Why did you choose Games Art and Design at Murdoch, and what have been the benefits?
I originally was planning on doing Illustration, I already had a Adv. Diploma in from TAFE and I had heard a little about the Games Art and Design (GAD) course at Murdoch and decided to try and enrol in that. The main benefits I received from the course were mostly the great advice from the teachers and guest lecturers, and the connections I made. The GAD course was also just a great launching platform, covering as much of each area in game creation as possible.
What would be your advice to students entering the course?
Get ready for a large workload – this isn’t a bad thing! The course, whilst about games, is definitely a full on study load. And as such there is a lot of work required from you, but don’t worry, it’s all fun. Other than that, my only advice is: keep working and don’t get complacent with just doing what’s required for each unit. Find out what makes you passionate and run with it, because just having a degree isn’t enough for you to find work.
What has been your favourite unit in the course and why?
I’d have to say this is a tie. As I work as an artist, I’m always going to be very partial to the drawing classes run by Simon Allen. But, in saying that, the experience of actually making our own game in 12 weeks (really 10 haha!) in the final year Games Project unit is one I’ll never forget.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
I’d say either the work load, or the fact that in order to get good grades overall you needed to be at least semi-skilled in all areas of game creation. At the time, the course was aimed at students who want to learn all of GAD, not just a core discipline area. But overall, it’s all really great to learn and has helped me to understand what others around me are doing. And is especially handy in the indie side of games where you are required to wear many hats.
What career opportunities did the course give you? And can you describe your new role?
I was lucky enough to work with Disney under a previous GAD lecturer Josh Whitkin, in my 2nd year, this was the launching platform for my career. From there I joined an indie studio formed with some of the other graduating students. As much as this didn’t go where we hoped it would, it definitely taught us all a lot and helped us get where we needed to go. From there I worked as a freelance artist, for a large variety of companies big and small.
Now, I’m overseas working for a Japanese company called Gianty, or GNT in Vietnam. They focus on mobile games, as that’s where the market is at the moment. I want to make games that reach deep into your heart like ‘Life is Strange’ and the amazing ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’.
But one step at a time!
2D Character/Creature Artist