Below is an email interview MESH did with recent GAD graduate Chay Johansen. Chay has recently been working with Weta Digital in New Zealand contributing to the latest Hobbit film.
Chay is also mentioned at the end of this Stephen Colbert interview for his contribution to the work on the dragon Smaug.
Chay Johansson and Simon Boxer have also recently had work accepted by Valve in the game DOTA2.
Check out Chay’s and Simon’s work here.

Why did you choose Games Art and Design at Murdoch, and what have been the benefits?
The curriculum was very flexible with what I wanted to focus on while also giving me exposure to the other elements of game design and networking with other students to work with on projects both during and outside of semester. Since you are working towards a Bachelor’s degree it can be very helpful for things like work visas when jumping around to different countries later down the track. The staff are all passionate about the course and have industry experience which is helpful all throughout the course.


What would be your advice to students entering the course?
Always be working on a project outside of university focusing on what you are interested in, and keep reading/learning/teaching yourself. Work with talent you meet in your classes and teach and learn from each other, don’t be afraid to share your work, workflow, techniques etc.


What has been your favorite unit in the course and why?
The independent study units in my last few semesters were great. I had a lot of freedom and was able to focus on my own projects and end up with some solid pieces for my show reel. Having one on one feedback from people like Cameron Merton and Simon Allen was also incredibly helpful and assisted me in pushing my work further.


What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
Getting through some of the theory work can be a struggle but once it clicks it’s incredibly helpful in pushing things on the practical side of the work.


What career opportunities did the course give you? And can you describe your new role?
I have had the opportunity to work in both games and film, and have lived and worked all over the world. I have worked in the game industry in Japan and US, at various different companies, including Blizzard Entertainment and TriAce, and am now in New Zealand working at Weta Digital on feature films.

My new role is as an Assistant Technical Director which has me in charge of baking out tissue, fur, and cloth simulations, making sure things don’t explode or break as they go through the pipeline. It’s a lot of fun, I am right in the middle of the pipeline and get to work with many different people from all different departments.

 Games Art and Design course at Murdcoh