Duration
8 months (2 trimesters) accelerated
Locations
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Fees
Intake Dates

February, June, September

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International

CRICOS 075767K

JMC welcomes from all over the world.
Find out more

At Diploma level, design, develop, prototype and implement an idea, and gain hands-on knowledge of leading industry software and game engines. 

Explore everything from concept drawing, digital sculpting and visual narrative to expressive animation techniques, game art development, 3D modelling, asset creation and building immersive game spaces.

You will begin to understand the core components of visual narrative and games design and will adopt a range of rich, diverse and expressive animation techniques, which you'll develop into sophisticated outcomes. A solid foundation in game-art development practice will provide you with the perfect platform upon which to deepen your critical level of knowledge and understanding in a Bachelor degree.

Why Study Game Design at JMC?

Use the world's leading development platform for games and real-time content
Take advantage of our 18 camera dedicated motion capture suites
Study abroad in Japan or the Netherlands

Technology & Facilities

We take gaming seriously at JMC, with each campus housing dedicated digital art + development studios with purpose built workstations, cintiq and intuos pro wacom tablets, non-digital art studio for prototyping, stopmotion, sculpting and life drawings, portable VR development suites, motion capture studios, 3D printers, green-screen cyclorama studio and mixing + recording studios.

JMC uses a range of software including Unity 3D, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Cloud, Pixologic Zbrush, Substance Suite, Foundry Suite with Nuke + Mari, Redshift GPU + Arnold CPU Renderer, Adobe Suite, Toon Boom Harmony with Unity middleware, Shotgun Studio and SourceTree.

Duration

In just 2 trimesters you can graduate with a diploma thanks to our accelerated full-time course. Part-time study is also available to domestic students.

The Dutch Exchange

Take your passion to Europe and spend an entire trimester at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries in the Netherlands. Collaborate with creative students from all over the world and build your international contacts along the way.

Japan Study Tour

Spend 12 days immersed in anime and manga creation classes at the Tokyo Design Technology Center and Osaka Animation College, and explore the pop culture of Japan. This selective unit includes visits to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum and the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

Course Structure

The Diploma of Creative Arts (Game Design) makes up the first 2 trimesters of the Game Design Bachelor's degree. At the successful completion of 2 trimesters, our modular course structure lets you graduate with an officially recognised diploma or continue seamlessly towards the industry standard Bachelor of Creative Arts (Game Design) degree.

Click here to view the detailed course structure →

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CURRICULUM

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

This unit introduces students to practices, processes, and tools utilised in animation, games, and visual effects (VFX). Students will work through a series of self-contained exercises, with mentoring support from lecturers, which will provide entry-level practical experience. These will primarily be completed during class time. Areas of focus may include design research, design sketching and visualisation, concept ideation, simple animation, colour grading, editing, and delivery to different platforms. While students are not expected to achieve full competence in these skills, they will gain a practical grasp of the steps and thinking required to produce animation, games, and VFX. At the conclusion of this unit students will be supported to make an informed decision regarding the focus streams they will choose in Trimester 2.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

This unit introduces the student to the fundamental production process of creating art assets for games, teaching practical skills in operating a range of 2D and 3D content creation applications for the specific purpose of use in video games. Alongside creation methodologies and game-specific development pipelines students will learn about requirements and challenges unique to creating art assets for video games (optimization, functionality, etc.). Students will undertake a series of practice-based projects in developing various game art components of their own design.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

This unit introduces students to practices, processes, and tools utilised in animation, games, and visual effects (VFX). Students will work through a series of self-contained exercises, with mentoring support from lecturers, which will provide entry-level practical experience. These will primarily be completed during class time. Areas of focus may include 3D modelling, surfacing, texturing, basic rigging, simple animation, rendering, game mechanics, simple programming, and delivery to different platforms. While students are not expected to achieve full competence in these skills, they will gain a practical grasp of the steps and thinking required to produce animation, games, and VFX. At the conclusion of this unit students will be supported to make an informed decision regarding the focus streams they will choose in Trimester 2.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

In Lab I students are presented with the opportunity to develop and execute a small individual project utilising the key skills they are focusing on in their streams. They must log required hours in the lab environment and meet weekly with an assigned project supervisor who will act as a mentor and support person. A range of creative briefs will be provided covering potential projects in areas such as art and design, modelling, animation, game development, or hybrids of these. In addition to the creative work, students will be guided through planning, documenting, reporting, and reflecting on their work. Additional workshops may be provided where required to extend technical knowledge. Finished projects will form the basis of a portfolio to be built upon in successive trimesters.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

Games and Animation in Context provides students with a formal and contextual framework to discuss games and animation. Beginning with industry-focussed and practice-oriented material, students will develop towards a more critical understanding of their industry and the works that it produces. Students will gain language and concepts that will permit them to analyse and critique work in meaningful ways and to articulate their discoveries. This unit also requires on and off-campus participation in contemporary exhibitions, screenings, and events.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

2D Animation I - AGA204

Students are introduced to the conventions and common principles that have developed over animation’s rich hundred-year history. Students will explore traditional frame-by-frame techniques including cut-out, and drawn animation underpinning and developing an understanding of principles of movement and the animation process. Work will be undertaken using digital animation software and practices.

3D Animation I - AGA205

3D Animation I guides students through the analysis and application of key principles of animation in a 3D context at a basic level. Technical workflow and animation mechanics are illustrated through lectures, and ongoing practical exercises build foundational knowledge and skills. This is a practice led class with weekly exercises.

Game Dev I: Game Development - AGA206

This unit provides a broad introduction to working within game editor systems, integrating art elements into projects. The use of 2D & 3D graphics programs will be developed in conjunction with 2D & 3D features in the engine.  Students will be provided with a template for gameplay and will apply principles of design and technical art skills to develop a playable project. This will provide an overview of a range of core engine features and practical experience integrating content.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

This unit explores the foundations of good visual design. Students will learn the different elements and principles of visual communication including Gestalt, colour theory, layout and typography. They will explore how to bring these components together to create strong visual messages.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

Production Art I: Characters - AGA207

Character Design introduces key design principles for the creation of memorable animation and game characters in a range of styles. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of form and construction, the basics of anatomy and gesture through life drawing, and the visual development of characters from story contexts. Artwork workflow and finishing styles will be covered, along with unified approaches to developing a full cast. Industry practice in documentation and presentation will also be covered.

CG Art I: Modelling - AGA208

The unit focuses on general 3D art creation with an emphasis on process. Block-outs, low poly modelling in 3D, mesh optimisation, unwrapping, rendering to texture, texturing, and project management, are all covered using a low poly diorama as a vehicle for the project. The final project is uploaded to an online real-time WebGL 3D viewer.

The course begins with an introduction to the pipeline through the creation of simple prop objects such as telephone poles and signs. A scene block-out is then created and students work through the elements. For houses, a modular texturing approach is introduced along with stencils to reduce the number of textures. Finally, vegetation is created. Post-processing effects and lighting are added in the online viewer.



Our Lecturers

Sean Callinan

Head of Animation + Game Design (Sydney)

The essence of Sean’s career has been a broad-ranging interest in all aspects of design for film, television and other screen media. His career prior to teaching spans a wealth of experience, beginning as co-founder of his own production company, Meaningful Eye Contact (MEC), with Alex Proyas and Peter Miller. Sean quickly garnered a reputation for eye-catching visuals and inventive concepts. While producing music video clips for high profile acts such as INXS, Crowded House, and Fleetwood Mac, Sean developed a passion for the disciplines of production design, art direction, graphics and animation that would become instrumental in his future career.

During this period Sean received an AFI nomination for “Best Art Direction” for his work on Alex Proyas’ post-apocalyptic gothic fantasy feature Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. MEC were also the recipients of a number of music video awards through the eighties.

Having turned freelance, Sean continued to work on numerous television commercials, music videos, television productions and several more feature films. Animation and motion graphics had always been an important part of his practice, but in 2001 Sean made the decision to leave Production Design and focus on these areas whilst undertaking a Masters in Design at UTS.

Since then he has undertaken a range of work including infographic animation, screen graphics, museum interactives, collaborations on broadband and mobile platform content, and personal projects. Prior to accepting the role as Head of Animation and Game Development at JMC Academy, Sean taught animation, video design and screen-based media at UTS for over twenty years.

Sean Callinan

Head of Animation + Game Design (Sydney)

The essence of Sean’s career has been a broad-ranging interest in all aspects of design for film, television and other screen media. His career prior to teaching spans a wealth of experience, beginning as co-founder of his own production company, Meaningful Eye Contact (MEC), with Alex Proyas and Peter Miller. Sean quickly garnered a reputation for eye-catching visuals and inventive concepts. While producing music video clips for high profile acts such as INXS, Crowded House, and Fleetwood Mac, Sean developed a passion for the disciplines of production design, art direction, graphics and animation that would become instrumental in his future career.

During this period Sean received an AFI nomination for “Best Art Direction” for his work on Alex Proyas’ post-apocalyptic gothic fantasy feature Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds. MEC were also the recipients of a number of music video awards through the eighties.

Having turned freelance, Sean continued to work on numerous television commercials, music videos, television productions and several more feature films. Animation and motion graphics had always been an important part of his practice, but in 2001 Sean made the decision to leave Production Design and focus on these areas whilst undertaking a Masters in Design at UTS.

Since then he has undertaken a range of work including infographic animation, screen graphics, museum interactives, collaborations on broadband and mobile platform content, and personal projects. Prior to accepting the role as Head of Animation and Game Development at JMC Academy, Sean taught animation, video design and screen-based media at UTS for over twenty years.

Mark Dickie

Head of Animation and Game Design (Brisbane)

As a freelance computer graphics generalist, Mark has gained expansive experience working in animation, motion graphics and asset creation for games, television and the web. Outside of the classroom, he is involved in a number of independent games development projects.

While he has been involved in a number of exciting games and animation projects over the years, he feels privileged and most proud of being integrally involved in the development and roll out of JMC Academy’s cutting edge games and digital animation degrees.

Mark credits his success to his commitment to lifelong learning, continued engagement in his artistic medium and collaboration with other highly talented creative practitioners. In turn, these are all attributes he nurtures in his students to help them build their creative future as the next generation of Gamers and Animators.

Mark Dickie

Head of Animation and Game Design (Brisbane)

As a freelance computer graphics generalist, Mark has gained expansive experience working in animation, motion graphics and asset creation for games, television and the web. Outside of the classroom, he is involved in a number of independent games development projects.

While he has been involved in a number of exciting games and animation projects over the years, he feels privileged and most proud of being integrally involved in the development and roll out of JMC Academy’s cutting edge games and digital animation degrees.

Mark credits his success to his commitment to lifelong learning, continued engagement in his artistic medium and collaboration with other highly talented creative practitioners. In turn, these are all attributes he nurtures in his students to help them build their creative future as the next generation of Gamers and Animators.

Robyn Dixon

Head of Department for Animation & Games (Melbourne)

Robyn Dixon, the Head Lecturer for Animation and Game Design at JMC Academy in Melbourne, has an impressive background in the industry.

She previously held the position of Senior Lecturer for Animation at JMC Academy, showcasing her expertise and dedication to the field. Robyn's experience extends beyond academia; she was a UI Artist at Big Ant Studios, contributing to the visual aspects of gaming experiences. Her professional journey also includes working with notable clients such as the School Library Association of Victoria, Hardie Grant Egmont Publishing, Jetstar, Appster, Moose Toys, and Restless Socks, highlighting her versatility and wide-ranging skills. 

Robyn's return to JMC Academy reflects her ongoing passion for animation, games, ethical education, and leadership, all of which will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success and growth of the Animation and Game Design department.

Robyn Dixon

Head of Department for Animation & Games (Melbourne)

Robyn Dixon, the Head Lecturer for Animation and Game Design at JMC Academy in Melbourne, has an impressive background in the industry.

She previously held the position of Senior Lecturer for Animation at JMC Academy, showcasing her expertise and dedication to the field. Robyn's experience extends beyond academia; she was a UI Artist at Big Ant Studios, contributing to the visual aspects of gaming experiences. Her professional journey also includes working with notable clients such as the School Library Association of Victoria, Hardie Grant Egmont Publishing, Jetstar, Appster, Moose Toys, and Restless Socks, highlighting her versatility and wide-ranging skills. 

Robyn's return to JMC Academy reflects her ongoing passion for animation, games, ethical education, and leadership, all of which will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success and growth of the Animation and Game Design department.

Petr Joura

Senior Game Design Lecturer

Petr Joura

Senior Game Design Lecturer

Vannasouk Phadilok

Game Design Senior Lecturer

Vannasouk is a passionate game developer and educator with over a decade of experience. He has been involved with the project management and development of a wide range of published game titles. 

He is the co-founder of Gamesage, a private software development company.  This business continues to develop software and game development solutions for business around the world. 

Vannasouk is passionate about interactive entertainment, education and community; and has built a career striving to enrich each of these avenues.

Vannasouk Phadilok

Game Design Senior Lecturer

Vannasouk is a passionate game developer and educator with over a decade of experience. He has been involved with the project management and development of a wide range of published game titles. 

He is the co-founder of Gamesage, a private software development company.  This business continues to develop software and game development solutions for business around the world. 

Vannasouk is passionate about interactive entertainment, education and community; and has built a career striving to enrich each of these avenues.

Az Valastro

Animation and Game Design Lecturer

Az Valastro is a Game Developer and Artist, who previously studied Game Design at JMC Academy. They have a passion for all areas within both digital and tabletop game development. Outside of lecturing at JMC Academy, they develop and release card and digital games independently with their brother, through the business they run together. 

Az Valastro

Animation and Game Design Lecturer

Az Valastro is a Game Developer and Artist, who previously studied Game Design at JMC Academy. They have a passion for all areas within both digital and tabletop game development. Outside of lecturing at JMC Academy, they develop and release card and digital games independently with their brother, through the business they run together. 

Shaye Hayes

Senior Animation & Game Design Lecturer

Shaye Hayes is a creative lecturer in Game Design, Animation and Design. Outside of lecturing, Shaye is involved in games entertainment.

Shaye has also published a paper on the principles of immersion for virtual reality and is currently working on her master's degree.

Shaye Hayes

Senior Animation & Game Design Lecturer

Shaye Hayes is a creative lecturer in Game Design, Animation and Design. Outside of lecturing, Shaye is involved in games entertainment.

Shaye has also published a paper on the principles of immersion for virtual reality and is currently working on her master's degree.

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration, and cartooning. He's been published professionally since he was 17, has featured in 22 exhibitions domestically and internationally, and has been nominated and shortlisted many times for numerous awards, including three times for Best Comic Book Artist in the Australian Cartoonists’ Association's prestigious Stanley Awards. In 2018 he received the Platinum Ledger Award for contributions to the Australian comics scene.

He's been the director of the Comics Art Awards of Australia, a committee member for the Australian Cartoonists' Association, founding art director of Supanova Pop Culture Expo, as well as being a featured guest at numerous conventions, and an expert speaker at numerous events. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 30+ years of experience.

Tim has lectured at JMC in Sydney for nine years, and has previously lectured at the University of Western Sydney. He continues to work in his chosen professions, illustrating books, providing storyboards, and working on his internationally distributed, award-winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’.

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration, and cartooning. He's been published professionally since he was 17, has featured in 22 exhibitions domestically and internationally, and has been nominated and shortlisted many times for numerous awards, including three times for Best Comic Book Artist in the Australian Cartoonists’ Association's prestigious Stanley Awards. In 2018 he received the Platinum Ledger Award for contributions to the Australian comics scene.

He's been the director of the Comics Art Awards of Australia, a committee member for the Australian Cartoonists' Association, founding art director of Supanova Pop Culture Expo, as well as being a featured guest at numerous conventions, and an expert speaker at numerous events. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 30+ years of experience.

Tim has lectured at JMC in Sydney for nine years, and has previously lectured at the University of Western Sydney. He continues to work in his chosen professions, illustrating books, providing storyboards, and working on his internationally distributed, award-winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’.

Studying at JMC Academy was a great experience. It gave me the foundational knowledge, experience, and a solid support network to rely on when pursuing my dream career.
Okan Beyit - Environment Artist and Level Designer at Zero Latency
Game Design Alumni
Learning with industry standard software at JMC definitely prepared me for a career in the game industry. The small class sizes also made the lecturers very accessible and hands on.
Alaric Willi - Render Wrangler, Iloura Animation and Visual Effects Studio
Game Design Alumni
Work is not just 9 to 5 anymore. I am so thankful to be living and breathing my passion to make games.
Sofia Maraitis - Associate Experience Designer at EA Games
Game Design Alumni

Bachelor of Creative Arts (Game Design)

Seamlessly transition into the bachelor's degree with JMC Academy's modular and integrated courses. 

More on this course

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARD YOUR CAREER IN GAME DESIGN?

FAQs

Yes. We offer multiple pathways into the course regardless of your current drawing abilities and art is one of these pathways. If you don’t feel all too comfortable drawing, we offer pathways in technical and conceptual skills.

A portfolio essentially relates to samples of your work. If you have nice finished artwork, that’s fantastic, but not essential. What we’re looking for is that you have a drive to create things and are passionate about the field, so show us that in your portfolio. Things like sketches or drawings, notes, ideas and characters you’ve invented are all great.

It’s your compulsion to create, tell stories and discover new forms of play that we’re really looking for, and we teach the course from beginner level up so you’re in good hands.

The Game course is primarily focused on art and design, but we recognise that a familiarity with scripting and programming is a key part of the skillset of a game artist, and you will certainly learn skills in those areas as well.

The emphasis is on understanding the theory behind games, designing interesting challenges, mechanics, concepts and stories, and creating the art and assets for those concepts. You would be studying a mix of art and design, software and programming skills, and theoretical concepts.

Yes. The JMC Academy is registered and regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) which is Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector, both public and private.

No, our courses are hands on and practical. Students are required to attend classes to receive ongoing mentorship, learn new skills and work with the equipment provided. We do encourage our students to use online study resources, however our courses would not be as immersive as they are without the practical component.

While the availability of internships and work placements depends on the individual companies and studios in the industry, we have strong relationships with many practising game designers and game studios. As a result of these connections there is the potential for you to experience internships and placements, studio visits, talks and workshops by industry practitioners, and assessment feedback opportunities from industry people during dedicated 'speed networking' nights. Where practical, interviews will be arranged for individual graduating students with companies seeking to recruit new talent.

Applications used in the Game Design course include Maya for modelling and animation, MotionBuilder for motion capture, Substance Painter & Designer for texturing and ZBrush for digital sculpture.

Unity 3D will be your core game engine and you'll work with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects. You will also have the chance to try a range of other packages such as Nuke, SourceTree & Foundry Mari.