology (Games Development)

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**I don't really know where on the internet to put this information, so I hope people will find it here.** Anyone in Sydney wanting to undertake the Diploma of Information Technology (Games Development) course (19050) at Hornsby's TAFE, I feel I have a responsibility to advise you to reconsider your options. I am a graduate of this program (still looking for work) and can assert the skills offered in this course are not suitable for professional game development. They simply will not prepare you for work in the industry. Visual Basic.NET is taught over C#.NET, yet all game tool-chain programming positions I have seen require C# experience. The choice to teach VB.NET is ill-informed and reflects a certain teacher's lackadaisical effort to learn any other language. Modeling completely in Cinema4D has resulted in peers having no real exposure to commercial modeling packages like 3D Studio Max or Maya. All game artistry students have had to undertake additional study (as they have not been adequetely trained and prepared for the industry). There is no formal structure in the course (very disorganised) and a total lack of communication amongst teachers. Personal experiences throughout the course only aggravate the situation. For example, The Visual Studio IDE/C++ compiler were "not allowed" to be used because an teacher resented Microsoft (for personal reasons). This caused serious anguish and anxiety amoung students because it meant commercial libraries like PhysX could no longer be used (they weren't compatible at the time), despite significant amounts of code already in place for a major gaming work. Students revolted against these non-professional options (Newton, IrrKlang etc), which ended up wasting an inordinate amount of precious time. Consider this final statistic: This course has taken in approximately 75 students and only 1 person has received a job in the gaming industry as a direct result. That's an employment rate of 1.3%. [Edited by - smythson1 on January 14, 2009 3:57:26 AM]

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I'm really sorry to hear that, I hope you can make it into the industry.

For what it's worth, I've heard word that companies won't completely disregard you for learning Cinema4D over what you call 'professional' packages. It's not the software they're bothered about you knowing, it's the principles - knowing how to throw polygons around.

I was taught Visual Basic at college and didn't find it particularly useful. We moved onto Java in the last few weeks of the course and I really took a shine to it, but we only had 3 or 4 lectures that covered the basics. I learned C++ myself after the course finished, and my Uni course 'filled in the gaps'.

It sucks that someone's personal feelings towards a software vendor meant you couldn't use Visual Studio, it's a nice IDE. However, I do love alternatives, I'm a Linux user most of the time and I find things like Code::Blocks and GCC very worthy alternatives, but I wouldn't for one second recommend them to someone who's just being introduced to the programming scene, let alone a STUDENT. Visual Studio Express Editions are free and fantastic. Once you've learned how to write code, configure some linker settings and compile it, then move onto whatever the hell you want to write code. Notepad and Cygwin for all I care, as long as it gets the job done.

As one last comment, I work with Newton and I like it. I see no reason why it can't be used in a professional environment, and I think potential employers just care that you know how to fiddle around with a physics library, not WHICH physics library. What does suck is that you couldn't make up your own mind which library you could use. My course covers Direct3D only, but I was welcomed with open arms to study OpenGL alongside it.

What are your plans from now? I'm interested to see how you resolve this sticky situation.

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Quote:
Original post by deadstar
I'm really sorry to hear that, I hope you can make it into the industry.


Thanks for your concerns. I really hope I can make it, as gaming is the only industry I truly want to be working in.

Your point is valid about modeling concepts and Cinema4D, but as a game design/development course that clearly states it will readily prepare students for the industry- it's simply not good enough in my opinion. The same can be sound about having to program in a non Microsoft IDE/Compiler environment. As I said most of my peers are having to undertake additional 2 year courses at privage colleges to compensate for this bombshell of a course.

I am concerned because I've heard rumours that more than 120 people have applied for the course this fall and I am certain they too will fall into the same hole I did. Fancy flyers that promise to teach you everything and leave you with worthless knowledge. Just look at how cool the description under "What should I be able to do when I finish the course?" sounds on the flyer.

Quote:
http://infotech.hornsby.tafensw.edu.au/coursedetails.aspx?id=8
"You'll be one of the elite - a group of specialist programmers who can write sophisticated games software for use on PCs, handheld devices and consoles. You'll have very strong programming skills, a keen skill in crafting gameplay, you'll be used to working with game engines and sophisticated tools and utilities. You'll have strong practical skills in using the tools used by game animators and artists - so that you'll understand how the art team work, what they can do and how to communicate over game art assets. Most importantly, you'll put the team first, before your own ego or pride. That doesn't mean you won't be proud of your work - that is important, but you will learn that the game development business needs people who place the team goals first. You'll be a good communicator and presenter - able to explain to others some quite difficult concepts. Our goal is to prepare you to be work-ready."


Quote:
Original post by deadstar
What are your plans from now? I'm interested to see how you resolve this sticky situation.


Whilst I'm still looking for work I'm teaching myself a range of tools, libraries and languages to maximize my potential. Perforce (Practical), C#.NET, UML (User-Guide/Manual) & Ogre, Havok etc.

I feel I'm qualified enough as I have took it upon myself to learn FMOD (incl. Event System), Direct3D, LUA-bind, Winsock etc and was responsible for the complete design and (most of the) implementation for a 3D Towers Defence game called Crimson Assault (
).

[Edited by - smythson1 on January 14, 2009 3:28:30 AM]

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You should be looking at individual short courses that offer you specific skills that you actually need to learn. A piece of paper is nothing in this industry. Experience counts more than anything. Your focus should be on building a portfolio rather than earning certificates.

At the end of the day, you need to demonstrate that you can put together a game.

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Unless you want to waste 2 years of your life, stay far away!

As said the course is poorly organised and there is no formal structure. David Vega & Eric Valric (main teachers) gave us no direction, support or help (even when we asked for it). They let us down miserably and they, along with their effortless course, deserve a very bad reputation.

To give an example,

On a typical day we rocked up to a 4 hour class and were given no instructions at all! We were just left to do whatever we wanted to do! A lot of people just played WoW but the teachers didn't care because hey they got to play aswell! Someone should report them to board of studies and have them loose their jobs!

No one has received a job in our course thanks to their inability to carry out their responsibilities as a teacher. It happened last year and next year 120 people will have realised they made a huge mistake aswell.

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Its interesting to hear your opinion as i have been taught by eric valric in cinema 4D and he is the best teacher i have ever had. With him its very simple, Either you interested in learning or your not. If you are, He'll teach you mountains about the real world and how to perform under pressure and survive. If you are not then you go by the way side, and he'll let you do what ever you want. In your case seems like you spent playing WoW and blaming him for learning nothing. The guy is truly passionate about what he does, and an amazing artist. Go and check his comic books and his 3D work dude. If can't learn anything out of him you really not trying
I also know some of the gaming students at hornby personally and some of the efforts from your year, pathetic dude, like the knagooroo scene, its a joke, The hornsby course is how to learn how to program .The course has nothing to do with 3D ARTISTRY or anything of the like. It is simply a basic introduction to basic stuff like 3D concept and basic photoshop. So where's your problem with Cinema 4D, its recognised as one of the easiest and best professional 3D programs to use on the planet. And if your stuff is good enough you'll get noticed, as i did and i am now employed and use maya but i still use Cinema for modeling, So halooo!?!?!?
As far as you learning nothing in 3D, well I saw the stuff that the 1rst year students did "like its amazing 3D dude check it out "the library project" and get a real reality check. If they can do that with the same teachers, how come you could not? How come they could learn how to do that you could not??? Truth is You spent your whole time on WoW man, and now its all too hard for you, real reality check and yu need to blame somebody.
One is one of my bestest friends is in first year in the course and he and his class they all said great things about the 2 teachers David Vega and eric valric, how they tried really hard etc...And how they are learning hips, But they are really commited man, that all they do now work and work and want to make it. And Like David Vega and Eric Valric are only part time teachers and not full time. They DO NOT RUN THE COURSE or even have a say in it, So get your facts straight before you crap on and put lies on line DUDE!
How about you show us your portfolio what you've done? Talk the Walk Dude.And if you had time to play games in class Man it sounds like you were not motivated to work in the first place, like your a gamer and thats where you belong. Its sounds like sour grapes and bullshit on your part man, and you should take it else where. And if yur so unhappy with what you got why don't you pay $20 000 for a private Games course rather than the like $100 for Tafe.Yea like my friend says its not a perfect course and its got lots wrong, but he is paying peanuts for it and he is getting way better than a monkey and learning heaps. So, Just maybe you don't have the goods dude, if you did you'd have a job by now, I do!
Maybe the first step is to change your nickname from lost bagage, to "I want to take some responsability in my life" and stop blaming others for for poor little me, Get a life Looser!

[Edited by - emma_cidy on January 17, 2009 6:10:55 AM]

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