Class of 2022 AIE Graduation

News / 15 April 2023

Hey all, 
My students from, 2021-2022 graduated yesterday. Super proud of them all, to see them finally be recognized for the hard work and talent they have showcased over the last 2 years. 

Unfortunately, I was very sick so I pre-recorded the message to my graduates that got played during the ceremony. thought to share it here.  

I also had the chance to play around with Nvidia AI broadcaster tools which in a very convincing way, have the ability to correct the direction of your eyes in live footage. To give you the illusion that you are looking directly into the camera. You can watch the video above to see the 2nd attempt to get it to work. Overall it was plug and play, very impressed and will likely use it for personal projects in the future. 

I was able to attend the event via a private live stream via Youtube. Even though I was remote, I was able to see those goofy individuals get up and get awarded for their efforts. However, it was a shame that my online students or students couldn't make it in person. Were not included in an acknowledgment verbally that they also graduated within this live event, I guess it was a very Canberra-centric graduation ceremony, while it was still streamed live to youtube. 

So, I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge everyone in this post that I taught during this cohort. Online and in person!

I have previously written a blog post here on Artstation about their final year major work, you can find that here.

Artists from 2022:
- Aislinn (Ayvee) Smith
- Lara Diego
- Anais Robert
- Ethan Kyte
- Connor McKinnon
- Petra Crispin
- Kye Harrison
- Lachlan Goolagong
- Lawson Upton
- Mikayla Parany
- Ace Davidson
- Azshwyn Sibley
- Hayley Brooker
- Holly Thompson
Jesse Lazzaro

Winner of Best Game Artist:
Lara Diego 

Winner of Best Game: Planet Nine

- Connor McKinnon
- Petra Crispin
- Kye Harrison
- Lachlan Goolagong

And a picture from the live stream, 
That's about it, proud of you all :)


Second Year Student Major Projects - AIE Canberra - 2022

News / 21 December 2022

Hello Everyone, 

Wanted to highlight some recent graduate work from AIE Canberra, These students I taught from 2021-2022 have recently finished studying and completed their final year game projects. Although at the beginning of October 2022, I resigned from AIE after 11 years and 6 months of service to expand my career into other areas. I am still very much invested in the wonderful student projects my students have been working on and I like to post an annual report, showcasing all the hard work they have put in.

You can see previous years on Artstation here:

It is also important to acknowledge that I was not the sole teacher mentoring these students over the last two years. I had much support from my former colleagues and friends. Most notable from the art side of things are Cezar Brandao, Meg Groeneveld, and Tom Magill. And also programming and design, Tony Oakden, Justin Cragg, Kay Byrd, Sean Fenemore, Cliff Sharif & Enrique Klein. Past my departure from AIE, there is also the chance some names have been missed, who have helped and assisted, sorry if I have missed you. We also had help from the wonderful Tim Duck who collaborated with us again with CIT, to provide music and sound effects from his dedicated students where they can. 

But enough of that, now to the student games below. These games went through a culling process before they reached the situation we see below. In which a digital industry panel gave feedback, that influenced which games made it through and which didn't. The plan with all of these student projects besides making a small vertical slice of a game and demonstrating their skills was also to produce a developer commentary and a short trailer to complement the conclusion of their project/study. It gives a good backdoor into understanding who worked on what, and what they are most proud of.  

'The Devils Cookbook'

Elevator Pitch: "The Devil’s Cookbook is a single-player 3D top-down cooking game in which you’re trapped as the cook in a demonic kitchen. The ingredients are alive and the patrons will take a bite out of you if you don’t serve them quickly enough. Can you survive your shift?"

Art: Aislinn (Ayvee) Smith, Lara Diego, Anais Robert, Ethan Kyte
Design: Beau Bardwell, Daniel Bobbi, Leo Lopez
Programming: Celeste Soueid, James Greensill, Alex Manning

Development Student Blogs:
Aislinn: Concepts, Spell Icons, Dish Icons
Lara: Pre-production, Soul Imbuer, Modeling Characters, The Patron, Lighting & Materials, Bin & Ovens, Ingredients, Postmortem
Ethan: Initial Blockout, Blockout Props, Level Development, Trim Sheets, Tweaks & Animations

Download and play:

'Planet Nine'

Elevator Pitch: "Planet Nine is an atmospheric, first-person puzzle game set in a factory on an abandoned mining planet. The planet has been overwhelmed by a photosensitive toxin and the light is the only means of safety. Players must use their wits and the light to solve complex puzzles and escape the planet…" 

Art: Connor McKinnon, Petra Crispin, Kye Harrison, Lachlan Goolagong
Design: Daniel Power, Will Hopkins, Jake Stephens
Programming: Ronan Richardson, Charlie O’Regan, Marcus Ellis, Noah Freeman 

Development Student Blogs:
Petra: Blockouts, First Person Glove, Corpses, Cat
Kye: Pre-production, Shaders & Modular Kits, Assets & Set Dressing, Cinematics
Daniel: Pre-Production, Designing the tutorial
Will: Ambient Profile
Charlie: Alpha Pre-production
Team Dev Log: Dev Log 1, Dev Log 2, Dev Log 3, Dev Log 4, Dev Log 5, Dev Log 6, Dev Log 7, Dev Log 8, Dev Log 9, Dev Log 10

Download and play:

'Foreign Body'

Elevator Pitch: "Foreign Body is a single-player, third-person, turn-based strategy game where you play as a hostile bacteria invading a defensive immune system. As you move further into enemy territory, you must spawn bacteria, strategize and consume your way to victory!"

Art: Lawson Upton, Mikayla Parany, Ace Davidson,  Aislinn (Ayvee) Smith
Design: Ahmad Galea, Flynn Van Stryp, Caitlin Johansson, Thomas Wisowaty
Programming: Christopher Smith, Nathan Duck 

Download and play:

'Heart of the Forest'

Elevator Pitch: "The Heart of the Forest is a 2.5D PC platformer, you are a little mushroom spirit who is answering the call to adventure and save the forest from utter destruction. Become the Forest God's most unlikely champion as you take on enemies, overcome obstacles, and return the heart to its rightful place."

Artist: Azshwyn Sibley, Hayley Brooker, Holly Thompson, Jesse Lazzaro
Design: Bilal Jalil, Brodie Maddren, Charlie Brazil, Paige Dowsett, Zachariach Navarro-Bustos
Programming: Jazmin Fazzolari, Lewis Comstive, Nghia Do, Nicholas Connell

Team Development Blog:
Dev Log 1, Dev Log 2, Dev Log 3, Dev Log 4, Dev Log 5, Dev Log 6, Dev Log 7, Dev Log 8, Dev Log 9, Dev Log 10, Dev Log 11 

Download and play:

My final thoughts,
It was really awesome to see this year, the number of blogs that were posted alongside development. which is probably 80% more than 2021 (Great Job!). So if you scrolled past them I highly recommend you check them out. As it will take you deeper into their thought process and you will be able to see a much clearer view of what they worked on.

All n all, I am happy to see my art students evolve over the last two years, from pretty never touching a 3d modeling application to developing a complete game experience today. All students here still do have their work cut out for them to break into the industry. but it's important that they keep learning, and keep practicing their skills. and of course keep marketing themselves, as their last ongoing hurdle is their own online presence. It's difficult the manage an online presence and It's easy to become discouraged. My hopes are that they all stay in contact, even after graduation, and seek guidance if hitting a wall, or feeling stuck. As it isn't easy and I will always be there for them. 

Finally, thanks for spending the time reading this post, I look forward to posting soon what personal projects I have been up to since departing AIE a few months ago. But for now, catch you all later.  


End of an Era

News / 26 September 2022

It's an end of an era, after 11 years and 6 months, I am leaving The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, I would like to express my thanks to everyone whom I have worked alongside me over the years, I am very much grateful, for being part of AIE’s success's and seeing my students I have taught over the years enter the industry, it all has been ever so rewarding and I feel very proud to have been a part of it all.

I also just wanted to specifically thank Lea Michael as my boss for all these years, as her leadership and guidance over the years have been invaluable, she gave me a chance to prove myself all those years ago and I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her. 

11 years, is a long time, I've seen quite the snapshot while being a teacher here. Opening of new campuses, Restructuring of AIE, new onboarding of staff, the departure of the old staff, new students, changing industry trends, new software and skills being taught, new technological advancements and the list goes on. 

Ultimately as the chapter with AIE closes, this does not mean I will be leaving this industry, I will still be very much still involved in Games/VFX education, but more as a freelance and a sole trader. I also have some goals and objectives I have been wanting to pursue for years, and leaving AIE unlocks this potential. I can't exactly go too much into it right now, and everything right now is in work in progress, but you can check it out by heading to

It should forward you to a Youtube page for the time being called "Level Bump". It's empty at the moment, But I'll appreciate a subscriber. However, watch that space for more updates.

Other than that, that's all from me. I am very optimistic and excited for the future, and can't wait. I'll post back here once I am ready to do so.

All the best,

Second Year VR Projects 2022 - AIE

News / 29 July 2022

Hey everyone, Just a quick update on what the students are up to this year while teaching at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, in Canberra Australia. The students had the chance to experiment recently with virtual reality for the first time, using the oculus quest headsets that AIE provided. This is great, as in previous years we could only use google cardboard, although the con for that is most students who study online had to rely heavily on on-campus students to test the games as not all students had access to headsets while studying remotely.

For context... the subject duration for the programmers and designers was 10 days, stretched over 4 weeks, and the artists join in the last 2 weeks of the subject for 5 days to develop the art. The students were given some simple deliverables they had to meet, but they got to pick the theme/setting. They designed and programmed in preparation for the artists who would join in at a later date as previously specified.

It's important to acknowledge the teachers, Cliff Sharif and Enrique Klein for heading this subject, additionally Kay Bird, Tony Oakden, and Sean Fenemore as support teachers. As they all were essential in ensuring things were running smoothly before the artists and I joined the subject.

In total, we had 4 games created, "Beat Street", "Fly-High Fishing", "Super Darts" & "Open Haus".

Please note!
keep in mind, that these games are more considered prototypes, not finished complete products. They had a very tight turnaround, in terms of a deadline. And it was likely the first time students were getting experience working with Virtual reality, so art design and programming might need some additional passes to be considered something else than a prototype. 

Beat Street

Beat Street is a VR, first-person, rhythm game where you drive a car using drums to get to the end of a highway while playing to the beat of a song! while avoiding oncoming cars in sync with the beat.

Artists: Hayley Brooker, Dion Maher, Ace Davison, Azshwyn Sibley, Scott Ivy
Design: Charlie Brazil, Bilal Jalil, Thomas Wisowaty, Zachariach Navarro-Bustos
Programming: Ronan Richardson, Nghia Do, Nicholas Connell, Christopher Smith

Download here:

Fly-High Fishing

“Fly High Fishing” is a VR fantasy bow-fishing game set within a hot air balloon high above the clouds. The player’s task is to catch as many fish as they can with their bow & arrow before the timer runs out.

Artists: Aislinn (Ayvee) Smith, Connor Mckinnon, Anais Robert
Design: Flynn Van Stryp, William Hopkins, Jake Stephens
Programming: Jazmin Fazzolari, Calvin Soueid, Marcus Ellis

Student Blogs:
Aislinn: Breakdown of the UI
Connor: Breakdown of assets
Anais: Breakdown of assets

Download here:

Super Darts

Super Darts is a 3D VR game in which a player must complete a set of levels by popping balloons at increasing difficulty.

Artists: Ethan Kyte, Holly Thompson, Jesse Lazzaro, Lachlan Goolagong, Lawson Upton
Design: Brodie Maddren, Caitlin Johansson, Leo Lopez, Paige Dowsett, Beau Bardwell
Programming: Charlie O’Regan, Lewis Comstive, James Greensill

Student Blogs:
Ethan Kyte: Breakdown of assets
Holly Thompson: Breakdown of assets

Download here: 


Open Haus is a first-person VR puzzle game where players push, drag and carry the furniture to set up a small house interior based on a reference photo. Players must do their best to match the position and orientation of the furniture in the provided photo before clients arrive for the open house viewing.

Artists: Petra Crispin, Lara Diego, Kye Harrison
Designers: Ahmad Galea, Daniel Power, Matthew Wakely
Programmers: Nathan Duck, Noah Freeman, Alexander Manning

Student Blogs:
Petra Crispin: Breakdown of assets

Download Here: 

Thanks for reading and checking out this article so far. Make sure to check out the student blogs and portfolios linked. Students are still working on their portfolios, and have till December to work on them. So there might be a few more links ill add as they come through.

Stay safe everyone,


I was awarded an 11 Year Service Trophy at AIE

News / 15 July 2022

Hey all, Just a quick update on some good news!

During AIE's 25th birthday celebration in Brisbane earlier this week, I was recently awarded an 11-year service award from "Academy of Interactive Entertainment". It has been a fun bunch of years teaching art to inspiring game developers and filmmakers and witnessing firsthand, my graduates of mine entering the workforce. Although credit is shared with all the hardworking individuals under the AIE banner that have worked tirelessly alongside myself and teachers over the years to make it possible.

Here's to the years ahead. :)
Stay safe,


First Year, Game Productions - AIE Canberra - 2021

News / 09 December 2021

Hello Everyone again,

Writing up another annual post for the Canberra First Year projects for 2021 @ AIE. If you are interested you can check out the previous First-Year Projects from the last year.

My responsibility this year was to share the art delivery for the diploma, I was lucky to work alongside some really great artists/teachers. Ryan Ware, Cezar Brandao, Tom Magill, and Meg Groeneveld throughout the year we taught various skills and techniques across the 3d art pipeline in both games and VFX. This year ran a little differently, due to Covid-19 changing the landscape we typically teach in, we had the introduction of an online division of the class. So we had a blended learning situation, with students in a physical classroom in Canberra and a bunch of students online from around Australia on ZOOM. During the Production subject, we experienced a snap lockdown due to the spread of Delta strain of covid-19 which all students attended classes online till the remainder of the year. This did affect the student's output and mental health, but they all got it across the finish line.

For 6 weeks, 2-3 days a week, I myself along with the help of Tony Oakden, Kay Byrd, Justin Cragg, Meg Groeneveld, Cezar Brandao, Sean Fenemore and Enrique Klein, have been mentoring the students of first-year AIE Canberra Campus (Designers, Programmers, and Artists) develop a small video game production. Because this is the first time the students were working in groups on a production, we divided up the class into teams. Each team was randomly given a genre and a pre-defined brief of deliverables to meet. We did this, as we have in the last 3 years here at AIE Canberra to allow the students to come up with a game concept around the brief. The brief mentions design/art/programming deliverables that must be met and holds the students accountable, it also allows us to direct and mold the student's work more towards a commercial/releasable product. You can see some of these brief requirements mentioned next to the games below.

Although these first-year projects, these students still have a year of study to complete, before they graduate. This was the first time they were doing a production together for a long period of time across disciplines. There are some bugs and problems visible in these projects but all n all for them to pull this together in 6 weeks with working online and in-person they did really well, congratulations to all. I just hope they listen to the feedback given during the production and update their portfolios and various social media accounts to reflect the new work they want to show off. 

Rust to Dust

Elevator Pitch: "Rust to Dust is a wave-based onslaught FPS set in a fictional steampunk recreation of the American Western Frontier in the 1800s. Players will shoot their way through an industrialized Wild West, fighting off hordes of robotic enemies, relying on unique weapon augmentations and their own skill to come out on top."

Art: Connor McKinnon, Taj Koehler, Lawson Upton, Dion Maher, Lachlan Goolagong, Aiden Flaherty
Design: Zachariah Navarro-Bustos, Lachlan Boast, Beau Bardwell, Daniel Power
Programming: Charlie O'Regan, Marcus Ellis, Nik Rosser

Teacher Brief requirements:
First Person Shooter Game, 2x Enemies (with AI), 2x weapons (1 Hitscan Weapon, 1 non Hitscan weapon), Ammo mechanic, Health mechanic, Death/respawn system/Ending, GUI, Sound, Menu + Credits, 1 level.

Download Rust to Dust:


Elevator Pitch: "KAIDA is a 2.5D top-down, bullet hell game. You play as a young Quetzalcoatl trying to rescue your unhatched siblings. You must fight waves of enemies and defeat the goblin king to save your siblings from becoming a less than delectable goblin cuisine"

Art: Ace Davison, Adrian Carter, Anais Robert, Azshwyn Sibley, Jesse Lazzaro, Marc Ginman
Design: Brodie Maddren, Caleb McGlashan, Corey Barendrecht
Programming: Jazmin Fazzolari, Lewis Comstive, Nghia Do, Nicholas Connell

Teacher brief requirements:
Top-down Shooter Game, 2x Enemies (1x horde enemy) with AI, Single Player (1 Player character), Angled perspective view, Real-time, 2 x weapons/attacks (Both ranged, can be separate weapons or one can be a power-up), Health mechanic, Death/respawn system/Ending, Power-up with meter mechanic, Sound, Menu + Credits

Download Kaida: 


Elevator Pitch: "Velocitas is a 2.5D single-player side-scrolling precision platformer where you play as a prisoner and must make use of the magical rune on your hand to escape from a mysterious underground magical dungeon"

Art: Kye Harrison, Hayley Brooker, Cooper Steffens
Design: Will Hopkins, Paige Dowsett, Jake Stephens, Thomas Wisowaty
Programming: Noah Freeman, Nathan Duck, Chris Smith

Teacher Brief requirements:
Side Scroller Platformer, 1x Enemy (with at least 3 x observable AI behaviors), Clear end goal/exit, 1x Power up, Health mechanic, Death/respawn system, 1x Weapon/Tool* (Has Primary function as a weapon and secondary function as tool e.g. Flame weapon, that also burns plant obstacles) *No straight damage-dealing gun, Sound, Menu + Credits.

Download Velocitas: 

How's it Growing

Elevator Pitch: How's It Growing is an educational, fixed perspective point-and-click puzzle game set during the first plantings of the Australian National Botanic Gardens in the 1940s. You play as a budding botanist, learning about plant life cycles by manipulating plant environments to grow 3 native plants and disperse their seeds through interactive challenges.

This game was completed as an end-of-first-year project and was a collaboration between the AIE and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. 'How's it Growing' followed brief requirements that the ANBG developed, with the purpose of creating an educational game that can be used by teachers as a part of their curriculum, teaching students about Australian plants and their life cycles. Low-end hardware and the ability to be deployed in the browser were a must. 

Art: Aislinn (Ayvee) Smith, Petra Crispin, Lara Diego, Ethan Kyte
Design: Victoria Richardson, Charlie Brazil, Caitlin Johansson
Programming: James Greensill, Alex Manning, Ronan Richardson, Calvin Soueid

Play How's it Growing within the browser: 

Thanks for reading this far if you have, it will be interesting to see what they get up in their second year of study.
Next year, there will be a post showcasing their final Major works for this cohort. Although you can check out the 2021 Second-year students' work here. And if you are interested you can check out the 2020 first-year final work as well.

Once again thanks for reading this far, big congratulations to all students/staff involved, See you all next year.


Second Year Student Major Projects - AIE Canberra - 2021

News / 03 December 2021

Hello Everyone,

Writing another annual post for the Canberra Second Year final major projects 2021 at AIE.
Show off what the students have completed in 2021. You can see previous year's Major Projects posts here: 2020 & 2019.

Major Production is a large milestone for these students, as it's them concluding 2 years of study before they graduate. It gives them the chance to showcase the skills they have learned over the duration of the course and put it on display. Additionally showcases their ability to work in teams and execute a game production in a team.

My responsibility this year was to share the art delivery for the advanced diploma second-year students. I was privileged to work alongside some really great teachers for the art delivery. Ryan Ware, Cezar Brandao, and Meg Groeneveld were all very much involved with the student's development. They all were extremely helpful when I went on long service leave at the beginning of 2021 for 6.2 weeks, they were all able to jump in and pick up the helm and run with it. I couldn't be more appreciative of what they have done for me in my absence with their skillsets and experiences they brought to the table for the students to learn from. 

Before students embark on their final year Major production we have a subject called 'Proof of Concept' which runs for 5 weeks prior to Major Production. Students in teams prototype and pitch concepts that they would like to take into the Major Production. They go through multiple culling processes within the duration of this subject, but the students are typically a part of two teams. Which they have to create documentation, schedules, prototype risky game mechanics, develop a Kickstarter-style presentation with a sell sheet and a questionnaire for the final culling process. We have chosen the two-group method, to keep students on their toes and not attached to their idea, And if one of their ideas gets culled they do have a backup plan. Additionally, students in the past cohorts found it difficult to join other teams later in 'major production' if they put all their eggs in one basket or in our case one game idea.

This Year we had 10 concepts. be approved for Proof of concept.

  • Parasite
  • Wall-Hacks
  • Beehind You
  • Magical Spell Masters
  • Game Ended
  • Investigator
  • Reflection
  • War Money
  • The Perfect Shot
  • Bad luck Bad Cat

The documentation and pitch are then handed off to a virtual industry panel, (Historically in previous years, was in person but due to covid-19 we had to change it to virtual panel). in which critical feedback is given and another grueling culling process takes place. At the end of this process, we end up with the final games that make it into Major production for development for the next 15 weeks. 

In conclusion of the subject, ended up receiving 72 pages of feedback across all 10 teams in Proof of Concept from a 25 person industry panel. This feedback was given anonymously to the students, which helped assist the final culling process to take place. And to reduce the games to only just 4 games.

These four games were:

  • Bad Luck Black Cat
  • Magical Spell Masters
  • The Perfect Shot
  • Splatacle *formally called 'Parasite' 

For 13 weeks, 2-3 days a week, I have had the pleasure of assisting mentoring the students for their final year major projects along with Tony Oakden, Cezar Brandao, Justin Cragg, Enrique Klein, and Kay Byrd. I would also like to point out a special thanks to, Rik Lagarto, Ryan Ware, Tom Magill, Sean Fenemore as they have been instrumental over the last 2 years of their study. We also had help from the wonderful Tim Duck who collaborated with us again with CIT, to provide music and sound effects from his wonderful students.

Major production, unfortunately, had quite the rocky start, with the students experiencing another snap lockdown due to the spread of the covid-19 variant delta in late 2021. So teaching and production once again transitioned to online learning. It wasn't a huge transition for the teaching side of things. But I could see the mental toll it took out on the students once again like they had last year for the first year final production. There were quite a few ups and downs throughout the production and a lot of hard lessons the students had to learn while under these special circumstances. Managing expectations, encouraging clear communication, regular builds, testing and gathering feedback, reiterating gameplay/assets. The students were able to retain enthusiasm which allowed these projects below to exist.


Elevator Pitch: Splatacle is a wacky 2D action platformer where you can't use any of your limbs. Instead, you've got to make use of your giant tentacle appendage to grapple and bounce around the map, dragging your useless body along as you go. Swing, bounce and splat your way through the lab, avoiding a scientist's dastardly pet cat as it tries to thwart your attempts to escape!.

Art: Shay-Lee, Chris Ottey, Lachlan Smith
Design: Rhys Adams, Jibrill Murphy, Noah Rapetti
Programming: Ben Ioannidis, Jason Hastings,

Download Splatacle for PC:
Download Splatacle on Andriod:

'Magical Spell Masters'

Elevator Pitch: "Magical Spell Masters is a turn-based strategy game about spelling words to cast spells. Using a grid of magical runes, the player must spell out powerful words, combining elements to defeat dangerous foes across a series of battles"

Art: Sean Spek, Jamie Appleby, Brandon Nunez
Design: Sean Brady, Finn Mahoney
Programming: Fredrick Bancan, Tim Dodds

Download Magical Spell Masters: 

'Bad Luck Bad Cat'

Elevator Pitch: "Bad Luck Black Cat is a top-down 3D farming adventure game for the PC where you play as a Black Cat who has moved to a small village called Bastion in hopes of curing their ever-present bad luck. They must work with their new neighbors to grow and trade crops, overcoming their bad luck along the way".

Art: Hannah Lamb, Monika Haselhuhn, Hannah Levi
Design: Luke Schlesier, Rowan Brown
Programming: Blake Tighe, James Bobier, Callum Mcdermott

Download Bad Luck Black Cat:

'The Perfect Shot'

Elevator Pitch: "The Perfect Shot is a first-person narrative-focused adventure game where the player must recreate photos from an old photobook unlocking memories of a long-lost father figure, reliving the memories they had".

Art: Aiden Ross, Ricky-Lee Hudson-Stephens, Tom Stonehouse
Design: Ethan Wurfel, Jaelyn Meade
Programming: Jonathan Nemec

Download The Perfect Shot:

If you got this far reading this post congratulations! and if any of this interested you, you can check out previous year's 2020, 2019 posts on Artstation. 

One big final congratulations to all the students involved this year, and best luck with the future, keep working hard towards your goals. The hustle isn't over yet.



News / 10 September 2021

Hey, everyone just a short post.
Academy of Interactive Entertainment, the campus I teach at here in Canberra just won the ACT Small Training Provider of the year for 2021.
We were lucky to win two years in a row, making 2021 the second year. Congratulations to everyone involved
Here is the announcement below. 


Student's Graduation 2020

News / 12 April 2021

Huge congratulations to my art students of 2019-2020 who graduated today! After many countless delays due to covid, it's great to see all of you finally putting on those graduation caps and robes and concluding your two years of study with me. Even though I couldn’t make it in person due to being on long service leave, I was able to record my graduation speech from the beach and impart some advice on entering the industry.
Best of luck with the future and can't wait to see what they get up to.

This picture was snapped by Saxon, (Thanks for sending it to me!)

If you were interested in the speech it's self it wasn't something amazing, Just a short video I recorded on my phone on the beach during the first weekend of my Long service leave of 6.2 weeks. This was the second take, not scripted but what was on my mind at the time.

I wanted to express that, getting a job in the industry is hard. And that if they break down their goals and keep at it, They can break down any nearly impossible goal.  They can do it if they put the time and energy into it. The important thing is persistence, things won't be easy. Keep at it, and keep pushing forward.

You can check out their final year major productions for 2020 here in a previous blog post.
All the best,

First Year, Production (Games/Projects) - AIE Canberra 2020

News / 08 December 2020

Hello Everyone again,

Writing up a blog post for the Academy of Interactive Entertainment Canberra First Year projects for 2020, my responsibility was to teach the art students along with the assistance of Ryan ware over the duration of 2020. If you are interested in the second-year projects click this link.

The First-year of AIE is about teaching all the basics, 3d art pipeline, Modelling and texturing, character sculpting, Animation principles, Digital Lighting and Composting, Storyboarding, and finally... Production. We had a rocky start to the year, Australian Bushfires, Hail Storms, Dust Storms, and from March Covid-19, which threw the entire class into an online setting within ZOOM.

Overall teaching-wise, not a whole lot changed for me. I previously worked at AIE's online campus for 5 years delivering Advance Diploma Art courses online and about 3 years ago I moved to in-person training at the Canberra campus. I continued the tradition, of recording lectures and sessions and everything I did in class which I typically had to do for an online classroom. When covid hit and Canberra went into lockdown, I still had to attend on-campus due to terrible internet connections at home, because I had to compete for bandwidth with housemates and just wasn't feasible to teach a class.

Although my overall my covid experience has been okay, it wasn't for the students. I could see a lot of strain on the students... anxiety, depression, the isolation you name it. It has been incredibly difficult for the students and such a momentous task for them to all overcome. As lockdown restrictions eased, it was a very long time before we started seeing students come back to school. My biggest concern from an educational perspective for the students was the students missing out on the typical bonding experience they get when in a physical classroom/campus. (Which for final year projects is invaluable). From teaching online for such a long time previously, I always noticed teamwork and group dynamics are always on a thin knife edge when working remotely. If communication and expectations aren't clear among the team. A promising successful team can easily tumble and fall within a week when previously they were going really well. 

For these students, for a lot of them, it was the first time they had to work in teams. A common problem from a teacher's perspective when students work in teams is some students work incredibly well solo, but in a group scenario they might not perform as well. And require a lot of mentoring and practice to improve these soft/team skills. This was a challenge this year but they all overcame that obstacle.

For 6 weeks, 2-3 days a week, I myself along with the help of Tony Oakden, Rik Lagarto, Kay Byrd, and Sean Fenemore, have been mentoring the students of first-year AIE Canberra Campus (Designers, Programmers, and Artists). Students were divided up into teams and given a genre and a pre-defined brief of deliverables to meet. We had 3 games this year, FPS, Hack'n'Slash, and a Sidescroller. We also had one VFX team doing a production at the same time headed by Ryan Ware. Ryan shared the load of the teaching to the art students over the duration of 2020 (Both Games and VFX), without him I don't believe it could have been pulled off. Thanks again, Ryan.

Below are the projects, keep in mind these students still have a year of study to complete. And this was the first time doing a production together for a long period of time across disciplines. There are some bugs and problems visible in these projects but all n all to pull this together during a global pandemic, they did really well. Congratulations to all. 

'Project Red' 

Elevator Pitch: "Project Red is a wave-based first-person shooter, where the player must survive the onslaught of evil cultists inside a decrepit Castle". 

Art: Aiden Ross, Elliott Richards, Monika Haselhuhn, William Minter & Riley Harvey
Design: Jibrill Murphy
Programming: Zander Blount, James Bobier & Jason Hastings

Download Project Red:


Elevator Pitch: "Elucid is a 3rd person Hack 'n' Slash, set in the fictional world of cyber-enhanced Japan where the player can activate a lucid state to stun/grapple enemies".

Art: Hannah Levi, Ricky-Lee Hudson-Stephens, Sean SpekJordan Condipodero 
Design: Luke Schlesier & Rhys Adams
Programming: Jonathan Nemec & Evangelos Ghikas

Download Project Elucid: 

Developer Commentary:

'Project Latch'

Elevator Pitch: "Project Latch is a 2D, pixelated, side-scrolling, puzzle-platformer for the PC. The player uses a magnet to beat enemies, solve puzzles and traverse the harsh environment of a post-apocalyptic world".

Art: Tom StonehouseChris Ottey, Lachlan Smith & Hannah Lamb
Design: Finn Mahoney & Sean Brady
Programming: Callum Mcdermott & Blake Tighe

Download Project Latch:

'VFX Production' - Team Black

Logline: "An infinite looping video passing through multiple low/mid poly environments."

Art: Rebecca Gibson, Madeline Harrop, Conor Joyce, William Minter, Ashleigh Murrell, Timothy Sixt & Ebonie Struss.


Thanks for reading this far and checking out these first-year projects.
If you have any feedback, make sure to let them know.

Next year, there should be a follow-up post showcasing what they did for the second year. Can't wait.