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What classes to take...

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Alright. I am a entering sophmore in a 4-year school going for a BS in CS. I`d like to program games. I`ve taken calc 1 so far. In the fall I''ll be hitting a intro to linear algerbra. What classes do the experieced(possibly employed too) game developers of this forum recommend to take ? I`m not really sure what area of gamedev I want to go into, (AI, gfx, network, etc). Thankx, ~V''lion Bugle4d

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I would take all the math you can get your hands on. Besides three good semesters of calculus, linear algebra, numerical analysis and discrete mathmatics are also beneficial. Not only for the topics they cover but also to improve your problem solving skills. It also depends I what are considered "core"
classes in your schools program. Make sure you get a taste of
all the different areas (networking, compiler design, design patterns) as you probably will not be able to pick what area of gaming you want to go in right out of school anyways (if you are even lucky to get a game job right away). Versatility is never a bad quality. Besides your classes you will definitely still need to devote plenty of time to "side projects" (a good solid game or two goes much farther than 2000 demos). Always keep an
eye on new game technology, read the forums, etc. You don''t need to implement everything new thing that comes out, but know a little about and where you could get more information on it if need be.

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While it''s always beneficial to to take classes, there is no better way to learn to be a good programmer than to program yourself. Take a lot of math classes, but more importantly, program as much as you can in your spare time. Make a 3D engine, or try to program a small game, and you''ll realize that the math isn''t normally a problem, it''s how you design, organize and optimize your code, which is something that is much easier to learn from experence than from being taught. Learning to program games is like learning an art -- no one can teach you to be an artist, they can only guide you along. The person you''ll learn the most from is yourself.

Matthew Calabrese
Realtime 3D Orchestra:
Programmer, Composer,
and 3D Artist/Animator
"I can see the music..."

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