2021 - ACT SMALL TRAINING PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

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. 


Links:
https://aie.edu.au/articles/aie-wins-2021-act-small-training-provider-of-the-year-award/
https://www.skills.act.gov.au/awards#C

Student's Graduation 2020

News / 12 April 2021

Huge congratulations to my art students of 2019-2020 who graduated today! 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,
Finn

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 when 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".

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

Download Project Red: https://red-team.itch.io/project-red

'Elucid' 

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".

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

Download Project Elucid: https://teamelucid.itch.io/elucid 

Developer Commentary: https://youtu.be/E--dYO-WKFY

'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".

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

Download Project Latch: https://project-latch.itch.io/project-latch

'VFX Production' - Team Black

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

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

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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.

Finn 

Second Year Student Major Projects - AIE Canberra - 2020

News / 07 December 2020

Hey everyone,
While I am still teaching at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Canberra, I like to do an annual Artstation post for the final year graduate major project. You can also check out the 2019 student graduates post I did last year here and additionally, you can also check out the first years of 2020 here.

This month we see another bunch of students concluding their study here at AIE Canberra. We had quite the start this year, with the crisis of Australian Bushfires, Hail Storms, Dust Storms, and from march Covid-19, which threw all the students online for a large portion of the year. Luckily Canberra wasn't hit as bad compared to the rest of the world for Covid-19 and the students were able to resume face2face study for the majority duration of the production.

For 15 weeks, 2-3 days a week, I have been helping mentor the students for their final year major projects along with Tony Oakden, Rik Lagarto, and Kay Byrd. The Students developed pitches that were presented to a digital Industry panel, which then went under multiple culling processes before it arrived at the 6 games we have today. Tim Duck collaborated with us with CIT, to provide music and sound effects from his wonderful students. And finally a huge shout out to Ryan Ware, who covered me throughout the entire year and provided additional art support to the students when needed. 

It was great to see these students, improve and overcome the challenges they faced during the 15 weeks, it was a pleasure seeing them evolve and develop these 6 little titles. Be sure to click on the itch.io links as there is more content/screenshots to check out. If the group included a public version of their developer commentary, I also included that under the trailer for each game as a separate link to check out.  

Other than that, check out the games below. 

'Bosky' 

Elevator Pitch: "Bosky is a relaxing PC & Mobile game where the player creates miniature forests in a personal plant pot ".

Credits:
Art: Alexander Murphy, Erin Biskup & Sie McEachern 
Design: Idris Hunt
Programming: Idris Hunt & Pip Jadric
Audio: Diego Aparicio & Jack Rankin

Download Bosky: https://teambosky.itch.io/bosky

Developer Commentary: https://youtu.be/wu9RforAXQc

'Me Myself & Die' 

Elevator Pitch: "Me Myself & Die is an isometric puzzle game where the goal is to orchestrate and manipulate your death to progress. Each time you die, you leave behind a block. Arrange these blocks to solve the puzzle."

Credits:
Art: Martin Widdowson & Sie McEachern
Design: Jason Marsh, Mateusz Solle & Dean Subritzky
Programming: David Flintoft
Audio: Lachlan Willacy & Yan Parums 

Download:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.MeMyselfAndDie.MeMyselfDie
Itch.io: https://memyselfanddie.itch.io/memyselfanddie



Martin has written a fantastic blog post breaking down me myself & die over the 15 weeks, Check out Part 1 and Part 2. Additionally, you can check out the team's Developer Commentary here: https://youtu.be/uqZR1Ni2xzA

'Malfunction on the Orion Express' 

Elevator Pitch: "Malfunction on the Orion Express is a Hidden Object & Text Adventure Game. Agatha Christie meets Firefly in this thrilling Sci-Fi detective story. Solve mysteries by interacting with compelling characters and investigating the luxurious carriages aboard the Orion Express."

Credits:
Art: Frances Adams, Nguyen Pham & Brea Fox
Design: Gavin Lee & Dana McKay
Programming: Jim Phimphravichith
Audio: Tim Duck

Download Malfunction on the Orion Express: https://absconditusvox.itch.io/malfunction-on-the-orion-express

Developer Commentary: https://youtu.be/9fFU3jo_Aws

'Slimelight' 

Elevator Pitch: "Slimelight is a third-person wave-based shooter with a Roman theme where you play as a slime fighting other slimes.".

Credits:
Art: Samuel Bartlett
Programming: Ryan Pallesen

Download Slimelight: https://slimelightdev.itch.io/slimelight

'Planet Unknown'

Elevator Pitch: "Planet Unknown is a retro-inspired Sci-Fi 2D pixel platformer. Play as a stranded adventurer who has crash-landed on a hostile alien planet that must find their ship’s missing hull to escape. Traverse the strange environment, solve puzzles, fight enemy creatures, and gather as many ship pieces as possible with the aid of special abilities. ".

Credits:
Art: Elise Allan, Angela Stevens &  Sebastian Tuckwell 
Design: Chris Selleck, Tristan Duggan & Matt Solle
Programming: Sian Sallway & David Flintoft
Audio: Lane Stoddard & Rhys Cronin 

Download Planet Unknown: https://the-planet-unknown-team.itch.io/planet-unknown

'Meltdown VR' 

Elevator Pitch: "Meltdown VR is a game, in which a player must stop a nuclear power plant from exploding be performing a series of seemingly innocuous tasks."

Credits:
Art: Charles Spall & Martin Widdowson
Design: Connor Jack & Rowan Brown
Programming: Tarn Cooper
Audio: Mark Campbell 

Download Meltdown VR: https://meltdownvrteam.itch.io/meltdown-vr

Developer Commentary: https://youtu.be/QDgnfkAO7MU

This year we had a collection of interesting games developed for multiple platforms. We had more groups compared to last year with more students shared across multiple groups. Project management and task distribution were the major things a lot of the teams struggled with, Especially when the pandemic hit, Everyone did pretty alright but there was some room for improvement for all the games posted above.
However watching these students come from their very first day to the last day here at AIE, proud to see how far they have all come. Look forward to catching them at their graduation.

Congratulations to all the students involved, and best luck with the future.

Finn 

AIE - ACT Training Provider of the Year.

News / 15 September 2020

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 2020.
Pretty awesome feeling, to be a part it, alongside everyone else who was involved.

The ACT Training Awards is an annual opportunity to showcase the commitment, innovation, and outstanding achievements of all those involved in the ACT vocational education and training (VET) sector.
Due to Covid-19, the event was live-streamed here, https://youtu.be/iEIvf3Ambl8 I just cut the video to highlight the section we were mentioned.

All n all, huge congratulations to everyone involved, and congratulations to all the finalists and winners tonight.

Second Year Student Major Projects - AIE Canberra - 2019

News / 14 December 2019

Another year has wrapped up. and another year of students wrapping up their two years of study. 

For 15 weeks, 2 days a week at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Canberra. I have been helping mentor the students for their final year major projects along with Tony Oakden and Rik Lagarto. Students developed pitches that went under multiple culling processes and then pitched it to an Industry panel which the teachers filtered down to four games to be green-lit.

It was great to see these students, improve and overcome the challenges they faced during the 15 weeks, it was a pleasure seeing them evolve and develop these 4 little titles. Be sure to click on the itch.io links as there is more content/screenshots to check out. 

'Flank' 

"A Top-Down, Retro Arcade, Shooter.  Where you can rotate the map to fire upon enemies from different angles".

Credits:
Art: Jonah Bauer & Anna-Rose Barrett 
Design: Jonathan Hosking
Programming: Francisco Romano

Download Flank: https://flank.itch.io/flank

'Child of the Night'

"A casual top-down 3D stealth game where the player - a vampire - must sneak around the town and consume their victims before the sun rises".

Credits: 
Art: Meg Groeneveld, Lani Parker, Molly Trehy & Anna-Rose Barrett
Design: Blayne Cuzner
Programming: Justin Cragg & Callum Burden

Download: https://overlordentertainment.itch.io/childofnight 

'Legion Fall'

“Legion Fall” is a 3rd person, historical-fantasy game, where the player fights barbarians while exploring a mysterious valley to find the Legion’s lost messenger.

Credits:
Art: Sarah Staley, RJ O'Sullivan, Robert Dickson, Aaron Lalor & Chris O'Neill
Design: Saxon Hutchinson
Programming: Thomas Wooster 

Download: https://legionfall.itch.io/legionfall 

'Mellowmares'

"A 2.5D puzzle platformer where you play as a marshmallow trying to escape the appetite of humans"

Credits:
Art: Jaymie Sibree, Alyssa Barry &  Cassandra Zanin
Design: James Wilson & Jackson Lello 
Programming: Sean McCarthy & Reece McIntyre 

Download: https://mellowmares.itch.io/mellowmares