Mitchell Croft - Games and Virtual Worlds
"From an early age I've enjoyed creating board games, paper crafts, origami - you name it. As I got older and the internet and computers started to become so tightly integrated into modern life, my interests moved into that area as well."
When I was 8 my friend introduced me properly to computer games via Pokémon Silver which was the first time I became engrossed in a game, and the RPG style and collectible nature grabbed my attention in a way that they had never previously in the gaming industry. I started to gravitate towards computer-based subjects in high school, including undertaking several AIE holiday short courses, before realising in my Year 9 Information Software and Technology (IST) class that I enjoyed and was relatively good at programming.
From there I continued to focus on learning programming, taking Software Design and Development (SDD) and Information Technology Multimedia (ITM) subjects for the HSC where I also developed and submitted a very basic game I had programmed and developed the art for. After receiving a Band 6 mark from the external judges and from the impressed looks I received from some of my teachers and family, I knew that this is something that I wanted to do for a living.
A large part of why I wanted to study with AIE and CIT is from those initial short courses that I completed with AIE. They gave me a chance to see the Sydney campus a brief glimpse into what tertiary student life was like. The project based approached to learning and close industry ties of AIE made it a more appealing choice to me. I hoped that a degree combined with the project management subjects offered by CIT would give me a better edge over the other people entering the industry.
Entering the second year of the course I was recommended by my first-year teacher for a teacher's assistant position and holiday course teacher, helping him with the new college students coming in and teaching high schoolers some basics. This was my first proper job; a great learning experience and one of my most proud achievements. At the end of this second year, students undertook a group project where we were teamed up with designers, artists and potentially other programmers to work to create something that shows off what you have learned. This is a great chance to see how you as an individual have improved and what the people around you are capable of.
Currently I am working at Red Cartel, a 3D Animation and game development studio, specialising in creating dynamic visual content for Virtual Reality, Gaming and Augmented Reality. There I am using the game development skills I learned from my time with AIE and CIT to develop the software products that are produced there. Game development can be very full-on, but seeing people enjoy something you have created ultimately makes it all worthwhile and come back time and time again!