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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."

Mitchell Croft, Bachelor of Games and
Virtual Worlds (Programming) Graduate

When I was 8 my friend introduced me properly to computer games via Pok√©mon 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!