Every year many University students around the world decide to take a 3-4+ year journey filled with research, conferences, statistics and hair-ripping deadlines in order to earn the title of Doctor (Even for my own Masters by Research degree, I had a Thesis Writing tag for this site). Many don’t progress any further and retain this title for the rest of their academic careers… then there are academics like Jeffrey Brand from Bond University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences who go the step further and earn the title of “Professor”. While you may expect professors stereotypically to be lab-coat wearing nerds who spend all day in science labs, Professor Jeffrey Brand is one of the driving forces behind (the now) Bachelor of Interactive Media and Design at the university, and apart from his teaching has a sizable list of papers, conferences and roles in the industry under his belt.
The Otaku’s Study reached out to Professor Brand during the write-up of an earlier article “Australian Indie Development Scene and Screen Australia’s Interactive Games Fund – Beneficial, Limited or a Waste of Money?“. What initially was supposed to be a brief interview resulted in being a 40-45 minute conversation on many facets of the Australian video game industry. Therefore if you are looking for an insight into the state of the Australian development scene at the moment, check out this upcoming multi-installment interview series.
In this first Q&A, Professor Brand discusses his own background in the industry, the career opportunities for current and potentially future students in the video game industry, and the struggles new developers come across when they try and make their mark in the industry with their very first game.
[1.A] With many years of experience under your belt, would you be able to share a bit on your background in the industry and academically at Bond University?
[1.B] (Following Response) So in other words that even if you aren’t necessarily creative and want to be a game developer, there are still careers in the industry?
 You mentioned that you have had all these students go off to do different things. Let’s say I were to graduate from one of your degrees today, what sort of career opportunities would I have if I went out to look for a job?
 Coming out of their degrees, I take it that students involved in interactive media are bustling with ideas ready to go into development. What are some of the challenges that you feel commonly arise when developing that first title as an indie?
I would just like to thank Professor Jeffrey Brand once again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about the Australian game development scene. Further information on the new Bachelor of Interactive Media and Design at Bond University can be found HERE. The second part of this interview series should be out in the next few days.
Has this changed or reinforced your opinion about going into the video game / interactive entertainment industry? Do you have your own musings that you would like to share with other readers? Please feel free to share your thoughts about what was discussed in the comments box below.