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#1 adthc   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:36 AM

I'll be a freshman in college next year majoring in computer science. I have been programming for a long time but new to game/3D programming. Now I want to make games after college but not sure if this is the right path for me. I also like mechanical engineering and I'm considering majoring in either one and minoring in another as a backup. All my free time will be spent on making games.I don't know if this is too much though. Can anyone been in the same situation give me an advice?

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#2 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3577

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

I can only give you generic college advice: Don't pretend you know what your major(s) will be before you take some classes. I mean, have some favorite candidates, but try to branch out just to see. But don't Major in Anthropology.

 

I would talk to professors in each "candidate" department to see what the field is like and try to find some junior-seniors in the degree program to get a feel for what the classes themselves are like. Once you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do, go to the career services center (or whatever equivalent) and 1) Look at available internships (because you will want to have one) and 2) Try to get in contact with a recent graduate in your program for some RealTalk about post-graduation.


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#3 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2107

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:35 PM

I'm not in the same situation, but I graduated as a mechanical engineer and did (do) game programming as a hobby. If you are not sure about a career and that you'd enjoy coding >40 hours per week then maybe mechanical engineering is a better choice, since it's easier to get various (easy or more demanding, creative or non creative etc) jobs in that field. And definitely easier than getting a game programming job.

Working as a mechanical engineer can also be a good base for some own little game programmer studio, since it's pretty good paying.

 

This path works pretty good for me, though I only started programming after starting college.


Edited by szecs, 16 May 2013 - 01:41 PM.


#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9450

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

majoring in computer science.... I also like mechanical engineering and I'm considering majoring in either one and minoring in another.... I don't know if this is too much though.

 

Start your major, and after your freshman year, consider declaring the minor.  Just try college out for that first year, get more confident in how it all works.


-- 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.

#5 Koobazaur   Members   -  Reputation: 691

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:39 PM

Also, it may useful to check out some online video lectures from big name universities to get a "feel" for what sitting in a given class might be. Not the same as attending the class, but another tool in exploring your major. 


Postmortem: one must die -  Political narrative-adventure game playing an Agent of Death who must take ONE life that could change the fate of a conflict-torn Nation

 

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#6 adthc   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:08 PM

Thanks everyone. I'll do more research on ME to see if its for me. But if I major in one and minor in another would there be too little free time for game dev? This is what I'm afraid of.

Edited by adthc, 16 May 2013 - 05:09 PM.


#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9450

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:51 PM

But if I major in one and minor in another would there be too little free time for game dev? This is what I'm afraid of.

 

You'll take the same number of units regardless. Talk to your advisor in college after you've been there a while.


-- 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.

#8 adthc   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:28 AM

I've decided to go for ME and then create a small studio with the money I make. Hope I could make some awesome games.



#9 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1376

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:55 AM

Thanks everyone. I'll do more research on ME to see if its for me. But if I major in one and minor in another would there be too little free time for game dev? This is what I'm afraid of.

 

Engineering majors barely get free time. I don't know about you, but I def. would not feel like coding after studying some vector dynamics or mechanics of materials.

Brain draining major + brain draining hobby = burn out



#10 adthc   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

Thanks everyone. I'll do more research on ME to see if its for me. But if I major in one and minor in another would there be too little free time for game dev? This is what I'm afraid of.

 

Engineering majors barely get free time. I don't know about you, but I def. would not feel like coding after studying some vector dynamics or mechanics of materials.

Brain draining major + brain draining hobby = burn out

Well of course it's going to be tough and I don't like to work as a programmer in a company anyways. Plus I sleep only like 5 hours everyday so I'll have some time for game dev. Worst case I'll change my major bc you know I love to make games. rolleyes.gif



#11 Barzai   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 616

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:18 PM

**Note--I looked back through this, and I'm way off topic for the purpose of this forum, which is breaking into the industry.  If you moderator folks feel I'm too far off, I can edit it all out if you'd like.**

 

Well, I may as well throw a couple of cents in here, hopefully they will also make sense as well.

 

I have an engineering degree, and I'm currently back in school in a post-baccalaureate program in computer science that Oregon State offers.  The reason is that I've found that I don't particularly enjoy the engineering work that I'm doing.  I do seem to really like programming, so I want to make that switch.

 

Don't get me wrong, the engineering work isn't terrible or anything, and it does pay pretty well.  The thing is, like with a lot of jobs I suppose, I spend a lot more time in meetings and shuffling paperwork about than I do actually designing test fixtures and setting up production lines and fun stuff like that.  Now, your mileage may vary, of course.  You could end up in a job in which you don't have as much paperwork overhead and you get to spend more time doing the fun part.

 

From what I can see, it looks like computer science offers a lot more flexibility in your day to day life than engineering does.  This may just be because of where I live (San Francisco bay area), but there is an absolutely huge demand for computer science.  The jobs pay very well, and they exist pretty much all over the place.  If there's a particular place you want to live, there's probably work there in computer science.

 

As far as engineering goes, mechanical would be a good choice because there is a lot of work available.  Electrical also offers a lot of work, and it has overlap with computer science.  When I look at job postings, companies actively attempt to recruit programmers from other areas, and are willing to pay them to relocate in some cases.  That doesn't tend to happen in engineering.  Also, the engineering jobs don't pay more than computer science jobs.  I can't speak to pay rates in game dev computer science jobs, since I'm not in that field, but if you're looking to get a high salary to eventually save enough to start your own business like you say, engineering is not more lucrative than programming.

 

In any case, I'm not sure from your last post whether you're still considering a CS major with a ME minor, or switching to ME entirely.  However, since you already program on the side, it seems pretty apparent that you enjoy it.  If you're looking to switch to ME entirely for the money, I'd reconsider it since it doesn't pay more than computer science.  If you're looking to do a minor, because then you get to learn more physics and engineering and such because it's stuff you really want to know, that sounds entirely reasonable.  However, as others here have pointed out, there's no need to decide that immediately.  You can get into school and experience the workflow there a bit before you really need to make that call.

 

One final note, if you do want to open a studio, there's actually a lot of other knowledge that would be very useful to you.  This is stuff that would happen in the future a bit, but getting an MBA would probably be a wise choice.  There's quite a bit involved in the business side of things that can be easy to overlook but can make your studio fail.


Edited by Barzai, 18 May 2013 - 02:13 PM.


#12 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1376

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

I might be wrong, but I really don't think you can get a minor in ME. You could minor in material science, but what would be the point? CS and Material science don't go together at all. If you want to go the engineering route I suggest Computer engineering which is a mish mash of EE and CS



#13 adthc   Members   -  Reputation: 188

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:56 PM

Barzai, I appreciate your post. I thought ME pays more than CS in general, at least that's what on the internet. Maybe it depends on what kind of engineering job it is.

I want to major in something different than CS because If need to work in one then I just need to prove I have the skills so the degree is not essential. I also read somewhere people quit CS/college bc what they teach you in months can be learned in weeks. One downside is engineering majors tend to have more work load that will eat up my time for coding.

What I have said might not be true. I'll see how things go after some classes.

ISDCaptain01, I will take a look at that too.



#14 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2107

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

Thanks everyone. I'll do more research on ME to see if its for me. But if I major in one and minor in another would there be too little free time for game dev? This is what I'm afraid of.

 

Engineering majors barely get free time. I don't know about you, but I def. would not feel like coding after studying some vector dynamics or mechanics of materials.

Brain draining major + brain draining hobby = burn out

I had plenty of time there, and I learned in the system before the Bolognese system (so the same amount of learning in 10 instead of 11 months).

 

It's only that power draining if you go for a summa cum laude. You don't have to be an eager-beaver though. The eager-beaver always-learning guys didn't get any further than us, who just did the job and only excelled in some areas.

 

 

The job: I don't know about other countries, but it pretty easy to get a job that's not so demanding and it's not more than 40 h/week. I heard quite the opposite from programming jobs though (>40 h/week)

 

 

I'm not a particularly smart person. If I could do ME and game programming at the same time easily, pretty much anyone can do so. And as I read these burning-out threads here, I can say it's much easier to burn out from coding than from ME, because you can choose from a lot of esentially different jobs in the ME field. Whenever I fealt that I'm burning out form a particular set of tasks, or there was any other issues, I could easily find a better job in 2-3 weeks. Can you do that with programming?

 

 

Another thing: to my experience, i't quite easy to swith from ME field to full-time programming jobs, because programming is less about paper. I'm actually rejecting programming jobs, I could switch almost any time I wanted. I don't think you could do that the other way, you can't really get ME jobs without the paper and education.


Edited by szecs, 20 May 2013 - 07:32 AM.





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