Halfbrick Announces Halfbrick Cubed, Bringing Developers And Students Together

Game development is a difficult gig to get into, and with student intake arguably outpacing the growth of the Australian games industry, it might be about to get tougher. That's why Halfbrick Cubed, an initiative started by Fruit Ninja creators Halfbrick, is such a valuable idea.

Halfbrick Cubed is a monthly gathering taking place at Queensland University of Technology designed to give students access to industry knowledge from the studios dotted around Brisbane and Australia. The first event is set to be hosted by Phil Larsen, Halfbrick's Chief Marketing Officer, but according to Phil himself, he's keen to get as many industry voices involved as possible, not just employees from Halfbrick. The aim, he said, is to bring "fresh discussion and new experiences" to up and coming developers.

The first event takes place at QUT Gardens Point campus on October 1, starting at 6pm.

You can find more information here.


Comments

    Okay, before I start, I'm going to reveal some stuff about me: I'm a first-year at QUT studying the Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment (fancy way of saying The Videogame-Making degree) and Halfbrick has made presentations for some of the lectures throughout the year before.

    Whenever Halfbrick comes to QUT as guest speakers for the Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment subject lectures, everyone always listens closely... somewhere, hidden amongst all their self-promotion and advertising for various versions of Fruit Ninja, is actual decent information.

    Not keen on going to their presentations outside of lecture times considering their past presentations, and someone needs to slap the numbnut who put the first event in the mid-semester break. Seriously. This is our (QUT students') week off.

    Oh, and the Australian gaming industry would be booming if everyone here wasn't focused on making games for smartphones or focused on making cheap-ass indie games. (Our degree grooms us to make and publish an indie game by the time we graduate, so no big growth for the local industry any time soon.)

      You're lucky to be in such a good course then.

      I'm at a university in Melbourne doing a games degree, they're teaching us that video games aren't a big enough industry to bother with and are teaching us marketing instead.

      Yeah, in a games degree.

        Oh man, I'm really sorry to hear that! D= Marketing is a huge part of releasing a videogame, but it still sucks that they are focusing on that instead of actually teaching you to make games...

      "Oh, and the Australian gaming industry would be booming if everyone here wasn't focused on making games for smartphones or focused on making cheap-ass indie games."

      Here are some reasons why I think game developers in Australia are making games for smartphones or "cheap-ass indie games":

      Transmission Games.
      Krome Studios Brisbane.
      Krome Studios Melbourne.
      Team Bondi.
      Pandemic Studios.
      KMM Brisbane.
      THQ Australia.
      Visceral Australia.
      Perception Games.
      Sega Studios Australia.

      Those are off the top of my head(sorry if there are any inaccuracies), all studios that have either shut down or changed focus away from games. The games industry in Australia has shrunk down to less than half it's size in the last 4 years. There has been negative growth, I believe in large part because a lot of those companies were chasing AAA development. The only survivors who not only got through unscathed but are doing well right now in Australia are mobile developers like HalfBrick and Firemint (Firemonkeys). That's my guess at least why your courses are focusing on smartphones and indie games, they want you to be able to earn a living.

        Yeah, Australia's gaming industry history has been terrible, but just because someone else failed doesn't mean you should give up!
        It would be great if some of the multi-national game developers set up a branch in Australia (Ubisoft, Rockstar, get on this!) because that would really help the local industry and provide a place for students like myself to go after completing their degree.

        And while yeah it's great that QUT is teaching us to make a living off of small games, it's still disappointing to be pointed away from console game development all the time. It's hurtful.

          A big reason why multi-national companies don't set up branches in Australia is the Aussie dollar, and other cost of doing business factors which unfortunately are completely out of our control.

          Also, I personally don't think you can really teach game development in any way except by teaching how to make small indie games. AAA studios don't hire "game developers", they hire animators and modellers and network programmers and UI artists. The bigger the game, the more specialisation, and no course can teach the skills required to specialise in all the different areas of AAA development. So if you want to learn how to make games, you want to learn how to make small indie games and smartphone games. Once you know the basics of everything, then you can specialise if you really want to.

          I get the impression you want to specialise and be a high-quality cog in a gigantic AAA machine, rather than make your own games where you control the vision? What part of games development do you really want to work in, because there's a good chance you can probably learn more of a specialisation in your own time. Nobody cares about degrees in this industry, only skills and experience. Maybe there will be AAA development going on in Aus when you graduate, but if you want to be a part of it, you'll need to be super awesome at something specific.

          But in my opinion, indie games are more fun! When you're a cog, you get very little say in anything important. When you make small games, it's 100% you.

          Last edited 30/09/13 9:06 pm

    Frankly, while Halfbrick are a really great success story, I've found their personal lectures and talks to be really quite self-congratulatory, heavily dotted with little marketing nuggets (Phil was on at least one panel at PAX, he talks a lot and seems to say surprisingly little).

    However, their initiative to get a good dialogue between Games students and the industry is just a plain good idea. I'm not sure what the IGDA community is like in Queensland (I know in Melbourne it's really strong so we're lucky), but if it's a little smaller than other parts of the world, then this is a great idea!

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