What is GCAP?
Each year the GDAA organises and presents Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), Australia’s premier game development conference, which focuses on skills development, industry trends, and international business matching. GCAP delivers thought-provoking, creative, and innovative sessions from leaders in the local and international game development industry, covering programming, art, design, management, and more.
Every year game developers, publishers, investors, educational institutions, media, and key industry players from across Australia and the world are brought together to discuss the rapidly-changing development and distribution ecosystem, and to identify the opportunities for developers of all sizes in the global video games market. A selection of GCAP lectures and panels are available on YouTube.
GCAP is one of the many events held during Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW), Asia Pacific’s largest digital games celebration. Usually held in late October or early November each year, MIGW features conferences, events, and activities for everyone with an interest in video games, whether they are industry professionals, lifelong enthusiasts, or curious newcomers.
What is the Arcade?
The Arcade is Australia’s first not-for-profit, collaborative work space created specifically for game developers and creative companies using game methodologies and technologies. For more information, please visit the Arcade website.
How do I get into the games industry?
The games development industry comprises a broad range of roles that encompass a variety of skill sets. Some of these roles include programmer, designer, producer, artist, animator, sound designer, community manager and quality assurance tester, just to name a few. To get an idea of what these roles involve, check out this guide at Creative Skillset. (Please note, this is a British website so the course information will not be applicable to Australian students.)
Subject suggestions for high school student:
Programmer: Study maths, physics and IT subjects. As technology is always changing, find out what coding languages are currently being used in the games industry.
Artist/animator: Study art, graphic design, photography, media. Computing gives you an understanding of how programmers work, which is useful as artists need to work closely with them. It is also good to have an understand of marketing, as game artists in small teams will often create the artwork for the studio’s social media.
Sound designer: Study music, media and IT subjects. You’ll probably need to do an audio engineering course after high school, so having solid computing skills will be useful.
Game designer: This role can vary greatly from company to company so it’s difficult to recommend specific subjects. If you’ll be involved with level design, physics and maths are useful. If your role focuses on narrative design, creative writing, media and editing skills will be helpful. IT subjects will help you understand how programmers work which is great especially as some game designers also help with coding.
Producer: Producers, like game designers often have a diverse skillset. Business management and accounting can be useful, as producers manage the production budget and schedule, so good organisational skills are key. Psychology can be helpful as producers must manage their team and also liaise with publishers, media and other stakeholders. They may also be in charge of managing marketing and social media in smaller companies. Lastly, art, media and computing subjects will help you understand how the developers on your team work, which can help you to more effectively manage a project.
Please note, the above list is only a guide. The same role can vary quite dramatically from company to company and there are many paths into the industry.
Many institutions offer games development or related courses, so have a look at what’s in your local area.
The Good Universities Guide lists many Australian universities and TAFEs, although it’s not an exhaustive list. Some of our members are educational institutes, so have a look at our members page.
The most important thing to remember is that working in the games industry requires passion, dedication and a lot of hard work. Even if it’s not a viable career path for you, there’s no reason you can’t make games as a hobby!
Online resources for games development
Here are some website and software recommendations.
Game development software aimed at beginners:
Construct 2: An HTML5 game creator designed specifically for 2D games.
GameSalad: Create games for iOS, Android and HTML5 with easy drag and drop function.
Stencyl: Multiplatform game development software.
RPG Maker: Software to create role playing games.
Scratch: Program your own interactive stories, games, and animations.
Game development software:
Unity: A flexible and powerful development platform for creating multiplatform 3D and 2D games and interactive experiences.
Unreal Engine: A complete suite of multi platform game development tools.
Learn to code:
Code Academy: Learn to code interactively for free.
Blender: A free and open source 3D art creation suite.
GIMP: The GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a free software for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring etc.
Sculptris: A 3D art program.
Inkscape: Open source vector art program.
Game development resources and misc:
Pixel Prospector: Resource list and step by step guide for game development.
Sortingh.At: Another guide for the game development process.
Twine: Open source interactive tool for non linear storytelling.
Do you offer work experience or internships?
As the GDAA is an advocacy group, not a development company, we don’t offer work experience directly. Some of our members do, so try contact them directly through their websites.
Getting involved in your local game development community
The Australian games industry is quite a tight knit group, so it’s worth getting to know other developers.
- Join your local IGDA chapter’s Facebook group