What we learnt talking LIVE to Game Development Experts

With a passion for all things creative, we love to hear from our industry expert tutors, and even more, we love sitting them down with our students to get talking about their joint passions.

That’s why, after the success of our recent Animation Live panel stream, we recently held a Facebook LIVE Industry panel about Game Development!

We had JMC Sydney’s head of Animation and Game Sean Callinan, Game Design expert and tutor Petr Joura, plus Game Development scholarship student Alex, and Game Development student Danielle. 

Talking on subjects from their favourite games, to networking, crowdfunding, internships and even their preference between Unreal Engine and Unity, have a read of the highlights below, or re-watch the stream skipping to your favourite parts. 

Why Game Development?

Alex: I’ve been interested in the industry since I was about 14, I just watched some YouTube videos and thought it was fascinating how all the 3D stuff is created, so since then I’ve been passionate about it and practising and then I found JMC and it’s been perfect. 

Danielle: For me I didn’t even know a game design course like this even existed until I applied. I heard about JMC through a friend who was studying Audio Engineering and I thought, well I like games so I might as well study it!

About JMC

Alex: I was surprised but I actually really enjoyed programming, it’s not a huge part of this course but you do learn the basics. I do still consider myself to be a 3D artist, I do enjoy making the mechanics and bringing it to life but I do mainly enjoy the 3D aspects of it. 

Sean: We have a particular emphasis in the way our course is set up and there is a strong focus on art and design, although there is a bit of programming so you get some knowledge of this. When we talk art, we talk about both conceptual art, and in the creation of environments and characters in the games. The other thing is the ability to interact with other courses, not only design and animation, but audio and music and film etc. So, for example you could get an audio student to come in and work as a sound designer on your project.

Alex: A big part of why I chose JMC was because of the internships, I really like that fact that you are almost guaranteed one if you apply. And the integration part, the fact that I can go to the audio guys and ask them to make a theme song for my major, that’s definitely a plus. 

The importance of Internships and Networking

Sean: Internships provide a lot of interesting opportunities and the opportunity to learn and apply new skills in a different context. The most important thing about those opportunities is to go out and meet people working and be in real work places and, all those things you’ve been dreaming about doing in your career, actually anchoring that to someone who is doing that in the real world, it grounds it into a plausible reality. 

Alex: Gamification for example is a big thing now and you’ll be surprised how many companies use it for advertising or learning, so I’m excited to start my internship in this field. 

Sean: Sydney is heavily indie in the games world, very active with lots of get-togethers and Game Jams. Therefore, getting to know other people and connecting is important because jobs often come from knowing people, needing people and knowing certain people have the skills they require. 

Petr: Networking is very important, pretty much every job I have had in games is from someone I knew in game development. It is a very supportive world, there is no business rivalry, everyone helps everyone else out. You can not only find people to work for through networking, but you can find people you want to have work for you. 

Sean: A lot of people feel unconformable about networking, but it’s not really about treating it like schmoozing and seeking what you can get out of people, it’s building relationships with like-minded people who can then provide support in any direction, it’s the building of a community, that’s what networking is really about. 

Petr: That’s one of the best things you get out of a place like JMC is the network you build that you can work for and work with after you graduate. 

Advice for Students

Danielle: Don’t leave everything to the last minute!

Alex: Be passionate about what you do. Be prepared to work in your own time, and that shouldn’t be difficult if you are passionate about what you do. Give it your all

Sean: The word passion comes up a lot, passion by itself is not enough, but it’s got to be the engine that drives you along, and they look for that in the people they want to employ. 

Petr: If you’re playing a game you really like, try to deconstruct what you like and then you can adapt that to your project.

Skip forward to listen to the industry advice you want to; 
Favourite games- 4.35
What are you enjoying most about your course so far – 6:00
The importance of Internships-  11:00
Integration Projects- 14:30
Ue4 vs Unity – 17:30
Why JMC? 22:15
The importance of networking- 31:10
Crowdfunding – 36:00
Alumni- 38:45
The hardest part of Game Development process- 45:00
Advice for students – 49.30

Watch the full stream here:

Find out more about studying Game Development or Apply now. 

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