Games graduate launches start-up
22 Dec 2016
Games graduate launches start-up
22 Dec 2016
Tyson Butler-Boschma can actually pin point the exact light-bulb moment when he had the idea, "I want to make games!" It was 2am and he had just finished playing the game Halo 3. Little did he know this moment would set in motion a chain reaction that would lead him to a career in the games industry.
On graduating from high school Tyson chose to study a Bachelor of Games Development at SAE Melbourne, before deciding to continue his education and undertake a Graduate Diploma in Creative Media, followed by a Master’s Degree in Animation Games and Interactivity from RMIT Melbourne.
Tyson credits his time studying at SAE as the essential stepping stone that lead him to where he is today.
As the co-founder of Toybox Games Studios, Tyson started the company with four fellow SAE colleagues. Having initially met at SAE Melbourne while they were studying, the games development graduates decided to open their own start-up company. It’s still early days for the company based out of Melbourne, but Toybox Games Studios is currently developing a game release for PC and its first major IP, something they foresee will be huge for Australian game development.
What inspired you to enter into the career you're in?
I have always enjoyed playing games, but it wasn’t really until 2007 that I realised I wanted to make them. I had just finished playing the long anticipated game Halo 3. It was 2am in the morning and I remember the music, the visuals, the storyline, and the general epic vibe of the game made had made me quite emotional, I literally had goose bumps. It was in that moment that I realised I wanted to create that feeling in someone else. From that day onwards, all my focus has been directed towards games development.
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
Without question it was the people I meet and the networking that happened as a by-product of those friendships formed. Words cannot describe the feeling of leaving high school where learning is very structured and uniform, then going to SAE where literally everyone (including the incredible lectures) is into the exact same thing as you are. It was so liberating, and it just added more fuel to my passion for making games.
Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
My time at SAE was essential step to where I am now. Those who know me know I can be a little too confident for my own good - SAE humbled me incredibly, without crushing my spirit. It showed me that there is always more to learn, and if you work hard on what you want to achieve you can do anything in life. I could never have started my own company and completed a Master’s Degree without the lessons I gained while studying at SAE.
What are your career highlights?
A huge career highlight for me was completing my Master’s degree. It took a phenomenal amount of work, and I’m incredibly proud to say that I completed something of such magnitude. A close second would be the creation of Toybox Games Studios. It’s still early days at Toybox, but the fact that we’re an official company and we’re working on our first major IP (something that we hope will be huge for Australian game development!) is a wonderful feeling.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on the development of Toybox’s first major IP, but unfortunately I’m not at liberty to talk further about the project….but stay tuned!
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful their field?
Work hard and trust yourself to make decisions. More often than not you’ll have an idea that can seem a little bit farfetched, but don’t let those seeds of doubt grow in your mind. Believe in yourself, and your vision, be willing to learn and work hard. You’ll find that all your endeavors will work out in the end.
Who inspires your work?
As a developer I’m hugely inspired by Cliff Bleszinski, best known for his work on the original Gears of War trilogy. His attitude towards games development combined with his amazing talent will always be of inspiration to me. Inspiration from a more emotional level comes from my family and friends. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have an amazing support network around me so I work hard to make them proud.
Did you do any studies before starting at SAE, or have you studied since?
As soon as I finished year 12 I packed up my things, left my little home town in Tasmania and moved to Melbourne. It was quite the change of scenery, and as someone who’d only just started to spread their wings, it was quite daunting. Studying at SAE helped me get into the flow of things in a big city. When I completed my degree I went on to complete a Diploma in Information Technology, a Graduate Diploma in Creative Media and a Master’s Degree in Animation, Games and Interactivity. Right now I’m in the early stages of preparing for my PhD.
What do you enjoy most about working in your industry?
I have fun every single day! I get to work on the things I love with some pretty incredible people - every day is an adventure. To be able to create something with your colleagues is like co-parenting a child with some very talented and awesome people. It was once just a dream, but it’s now become my reality.
What did you love most about studying at SAE?
Being around people with similar goals and interests allowed me to see different perspectives towards games development. My time at SAE also resulted in the coming together of the game development team I work with today. We all met at SAE, and now we all work together in our own company. That’s incredibly special!
What projects have you worked on, and which one are you most proud of? What did you produce in this project?
I’ve made several small games in my time while studying, such as Toybox and Icarus Fall, that received excellent marks and praise from my lectures and fellow students. Icarus Fall was selected for the end of year ACMI showcase in 2014. However, the game I’m most proud of is a little game called Heart of Zarar. It was the first game I ever worked on. It was created over 48 hours at the 2013 Global Game Jam and it was very well received, winning the Best Gameplay award for that year. This game proved to me that I’d selected the right career path in life.
Who do you follow on social media?
Anyone and everyone that interests me. Developers, Games Companies and Development pages – they’re all good sources of information that helps me navigate the ever growing games industry.
Can you share an artist that inspires you?
Bob Ross. Not because of his painting style (which is very good), but for his methodology in how he pursues his art. Bob is all about enjoying what you do, having fun, making mistakes and learning from them. I look to incorporate his methods and beliefs into how I go about developing my games – and as a result I always enjoy what I do, even when things don’t necessarily go right.
THIS AND THAT GAME
Converse or Vans
Coffee or Tea
Apple or Android
Instagram or Snapchat
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SAE offers Bachelor and Associate Degrees in Game Development and Design