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Quick Question Regarding Education.


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#1 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:09 AM

Hello, First off, I'm pretty new to these forums; Well I've browsed here for over a year and was able to get some great information. Anyways, I've been talking with a few of a my friends,(both graduates from Universities, one In Media Animation and the Other in Computer Science.) We got to talking a few nights ago and decided it was time that create a video game of our own. We spent a lot of time developing a great concept and since all three of us are excellent at what we do, we've had no problems and continue strong with development today. However, I do not want bring down the reputation of our project once and if we decide to get serious about it. By that I mean I have no traditional education in Development or programming. I've always been a DIY type person and after high school, my priorities were out of whack, and now I'm really regretting that. So I spoke with a counselor about transferring to a University to persue a BA and Masters in Computer Science with emphasis on Game Design. However, I was doing some more research and figured that I might as well get my A.S Degree and Possibly a Certificate in Game Art and Design (I don't expect much, it's just something I intend to do for experience and to educate myself.) I have a few questions, First, Should I not go for an A.S degree and go straight to Transferring, or will having both be Marginally better for when I transfer? Also, I've seen some pretty negative things about certificates, but if matched with a Bachelor's and the years of industry I'll have once I can intern / QA, will that have some sort of Validity? Thank you in advance for your comments and advice, I appreciate it. Aiden Moisa

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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30989

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:18 AM

What kind of job do you want in the games industry (and what is your idea of what this person's duties are on a team -- terminology/job-titles vary)?

#3 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:26 AM

My goal is to have an emphasis on Development (programming and design)

The only traditional knowledge that I have creative writing and screen writing, But I have a lot personal experience teaching myself C++ and Visual Basic, I know that means nothing when applying to a job, which is why I want to get my degree in that.


Currently our project is just a little hobby we have, but if I had to place titles, I would be the director / writer, both of my friends respectively are Programmers and Designers.

#4 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22231

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:51 AM

Figure out your passions.

Planning your life based on a job you think you might want, and a degree based on what you think might get you that job, is a bad idea.


It sounds like your passion is writing code. You have taught yourself two computer programming languages.


If your passion was game design you would have spent time building board games, or figuring out game mechanics on paper, or learned about game theory. You would talk about game mechanics with your friends, and probably spend time playing pen-and-paper games.


If your passion was screen writing, you would have written plays, staged your own movies, and taken drama classes in school. You would talk with your friends about inducing emotions in viewers, and probably became close friends with your English and drama teachers at school.




If that is correct that your passion is programming, then follow the passion to a Computer Science degree. I recommend against a games-specific degree for many reasons. (Read the forum's posts that discuss it, I'm not going to retype everything here.)



You do not have enough experience to know what your final career will be. Beware the dangers of ignoring your passions and looking for a specific job. Read this thread about one of my co-workers who did exactly that.

#5 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

Hello Frob,

Thank you for that information, I will definitely put more thought into that.

I have read most every topic that I could find (though the one about your co-worker has slipped past me, I will read it right now.)

As far as certificates go, I know they are a pretty poor choice for a main focus, but this was something I wanted to do for the experience (by that I mean trying something new and exploring another aspect of design.) The question I had is if having a respectable degree and industry experience (AFTER I graduate and get that experience of course.) would make the certificate look a bit more appealing in the long run. But it would seem that it may be a waste for that purpose.

As far as my passion. The one thing I've always done was write and tell stories.

I do constantly figure out mechanics of gameplay and I'm always very curious when it comes to the guts of a game, I enjoy playing around with it and understanding how the game works behind the pretty graphics.

For me, Writing is a passion and Programming..well programming is a love.

Regardless of where I am in life I will always write stories and things like that, but I absolutely love programming. I don't feel I have to choose between the two, because for me, they co-exist peacefully in my mind.

#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10067

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
The question I had is if having a respectable degree and industry experience (AFTER I graduate and get that experience of course.) would make the certificate look a bit more appealing in the long run.

Nobody will care about the certificate, if you have industry experience. Or the degree, for that matter.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#7 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:37 AM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
The question I had is if having a respectable degree and industry experience (AFTER I graduate and get that experience of course.) would make the certificate look a bit more appealing in the long run.

Nobody will care about the certificate, if you have industry experience. Or the degree, for that matter.


I see...

To my understanding, especially with the sudden burst of interest in the gaming industry, most companies want a degree, so indirectly, I would need a degree JUST to be noticed by someone in the industry, or at the very least to be taken seriously? Unless I have exceptionally great contacts in the industry, or I'm super lucky and happen to be at the right place at the right time, with the right clothes and wearing the right socks...

The one thing I'm still curious about though, is if I should just go for transferring to a University, or get an associates degree and then transfer.



#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10067

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:54 AM

Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
The question I had is if having a respectable degree and industry experience (AFTER I graduate and get that experience of course.) would make the certificate look a bit more appealing in the long run.

Nobody will care about the certificate, if you have industry experience. Or the degree, for that matter.

I would need a degree JUST to be noticed by someone in the industry

Nobody's going to notice you based on a degree. Period. The degree is so you can get hired. Only by getting hired can you get game industry experience. The hypothetical question you posed above assumed that you had game industry experience and a degree. How are you going to get the experience without the degree?
Quote:
or at the very least to be taken seriously? Unless I have exceptionally great contacts in the industry, or I'm super lucky and happen to be at the right place at the right time, with the right clothes and wearing the right socks...

So you're saying "there can be exceptions." Yes, that's true. But you don't want to make a life plan based on being an exception to the rules.
Quote:
should [I] just go for transferring to a University, or get an associates degree and then transfer.

Sorry, I don't understand the question you're asking. GET AT LEAST A 4-YEAR DEGREE. An Associates can be part of that. A certificate can be part of that. You can also do that if the degree is handed to you on a Tuesday or gets peanut butter on it.

What is your REAL question? Seems like you're dancing around it a lot.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22231

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:00 PM

It is not too hard to help refine your passions.

Get a copy of the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?" There are new editions every year, and your library is going to have a few copies. Go to the end of the book, there is something he calls a flower diagram. Spend some time doing it. If you are thoughtful when completing it you can learn a lot about your passions.

#10 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22231

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:03 PM

Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
most companies want a degree, so indirectly, I would need a degree JUST to be noticed by someone in the industry, or at the very least to be taken seriously?

Imagine that you are an employer.

Imagine that you have a stack of 100 applications.

Imagine you don't have time to look through them in detail, so you will quickly remove 80% of them and make a short stack to review.

Imagine that most have a college degree, some have advanced degrees, and some have no degrees at all. Some have work experience, some have industry experience, and some have nothing.

Which ones will make the short stack?

#11 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
The question I had is if having a respectable degree and industry experience (AFTER I graduate and get that experience of course.) would make the certificate look a bit more appealing in the long run.

Nobody will care about the certificate, if you have industry experience. Or the degree, for that matter.

I would need a degree JUST to be noticed by someone in the industry

Nobody's going to notice you based on a degree. Period. The degree is so you can get hired. Only by getting hired can you get game industry experience. The hypothetical question you posed above assumed that you had game industry experience and a degree. How are you going to get the experience without the degree?
Quote:
or at the very least to be taken seriously? Unless I have exceptionally great contacts in the industry, or I'm super lucky and happen to be at the right place at the right time, with the right clothes and wearing the right socks...

So you're saying "there can be exceptions." Yes, that's true. But you don't want to make a life plan based on being an exception to the rules.
Quote:
should [I] just go for transferring to a University, or get an associates degree and then transfer.

Sorry, I don't understand the question you're asking. GET AT LEAST A 4-YEAR DEGREE. An Associates can be part of that. A certificate can be part of that. You can also do that if the degree is handed to you on a Tuesday or gets peanut butter on it.

What is your REAL question? Seems like you're dancing around it a lot.


I think you're taking my questions, and looking at them as statements...

What I wanted was clarification.
Quote:
Nobody will care about the certificate, if you have industry experience. Or the degree, for that matter.


That was your first response, its seems as if no one will care what kind of degree I have, as long as I have industry experience, that also includes a 4 year degree.

My question there was: How would I get industry experience, if I don't have a degree?

Anything I said in the above was not a statement, but a question to what you said....

but thank you, I think you indirectly answered my question.

I will get a 4 year degree, as I planned. But now I have clarification: It wouldn't hurt to get an A.S and a Certificate along with it, thanks.



#12 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10067

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:27 PM

Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
My question there was: How would I get industry experience, if I don't have a degree?

And I guess you have the answer now -- unless God or Fate intervene miraculously, you don't.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#13 OCN_Raiyu   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:54 PM

Thank you for the information I'll be sure to apply it to my educational plans.


#14 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:24 PM

Quote:
Original post by OCN_Raiyu
That was your first response, its seems as if no one will care what kind of degree I have, as long as I have industry experience, that also includes a 4 year degree.

Once you have worked in the industry for a few years and shipped a few games your degree becomes less important. But if you have not worked in the industry you, by definition, don't have industry experience (http://www.obscure.co.uk/industry-experience/). In that case the type of degree (4 year) is important. It doesn't have to be game development related, it can be standard CS degree or even non-computer related.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk




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