• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

S. Lee Gainer

CS degree or no degree?

12 posts in this topic

Hi guys...I am considering going back to school to get a Bach. in Computer Science, ie. programming specifically. I already have a degree in Communication Arts. My intention is to develop a small company that is socially responsible, employee driven, and makes great, fun games for eveyone. Should I get this degree or keep plugging away at my C++ books? (Or both!) Currently, I do not have a job in the industry and no leads. Thanks for your advice! Sincerely, S. Lee Gainer tpgslg@gdi.net
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi there,

you might wanna read this article I wrote for Flipcode. Although it''s not about a degree and starting your own comp it might still be helpfull.


http://www.flipcode.com/interviews/school/


Always keep in mind that choosing to go to school or start right away is a very personal decision. Don''t let anyone but you make it!

Jaap Suter
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
well, you''ll need to provide a bit more information than that. i personally dropped out of high school, and it never was an issue when applying to game development companies, and definitely wasn''t an issue when i went into business for myself. but i already had fairly extensive knowledge of the topics required. if you already know your stuff, in my opinion, the only reason why you should get a degree is if you don''t know if you can make it in game development and want something to fall back on. if you don''t, by all means, it would help you out tremendously, and in the long run, you''ll gain more knowledge from it in the same time frame.


--
Float like a butterfly, bite like a crocodile.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I earned a BS in CS from the University of North Carolina. I see things every day, at work (programming), and programming my game, that remind me how valuable my education is. Recursion, BSP trees, linked lists, all kinds of data structures, big "oh" notation O(n), finite state machines, sorting algorithms, and even some assembler code; these are topics you see in the gamedev forums all the time with people seeking tutorials and help, and before you finish a CS degree, you''ll know them all inside out.
I think its certainly worth your time.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once heard someone say the following:

"If you are 100% sure you want to stop, you are able to pull it off as well. If you are in doubt then just go to school."

I personally think that this matter is to personal and important to listen to someone else. You can always ask for advice ofcourse (which I did myself a lot!!). But I just want to make sure that you have to make the decision for yourself.

If you aren''t gonna do it now, then you will never. Remember that.

Sorry if I sound a bit rude, but I struggled with this problem too for a long time (and still somedays).

Anyway, go grap a beer!! hehe.

Jaap Suter

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Over here in the UK (which is irrelevant to the original poster, I know), you will probably triple your chances of at least getting an interview by having a Computing degree. Looking through the adverts and the websites, nearly all the game programming employers ask for graduates.

And given that so many people on here don''t seem to even know what a linked list is, it becomes very apparent that a formal education is very helpful when it come to higher programming concepts! I''d recommend it.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the things about getting a CS degree: you''ll be around a lot of people that know what they are doing, people who are interested in Computer Science as a career. When you are young and know little about programming, this is a bonus.
If you are already in the industry, however, you''re probably already around people who really know what they are doing, and much more specifically applied to the things they are always working on. If you want to go in the same direction as them, they''d be the best teachers. ( though you will not be developing your general knowledge much more ).


#pragma DWIM // Do What I Mean!
~ Mad Keith ~
**I use Software Mode**
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As mentioned before. It''s your choice, and a very big one at that. Think about it, it''s your desicion.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, I won''t be shy.

GET THE DEGREE!!! =)

For every person who quit school and made it in life, you can find hundreds that didn''t. For every person who went to school and failed in life, you can find hundreds who didn''t.

Nothing against people who quit school and made it on their own, but if I was hiring, I would be asking myself why would I want to risk the investment on a new employee if he is unable to commit himself to getting his education.

But, I do have to say that only you can decide which path you take. You are the one who will have to live with the decision, not any of us.

Good luck!

Tim
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Consider getting an engineering degree. It''s also very interesting.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My few pennies...

I am 25.
I am married, 5yrs.
I have a 3yr old daughter.

I am going back to school to pick up my BS in Comp Sci with a minor in electrical engineering. Start this fall. Toughest decision of my life. But I felt SO much better after having made it. Even if I can''t finish, I am sure the experience will be worth GOLD!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never underestimate the "secret handshake phenomemon" of actually having a CS degree.

It''s more prevalent in MBA circles, but it also shows up in the technical-geek world of IT/IS departments. The hiring manager went through the 4 years of college to get *his* degree, so if you have the same degree (or a similar one), you obviously know the "secret handshake" and are automatically a step or two above a similar candidate without that degree...



DavidRM
Samu Games
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Friend of mine just got hired as a programmer at 3d0 and did not have a CS degree. What he DID have was several years as a programmer at a smaller game company.(which hired him despite his not having a CS degree)

I think that many companies list a degree as a requirement just to scare off the wannabes. Anyone who is in the know already knows if they qualify for the position, degree or no degree.

$0.02
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites