Education spotlight: Holmesglen

The future of the games sector is bright. As part of our education insights series we highlight local independent institutes achieving exceptional results and mentoring the future of the Victorian games industry.

Creative Victoria congratulates all the graduates across the games education landscape and wish them the best as they embark on careers in this most exciting industry. We also can’t wait for the next generation to start their courses and to be inspired by the opportunities that lay ahead.

Holmesglen has an eye for homegrown originality

Self-discovery sits at the heart of creative courses. Holmesglen shakes up students’ expectations, opening their eyes to unexpected local opportunities.

The indie nature of the local industry means Holmesglen prepares students to wear many hats. As game design teacher Daniel Roberts explains, “the average studio in Australia is between two and five employees…it’s pretty usual that people have to be multiskilled.”

Staff found that students imagining themselves in a specific role or game style are later drawn to creating an entire interactive project. A lot of this is inspired through their growing understanding of the local landscape.

“I try and focus on spotlighting Australian games,” says Roberts. “…and by the end of it then they’re aware of all these big, weird things and they are like, ‘I could make this big shooter or CRPG (Computer Role Playing Game), now I realise that one of the most popular games in Australia is about a goose messing up someone’s garden. So, I guess I can do anything.’”

Leaning into the whimsical, one group of students are currently prototyping a game about a being a dung-beetle. IGEA's 2021–2022 Game Development Survey showed that a massive 85 per cent of Australian games industry respondents were working on original IP. Roberts says this knowledge is “an early lightbulb moment,” fuelling students’ playful imaginations.

The weird, whacky and imaginative only tells a partial story of what students are getting up to.

Select Holmesglen students also participate in SummerTech Live — an initiative delivered by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the Victorian Government. Through Holmesglen’s partnership with LiminalVR, students get to put their skills out there for invaluable work experience with tech company clients.

Holmesglen staff and students are having candid conversations around business, ethics, and industry change. Tech advances quickly and major software tools run the risk of becoming replaced or obsolete. “If students are panicking then what better place to talk about it all than in a classroom,” says Roberts. “I[‘m] impressed how engaged and plugged in our students [are].”

Supporting original IP, multiskilling and awareness of Victorian opportunities are prepping Holmesglen’s students for creative success.

Holmesglen’s Game-Changing Students 
Sam Bouzanquet

Sam is a Holmesglen Diploma of Information Technology (Game Art and Design & Game Programming) student who has just recently finished his studies.

Sam will be participating in the Victorian Government’s upcoming program SummerTech LIVE, partnering with Melbourne based LiminalVR. The program will allow him to gain invaluable on-the-job experience.

This semester, Sam worked with his group to create an anime-inspired dungeon crawler based in Feudal Japan.

still from a video game

Image: Dungeon Crawler by Holmesglen students

Varvara Krauchanka

Varvara is a recent graduate of Holmesglen’s Cert IV in Information Technology (Game Development) and a forward-thinking innovator in experimental AI.

After learning about Generative AI in the Emerging ICT subject, Varvara has continued to experiment with AI systems outside of class to create trailblazing architectural concepts and designs with tools like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and Runway Gen-2 Motion Brush.

concrete building

Image: Architectural art design using AI tools by Holmesglen student Varvara Krauchanka