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How is the Game Development field?


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#1 aanthonyz1   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Ok I am currently in college in my first year. I want to go into game development but im confused with my major choices. Would Computer Science be enough or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major? How is the field and job availability overall?



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#2 d4n1   Members   -  Reputation: 423

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:07 PM

In terms of being noticed for an interview, computer science degree covers (can) game development and some.

 

What it boils down to is what you are capable of doing, and what you've already done.  School will only teach you so much, if you show them something you worked on in school and everyone else has done the same thing, then you are just wasting your time.


Edited by d4n1, 10 January 2014 - 02:08 PM.


#3 aanthonyz1   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:08 PM

So I can still go into game development just with a computer science degree?



#4 d4n1   Members   -  Reputation: 423

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:15 PM

Of course.  School will only teach you 10% of what you need to know as a developer (designer, etc), the rest will come from lots of work on your end.


Edited by d4n1, 10 January 2014 - 02:15 PM.


#5 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:30 PM

Ok I am currently in college in my first year. I want to go into game development but im confused with my major choices. Would Computer Science be enough or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major? How is the field and job availability overall?[/size]


I read article on this site and agree with it. Except you want to be confined and limited to games, go for computer science.

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#6 Eck   Members   -  Reputation: 1716

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:43 PM

Here's a link to the article Nathan2222 mentioned.

 

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gamedev-net-soapbox/why-a-degree-in-game-design-is-a-bad-idea-r3527

 

One of the things he says is that a strong portfolio weighs more than a degree. And I think he's right. If all you have is a piece of paper that says, "I did the work for this piece of paper." That's great. So did lots of other people. Have you done anything cool? Show me...

 

Tom Sloper is a member/moderator here at gamedev. On his website he has a big list of FAQ's that people interested in joining "the biz" should read. 

http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

 

- Eck

 



#7 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -400

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:51 PM

Here's a link to the article Nathan2222 mentioned.

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gamedev-net-soapbox/why-a-degree-in-game-design-is-a-bad-idea-r3527

One of the things he says is that a strong portfolio weighs more than a degree. And I think he's right. If all you have is a piece of paper that says, "I did the work for this piece of paper." That's great. So did lots of other people. Have you done anything cool? Show me...

Tom Sloper is a member/moderator here at gamedev. On his website he has a big list of FAQ's that people interested in joining "the biz" should read.
http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

- Eck

That's the one. Learning computer science enables you to do more than just make games. Computers are everywhere these days.

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#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8692

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

1. Would Computer Science be enough
2. or would I have to go to a school that has game programming as a major?
3. How is the field and job availability overall?


Hi, Anthony. I didn't see your post at first because it was in the wrong forum. I've moved it now to the right place.

1. No, it's not enough. Nothing is enough. Frequently Asked Question #49. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson49.htm

2. No, you don't "have to" have a game degree. You need a degree and a portfolio. You teach yourself more after graduation and make a portfolio, you network and make contacts. No degree is a guarantee of a job. FAQ 77. http://sloperama.com/advice/m77.htm

3. It's not easy to get in, and it's not necessarily easy to stay in, either. It's very interesting work, lots of ups and downs.
-- 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 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27857

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:13 PM

If I was looking at resumes for an entry level job, my order of preference would be:
1) CompSci + portfolio of games made in their spare time.
2) Games college + portfolio of games made in their spare time.
3) Portfolio of games made in their spare time.
4) CompSci + Games College, no portfolio.
5) CompSci, no portfolio
6) Games college, no portfolio

i.e. CompSci is the best course for a programming career, but you also need to be making games in your spare time to build up experience the whole way through your education.

#10 S1CA   Members   -  Reputation: 1398

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:13 PM

I've been reviewing a lot of CVs and interviewing people recently (for senior engine programming posts) but if I were reviewing for entry level jobs my order of preference would also be 100% with what Hodgman said. 


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#11 S1CA   Members   -  Reputation: 1398

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:09 AM

Regarding the job availability question - most of of the available games jobs are not entry level and require some amount of industry experience in a real production environment (ideally with shipped product).

 

However, there are still some junior positions out there, particularly at indie studios who don't have the budget to pay for senior people. That's one way to get some industry experience (on top of your degree and portfolio of personal projects mentioned above).

 

The other common route into the entry level jobs is internships, usually at the larger companies but sometimes at smaller ones too (budget reasons as above and external funding is sometimes available to studios for taking on interns). The best performing interns are often offered permanent junior jobs. As an extension of the traditional intern intake, the company I work for has also started a graduate programme which may be of interest to you in a few years: https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/graduateprogram/index.aspx


Simon O'Connor | Personal website | Work





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